Design Line

Jazzy wall treatment makes arty statement

January 20, 2008|By Rita St. Clair | Rita St. Clair,Tribune Media Services

The entrance foyer in my home could use some jazzing up. The space contains a small chest of drawers made of brown-stained wood. I want to retain this piece, but I'm wondering if it will interfere with my aim of making a contemporary design statement.

What do you think?

A contemporary design statement often involves the unexpected. For that reason, juxtaposing two styles in what I take to be a small foyer should actually be consistent with your aim.

You might consider adding something like the wall covering seen in the photo as a contrasting accompaniment to your brown wood chest of drawers.

This Gordon & Brown wall covering, called "Macintosh Roses," was designed by Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway. With its big swirling pattern of interlocking black circles on a white background, this is obviously not your grandma's rose wallpaper.

Like many of today's designs for the home, this print resembles a fashion fabric. And if something's attractive enough to wear, then it's probably going to look good on a wall, too. Bold and colorful geometric patterns can set a room aglow.

Even though the Bombay chest shown in the photo differs from the one you describe, the overall look of this setting may offer some bits of inspiration for jazzing up your foyer. The floor and woodwork, for example, could be painted a high-gloss white. A silver floor-height chandelier might make an appealing addition as well.

Other lighting elements should be installed in the ceiling so as to wash the walls and the top of the chest. And, by the way, you could give your wooden chest of drawers a silver finish and ornamental ring pulls.

The wall covering makes the loudest design statement in this setting, but the other elements contribute as well. Please keep that in mind as you plan how to make the entrance to your home dramatically welcoming.

Rita St. Clair is a Baltimore-based interior designer. Readers with general interior design questions can e-mail her at rsca@ritastclair.com.

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