The Anatomy of a Shawn Henderson Cozy Contemporary Family Room

I don’t feature many contemporary rooms on my blog, maybe because I always feel like they are too sparse or cold or white.  But, I recently stumbled on the portfolio of designer Shawn Henderson, and I fell in love with his talent for creating contemporary rooms that are interesting and colorful and cozy.  So, I picked one of my favorite rooms he has designed that is the perfect combination of contemporary and cozy…I hope you like it as much as I do.

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All the design details in this small space work together for one purpose – helping you to relax, most likely by watching TV.  If you are lucky enough to have a room you can devote to the sole purpose of relaxing than why not use that as the focus and build the design around it?  The room will most definitely function better if you focus on the purpose, instead of trying to hide it. The gorgeous recessed nook holding the TV and glass shelving is most certainly the focal point of the room, and the main reason for hanging out there.  The contrast of the dark wood paneling against the white walls draws your eye in and the TV, of course, holds your attention.  And, all of the furniture faces away from the windows and toward the TV.

This contemporary space is cozy without feeling too full.  It’s tempting to create a cozy space by adding layers and layers of blankets and books and mementos and art.  But, this room proves that cozy can be achieved by the scale of the furnishings you fill it with, and not the amount of things.  The sofa, chairs and table fill the space perfectly, so you aren’t left with the desire to fill any empty space.  And, the shelving and wall-mounted cabinet provide the perfect amount of display and storage options to allow for showing-off the personal mementos that bring life to a room without adding too much visual clutter.

Unity & Variety will be some of your biggest design tools when you want to create a contemporary but cozy room.   This room contains one main color, one main pattern, and just a few textures that are all used in large amounts in multiple spots in the room.  For example, the edge of the glass shelves gives off a green hue that is used in the drapery panel and in the wall-mounted cabinet.  That one color unifies all of those elements.  The pattern on the chairs and the pillows on the sofa unifies those furnishings together.  You can tell that the designer was focused on unifying the variety of furnishings and materials through color, texture and pattern.

Lighting is one of the easiest ways to control the mood of the room, especially when you want to make it cozy.  Imagine this room without the drapery panel.  Daylight would flood the room during the day and the skyline would detract at night.  The simple fabric panel can completely control the mood of the room.  The same goes for the table lamps…having them in multiple locations allows you to focus the light and control the level of artificial light in the room.  I’ll bet this room feels ultimately cozy with just that glowing lantern on the cabinet turned on and the curtains completely drawn.

I love when designers used bold colors to create drama in a room.  Instead of throwing in small amounts of a favorite bold hue Shawn Henderson picked an intense blue-green and used it to fill large areas of color in the room…and then used the same color in smaller doses on the throw pillows.  But, the blue-green would dominate without the supporting neutral base (white walls, gray sofa) and equal dose of bold pattern.  This room is dramatic without being fussy or busy, perfect for a contemporary space.

What do you think of this contemporary and cozy combination?

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