To have and to love series: San Francisco Residence

The color of this room is what made me fall in love instantly. I know I'm not the only one who immediately is drawn to a space because of the wall color. But, there is more than just the paint that makes this room top notch. 

The other part about this room that made me excited was how the designers, Massucco Warner Miller, decided to "drop hints" of this bright aqua before you even stepped into the room. The foyer (which is what this room is off of) gives you a taste of what is to come. I don't have an entry way in my house, but I do love the idea of having a bright color being reinforced in the next room...

Before we look at how we can copy the elements of this great room, here are the "hints" in the foyer that I was talking about. 

Here is the room that we'll be drooling over today...

Photo courtesy of Massucco Warner Miller

Photo courtesy of Massucco Warner Miller

  1. This room has a lot of eye candy in it, but I don't want to forget "the meat and potatoes" of the room (aka- where people actually sit). The way the room is designed, you can't have two chairs on the side of the room you come in on. So that means you just put one chair/ chair+ottoman. There are a lot of ways you can take this, but I love the idea of having a statement piece. This chair is two-toned (meaning the back is different than the front), and I really like that instead of picking a loud print, they picked a subtle stripe and a leather the color of the room(!). When you decide to have a really bright color on the wall, it's nice to let the "one-off" pieces of furniture have character but not visually compete with the walls. You can do this by using leather, or some other solid and minimal pattern. 
  2. That light is so fun!! What makes that light work in this room is that it's contemporary style coordinates with the abstract art. Practically speaking, it also gives off a lot of light and since it mostly made up of glass, it doesn't visually fill up the high ceilings like another large fixture would do. When you have high ceilings, any light fixture is going to call attention to itself. So make sure 1. you really really like it 2. it gives off enough light and it's not just meant to look pretty (unless you want that moody-dimmly-lit type of room, then it's not as important :). 
  3. What kind of table do you put in a room like this? Answer: a white one with open legs. The white breaks up all the color, its oval shape repeats the mirror's oval shape and its shape also aids in the circulation of the room. When you have a lot of color, you need to ground the space with some sort of neutral accent. And since most of the furniture goes all the way to the ground, it makes the room feel less choppy by having an open legged table. They could have had an ottoman or table that went all the way to the floor, but it wouldn't make the room feel as spacious as it does now. 
Photo courtesy of Massucco Warner Miller

Photo courtesy of Massucco Warner Miller

  1. Let's talk about this paint color! What a gorgeous blue. It's so happy and even if you feel like it's too bright for your taste, I know that if we were to sit on the sofa together you would feel energized by just being in there. That's powerful. Paint can really set the mood for a room and what makes this room so impactful is the color. If you are feeling adventurous, I would recommend painting one wall a color with this saturation. Remember to think about how you want the room to "feel" by having that color in it. You can always paint it back, but I think having a burst of color is always a good idea.
  2. Fireplaces can be tricky. If you want ideas about what to do above fireplaces, I discuss that here. I am going to talk about what can go in front of a fireplace now though....or do you even need to have anything? It's a personal use of the space that determines if you have something there or not. Sometimes there just isn't enough space for anything. If there is space in front, some options are foot stools, garden stools, a bench or a funky settee like this one. Upholstered options are great if you want to give people a place to sit. If you don't need the extra seating, then stools are great as pretty baby gates (#reallife) or little drink tables. It's best not to cover up a lot of the fireplace, but covering up part of it is completely fine.
  3. I want to discuss this entire wall. So, the designers put two pieces of art above a unique chest and a desk on either side of the fireplace. AND none of it matches--and it still works. Why? First, the mirror in the center connects the heights of the two pieces (if it wasn't there, it would look a little lopsided). Then, the two pieces of art use the blue color that is in the room- even if it is really subtle. Lastly, my hope is that the owner loved the art and therefore they don't have to match. When you have pieces of art that you love, you don't need to have everything match or be perfectly symmetrical. As long as the sizes are comparable and the colors connect to the room somehow (oh, and you LOVE them!), they will look great.
Photo courtesy of Massucco Warner Miller

Photo courtesy of Massucco Warner Miller

  1. I love that they have more art on this side of the room. And again, it doesn't match the art that's on the other side but it's in the same vein. It's a neutral abstract that doesn't bring other colors in the room. If you have lots of certain colors in your room, your art can look really different, but it has to "connect" with the room somehow. There needs to be another piece of art with the same colors or a throw or a pillow or lamp or something that visually ties in the other colors. It's super easy to do, but it needs to be there in order for the room to look it's best.
  2. Those draperies are BOLD! I think they fit the boldness of the paint color and the whole room. Since the designers chose a (nearly) solid rug and solid walls, this pattern breaks up all the solid. Drapery is great for breaking up a room's walls. When you have this vibrant of a paint color, it can overwhelm the room. Drapery can take that aspect away and a simple large pattern like this is a great solution. 
  3. I'm pointing out this chair because it's another pattern. And it's right in front of the loud drapery and the bright walls. So it can either look terrible or look great. That's part of design that designers don't always share- they know that taking a lot of bold risks can backfire if they aren't careful. Well, these designers pulled it off beautifully. Here's why: they used the accent colors. When you have a bright colored paint and a bold pattern, you need a small pattern to balance the others out. However, since they already used the bright aqua in both instances they couldn't use it again- it would be too much. So they used the other accent blue color that is on the sofa and the desk across the room and in some of the art. And it looks great. That might sound too complicated to want to try on your own, but I recommend thinking about having a mixture of solids, small patterns and large pattern in a room. The combination of all three are what great rooms are made of. 

What do you love about this room? Does this room scare you or make you excited?