The Anatomy of a Glowing Living Room by Jed Johnson

I remember seeing this living room/dining room kitchen combination designed by Jed Johnson on the front of House Beautiful several years ago, and quickly fell in love with the glowing orange walls (my favorite color!).  I ran across it again this week when I was looking through my old issues of the magazine, and thought it was such a great room to feature during Fall and perfect for the Room of the Week. Orange walls are most certainly not for everyone, though the furniture and accessories are a great mix of traditional and modern and mid-century that would work with lots of styles.  And the design elements and details can offer a lot of tips and tricks for making a large room feel intimate.

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This color palette is dominated by shades of a single color (wall paint, orange chairs, throw blanket, orange wood).  But, the supporting colors help to ground the room and lessen the jarring effect of the bold color.

And, when you pick a paint color for a room look at your test swatches during the day and night…especially if you plan on using the room mainly during the evening.  This coppery orange color is gorgeous in the daylight, but I’m sure the paint color was picked based on the fact that it looks even more stunning in the evening. If the orange color was too pumpkin-y or too light or even too dark it wouldn’t have had the same effect.

The trend in home design for the past few years has been to have large open rooms where families can eat and cook and spend time all together.  And, this room is a great example of how to create multiple, but separate spaces, within one large room.  Just pick something to define the space, and gather everything around it.  In this case the rug pulls all the living room furniture together, and the shiny chandelier over the dining table sets the tone for that space.

Take out all the furniture in this room and it’s basically a giant box, with lots of hard lines…in the ceiling, on the floor, and the moldings framing the walls.  But there is almost no other hard lines in the rest of the room…all of the furniture, lighting, textiles, and even the art include some sort of wavy or curvilinear line on them.  Repeating these curvy shapes and lines throughout the space makes the room flow and feel fluid.

There’s no rule that you can only have one type of balance in the room.  Radial balance and symmetrical balance are both used simultaneously and with great success in this room.  The furniture in the living room centers around the circular coffee table, and the dining room also centers around a circular table.  But, the symmetrical design on the wall behind the sofa provides a great focal point when you enter the room. It draws your eye into and through the room.

Simple touches shared between rooms creates harmony in the design of a home.  In this room the simple brass accessories in both spaces and obviously the shared paint color definitely creates harmony.

When you enter a room your eye automatically bounces through the room.  You can help it along by creating similarities for it to follow…like curtain panels framing windows.

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