To have and to love series: Salt Lake City Abode

For the last month, I've been digging into gorgeous rooms. Breaking down all the beautiful parts and pieces about the design and discussing ways to use them in our homes.

This is the last of the series and I'm ending it with a sweet room in Salt Lake City. 

The overall feel of this room by Studio McGee is classic and serene- and I love the pops of color. What is that makes this room so successful?

I can tell you part of it is having floor to ceiling natural light (which we may or may not be able to replicate), but let's look at the other parts we can control! 

Photo courtesy of Studio McGee

Photo courtesy of Studio McGee

  1. That architectural detailing is so beautiful! You can't tell in this photo (you can see it in the 2nd photo), but it's a continuation of the hallway's detailing. I love how it ties the home together and the crisp lines create a sense of order. The art also emphasizes the detailing because it's proportioned to sit exactly within the borders. If you have molding, it's most likely on the bottom half of a wall instead of the top half. If you are able to, I would consider adding trim to the top half and replicating the bottom's detail (and yes, they should line up). If you can't add molding, you can always paint stripes that are a little darker than your wall color to create a similar look (or if you're renting like me, removable wallpaper that is cut into strips could work!).
  2. Let's talk throw pillows- fun! The dark navy pillows pull in the accent paint color, the floral pillows coordinate with the art and the window pane pillow adds some contrast to the whole look. The only pattern in the room is in the pillows and the art. If you want a neutral palate, but have a colorful piece of art (or want a colorful piece), this is a great example of how to coordinate your pillows. I talk more about that here
  3. What a great little garden stool. You notice instead of matching another table on that side of the sofa, they chose a ceramic stool that pulls out one of the colors in the art. I think it's what makes the room so unexpected. There is something different in each corner. Would any colored garden stool have worked? I think if it was yellow or pink it would have been fine. What I like about the green is that it complies with the feeling of the room - serene. Keep in mind whenever you are picking accent colors for furniture, that it is all about the feeling you want the room to have. 
Photo courtesy of Studio McGee

Photo courtesy of Studio McGee

  1. The dark navy paint is what made me instantly fall in love with this room. It can handle the dark color and not feel cozy (a big reason why people use darker colors) because it's on a limited amount of wall. However, it's dramatic and pops against the rest of the room. A subtle detail about this design is that any piece of furniture that is against the dark navy, is dark navy/black and any piece that is agains the white is white...so cool! When do you use a dark color like this? When you feel like it. And when you want a more classic look (maybe even formal) that can be easily paired with other colors. If you don't have a lot of natural light, you have to know that it will make the room very cozy- so if you don't want that then it's probably best you pick a different tone of blue. 
  2. Besides the large art above the sofa, this is the only other art in the room. I love that it's almost like a little surprise that you come across- tucked away but not forgotten. My favorite thing is that it's a mixture of types of pieces. An abstract black & white drawing, two small colorful florals, a pair of antlers and a painting done on black board all come together to create this vignette. Mixing different types of art creates contrast and is really important when you are doing gallery walls of any kind*. You want the pieces to have meaning, but you also want there to be variety. *Exception to this would be if you are only using photography. 
  3. That coffee table totally grounds the room. When I say "ground" I mean that without it, your eye wouldn't be able to "rest" and would keep roaming around the room. By grounding the room you are creating something for your eyes to rest on. That sounds really technical, but I promise you would feel like the room is incomplete if the table wasn't there. This particular table is a great choice because it goes with the airy feeling of the room (because it has an open shelf) and it's white marble looks great with the other pieces in the room. If they used a mirrored or glass table, it would have accomplished the same look. However, those materials are not necessarily conducive with little kids (lots of finger prints!) and I think this family has little kids. Practicality is usually my #1 qualification when I'm thinking about something. Because if it's not practical, the shopping high you got when you bought it will drop really quickly when you have to deal with it's impracticality!
Photo courtesy of Studio McGee

Photo courtesy of Studio McGee

  1. I love how this piano is positioned. If I'm not mistaken, I am pretty sure that you are supposed to have a piano along an inside wall for moisture and sound purposes. However, for design purposes we are going to go with it! In a room that has little wall space, I love that the design team decided to put it on a diagonal. I also like that it's by a window- you would have an outside view to distract you when you're tired of playing :) But really, the space flows beautifully with it being in a corner. Since this room leads into the dining room, it visually funnels your eyes into the next room. That sounds a little weird, but diagonals really just point your eyes to one thing or another. So this piano's location points you to the window view or the dining room (making the room feel bigger instead of choppy). When you are playing around with different long straight pieces (like a bookcase, cabinet, desk etc.), don't forget to see what it would look like on a diagonal. 
  2. A subtle detail about this room that you almost look over, is the size of the rug. It's not quite to the edge of the room but it covers the main area completely. Since it's on top of carpet, I love how it helps set the tone of the room. When you have existing carpet, don't feel like you have to replace it with hardwoods to make it look the way you want it to. Putting a large rug over the majority of the room will do the same thing (and save you big $).
  3.  Those doors are beautiful! Instead of painting them white like the trim, I love that they decided to make them a rich wood tone. This room doesn't have a lot of wood tones but it warms up the space and actually makes the windows a focal point by having the wood contrast against the white. Take away tip: Having wood toned doors can be wonderfully inviting and adds character an otherwise white space.  

This room is gorgeous, but I refuse to believe that we can't make the "drool-worthy" parts our own. We can! Even if you just take one lesson away, then the design has gone beyond just being eye candy and has become a great tool in your design kit. 

I really enjoyed looking at how we can make this room-like the other rooms- attainable (and it gave me a great excuse to scout out amazing rooms :).

...and I may revisit this series later on, who knows!  

What do you like about this room? Does the design make sense or are there parts that seem confusing?