Shop the look: High contrast living room

high contrast living room

Two years ago (and no, I can’t even believe it has been that long) - I met one of my most daring clients to date. Relaxed, easy going and incredibly willing to think outside the box - Sally was an instant joy to work with. She and her husband had just purchased a home in Falmouth and it was dire need of some finesse. The bones of the house were great and because of that, we had SO much to work with: high ceilings (like 20’ high in the living room), the perfect amount of open concept, a kitchen that wasn’t exactly her taste but would work well enough for now and elements that weren’t ideal but would feel at home once we buttoned up a few loose ends. While some clients aren’t sure about the desired outcome - Sally knew exactly what she wanted: high contrast, lots of layered neutrals and furniture that was current without feeling overly modern. Basically my design soul mate.

We went bold right out the gate: WHITE EVERYTHING. Scary, I know - but worth the risk. The white brought such an airy element to the space and set a clean back drop for some bold furniture choices and complex neutrals. Plus, it paired perfectly with the recently refinished ebonized hardwood flooring and black stair treads. The patio door had an odd arched window above it that looked very dated so we hid it with these beautiful drapes - crafted and installed by the Curtainshop in Portland. (warning, they don’t have a killer showroom but they do a spectacular job) To keep the budget in line we mixed highs and lows. The Katy Shelton bench for Charleston Forge was a splurge item (and come on, it’s perfect) while the piece of art is from Minted and works perfectly. The accessories are a mix of yard sale books, West Elm and CB2 finds as well as my personal collection of Kinfolk magazines (because I have amassed a MAJOR collection and Marie Kondo says don’t hold onto that shit).

The 20’ of ceiling height felt daunting at first - like - what do you do with that? Finding the bookshelves from RH Modern was a real win because a) they didn’t cost a zillion dollars b) they helped scale down the volume and c) they set the tone of the room in a very unique way. They lend a feeling of openness which is nice considering it’s the first thing you see when you enter the home. The couch (which you can’t really see in this pic) is from Pierce Furniture in Scarborough who I just love working with (shop local guys) because the staff there are so detail oriented and provide practical suggestions. (also the turn around on custom pieces is truly shocking in a good way). The white fabric on the chairs which is a Perennials fabric from RH was also a scary move but I live in a world where my dogs destroy everything so, there’s that.

It’s one of my favorite living rooms. I mean, the black and white combo is something that never fails. It’s timeless. The best thing about this project is that room by room, we are creating Sally (and her husband’s) dream home. Working with wonderful clients makes this job SO rewarding. I always love it when we check off another wing of the house.

We’ll be sharing the reveal of Sally’s theater room, family room and dining room real soon so stay tuned. And lots of people have asked about the source of these products so we thought we’d share them with you!



Jennifer Morrison