The Great Room

elegant living magazine show house 2014 great room


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A fresh vision gave this great room life, suitable for both intimate gatherings and large get-togethers.

When Teddy Karl and his team first saw the great room, they were favorably impressed by its generous size, open feel, and floor-to-ceiling windows that let in an abundance of natural light. The room also had a wood floor original to the house, as well as a fireplace with pickled-wood mantel that they chose to keep intact. The subtle pink undertones “struck me as very Palm Beach, circa 19602 or even early ’70s,” Karl says, “I’m sure in its heyday, the room was very sharp.”

Circa 2014, this formal room once again is looking its best, thanks to the team’s fresh vision and redesign for a modern family with an appreciation for old-school classics. The style is updated-traditional, employing a comfortable but sophisticated palette of warm gold, yellow and rich reds set against classic ivory walls. Fabric and accessory choices reflect a refined eye and a fondness for chinoiserie and fine English porcelain.

The designers envisioned the great room as a place for intimate gatherings, as well as larger get-togethers. The primary conversation area is centered in front of the fireplace, above which they placed a fine, gold-leaf roundel mirror. Seating consists of a high-back neutral mohair sofa, flanked by two skirted slipper chairs on one side and a settee on the other.

At the front of the room, they placed two elegant mahogany Chippendale side chairs with a round table in-between. At the other end, the designers saw the perfect spot for a grand piano, as well as a reading nook, furnishing it with a wing-back chair and floor lamp.

“We knew this room needed to be multi-purpose, and would likely wear many hats,” Karl says of the furniture selections and floor plan. “The home doesn’t have a huge eat-in kitchen and the family room is not enormous, so we imagined that nay entertaining would take place in this room. We wanted it to be dressed up so it could serve as a formal living room, but also a place where Dad could sit and read the newspaper while the kids played games. In other words, we wanted an approachable room that cleaned up nicely.”