Sunday, October 18, 2009

subtle, warm, dramatic

Photos by Roger Davies.

The November issue of Country Living magazine holds a decorating treasure within its covers. I am in love with Caroline Scheeler's country home. As head buyer for Chicago's famous Jayson Home and Garden furniture and decor store, she has created a look that epitomizes refined rusticity. I was immediately drawn to her use of natural textures and artifacts and pleasantly surprised by the delicate drama inherent in her intuitive juxtaposition of dark and light. Who knew that neutral could go so bold?

Scheeler achieves this style by using weighty charcoal and rich chocolate as a backdrop, allowing lighter neutral pieces to pop. Or, as in her master bedroom and entryway, an application of the exact opposite combination. The sheer size and scale of the furniture and artwork she has chosen boosts the drama, while simultaneously filling the large rooms in her home with a sense of intimacy.

All white cabinetry and marble counter tops keep the kitchen's dark walls from dominating the space. It still manages to feel extremely light and airy.

The over sized scale and understated simplicity of this photo in the entryway, speaks to the decor's duality.

The hefty and intricate headboard seems to float against the pale grey-blue walls, keeping the master bedroom calm and cozy.

This collection of both reflective and textural objects is a miniature study of Scheeler's overall design aesthetic.

I am very inspired. Scheeler's home is equal parts gorgeous and livable. I think that these lessons in scale and contrast would be easy enough for any of us to apply in our own homes and on any budget. If you are ready for a decor change, instead of choosing a trendy paint color, I challenge you to consider staying neutral and making your design statement by pairing light and dark and picking size over quantity. The result might be something that is both timeless and bold. Thanks Caroline Scheeler!