Contemporary Family Home Designed for Entertaining
A family wanted a house that was not only kid friendly, but better suited for entertaining. Designer Claire Paquin worked with them to create an elegant, contemporary space that included multiple seating areas, a billiards room and a master suite for the parents' own personal retreat.
Contemporary Gray Family Room With Stone Fireplace
This family room features pale gray accents –– like the wall color and suede sofa –– paired with pops of bright turquoise and deep purple hues. A charcoal and white patterned area rug leads the way to a rustic stone fireplace, finishing the look of the space.
What were the main items on your clients’ wish list for the remodeling/redesign of their home?
The main items on our clients’ wish list were to redesign the formal living room so that it functioned better for their family; create a master suite oasis where they could retreat and relax; transform their family room into a kid-friendly space; and add functional and decorative window treatments throughout the house.
What were the main objectives and goals you set out to accomplish for your clients? Was there a space that was most important to them?
The space that was most important to our client was the master suite. Having three boys under the age of three is incredibly hectic, so the clients desired a comfortable space to call their own. Although they wanted a calming feel, they still wanted a room that was not completely neutral. The space is grounded by a rich gray-green wall color that is completed by soft minty greens and taupe. This achieved a balance of color and neutrality while creating a serene space. Attached to the master bedroom is a sitting room that provides the clients with their own space to lounge and relax that is not centered around the children’s activities and toys. We chose a deep, comfortable sofa, wing chairs and an upholstered ottoman to enhance the cozy atmosphere.
How well did the home’s original layout work for your clients? What improvements and changes did you make to make the home more functional? What makes this home unique to your clients?
The clients had just moved into this house and did not have an existing layout or much furniture to speak of. This allowed us to create layouts we thought would be the most functional for their family based on how they wanted to use each space.
Two big improvements to this home were the addition of a kitchen in the basement, and converting the formal living room into a billiard room. The clients have a live-in guest in their basement and the lack of a kitchen downstairs was a hindrance. We took advantage of an unused, awkward space and custom-made cabinetry to fit the room to give the guests their own suite. A unique feature of this home is the billiard room. It is right off of the foyer, and with its two-floor vaulted ceiling and wood paneling, it makes a grand statement to anyone walking into this house.
Every project presents a unique set of challenges. What was your biggest obstacle in the remodel/redesign of the home, and how did you overcome it? Any memorable moments?
The biggest obstacle in this project was designing the basement kitchen. The space was an extremely challenging and awkward shape with lots of different angles. The options for layouts were not straightforward. In the end, the trapezoidal-shape dilemma was solved by adding a breakfast bar to adjoin both sides of cabinetry under a windowsill, which allowed a small kitchen to function nicely with an integrated spot for seating.
Seeking design inspiration is what draws our readers in and makes them fall in love with a space. What was the inspiration for the style, palette, furniture and layout of this home?
The clients living in this home are a young couple with three kids who wanted their home to reflect that. They wanted the house to be contemporary without feeling too modern or cold, and also to maintain a kid-friendly vibe. The addition of bright pops of color creates a fresh feel throughout the house. The inspiration for the family room and dining room palettes started with the drapery fabrics: a bright turquoise in the family room and a bold, contemporary damask print with purple and chartreuse in the dining room. Since the living room was the most “adult” space, we went with a sophisticated, neutral palette of white and gray with black accents.
The only spaces that had limitations when it came to furniture were the family room and the master bedroom. The family room had an existing Pottery Barn sofa and a Serena & Lily accent chair that the clients did not wish to part with. We were able to use these neutral pieces as a jumping-off point for the rest of the space. The clients love Restoration Hardware and wanted to incorporate a lot of that furniture in the master bedroom without having it feel like a showroom. We furnished the entire sitting room with Restoration Hardware pieces and used a variety of different vendors for the bedroom, giving the overall space a diverse look.
It’s important for a house to seem fluid and harmonious. How did you make room transitions without losing the individuality of each space?
Each room in this house has a different feel: the family room is funky and fresh; the living room is sophisticated and masculine; the master is calm and serene. Yet the house still has a harmonious feel. The clients were very big into color and wanted each space to have its own unique personality. All the rooms are designed with a neutral base. The accent colors throughout the first floor are complementary colors so they do not fight or clash, instead creating a harmonious design.
What was your favorite room/space to design in this home? What was the most difficult and why?
Our favorite room was the family room. These clients did not shy away from color, so we were able to create an interesting, unique space right in the center of their home. We kept the large upholstery items neutral, which allowed us to go bold on smaller items like the turquoise drapes, berry-colored patterned chairs and bright throw pillows.
The most difficult space to design was the basement kitchen. The space had an awkward layout with a lot of angles. We ended up connecting the two opposing sides of cabinetry with a breakfast bar, which created a cozy eating nook.
Was there a specific piece of furniture, fabric, color, texture or piece of art that was essential to bringing the design together?
Art was essential in bringing all of these designs together. We handpicked art from a variety of artists to complement each room. The art really helps tie in the color scheme and makes the accent colors pop and all the spaces feel complete.
After all is said and done, what’s the best thing about this home, in your opinion? What is your favorite feature, element or detail of the space and why?
The best things about this home are the pastoral views, sprawling property and generously-sized rooms. The clients are pretty great, too!
The living room is stunning, with a vaulted ceiling, wood paneling and a pool table in the middle. There must be a good story behind this room. Talk about the design of this space and how you were able to create a sophisticated billiard room.
Wood Paneled Game Room With Sleek Pool Table
This spacious game room features all-over wood paneling, a vaulted ceiling and medium grain hardwood floors. A metal pool table is positioned in the center of a rectangle made from gray stone tiles, and a gray wingback armchair provides a place for relaxing in between games.
The living room was definitely a room that the clients wanted to address, as it was not currently functioning well for their family. This home has a large family room, master sitting room and an upstairs hall sitting room, so it was not important to our clients to have another living space filled with seating they would rarely use. Since they entertain a lot, a billiard room was the perfect solution. The space already had floor-to-ceiling wood paneling, so when decorating this room we chose items that would modernize the space but complement the warmth of the paneling. By adding a patchwork hide rug, stainless steel pool table and some abstract art, we were able to achieve a contemporary look while keeping a masculine edge.
What makes this project uniquely yours? Is there a particular design element that you incorporate into every project you work on?
Our design process is very collaborative so our clients will be comfortable with their decisions, ensuring that the overall design is cohesive. We want each space to reflect our client’s personality.
If possible, we always try to include a console table with x-benches in the living spaces we design. Not every living room can accommodate a lot of furniture and small benches that tuck out of the way are a great solution. A console and x-benches are also great for a beautiful vignette. As far as fabric goes, we always try to incorporate bright, bold color into every project: chartreuse, aqua, berry, yellow. We keep the large upholstery pieces neutral and bring in pops of color through the accents — pillows, drapes x-benches — so that the clients can update the color scheme down the road without breaking the bank.