Candice's Design Tips: Design a Hollywood Home
Order in the house!
This designing duo does a skillful job of breaking up the long wall of this massive bedroom. The orderly repetition of elements like the soaring bed canopies that frame delicate capiz-shell pendants creates a dramatic rhythm along a bedroom wall that’s a bit of a snore.
The hits continue with bedding schemes that balance dark and light tones, bold patterns with solids in a color scheme that has been, and continues to be, uber-popular: chocolate-brown, blue and cream. Nine out of 10 of my clients ask for this scheme so I try to give it to them, but with a twist — and that's where this room falls short.
The rhythm created by repetition, balance and order becomes, well, repetitious, if it isn’t set off by a little disorder. An asymmetrical grouping of a just a single lamp, art and accessories on the dresser; a super-scaled lattice wallpaper pattern on one wall; or a casually placed, free-form hide carpet would all add a little tension to shake things up and keep this room from looking like it’s trying too hard.
The Brunette Ambition Tour!
OK, this may not be a color scheme that you would expect to see in a bedroom and that's just the point – these ladies have design chutzpah and are not about playing it safe. This room has some really beautiful moments: the bold, striped fireplace commands attention; the combo of zebra, white leather, mirror and crystal set against a moody black backdrop is pure Hollywood glam; simple, two-tone damask patterns add a sense of tradition and comfort that tempers the sharp lines of the very modern wall and floor patterns. However, I think this is a case of both too much and too little.
Too many patterns — stripes, checks, zebra and damask — all scream for attention. Undertaking such an ambitious painted floor with very little time prevented NataLee and Tashica from really finishing this room, and it shows on so many levels, from the shredded bedding to the perplexing mirror/aquarium placement in the fireplace.
I would have simply let the striped fireplace graphic be the star; painted the floor white to contrast the black and yellow walls and brought in a large zebra-patterned carpet for interest in the center of the room.
This duo's predictable perimeter bed placement reminds me a bit of summer camp — a little more swanky, mind you. I would like to have seen a few beds dressed as sexy daybeds positioned in the center with cocktail tables beside and a spectacular chandelier above, very LA-luxe (in much less time).
You've Got Some Explaining to Do
I love the sense of whimsy that Jen and Jason have created in this room, from the adult bunk beds to the "green pasture/cow" vignette. It's also a room that is very current and on trend — typography and faux-taxidermy are hot, hot, hot right now. That said, this room is very concept driven and I found it needed explaining in order to understand it. No room should have to be explained — the design should speak for itself.
This room also presents itself as very bland. Placing the metallic letters and deer heads on a dark charcoal wall would have packed more punch from these great decorative elements.
This room has a great corner-window view of the grounds; the large cow ottoman is fun but not so functional for this area. Positioning the beds at the back would have allowed room for the creation of a more functional and comfortable lounge area with a loveseat and chairs placed around the fab cow/green pasture at the window.
This room has no clothing storage whatsoever. A long dark dresser would anchor the area below the wooden heads and prevent those horns from being used as kitschy hooks for socks and undies.
Gauzy, barely there sheers that pull across the window at night would add some softness by day and prevent the feeling of living in a fishbowl by night.
Go Big AND Go Home!
I don't know if it's a pixelated map of the islands, stylized crime-scene outlines or a macro image of popcorn but I loveeeeeet! This room is a testament to the power of paint and how it can easily and inexpensively transform a space. We’re not talking simply color on the walls here but rather a big, bold powerful image (of something) that engulfs this space; walls, floor and all – wow!
The lumber on the far wall is a brilliant design stroke adding warmth to the cool grays. The uniform, vertical application brings visual order, contrasting the great graphic chaos happening around the table.
A Parsons-style table like this looks great but really doesn’t function well for seating lots of people. I would have liked to see a hollow pedestal table with the hole in the center used for low greens/grasses, or as a built-in ice bucket for wine and cold drinks. Right now the tall leaves in the center mean fighting your way through the jungle to see who you’re dining with. A round paper-lantern pendant or two over the table would provide beautiful light for dining and speak to the shapes of the ingenious wall-mounted light fixtures beyond. Small criticism for a room that is truly inspiring.
It's a Regional Thing: Pink Flamingoes on the East Coast, Pink Ducks on the West!
The trick to tackling a huge room like this is to divide it up into zones and that's just what this design trio does so well. There is an area to take in the view; a sprawling wall shelf that doubles as both display and seating; (great for those big LA parties); and a main conversation grouping that floats in front of the fireplace.
I think the wall art is the strongest element in this space. Large tree-motif panels suit the grand scale of the space, as does the ingenious bubble-wrap wall hanging backed with a very current fretwork graphic — someone’s going to Design Heaven for that move. And can we talk about the pink ducks?!
The 3-D element of these wooden sculptures animates the massive fireplace wall but this team doesn’t stop there. A quart of neon-pink paint has these ducks kicking sand in the feathered faces of their pink flamingo cousins. It’s this touch of the unexpected that prevents a serious room like this from looking too somber and that can make a good design a great one.
As strong as the wall art is, I feel the decorative elements placed along the wall shelves and mantel are suffering from a case of "Honey, I shrunk the accessories." Big rooms need big accessories — lamps, candlesticks or pedestals, ceramics and mirrors — all large-scaled to suit.
I would have opted for a huge, free-form, wood coffee table. Glass tends to visually disappear and is a better choice to help keep the feeling open and uncluttered in small spaces.