The Client: Laura, age 35, divorced; entrepreneur.
Her favorite color: silver.
Inspiration: Yves Saint-Laurent.
Challenge: living with another person.
Favorite food: Fried chicken with mac and cheese, black-eyed peas and candied yams.
Favorite artist: Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei
Favorite quote: “We are not provided with wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can take for us, an effort which no one can spare us.“ Marcel Proust
Laura is a woman of very definite, if often surprising tastes. The things she likes and loves seem often to contrast dramatically with one another. Who would have guessed that the favorite meal of this size six vintage Yves Saint Laurent-clad woman was a hefty helping of fried chicken with Mac ‘n’ cheese and collard greens? Or that, given her expensive taste in fashion, her expenditures on her home are relatively modest?
Her colorful life, which includes travel to exotic lands for business, she says, “leads me to crave simplicity, serenity and privacy when I’m at home. I do entertain, but the restful color scheme of my living room–exclusively in silver, white and pale beige–is to please myself rather than impress others.” She continues, saying frankly, “I spend all my money on clothes and travel. When it comes to my home, I prefer to buy reproductions of mid-century modern classics, which in any case were, for the most part, designed to be industrially mass-produced.”
Following her divorce, Laura explored numerous neighborhoods to move to in her borough of choice, Brooklyn. She considered the up-and-coming (Bushwick), the already there (Williamsburg), and the eternal (Brooklyn Heights) and after much inner struggle, settled finally on a newly-built high-rise in Williamsburg which had the advantage of a large terrace on which she had trees and shrubs planted in tubs.
For the interior, which was modern–without moldings or other architectural detail– Laura sought a cool, neutral backdrop as both retreat and place to invite friends.
Laura announced at the outset, “My favorite color in an interior is gray, and my favorite designer is Jean Prouve; I really covet his sleek chairs and consoles from the 1950s!” Real Prouve was too costly, but by using the indigo2ash repertoire of colors, textures and Mid-century Modern furniture, Laura layered some basically monochromatic elements into an interesting composition resembling modern rooms of the 1950s.
We started with textiles. Laura’s renovated ground-floor loft has new floor to ceiling windows and a glass door in the living room that opens onto an enclosed patio. At first Laura didn’t want drapes at all, but in the interests of sometimes blocking out light, she opted for “unfussy drapes, pale in value, with a subtle weave rather than a pattern.” Coco in Silver and White, from the Cultured Soul collection, was perfect against the wall colors, Stonington Gray and Tundra (2133-70) by Benjamin Moore.
For the white pickled plank floors, Laura chose a simple pale beige 8’ x 10’ sisal rug with a broad fabric border, accented by a natural pony hide rug on top.
The next major decision was the sofa, which Laura specified was to be “tailored yet a bit feminine, slightly curved rather than boxy.” The three seat Lily Sofa, with its low arms, gently slanting back and self-welting was a natural choice, especially when upholstered in indigo2ash’s Pinpoint fabric, from its Alanzo Alarcon Collection, in Silver and White.
“I love wooden furniture, especially limed oak, which appears off-white,” said Laura. “But limed oak vintage designs are too expensive. Any pale natural wood will work.” ; Laura decided to buy a pair of slender Ogden Chairs–”I find them very delicate and feminine”– in pale Natural Finish.
The long Riva Sideboard, in a pale polished natural wood with recessed handles and tapered legs, also reminded Laura of the midcentury limed oak case furniture she admires. Above it she hung an artwork inspired by Chinese calligraphy–”My favorite artist is Ai Wei Wei”– and set on top of the console a Laguna Table Lamp with rounded pale gray concrete base and a classic pale beige shade. More indirect lighting is provided by the delicate three-branched Wiley Floor Lamp in White.
Of her living room decoration, Laura says, “It is a neutral yet beautifully layered space which can accommodate more layers still. As I bring back objects from my travels, the living room can grow with me, both materially and spiritually.”
Resources of Note:
PAINT & COLORS
Artfully mixed and matched, Indigo2ash’s wide selection of rugs, drapes and pillows are available in thirty subtle shades and myriad textures and patterns. At Indigo2ash, home is not only a place, but an experience, the setting most central to our families, friendships and visual adventures. Sign up to receive our newsletter with special offers!