Monthly Archives: February 2016

bedroom by curated kravet

Bringing Light into Dim Living Spaces

When living areas are dark, they tend to feel closed-in and gloomy, which makes people seek the sunnier, visually warmer spots in a home.  But even if a living room is north-facing or has small windows, there are some simple design tricks to bring in light and make the space feel brighter and more spacious.

Get rid of heavy drapes or window treatments, for starters.  Dim living rooms benefit from minimal window treatments, like sheer white roller blinds that provide privacy but let in lots of light.  Avoid visually heavy curtains, instead opting for light airy fabrics, and consider installing the curtain rod near the ceiling line and buying longer panels that go to the floor, to create height and drama in the space.

Luminette Privacy Sheers by Hunter Douglas

Luminette Privacy Sheers by Hunter Douglas

Another indispensable curtain-hanging trick that makes windows seem larger and prevents window treatments from blocking precious light, is to buy rods that extend past the windows by at least 6” and more optimally 12,” on either side of the casing.  This way when the curtain panels are parted, virtually none of the window is obscured and all of the natural light can illuminate the room.

It should go without saying, but color in dim spaces is everything.  Using warm creamy whites or other pale colors that reflect light can help brighten a space, literally and figuratively.  Dark or dramatic wall colors can close a space in.  Layering different whites for the trim paint, wall paint, and window treatments can still feel warm, as can light-colored rugs or floor finishes.  White furniture can also visually free up a dim space, but might not work for all households, unless you use washable slipcovers for the upholstered pieces.

Light bedroom by Stark

Palm Beach home featuring STARK fabrications

Treating a dark living area with reflective accessories that throw light around is another way to brighten the space and keep the white finishes from feeling sterile.  Mirrors mounted on the wall opposite windows reflect all that natural light back into the room, and glass or metal occasional pieces like side tables also add some shine.  Consider mirrored frames for artwork or photographs on display.

all white bedroom with grand mirror

A luxe Washington D.C. apartment by Solis Betancourt & Sherrill from Architectural Digest

Finally, brightening up a dim space can be done most simply by changing out all the light bulbs in a room to daylight LEDs, and adding more occasional lighting like table or floor lamps.  Table lamps create warmth, especially if they have warm metal/brass tones or glass bases, and should not be undervalued even in a space with overhead lighting.

Lighting and Lamps by Curated Kravet

Lighting Collection by CuratedKravet.com

eames chair in living room setting

The Eames Lounge Chair: Love or Hate?

While there is definitely some disagreement about the (attractiveness?) of the Eames Chair, there is no denying that it has become an icon of modern design. The Eames Chair has become a staple in homes everywhere (both modern and traditional) and it is becoming increasingly difficult to find a house without one. So why is this chair’s use so controversial?

 

There is no denying the comfort of the Eames Lounge Chair. First designed in 1956 by Charles and Ray Eames for the Herman Miller furniture company, the goal was to match the feeling associated with the snugness of a well-fitted baseball mitt, and it certainly has achieved that goal. The shell is made out of a molded plywood – the first piece of popular furniture made with this material – which gives it a natural finish that resembles a baseball mitt. It is then cushioned to wrap around your body and when completed with an ottoman, can almost be good enough to replace your bed!

These chairs were inspired by director Bill Wilder who created his own lounge chair to keep him comfortable during his long hours on set.  They carry a mid-century modern feel with a touch of 50’s vintage. No matter the home or office design, the Eames Chair can be modified to fit with different shades of wood and custom upholstery.

Vitra Eames Chair

Courtesy of Vitra Designs

The Eames  Longe Chair’s popularity has even landed it roles on the big screen, having been featured in many modern television shows and movies, including Mad Men, a favorite among interior designers. These chairs are so iconic that they were added to the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection when Herman Miller donated an original 1956 rosewood chair and ottoman.

Eames Chair in Living Room

Courtesy of Design You Trust

Yet what makes this chair’s use so controversial? It is undoubtedly a well-known and popular piece, but along with praise comes  criticism. Reading through online discussions some feel the piece may be too popular. Some believe the Eames Chair has become an overused status symbol. People place them in rooms for the sake of having an Eames Chair rather than by design. A notable discussion I stumbled upon was on the popular forum Reddit.com, and it was a particularly heated debate.

“I hate those chairs, people who buy them should just replace them with a giant sign that says ‘I HAVE MONEY’, would be more to the point.”

“I think they’re a great piece of design, BUT you see a lot of rooms where they clearly don’t fit the aesthetic and are just a showoff piece. I think the one in this room ties in nicely enough with the other elements though.”

“I like it it too, but the piece is so ubiquitous and well known that to me people don’t really care about it looking good as much as they care about using it as a transparent display of wealth, it’s tacky, uninspired and very nouveau riche.”

Eames Chair

Courtesy of Fresh Home

 

Is the Eames Longe Chair pricey? Yet, but its appeal and quality are what have added to its value. It’s nearly a perfect match of both form and function. It becomes a statement piece in every room, but one that someone can lie in and comfortably use throughout its lifetime. If you have ever sat in one, you will know why they are found in homes all over the world. As Charles Eames asked, “Who ever said that pleasure wasn’t functional?”