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Can You Pull Off An All-Neutral Room? We Tried It!

We sat down with our client, Eden, a design professor at Pratt, who likes neutral schemes and minimalistic decor, to dive into her design process while redoing her living room.

Eden lives in Bay Ridge and has recently decided to redo her Living Room. She wanted to introduce a more universally appealing look with neutral shades, and began by painting the walls a smoky white. She approached her new living room design with her self-proclaimed “no frills, elegant” style preference.

How would you describe the look and feel of your dining room?

A “no-frills” room brimming with elegance. If the ballerinas in Degas’ famous paintings lived in a room, it would be this one.

What is your favorite element in the room?

The drapes. The Alanzo Alarcon Drapes in Silver hint at an element of glamour without going over-the-top. The Lincoln Squares pattern is incredibly subtle, but creates a more interesting appearance than a solid texture would.

What inspired your overall design scheme?

When I was raising kids, my house was a constant colorful, disorganized collage of a place. Now that my kids are all grown up and out of the house, I took the time to redesign the space in a mature, neutral way. This room design, in a way, is an interpretation of a new chapter in my life.

Why did you choose the chair that you did?

The Muse chair is just divine! The bucket shape is perfect for my lounging needs after a long design lecture. At first I was tempted to upholster the chair in a solid color, but thought it would be a good opportunity to incorporate an eye-catching element.

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Why did you choose the particular pattern that you did?

As a professor of design, I am always scrutinizing shape. I found the Nina pattern fascinating, as it is angular and then rounds to a refined softness. Up close it looks almost mathematical, and at a distance, it blends elegantly, creating a sense of movement.

What was your biggest challenge in decorating this room?

Creating enough drama in the space with neutrals, as to not give a dull appearance. My goal was to create an elegant space using muted tones, since I am drawn to simplicity.

How did you overcome your design challenge?

It’s all about adding unexpected design pops. I livened things up by incorporating textures and patterns throughout the neutral space. The base of the Tobin Coffee Table is metal, which offers a fun element of shine, while the Nina pattern of the chair keeps the eyes moving. Nothing is too static.

Can you tell us more about why you chose the Tobin Coffee Table?

I like how the classic silhouette of the Tobin Coffee Table reflects an older, retro-style table, but still feels undeniably contemporary and chic. It is the perfect compliment to the chair and is large and durable enough to accommodate small parties.

Do you have any advice for someone re-designing their Living Room?

I know many people that want to keep to a neutral, contemporary color scheme. If you want to go with a minimalistic look, without it falling flat, the easiest way is to spice things up with a subtle pattern--either in a drape, rug, or chair.

Would you do anything differently the next time you decorate a space?

Yes! Although I am a design professor, it would have been really nice to use the design services offered at Indigo2Ash. Getting a second opinion or even a pre-room design mood board would have been helpful in laying out my thoughts. Next time!

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