I created my "I Love Chocolate" room for an Interior Show. The space was a 12' x 25' open stage platform. 1 needed to work with existing wall heights and an existing window. Otherwise, I had a blank canvas. The initial challenge was to develop a concept with proposed materials and drawings months in advance. I had a week in a warehouse to bring in carpenters and subcontractors to do all the build-out on the staged platform. Then, everything needed to be disassembled for transport to the exhibition hail. It was an immense challenge to finish installation in two and a half days. This would be the first time I would see my selections of furniture and accessories together! Careful preparation and planning was critical.
I decided to create an urban townhouse, designed to be an eclectic, cozy refuge from the busy day while including today's lively retro style. I wanted the space to pay homage to the Pacific Rim style of warm natural materials and colors. Also, the space should be rich and timeless, yet, absolutely not boring! The combination of unique forms in all elements was a goal.
The Living Room and Dining Room were divided by a stand of bamboo poles. I sketched and developed the original concept, then discovered two young men from Bamboo Builders Northwest. Though random looking, we carefully placed each pole. The beautiful range of shades was created by individually burnishing the poles to the desired color. The custom sculptural steel stand has a bed of fine sand for the bamboo to rest. However, welded rebar has been inserted inside the bamboo poles for stability. The stand has bidden rollers for moving.
I wanted to stretch the limits with color, but still remain elegant and timeless. I started with the idea of warm brown walls, then used a chocolate chenille sofa and deep espresso woods for the basics. Deep brown velvet dining chairs rest on a contemporary Tibetan rug. The chandelier of etched scavo glass hangs like a lantern. Shots of watermelon, kiwi and mango colors add cheer as seen in the accent pillows and Donghia fabric window treatments. To brighten the deep palette, a coppery burnished "neoprene' lounge chair and a glass tile fireplace surround were added.
Each furniture piece was selected on its own art form. I reveled in placing Wendell Castle's table that resembles coffee beans with a fabulous glossy leaf pattern to the top surface. The antique Chinese alter table brings in an Asian influence along with McGuire's Butterfly chair. A Pacific Northwest craftsman made the espresso wood dining table. The television is recessed and can be covered by antique door panels backed in silk. A local artist painted the "hip" geisha that casts a side glance through the bamboo. So, snuggle up in a chocolate chenille sofa, part the screens for a night of movies and chocolate!
Square footage: 300
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