Bobbie and Anthony have made some interesting moves. They were working on a film when they met, and when filming wrapped, Anthony moved to Los Angeles to be with Bobbie. Married soon after, they renovated their first home and then another.
Finding the work more satisfying than the L.A. lifestyle, they packed up and moved to Costa Rica, where they bought a secluded property and built a small boutique hotel from the ground up.
They loved Costa Rica, but after six years of working seven days a week in the tropical heat, they decided to move north to Anthony's hometown. They bought a house close to his parents that they are completely renovating (no surprise there), but Bobbie's anxious about making good design choices in a non-tropical climate. While Anthony grew up seeing the four seasons change, Bobbie has always lived in Southern climes and has only seen snow in the movies.
Bobbie and Anthony are afraid they are in over their heads, so they called me to design their family room. Anthony has a vision of a Craftsman-style home, but Bobbie is also hoping for some modern, unexpected touches to lighten things up. This family room will serve as the jumping-off point for the rest of the house, so I want to create a warm, inviting, comfortable space that reflects their style and new environment.
Warmth is a big deal here — physically and visually — so my team is ready to bring the cozy touches. The first thing we need is the fireplace. A two-sided, see-through, thermostat-controlled gas fireplace with a rustic log insert will keep this family room toasty. It has a huge presence in the space, owing to the three-sided wall of white, linear-format, polished, honed and bush-hammered limestone tile. The combination of different sizes and finishes adds a modern touch, and this treatment is worth the time and patience it takes to apply each tile individually. It's simply stunning.
To ground this space, hand-scraped oak flooring is the perfect contrast to the light stone of the fireplace. And the warmth of wood continues with a wall of cabinetry that sets the tone for this new family room. I'm using vintage-inspired dressers in stainless steel, leather and wood, flanked by custom-built bookcases, for a spectacular feature wall for the TV, media components and storage.
There is much warmth in the space with the fireplace and the texture of the natural stone and wood, but I want this place to feel really cozy, like your favorite old sweater. So the furniture needs to look as if it has been here forever. Distressed leather for the sofa and chair is just the vintage look I'm after, and the tufting detail even adds a touch of elegance.
Inspired by sand, sea and sky, I'm adding color that will bring a touch of Costa Rica to the north. Blue linen draperies, lined for privacy and insulation, provide a fabulous and functional backdrop to the leather sofa, and accent fabrics in traditional patterns add more color and visual interest throughout the space.
With an area carpet that marries all the colors in the room and an eclectic mix of accessories, this family room is truly a rustic chic and casually comfortable place to enjoy a snowy, cold winter day curled up by the fire in style. Now that's divine!