When Chrissy, a successful young fashion designer and her fiancé, Jon, purchased a condo in a chic Central West End high rise, they knew that they wanted the interior to reflect their eclectic tastes and creativity. But pulling their many interior design ideas together into a cohesive and beautiful whole proved to be a challenging task.
After meeting with Kimberly Kowalski, a designer with Savvy Surrounding Style in Ladue, the couple knew right away that they had nothing to worry about.
“Chrissy is a highly creative person,” Kowalski says. “She is full of great ideas; all she needed was someone to take those ideas and make them work together in a pleasing way.”
Kowalski’s challenge was to effectively marry the couple’s penchant for myriad design styles, creating an eclectic and stylish environment that feels old and new at the same time.
Starting with the dining room, and building on Chrissy’s and Jon’s love for color contrasts, especially black and white, Kowalski began to layer in furniture pieces, accessories and other design elements that reflect the couple’s interest in mixing styles and adding personality to their spaces. “It’s all about blending,” Kowalski says. “You have elements that are traditional, contemporary, ethnic and industrial, all in one room.”
An eye-catching black-and-white mosaic accent wall, reminiscent of Moroccan tile, is a striking first impression upon entering the condo.
“It’s actually paint,” says Kowalski, “and was finished in just one day!”
For those with ever-changing tastes, paint is a perfect choice for bold design decisions. “It’s not difficult to work with and is easily changed when you are inspired to try something new. It’s nice to have that versatility,” Kowalski adds.
Juxtaposed with the contemporary and global feel of the accent wall is a gorgeous, classic three-tiered, beaded, teardrop chandelier that glistens above the industrial, reclaimed, wood top dining table, which is surrounded by classic contemporary metal chairs. Originally three separate chandeliers, Kowalski commissioned a local electrician to combine them into one piece at the top. “I really enjoy using over-scale lighting” says Kowalski. “People often hesitate to go bigger (when it comes to lighting), but the larger scale really draws your eye into the space more,” she says.
Kowalski chose a jute rug in a quiet earth tone to ground the space beneath the dining table and add softness to the bolder black-and-white palette. “The earthiness of the rug introduces a natural design element and texture to the space,” says Kowalski, “and helps balance the strong, graphic pattern of the accent wall.”
According to Kowalski, space was a major consideration when designing the dining room. “The room’s smaller footprint dictated certain decisions, such as using ottomans at the ends of the table instead of chairs. “We didn’t want to lose a lot of visual space,” explains
Kowalski, “so the ottomans were an ideal solution. They can even be pulled into the living room for extra seating.”
Floating shelves instead of a typical cabinet also add to the airiness of the room and are filled with the couple’s collection of quirky, fun accessories.
Windows were left undressed to take full advantage of the beautiful views of Forest Park and the bustling city streets below.
Chrissy, who is looking forward to the opening of her vegan leather jacket boutique, Fauxgerty, in her Central West End neighborhood this fall, couldn’t be happier with the way Kowalski interpreted hers and Jon’s creative aesthetic, making their interior design dreams into a reality. “Chrissy’s and Jon’s dining room, in fact their entire condo, has a clean aesthetic, and is a little bohemian, too,” says Kowalski. “The magic is all in the mix,” she adds, “taking disparate styles and helping them connect in a beautiful and functional way. That’s really what is so fun about this space.”