Oak Park House

The Brief

When my clients approached me they did so with a blank canvas. Their downstairs room was already tiled but completely empty but for one side server and a dining table. The room opened out onto the pool deck and they were emphatic that they did not wish to have a casual “beach look”. They wanted me to create a room entirely for entertaining guests (both young and old), casual friends or clients which would impress whomever was visiting with a “WOW” impact.

The room needed to include a bar, a drop down screen for sport viewing, an eating area and plush chairs and sofas preferably in colours and fabrics that would take rough handling from children and adults alike. I opted for an open plan layout using a warm palette and designed the bar for simplicity. By adding a wall unit to incorporate the screen I was able to create a feature that was attractive when it was not in use. I chose a corner suite and double sofa to ensure viewers could recline comfortably if they so desired. There were some architectural challenges that we incorporated into the design to integrate the tiling used on the wall and bar surfaces. We gave the room lots of finer details and contemporary finishes to suit the personality of the young couple involved.

  • Walls
  • Furniture
  • Accessories

This room had some technical difficulties in wiring up walls with no focal point, lighting, etcetera. To disguise problem areas I used floral wallpaper with textured 3d flocking on it, around which I created the colour scheme. One wall had a pull down projector screen and nothing else on it, so I designed a plasma unit with symmetrical side wine racks to enclose the screen when it was pulled down. We were challenged on what to do behind the wine rack, as a solid wooden backing would be too dark and the use of cladding would be too bulky. For this reason, I had my wall techniquist paint individual block sized maisonite ‘cladding’ mimicking the existing wall and bar cladding exactly, this effect fitted perfectly behind the unit. The final challenge was dealing with the empty wall space when the screen was not pulled down… To make a feature of this wall I used the wallpaper again to fill the blank area and hung an existing mirror in the centre. This gave the room a wonderful feature wall which was both practical and decorative.

After completing the furniture layout off a floor plan, I taped a cut-out of the proposed custom corner suite, two seater sofa and ottoman to the floor to ensure my clients were comfortable with the proportions, walk ways and spacing of the furniture. I chose a large ottoman instead of a coffee table to suit the comfort of a viewing room and I also believe that trays of interesting objects on top of an ottoman make for a more homely feel.

I sourced a gorgeous red accent piece of furniture in the form of a chest of drawers to fill an otherwise blank wall.

When working with the floor plan of this room we found that the bar fitted perfectly into a difficult corner space that would have been very challenging to decorate around. With the bar I wanted to make a ‘contemporary’ yet ‘classic’ statement, so I opted for mahogany coloured wood with ultra clean lines and existing wall cladding to keep a cohesive theme in the room. Splashes of red kept the eye moving around the room and linking everything together.

We wanted to fill blank spaces without creating a cluttered effect, seeking rather to have beautiful and functional objects in the room, I was able to source a stunning tall lamp for the dining area, decorative hurricane lamps which could be used inside or outside, bowls and items that could be used when entertaining continuing the colour scheme by layering silver, reds and browns.

The bathroom was tiled in black and white. I chose a fabric roman blind to complete the window in hues of black, white and brown in order to compliment the inter-leading colour scheme whilst keeping an identity of its own. I sourced a grey chair and a beautiful beaded tassel to complete the look. We filled the rest if the space with red and ‘funky’, contemporary accessories to give this young couple the look they wanted.

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