The Anatomy of a Cohesive Great Room by Jenny Wolf Interiors

I hope you had a great Memorial Day Weekend. We made the last-minute decision Friday morning to head to Richmond, VA with our little family for a little exploring. We were pleasantly surprised by that lovely little city, and had a fantastic weekend. I hope yours was just as lovely.

It’s hard getting back into the swing of things, but the pretty Room of the Week is definitely helping! Designed by Jenny Wolf Interiors, recently named one of Traditional Homes 10 Rising Stars for 2014, this room is beautiful and functional and cohesive, and whether or not you have a similar shared dining/living space there is a lot to learn from this space about how to simply create a cohesive room.  Here are 5 of my favorite design elements to start….
theanatomyofacohesivegreatroom copyLIGHTING
In an open room like this where nothing can hide, small touches go a long way in creating a cohesive space.  Though the chandelier and table lamp are vastly different styles they share the same unifying black color. Look for ways in your own open spaces to unify design elements through small touches of shared color.

I would guess a lot of activity happens in this space, and it is full of furnishings to support that activity.  And it’s nice that the designer chose to let the furniture and architecture be the main attractions in the room rather than fill the room with lots of color that would most likely overwhelm.  This dining/living room combo is fairly neutral…mostly decorated in tones of brown, black and white.  The only “color” in the space is small amount soft green trimmed with a bright orange.  And, the colors are spread in very small touches throughout the room.  Using a soft touch when adding color can simplify a busy room.

I chose these two particular photographs of this project because I loved the way you could easily compare and contrast these spaces side by side.  I especially love that the angle of both photographs shows the armchairs in both rooms.  The dining chair and side chair in the living room share the exact same lines, though the dining chair is absent the fabric on the armrest for obvious functionality.  These share lines are my favorite cohesiveness-creating detail in the room.

Both the dining and living areas in this room share similar textures…linen, lots of wood, black-painted metal.  Nothing stops the eye as you move through the space.

Even though the dining and living rooms share the same space they are used for very different functions, so it’s nice to separate them visually and physically if possible, which can be simply done using flooring.  By differentiating the flooring used for each space your eye automatically separates them.  And, your body will also automatically separate them when walking through the space and you transition from the rougher seagrass rug to the soft flokati rug in the living room.  I can imagine that the softness of the rug in the living room instantly signals you to relax the instant it hits your bare feet.  Look for ways in your own house to signal changes in activity and feeling using flooring and texture.

It’s a short week this week, so I’ll try to do this room justice!  Back tomorrow sharing more of what I love about this room.

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