“We wanted it to have an “Adirondack-camp chic” feel,” says Russell Groves, describing his scheme for a Napa, California, home. “Think: warm, inviting, a lot of textures, but still elegant and refined.” In the open living room, Groves seamlessly mixed pieces from different eras, including George Nakashima lounge chairs, a vintage settee and a custom chandelier.
Many designers make bespoke pieces for their interiors. Few, however, go as far as Kerry Joyce in this New York living room overlooking Central Park, where he custom designed every piece. “I wanted to create a space that became a backdrop to the stunning views,” Joyce explains. “I strove to make it warm, inviting and timelessly modern.”
The sofa was inspired by Marco Zanuso‘s Lady chair, he says, “but we custom made it in ‘man size’ for comfort.” The sheer drapes, a Joyce go-to, are one of his favorite elements in the space. “I love the way they catch the light and enliven the room,” he says.
“I focused on a primarily monochromatic palette with lots of variety in textures,” says Sara Story, explaining how she transformed a classic 1960s Los Angeles, California, house into a light and airy retreat. “The result is a home that’s warm and welcoming, and filled with numerous spaces to curl up and relax.”
In the living room, Story deployed vintage Hvidt & Mølgaard lounge chairs and a Slim Aarons photograph to instill a sense of nostalgia.
In a Rosslyn, Virginia, living room, Solis Betancourt & Sherrill arranged vintage Milo Baughman chairs and a custom Silas Seandel coffee table to draw the eye to the city skyline and Potomac River visible through the floor-to-ceiling windows.
That beautiful vista has to share the spotlight, however, with the impressive Ryan McCoy painting on the wall.
“The intention was to connect the interior to the exterior in a subtle way,” Formarch principal design director Brent Leonard says of his team’s scheme for this Indian Wells, California, living room. “Our priority was to respect the exterior landscape views by bringing soft colors in.”
The gentle purple of the Poul Volther lounge chair and gray of the perpendicular Charles Hollis Jones sofas play off the metallic tones of the brass-hued Jean Royère sofa and stainless-steel Karl Springer coffee table.
“It’s not easy to compete with the view, nor would I want to, but I think we created a seductive home that gave the New York skyline a run for its money,” says MR Architecture + Decor founder David Mann.
One way to grab attention is to throw in some surprises. And Mann did just that in the living room with a set of French antique dining chairs that he placed around a custom marble-topped table in the otherwise ultracontemporary space. Still, the stunning Studio Drift chandelier above them almost steals the scene.
Another cool design moment? The fuzzy Ayala Serfaty lounge chair, which softens the stark contrast between the dark rug and pale sofas.
Floor-to-ceiling windows on all sides and open-concept interiors enable you to enjoy the sweeping forest views no matter where you are in this Water Mill, New York, home by 1100 Architect.
In the dining area, the designers encircled a contemporary table with Arne Jacobsen chairs whose warm wood tones are echoed in the living area’s Finn Juhl teak seating. The star of the space, though, is the Poul Henningsen pendant. We’d say this is a modernist masterpiece.
“Using natural materials with clean lines and muted tones, the design of this Brisa del Mar, California, villa accentuates the beauty of its coastal surroundings,” says Michael Booth, founder of San Francisco–based design firm BAMO. In the living room, Booth complemented the Pacific view with a colorful coastal rug and giant sectional sofa, both custom designed for the space.
“My concept for this Chicago project was a modern boys’ club,” says Summer Thornton. “It has the classic mahogany wood paneling with gilt detail, which is sort of thrown off with the modern rug, pops of orange and all the mid-century vintage used throughout.”
Thornton mixed those vintage pieces — which include 1960s lamps, ‘50s chairs and a sofa inspired by the 1940s — with a few older ones, like the antique chandelier, which the homeowners already had and thought would look perfect in this stylish time capsule.
“The apartment has a gorgeous view of Central Park,” says Janine Carendi MacMurray, Area Interior Design principal designer. “We wanted to bring some of the green from the landscape into the interiors through the Joe Davis paintings.”
The art may provide an eye-pleasing link to the outdoors, but the jumping-off point for MacMurray’s design was the antique Maison Jansen coffee table. “I love using oversize coffee tables because they actually make the room feel bigger,” she says.
In designing this Palm Springs living room, Michael S. Smith took his cue from the desert town’s 1970s houses. While keeping the palette largely neutral, he punctuated it with subtly glamorous moments like a vintage Chinese stool he had artist Nancy Lorenz paint a stylish gold. The minimalistic Pace Furniture coffee table provides the perfect finishing touch.
In this Malibu beach house living room, Philip Nimmo placed the taller furniture, like the armchairs from Nicholson’s Antiques, against the wall and the shorter pieces along the windows. “I wanted to make sure nothing impeded the spectacular view” of the Pacific and the Santa Monica hills, says Nimmo.
Preserving the vista wasn’t the only consideration, however. “It was super important for the house to have a beautifully collected look that felt both well-rounded and elegant,” says the designer. “It’s also tailored to some degree.”
One standout element is the Bourgeois Boheme chandelier, which Nimmo calls a “married piece,” because it’s composed of parts from several different Italian antiques. Still, Nimmo admits, even the most masterful man-made works take second place to nature here. “The homeowners have amassed quite an impressive collection of contemporary art,” he says, “but nothing comes close to matching the beauty of the view.”