Warm Minimalism: Living Room Part 2
Welcome back to Part 2 of our new blog series, featuring our whole house renovation project Warm Minimalism. In this part, we will discuss the Living Room and give you some background on the challenges we encountered, our approach, the process and the final product. Last month we highlighted the full kitchen remodel so go back and check that out first if you missed it Project Highlights Part 1 - Kitchen.
But first, Warm Minimalism, what does that mean I hear you say? Well Minimalism itself, as a design style, serves as a practical way to decorate a living space, making the space feel open, clean, uncluttered, intentional and comfortable. It involves using the bare essentials and only having things around that serve a purpose. This style of design is highly desirable in the modern era, where throw away culture can mean that we often bring more into our homes than ever leaves. It is an ideal that does not suit everyone but a style that we designers love to push the boundaries of. So how do you create a modern, minimalist home that still feels homely, soft and comfortable? There in itself, lies the essence of Warm Minimalism.
This space had a uniqueness about it that we loved, between the high ceilings and interesting architecture, but it needed a more functional layout as the top priority. The first challenge to address was the fireplace wall with a window either side. The only place for a TV in this instance was above the fireplace, not providing optimal viewing height and we knew that just would not do! The decision was made to move the window located to the right of the fireplace, to the area between the other window and the back sliding doors. This instantly opened up a corner and offered a perfect location for the TV. We then had free reign to design a shadow nook to place the TV so it gets no glare at all from surrounding light sources and some simple shelving above. A fireplace adds so much to a room: warmth, depth, comfort, and a unique style. The fireplace was brought to life with a variety of materials, including quartz and a textured tile wall finish, creating a tone-on-tone effect that at night, transforms into a glowy, dramatic space with the clever use of strategically placed lighting.
One of the main objectives was to add to the existing natural light of this area of the house, brightening and opening up the space. Moving the window away from the fireplace and toward the den area, increased the incoming light and shifted it to the central thoroughfare of the main floor. Strategic placement of windows and light is imperative, as it not only brightens a room, but also highlights textures and adds a dramatic ambiance as light fades into the evening and night. This area of the house is West facing, so we optimized that evening sun by adding beautiful sheer, full length window coverings that provide privacy when needed, but do not enclose the space by dampening the light. In fact, these drapes create such a dreamy, beautiful light in the afternoons.
As in any minimalist aesthetic, functionality, although very important, does not replace comfortability. This living space needed to be a place to lounge, relax, and gather with friends and family. Updating to a minimal furniture arrangement, in addition to a calm, neutral color palette, created cohesiveness throughout the house. To create balance within a minimal interior, adding softness with décor will offset the harder materials like those used for the fireplace. A large, custom velvet sofa brings an air of lush richness and offers contrast and comfort. Incorporating a custom, chunky knit woven wool rug brings so much texture to ground the furniture. A beautiful tapestry art installation above the couch, added some artistic flair and texture to the linear architecture of the space.
In this design, we focused on clean lines, European details and sensibilities, and contrasting, complimentary aesthetic choices that enhance the calm softness of this minimalist interior. It achieves exactly what we set out to do and more.
Completed project photography by Miranda Estes Photography