The Inviting Neutrals of This Contemporary Condo Are Nicely Complemented By Subtle Beauty & Drama

Posted on | August 8, 2017 | No Comments

As design enthusiasts, we live for spaces that offer beauty, drama, and artistry. But these elements don’t always come in a bold, showy package. A true expert knows how to make an impact, even while keeping a space clean, sophisticated, and understated. As owner and principal of preeminent Raleigh design firm Colorful Concepts Interior Design, Sally Williams is known for her impeccable taste, and her bold and masterful use of color and detail. She dished on a recent project with North Carolina Design, in which she brought subtle beauty and drama to a neutral, streamlined space.

Images Courtesy of Colorful Concepts Interior Design ©

The homeowners were empty nesters, and they were looking to create an interior that better suited their taste and lifestyle. “The home they came from was very traditional,” notes Sally. “Now that their kids were grown and gone, they were ready for a complete fresh start, and they wanted to go in a dramatically different direction. They had this concept of a really contemporary, clean space. They were originally from England, so they also wanted their home to have a European feel.”

The condo was a new build, and Sally came into the project very early on. “We had the plans in hand before they even broke ground,” she recounts. “It was very beneficial to be involved with the project at such an early stage. The package the builder was providing offered a fairly traditional look. We were able to go back and forth with the builder and tweak things to give the condo the contemporary European architectural details my clients wanted.”

“We switched out almost all of the trim work to something that was sleeker and had fewer ridges. There are no aprons on the windows, which is true to English style, and gives the space a modern European flair. The condo was only 1800 square feet, but you’d never believe it. It has these wonderful, tall ceilings, and we widened the doorways to create a more open, spacious feel. There are actually quite a few custom elements in this condo that other condos in the building don’t have.”

While the homeowners were happy with the contemporary direction of the home, they wanted to ensure that it was a comfortable and inviting space. “To soften the look, we used a warm gray and soft neutrals, and we added dark, rich wood accents throughout.” Sally also added pops of texture, repeating geometric patterns, and faceted glass to create visual interest and a touch of drama.

Sally also helped the homeowners make selections that offered a wow factor – in a subtle way. “You have this oversized hallway mirror, but it’s distressed, so it doesn’t shout “Hello, I’m a huge mirror!” she observes. “In the foyer you have this simple ebony etagere, but it features this exquisite silver leaf edge detail. In the master bath, the faucets are simple and sleek – but they’re wall mounted. The built in has this beautiful and complex tile mosaic – but in neutral colors.”

“For lighting, we chose fixtures and lamps that added artistry, but were delicate and graceful. A little bit of glass, a little bit of shimmer and sparkle, but nothing heavy or imposing. In the guest bath we added a light metallic wallpaper, so that the light from the pendant reflected beautifully around the room. In the foyer, dining room and master bedroom we added cove lighting, which can be used with or without these cool pendants and lamps to achieve any look or mood the homeowners want.”

For artwork, Sally gave the homeowners free rein, but encouraged them to stay within a fairly warm palette. While subdued, each piece in the home offers a welcome pop of color and life. Our favorite piece: the sliding glass pantry barn door. “It took forever and ever, but we finally found the right image, and a source that would place it onto the door, and hardware that would work with the glass,” she recalls. In the end, it all came together beautifully, much like Sally’s exceptional design.

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