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In this media room, built-ins help keep the television from dominating and add symmetry. They also hide unsightly elements. "Built-ins can be a great way to hide bulkheads, mechanical shafts and all sorts of necessary but unattractive structural elements," Meisels says. "The column on the left hides a plumbing shaft while the column on the right is a functioning cabinet."
The room strikes the perfect balance between masculine and feminine. "Whenever I create a room I tend to start from big to small," Meisels says. "I’m practical, so the larger furnishings/investment pieces that I buy are almost always super-clean and neutral. The 'no frills' nature of these items tend to feel more masculine."
As for the feminine? "I like to have more fun with pattern and color with smaller furnishings, like the lime green ottomans and bold occasional chairs. Here’s where the whimsy comes into play and the more feminine touches," she says.
Chairs: Mitchell Gold
Theatre sofa: Design Within Reach
The dining room retains a clean and contemporary feeling, while the moldings and trimwork Meisels designed lend a traditional feel. "This room was a blank canvas with bare walls and really no room for a sideboard," she says. "I decided to dress the walls to add interest and warm the space up. The moldings also helped to make otherwise unattractive bulkheads look like an architectural feature."
Chairs and sconces: Barbara Barry
Drapery fabric: Riad from Kravet
The family is very busy and the kitchen is the hub of the household. "We wanted the kitchen to be functional with as much storage as possible without feeling overwhelming," Meisels says. "We were looking for light and airy, and running the cabinets right up to the ceiling utilized every square inch of storage while also creating the illusion of height. The glass cabinets are primarily for decorative display and break up the heaviness of all of the cabinetry. The reflection of glass adds a bit of sparkle as well."
As for the backsplash: Why herringbone? "Everyone loves the herringbone!" Meisels says. "There seemed to be so much going on in this kitchen with the huge marble island and marble Sarinnen table (in the breakfast nook), so I was reluctant to use stone for the backsplash as well. A kitchen like this demanded a luxurious finish, so I used a simple tile but installed it in a sophisticated and interesting pattern."
In this image you can see how the display cabinets punctuate the room with light.
Tip: When deciding on an island size, tape it off on the floor and experiment. "A great deal of time was spent debating the size and function of this island," Meisels says. "We taped off the floor several times, taking great care in measuring the distance from all of the appliances, walls, etcetera. I had the homeowner walk from imaginary fridge to stove to sink just to make sure the 11-foot-long island wouldn’t feel too overwhelming for her."
The marble-topped island turned out just right. It has plenty of storage for garbage, recycling, food containers and cookbooks. It also contains a sink, dishwasher and microwave. Out of season kitchenware is stored on the stool side.
Pendants: Robert Abbey
Stools: Custom-made with Sunbrella fabric from Robert Allen
Usually, we assume furniture is planned around a baby grand piano, but in this case, the homeowners decided they wanted to add one after all of the furniture had been purchased. "Luckily I tend not to overstuff a space with furniture so we had enough room to play and shift things around," Meisels says. "The only thing that was replaced was the original coffee table, which was larger and bulkier. I went with a glass coffee table instead to give the room some breathing space."
Drapery fabric: Riad by Kravet
Sofa: Celia by Mitchell Gold
Wool and silk rug: The Rug Company
The master bedroom is serene and beautiful. "Master bedrooms are for rest and relaxation, so I chose fabrics, colors and textures to embody that feel," Meisels says. "Shades of grays and silvery taupes are both sophisticated and soothing."
Tip: Inexact color and texture matches make things more interesting. "I am not into finding an exact match; as long as the colors and textures are in the right ballpark I’ll throw them together," Meisels says. "My gray woods are close, but are not the same, the drapes are a shade of the grasscloth, the zebra print is charcoal, the bed frame is more of a blue/gray and so on. This layering of shades and textures that are close but not perfect for me adds warmth and interest."
Bed frame: Micheal Weiss
Tip: Mix grown-up pieces into a child's bedroom. This bedroom was designed for the couple's 3-year-old son. "I am not a fan of 'themed' rooms for children. Having one myself, I know how quickly their interests can change," Meisels says. "Rather, I like to integrate very adult elements into the design of a child's room, like the upholstered custom-made bed, with fun patterns, colors and shapes. We chose robot wallpaper, but stopped short of a robot rug and robot bedding. I think the mix of a little of this and a little of that ultimately will last longer as the child grows."
Bedding: IKEA and West Elm (throw and cushions are custom)
Rug: Madeline Weinrib
Nightstands: Crate and Barrel