Philanthropic Rockers: A Design Challenge with Royal Whimsy!
For most of my clients, entertaining is a big part of their design perspective. They often want me to designate a couple of special areas where they can entertain a few guests. Well, the “philanthropic rockers”–one of the loveliest, most giving little families you’ve ever seen–often entertain up to seventy people in their home. That meant I’d be faced with the wonderful challenge of designing with the keyword “multi-functional” in mind. I knew I needed to create an environment that supported their need for a nurturing family environment in the daily routine of life, but a flexible and welcoming semi-banquet on special occasions! This elegant, giving family took a lot of pride in welcoming an array of guests into their home and I immediately felt a sense of gratitude that they chose me to design their best, albeit metaphorical, welcome mat.
With “multi-functional” as my keyword and the Christopher Guy catalogue of pieces as my inspiration (you’ll see why) I set my focus on the major outdoor areas. Then, I designated a few special touches to truly enhance the area’s “mis en scene” and what I came to describe as a magical sense of “royal whimsy” .
Focus: Royal Whimsy
Patio. The patio area was where most of the entertainment took place. However, it lacked clarity and palpable contrast—mainly due to an immense amount of foliage. When we want to define an area, we tend to overdress it, when a simple “visual landscape” will do! The fabulous Christopher Guy Harrison (owner of Christopher Guy) was an immediate inspiration for the outdoor design. His pieces evoke warm tones and subtle elegance at the same time (the ideal party vibe)! A cozy outdoor fireplace was the perfect companion to the newly present contrast, but it too needed a bit of visual grooming until it was just right.
Special touch: Portable lounge sectional! A sectional that was lightweight and easily moved kept “multi-functional” style in mind. Those who entertain outdoors greatly benefit from high-quality pieces that are easily moved to accommodate party needs!
Child-Friendly. This family and many of their guests, have children who run with joy through the home and throughout the backyard. I wanted to embrace that magical element of childhood—when “whimsy” really fits the bill—and create a fairy-tale-like pathway at the side of the home. Dual pathways lead to the back patio and neighboring lanai, and after a clearing out of space, really allows you to step into a beautiful patio scene.
Special touch: Fossil style! An incredibly original coffee table with an imbedded fossil within the material brought “royal whimsy” to the forefront of this design. Sometimes it’s the smallest elements that make the biggest impact on our mood when we walk into a room—never be afraid to experiment with something new (even if it’s really old)!