Carving out their own look by combining genres with personal preferences and treasures, Regina Nouhan and John Eck wrote their own design story for a formal living/entertaining space in Mission Hills.
“I find that handsome design can transcend a specific genre, so we tried to focus on furnishing our home with elements that had quiet beauty and inspired us in some way,” Nouhan says. “Though we have slightly different tastes, there was enough overlap to create a finished product that surpassed what either of us could have envisioned.”
Flanking the Tudor home’s original windows are 14-foot-long custom olive silk dupioni drapes. Complementary in color, the existing textured walls are painted an antique-white hue that was custom-mixed to match the existing painted woodwork. The rest of the room’s story, however, is told through long-standing pieces that fill the space.
Placed delicately in the corner is a secretary top, more than a century old, that Nouhan found in a quaint little antique shop in New Orleans. To make it more of a showpiece, they hired a local craftsman to fabricate its iron stand. It now houses DVDs and blankets for movie night.
Across from the vintage 12-foot-long midcentury sofa is an unassuming 400-pound glass coffee table. With a 3/4-inch-thick glass top, this table holds down the center of the room—with no plan to move it anytime soon.
Designed by Nico Zographos, it used to reside in the lobby of the BMA Tower (now known as One Park Place).
The room stands strong in its eclectic yet unified custom design, showing that compromise and creativity can create a beautiful thing. And that’s a story worth sharing.
Why it Works
- It takes a lot of fabric to provide a warm and welcoming look and feel to a room topped with 20-foot vaulted ceilings. But that’s just what these designer drapes did. Pairing Eck’s clever idea with Nouhan’s fabric choice, the silk drapes provide depth and richness to what would have been an overwhelming space. “When you have four cream-colored walls, it’s hard to capture the concept of coziness and comfort, but I think the drapes accomplished that,” Nouhan says. It’s the main grounding element of the entire space, and it does its job well.
- For some, it’s hard not to get pigeonholed into following one certain design style, but that was of no concern here. “This room works because we didn’t restrict ourselves to one design style and recognized that there are certain characteristics of various pieces of furniture that can relate to other genres,” Nouhan explains. There’s enough of a similar language in many of their pieces that provides cohesiveness but also an element of surprise when paired together. “I find things with beautiful form that can be standalone pieces, so when combined, they have an inherent cohesion,” she says.
- Nouhan prefers a streamlined look coupled with antiques and a touch of flair, while Eck, a minimalist, defies genres. With several personal preferences under one roof, it’s true that working with a spouse can be somewhat challenging. “But in our case, it transformed a design that was slightly out of our comfort zone into an end result that’s surprisingly fresh, cohesive and satisfying for the both of us.” And that, as many homeowners can attest to, is the ultimate goal in home design—and a testament to the power of compromise.
Get the Look
1. Dress up your sofa with the linear-stripe accent pillow featuring embroidery and cotton appliques in pewter from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. A classic touch of black and white always looks good.
2. Like most pieces from its era, this Edward Wormley for Dunbar large-scale bar cabinet is a midcentury marvel. On display at Retro Inferno, it features convenient storage options wrapped in African mahogany.
3. Design is all about the details, and this detailing is on point. At 50-inches-wide and 98-inches-long, these Colefax and Fowler fabric panels from Designers Only Showroom shimmer and shine in a gold applique.
4. This glass decanter from J’Adore Home & Garden will look lovely on your bar cart, but it has a practical side too. The bubble inset holds ice cubes to keep your wine cool.
5. Century’s Roma armless sofa in white leather from KDR Designer Showrooms sits delicately on antique brass feet.