Clever ways with color solve design challenges


April 25, 1993|By YOLANDA GARFIELD

Designer Jay Jenkins of Gorrell Jenkins Associates Ltd. met the owners of this Baltimore condominium when he volunteered for Lifesongs for AIDS Inc., a group that raises funds for AIDS organizations. The wife had volunteered, too.

Clearly, they had similar charitable interests. A friendship sprang from the volunteer work. But also, the homeowners appreciated his warmth, creativity and reputation as one of the mid-Atlantic's rising young design talents.

The owners introduced Mr. Jenkins to the new condominium, with its view of woodland and golf course, before they purchased it. They were moving from a house decorated during the 1970s in olive greens and golds in a contemporary style, and they craved something more sophisticated.

They wanted drama mixed with coziness, and elegance with accessibility: The wife's sight is limited to an awareness of color and light.

Because the structure offered no architectural interest to work with, Mr. Jenkins infused it with color, texture and light. So that the wife could enjoy her new home to the greatest extent possible, Mr. Jenkins colored each room differently, in shades ranging from brilliant jewel tones to muted, pale shadows. The color becomes a guide as she navigates the areas of the condominium. He also chose colors to impart mood: In public areas such as the living room and den, colors are lively and intense, while private spaces such as the bedroom are quieter, more peaceful.

The wife selected a floral chintz with an aubergine background for the living room sofas. The aubergine became the carpet color, and the other colors in the fabric can be found throughout the condominium. For example, the chintz's green vines are echoed in a handmade celadon-green wall covering in the foyer, living and dining areas. Complementary fabrics were chosen for upholstery, drapery, pillows and lampshade details.

The key, says Mr. Jenkins, was to make sure each color value was related. Otherwise all the different colors would have been garish.

Throughout the rooms, the homeowners' collection of Lalique crystal is displayed. Against a neutral background, the crystal would have faded away, says Mr. Jenkins. It has more of a presence displayed against the rooms' colors.

The foyer wall was mirrored to capture natural light and carry it deep into the condominium. The mirrors also reflect a Salvador ++ Bru acrylic on paper, "The French Kiss," from the Nye Gomez Gallery.

The lighting system, designed by Bob Jones of Valley Lighting, plays many roles. Light levels can be increased significantly when needed. There's dramatic lighting for entertainment. And there is gentle, non-glare light for other occasions. The light contributes to making this a gracious home of many moods.

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