In need of a change from their Brookside Tudor, homeowners Jonathan Bowyer and Zachary Loes saw potential in a mid-century home on Meyers Circle. But before they could comfortably crash on the couch, the home’s 144-square-foot den needed help transitioning into an appropriate hangout.
“The walls and ceiling were previously untreated wormwood in its natural color,” Bowyer says. “It looked like a dry sauna.”
To rid the room of its steam-bath look, the couple went with a monochromatic color scheme, painting the walls, ceiling and existing wood-burning fireplace shades of gray from Sherwin-Williams. The darker tones provided a neutral backdrop for pockets of vibrancy, including the reupholstered vintage orange chair with matching ottoman, a family heirloom from Bowyer’s grandfather. The TV, wall-mounted above the bookcase with a swing arm, can be repositioned toward the corner seat, but when it’s time to unplug, a Pottery Barn floor lamp with a cylinder shade provides plenty of light for reading. An oversized Crate & Barrel rug covers most of the refinished hardwood beneath.
Although it’s the primary evening hangout, this comfy space holds its own during the daytime, too. A glass door by the chair, which leads to an outdoor patio, and a bank of windows on the opposite side stream in natural light, putting the modern accessories on display: white vases and glass orbs on the mantle, purchased locally, with a white Jonathan Adler devil figurine match holder. The 1960s Charlie Harper print was a housewarming gift from Bowyer’s parents.
This cozy space, part of a whole-home reno that took 13 months to complete, is now ideal for lounging without compromising style.
Why it Works
1. This mid-century modern revamp in Brookside is a testament to compromise, which paved the way for a fresh look in a lounge area. While Bowyer prefers the clean lines of the mid-century modern style, Loes gravitates toward a blend of old and new with more color. Bowyer got his wish in a gray color scale with mid-century modern furnishings, some of which also happen to feature bold colors and sentimental value for Loes, such as the framed Charlie Harper print and vintage heirloom chair.
2. Color can make or break a room. But with shades of gray, you can’t go wrong. Find Sherwin-Williams’ Dorian Gray on the walls and ceiling, Gauntlet Gray on the mantel and Tricorn Black on the fireplace brick, as well as a custom dark finish on the wood floors and black-painted doors. This strategic move provides a canvas for color in bold accessories and furnishings.
3. Whether white, orange or blue-green, the well-staged decorations are noticeable from anywhere in this 12×12 room. “Accessories and art support the vintage timeframe of the chair, with a modern twist,” Bowyer says. So check the mantel, peruse the bookshelf and look under your feet. Even the TV remote rests stylishly in an orange Jonathan Adler remote caddy, which can be found on top of the vintage surfboard coffee table purchased on Craigslist.
Get the Look
1. Looking to welcome local art into your living room? Stop by Blue Gallery to consider fine art painter and designer Kelly Porter’s Appearing, an oil and oil pastel on canvas. It lives large at 37 inches by 37 inches framed.
2. Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams’ Shimmer rug features hand-tufted construction with a variegated texture. Its soft-hue options, including mineral blue, complements its coziness underfoot.
3. Need a touch of boldness to spruce up a drab corner? Visit KDR Designer Showrooms (with a designer) to preview Precedent’s Lexi chair, a modern wingback chair covered in orange.
4. Browse Seville Home for the IMAX Corporation Accessories Ferrant tall ceramic vase. An ideal modern mantel piece, it showcases a radiant texture with subtle gray glaze.
5. Bring a little shag back into your life in the form of Nebraska Furniture Mart’s Home Texco pillow cover in yellow. Its high thread count cotton and polyester fabric is pretty and practical (for naps).
6. The adjustable metal floor lamp from West Elm casts a general glow from an adaptable height and includes a plated bronze finish and cool natural linen drum shade.