The Anatomy of a Traditional + Modern Room by Nickey Kehoe

I’ve been in love with the designs of LA-based firm Nickey * Kehoe for years.  I picked one my favorite rooms they’ve designed for this weeks Room of the Week.  Even though this home is near the ocean in Venice Beach, California, its color palette and modernized traditional styling make it feel like it would fit in almost anywhere in the country and look great for all seasons.  But, my favorite part of the room is how cozy and inviting it feels, without feeling stuffy…a perfect mix of traditional and modern design.

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This home is a great combination of traditional and modern.  If the designers had decided to keep the design completely traditional the woodwork on the ceiling would have been painted completely white.  Instead, the design is modernized with the contrasting black beams.  The contrast of the black and white creates a really cool graphic pattern on the ceiling, which is mirrored in the striped rug on the floor.  Both the ceiling and rug are classic patterns, but highlighting the woodwork with a dark color updates it for a modern look.

The soft sheer draperies framing the window give the effect of shielding the room from light, while still letting a generous amount in.  And, the light is further diffused by the ceiling-height tree.  It filters the bright light in a very pleasing way, and creates a cozier room even during the brightest California summer day.

There’s no rule that says the focal point in a room has to be architecturally based.  There are several natural places in this room to create a focal point…like the fireplace or window.  But, it would be very hard to compete with that large green sofa.  So, the sofa becomes a natural focal point, and the window and fireplace are decorated simply so they don’t compete.

This room isn’t particularly large, but there is a lot of furniture in it.  The large pieces of furniture like the sofa, loveseat and rocking chair all match in scale and really fill the entire room, which makes it feel inviting and cozy.  And, even though the furniture is large like you would find in a traditionally styled home, their shapes are more modern which helps the room from feeling overstuffed.

I love the furniture layout of this room.  Grouping everything around the circular cocktail table in radial balance gives the room a feeling of intimacy.  The round table helps the room layout look casual, but still very much put-together.  So, if you’re going for that same feeling in your own home, try a round table in the middle of your furniture grouping, instead of a rectangle or square.

Outside of the very large green sofa there aren’t many colors in the room.  The rest of the furnishings share similar rich brown colors that help support the green sofa and keep it from sticking out like a sore (green) thumb.  And, the warm colors juxtaposed against the crisp white walls is a nice mash-up of the traditional and modern styles in this room.

What are your thoughts on this traditional, but modern, room?  Do you like the blended styles?

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