Soften it Up While the leather sofa, love seat, and chair, and big stone fireplace push the pendulum to Fred Flintstone, the room needs a little more Wilma: curves, softness, and a little animated femininity. Window treatments (simple panels of a russet-y chenille from Smith + Noble over natural woven shades), and a pair of stone-blue velvet armchairs from Crate & Barrel, will help soften this room like butter in the sun.
Celebrate the Givens If you can’t change the radio station, dance to what’s playing. In this case, that fireplace is commanding (in size, position and color). It’s big, it’s pink-ish, but can’t be changed now. By picking accents that pull more from the terra cottas and less from the paler pinks, the stone’s color starts to become more inspirational. Bouncing earthy accents around the room (a decorative slate square, bleached wood finial, natural woven blinds) makes that elemental stone look less like the only outdoorsman at the dinner party.
By shifting the furniture plan to pull more weight away from the fireplace, its role is downplayed. By bringing in the dining room’s sideboard (perfectly proportioned for the large TV, you also bring in a piece with a heft that holds its own against that stony surround. Its gridded front also relates to the stacked stone of the fireplace (repetition makes just about anything seem intentional), and the introduction of this second focal point also helps steal the hearth’s considerable thunder.
Urban but Earthy To reflect the couple’s urban hankerings, I love subtle city and architectural references, but run through a “little bit country” filter. Here, that means shapes that reference geometry and architecture, rendered in weathered wood or rusted metals.
It also means artwork by, or inspired by, New York urbanists Pollack and Rothko, but in earthy palettes inspired by nature.
Your turn! What should this lovely young couple do to make this room work, fireplace, leather, and all?