Anyway, back to the lesson at hand.
I met Al last year when I redesigned his office. He was so impressed that he promised to call when it was time to revamp his condo.
We finally caught up over the summer and he decided it was time to take the plunge to make his home as swanky as his office. And boy was it a doozy.
Al is a client who has become a dear friend, so our conversations are pretty frank and I think I said something along these lines when I first saw the condo: "No sir. No respectable Miami attorney should be living like this."
He'd purchased the condo a few years ago and then did what most bachelors do - went shopping and just purchased a bunch of furniture - good pieces though from Pottery Barn - without any rhyme or reason.
As you can see, the pieces were too bulky for this small space and did nothing to reflect his personality - his love of New York, Beirut, London, tennis and most important, Jay-Z.
We started with this design inspiration.
I knew a sectional was the best way to utilize the space and to create maximum seating, while allowing for easier access to the bar/breakfast area, something he couldn't even access thanks to the bulky sofa.
This sectional, from Crate and Barrel, was the first one we tested on our shopping excursion and it was so comfy, that every other sectional paled in comparison. Notice that it is not leather. There is an assumption that men need or prefer leather seating and that was definitely was not the case for our bachelor.
I also wanted to use wallpaper on the focal wall. This bold, yet smoky grey striped paper from Graham and Brown, reminded me of a man's suit so I was happy when he agreed to it. I've been smitten with the HGTV collection of paints from Sherwin Williams and though Al doubtful that the colors I suggested were too dark and would make the space feel small, he trusted my instincts and gave the go ahead to use two colors throughout the main areas - Mink and Expressive Plum.
The artwork was selected to reflect his heritage and favorite cities. Al was born in England (center photo of the famous cathedral in Exeter), to a British mom, his dad is from Beirut (photos above that amazing floor lamp from Modani, similar lamp here) and he loves New York so much we had to have two photos.
Although we had pitched some rustic elements in the initial presentation - i.e. the coffee table and bar stools, we decided to go for a completely contemporary look and settled on a much some sleeker coffee table and bar stools.
When designing a small space, I always look for ways to maximize storage and seating. This coffee table came with an ottoman that he can rest his feet on as he watches tennis or his new favorite addiction, Flipping Out. It can also be pulled out completely and used as seating for extra guests. The white end tables are also stools and again, can be used as extra seating when he entertains.
If you're followed me for a while, you may have noticed that I love to layer my table tops with trays as they serve as functional pieces for eating, and as a place to anchor a cluster of decorative items. I settled on the pattern play of the rug, scored at Overstock and mix of pillows from West Elm and CB2 because they reminded me of the fun pieces who could pair with a stylish suit aka our striped wallpaper.
The media unit and television area were a mess of wires, a TV hung way too low, speakers jutting out from the wall and dumb bells - because every single guy thinks dumb bells are decorative items.
No man's castle is complete without a well functioning and organized media center and television. We removed the unsightly speakers, and instead purchased smaller speakers that give off so much sound you'd think you're at the movies. How small? You can barely see them atop this console. This is a small wall just 60 inches, and it wasn't easy to find a low media console to fit the space. I eventually found one at Antonini Modern Living and loved it because the wooden portion can slide out to make it even larger should he one day move to larger space. In lieu of a plant, I added a bit of greenery with a collection of his tennis balls. But the thing he the loves the most about this area, is that image of Jay-Z. The personalized hand-drawn image was made by this Etsy artist, who used the lyrics of two of his favorite Jay-Z songs, "Empire State of Mind" and "Forever Young". Nothing beats a personal touch in a space, and that was by far one of our favorite finds for this projects.
With no formal entryway, or space for a console table for keys, mail and nicknacks, a floating shelf was the best solution for both style and function. We topped it off with a duo of mirrors with leather straps from Target, for that masculine touch and capped it off with a mantra from who else? Jay-Z.
|Photos as always, by Circle Ten Media|
Thanks as always to the team who rocked this one out. Thanks too to all the Instagram followers who made this one a fun project to share each day.
Apologies that you had to wait so long for the reveal, but there are often delivery delays and so many other behind the scenes stuff at play - like remembering all these details/anecdotes for a blog post- that a reveal can take some time. I hope, it was worth the wait. Holla back. Do you have a favorite area/item?