The Dog Did WHAT?

It didn’t seem all that many years ago that we had re-decorated the clients’ family room with lots of sunny oranges and yellows–they wanted a warm, Tuscan feeling.  Then, the dog chewed up the sofa upholstery, and they decided they were ready for a totally new look.  Time to call Emery & Associates.


I was  familiar with their tastes, and their large collection of contemporary art, having worked with these clients previously on several other rooms in their home. The wood floors had become very damaged over the years, and they wanted them changed.  They were tired of the hot color palette, particularly since the room is flooded with sunlight during the day.   The painting hanging above the fireplace served as my inspiration for the new color palette, so I put together a group of fabrics for upholstery, new colors for the walls, ceiling, and woodwork, and suggested beautiful cork flooring from Ecohaus, that had an ivory/beige pigment to give it a light look.  A hand-knotted Tibetan rug from Tufenkian grounded the space.   Here is the finished room:


The room went from dated to dramatically light and contemporary. One of the reasons  this room looks so remarkably different is that we reversed the “figure” and the “ground,” which expands the space and makes the room seem larger.  The dark brickwork, beams, and wainscot were painted out in “Pale Ash” by Devine Paint.  The dark woodwork was painted bright white to coordinate with the kitchen that adjoins it, and the walls were painted a soft blue.  The cork flooring has an ivory/beige tint, and connects up to the travertine marble flooring in dining room, living room, and entry.   The upholstery and rug are now in dark tones–the taupe chenille upholstery fabric  from Kravet, and the beautiful chocolate brown rug from Tufenkian, gives the room a more contemporary look.

Custom media cabinet

The clients wanted a console as the base for a flat screen TV that would also hold other electronic components,  but couldn’t find one they liked at any local stores, so I designed one for them and commissioned Master Furniture Maker Kai Furhmann to build it (see above).

AFTER (lighting)

We also added lighting. While the room was flooded with light during the day, at night it used to turn into a dark cave.   The new monorail system illuminates all of the artwork in the room with low-voltage lighting, as well as providing down-lighting for reading.  This system is a perfect solution when a sloping ceiling makes recessed lighting impossible.  All fixtures are on dimmers for maximum flexibility.  The Noguchi floor lamp from Design Within Reach is a magnificent piece of sculpture as well as a lighting device.

“Kathia–Just wanted to let you know how much Bruce and I are enjoying our new family room.  It is really bright and airy and comfortable.  Sometimes we just sit and look around at it.  Everyone who has seen it just loves it.”

Susan and Bruce Winthrop

There are 4 Comments to "The Dog Did WHAT?"

  • BARB BALDWIN says:


  • Kathia, WOW, great work on the update. The details of the work undertaken are informative and truly underscore the excellent and beautiful work. Glad to see you used cork floors from ecofloors. Great people, great product, We used their product in our garden retreat. Title is wonderful, as well! Brava!

  • Joan Rogers says:

    Really beautiful work — amazing how the space can take on such different character.

  • Ron & Corliss Rogers says:

    OH! What a beautiful and dramatic difference! The room now looks so wonderfully inviting and restful, and somehow calming. Thanks so much for keeping us in the loop – we love it!

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