Before and After: Asian-Inspired Makeover
Design Star winner David Bromstad brings balance, vibrant colors and modern lighting to a contemporary California living room. See which colors he chooses for this Asian-inspired modern makeover.
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Rob Roth and Rachelle Boucher have a modern living room that is a blank slate waiting for a great color concept. They want to keep the simplicity and clean design but would like a contemporary Asian style. Host/designer David Bromstad and color/design assistant Danielle Hirsch use clues from around their house to find a color palette that will appeal to these homeowners. Inspired by an existing rock light in the living room, they go shopping in San Francisco's Japantown for color and design ideas.
The hardwood floors and the mahogany wall are great architectural features, but the fireplace, which should be a focal point, is hardly noticeable in the corner. The drab green furniture is calling out for colorful accents.
The sofa is balanced by new boxy leather chairs, and the fireplace hearth is now balanced by a mantel. The orange and red accents form a triangle in the room: the pillows on the sofa, the pillows on the chairs and the vases on the mantel. Putting accent colors in a triangle is a strong design element. And remember that three pillows on a couch look better than two.
To soften the angular lines in the modern room, Bromstad creates an original painting with a series of ovals incorporating all of the hues of the color scheme: orange, red and black. The walls are painted a neutral honey oat, the same color as the bedroom. Using the same color throughout a house makes the house seem much bigger. In addition, 1- by 4-inch wooden trim is attached to the mahogany wall to achieve the look of a shoji screen. It's painted black, as are the beams and all other trim in the room. The black anchors the room but also lifts the eye up and around the room. When using black trim, it's better to use a slightly darker color on the walls, because black makes light colors look even lighter.
Originally inspired by the homeowners' rock lamp, Bromstad finds several more in Japantown, as well as some hanging paper lanterns, which he clusters together for a focal point. In the other corner, he hangs one lantern over a standing lamp for a structural lighting element. Between the lights, the couple has created a cluster of three simple pieces of artwork using natural handmade papers.
Amid a bed of pebbles, a row of birch-looking candles lights the fireplace along the hearth, while vibrant vases adorn the newly added mantel. The dark mantel stands out against the honey oat walls, and the new accessories make the fireplace the focal point it should be.
Bromstad chooses orange as the main color for this Asian modern color scheme, but then he moves one color over on the color wheel to red for an accent color. He buys several red glass vases to go on the fireplace mantel. The cluster of red makes a bold statement against the ivory backdrop.
To give the homeowners a part in their makeover, Bromstad provides them with three canvases and some handmade natural fiber papers in ivory and orange and guides them in making three art panels for their living room wall. The panels feature simple branches and bring texture and dimension over a floating shelf.
rock lights – Sakura Sakura
paint: walls (1103 Camel Back), trim (1631 Midnight Oil) – Benjamin Moore
orange decorative glass vases (#120521452, 120002174, 1210002568, 120006851) – Z Gallerie
birch-look candles (#620688) – Crate & Barrel
paper lanterns – Townhouse Living
white rug (# 4160776), standing lanterns (#6723878), leather chairs (#7872005), orange trim on curtain panel fabric – West Elm
coffee table – Liv Furniture
curtain panel fabric – Discount Fabrics
A living room gets a new look with color and contemporary accents.