Gilded Grand Great Room

Dream Room Winner 1st Place

1st Place Winner
Living Room

Location: Ellicott City, MD

Designer Credits: Lynne Lawson, Laura Outland

Project Overview:

This is a two-story great room with large windows and interesting architectural features. Our clients wanted a unique and astonishing design with their fireplace as the focal point. We provided them with a beautiful Art Deco “relief” pattern covered in gold leaf for their fireplace. Several sitting areas for guests surround the fireplace.

Gilded Grand Great Room

Our clients bought a huge home, but felt it was only second best to the new home they found and turned over to their best friends/business partners. Our task: making the Great Room impressive. Our 2 seating areas include a huge cream tufted skirted sofa with a variety of bronze/black/cream pillows, two sets of golden faux silk damask wing chairs, a black matelasse bench, bronze tufted ottoman, with stone and bronze tables, and a huge custom area rug, gold leaf mirrors, lamps, sconces and artwork. Huge bronze silk panels add luxury without covering the windows. Gold leafed faux iron grilles and walls, against black gold trimmed back walls are the divas of the room.

Design Challenges

We have worked with our clients for about 15 years, mainly in their business. They bought a very large, beautiful home, on 11 acres but neither the husband or wife loved their new home. The husband asked us (repeatedly), to design the most impressive room we had ever designed, because he said that except for this great room, seen as you walk through the front door and foyer, “I have nothing!”, referring the rest of the house.

The wife felt that they could design it themselves, but after much gentle persistence and seeing our ideas, she agreed to our help. The room is tall and wide, and architecturally interesting, but a bit difficult to furnish. The ceiling architecture includes dormer windows positioned diagonally over arched windows, which made the window treatment design very tricky. The family knew they would often use the veranda outside the Great Room, so they didn’t want furniture to impair access to the French doors. The husband wanted the room dark and moody (was ok with covering the windows in lots of fabric), while the wife wanted it light and bright (and didn’t feel the need for any window treatments). The husband wanted rich dark walls, and the wife wanted light and creamy. So, needless to say, we were met with several challenges, including mediation!

Our Solutions

Our first task was to suggest and sell our vision for the room, which included mediating the aesthetics of the husband and wife. He prefers dark/ornate/neo-classic/formal, while she prefers light/creamy, art deco inspired and more relaxed. For color scheme, we took cues from the foyer, which had cream marble flooring with black marble accents. We added lots of gold and gold leaf for richness and texture, and the gold made both of them happy. For richness, we incorporated a dark caramel/bronze, which we used in the 2 story walls and silk window treatments. For wall texture and visual interest, we added picture molding. We created a room layout with two seating areas: one for the stone fireplace space, and one for the piano area. We chose a dark cream velvet for the huge, tufted, skirted, bowed sofa.

We carefully selected a variety of pillow fabrics in rich textures and patterns to adorn the sofa. We chose a rich, gleaming caramel/gold damask fabric for the contemporary fireplace wing chairs. Black and gold stone top tables, and drapery inspired lamps add luxury. A huge custom patterned area rug gives great texture and color. We designed swooping, heavy, tied back silk window treatments which would leave the windows almost completely uncovered but treated.

We wanted the fireplace treatment to be the “diva” of the room. We installed faux iron grilles on the fireplace wall, and then had the grilles and the walls completely gold leafed. Even with 3-D renderings of this aspect of the project, our clients were a bit skeptical of this idea, but called us literally screaming with ecstasy when they saw the finished product. We painted the back side fireplace walls black and added thin gold leafed trim, a perfect backdrop for re-purposed traditional black chests from the previous home. Gold leaf mirrors and gleaming lamps pop the entire presentation. On the piano side, we designed modernized wing chairs with gold leaf frames and cream and gold damask fabric, along with a caramel gold velvet tufted ottoman. Soaring sconces, and black and gold artwork complement the gleaming black piano. Twin huge dark bronze chandeliers are a dark contrast with the ceilings. Our client’s tell us all the time that we far exceeded their expectations, and that now, at last, they LOVE their home!

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