Living room becomes modern sanctuary

In addition to an improvement in lighting and color, the room’s

Wanda recently moved to the 34th floor of a modern condo
overlooking Lake Ontario. She loves the fantastic view, but she
wasn’t so crazy about her traditional living room. She felt stifled
by her heavy, formal furniture and yearned for the clean lines and
modern feel of a contemporary design.
Wanda recently moved to the 34th floor of a modern condo overlooking Lake Ontario. She loves the fantastic view, but she wasn’t so crazy about her traditional living room. She felt stifled by her heavy, formal furniture and yearned for the clean lines and modern feel of a contemporary design.

The living room is the hardest working space in this condo. It has some great features: beautiful hardwood floors, big windows and, of course, that dramatic view.

But my goal was to make Wanda’s living room much more than a room with a view. By reworking the floor plan and adding contrast, color and a touch of sparkle, this room was destined to become a sanctuary in the sky.

The room presented a number of challenges. The large television, set into a niche in the wall, drew the eye and was the focal point in this space.

To camouflage the television, I chose stunning black wood veneer wallpaper, which was applied to the entire wall. The television was flanked by two display niches, which we painted in a contrasting deep red.

A fourth niche located under the television was yet another decorating challenge. Since fireplaces can’t be installed in a condo, I decided to create the next best thing. A custom mirrored insert was designed to fill the niche, and with candles glowing from inside it becomes a modern interpretation of a fireplace.

The next hurdle to jump was the lack of lighting. The condo’s cement ceilings don’t allow for recessed fixtures, so we moved the existing track lighting closer to the walls to create the illusion of a larger room.

We also extended the track into the solarium just off the living room, so we could drop a high-impact pendant fixture over a tiny table for two.

The living room was painted a rich cream color, which was also applied to the doors so the space wouldn’t seem too choppy. The cream provides a high contrast to the red and black accent colors on the wall with the television. In order to carry that impact throughout the space, I designed three upholstered display panels, which were covered in a crinkly red fabric and used as a backdrop for some contemporary black and white artwork.

To set the stage for that show-stopping view, I dressed the windows in a sophisticated black and white striped fabric.

This dramatic window treatment pulls in the room’s color palette while adding emphasis to one of its best features.

Finally, I selected a large cream-colored sectional sofa and positioned it so that it floats in the middle of the room.

The sectional provides lots of seating for entertaining, and it’s also a cozy place to curl up and watch television. A couple of black slipper chairs, an elegant red armchair and sleek, contemporary accent pieces all combine to pull the room together.

The final effect is a room that packs a clean, contemporary punch with a lot of pizzazz. By banishing all trace of the traditional, this space in the sky has reached new heights of sophistication.

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