Design, Sans Color

OK, most of the time, I’m all about color. The more saturated, the better. Many times, the root of one of my designs is a color that the client likes, and we can take that in a bunch of different ways, depending on other choices of furnishings and accessories. But once in a while, hues gets the boot!

When designing without color, one must be especially creative in ways to add interest to the room! Now’s the time to reach into that big Mary-Poppins sized bag of tricks and make damn sure that the space is going to be interesting! Patterns, texture, scale… whatever it is must be magnified to add the needed appeal to the room.

Doing a room in tones of brown, beige, cream, etc. generally gives a feeling of calm and serenity. However, the Living Room below utilizes a play of scale, with the backs of seating pieces built up higher than usual, and the round elongated shape of the right part of the settee adds a great visual element. A wonderful patterned fabric appears both on the chair at left and sofa throw pillows, injecting movement of the eye around the room. Taking all that into account, the real “wow” factor here is the bold contrasts between the medium beige walls and fabrics, white trim and dark walnut wood finishes.

Another way to design a room without color, is to go with big distinctions of black and white, with gray to soften it up. Furnishings in modernized Rococco and Neo-Classic styles were chosen in ebony and pearl finishes to maximize contrast. A gray and white flocked patterned wallpaper moves the eye around the space, and the focal wall behind the bed demands to be noticed with an extreme close-up of a classic painting.

The floors were ebonized and accented with a luxurious white Flokati rug. A magnificent bed created with intrictate woodwork is flanked by two bombe nightstands in pearl finish and a pair of black glass lamps. A beautiful bombe dresser and mirror, both in pearl finish, coordinate with the other pieces as well.

Sometimes, it’s not the color in the room, but the detail and texture as well as senses of humor and glamor!

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