Great things usually come with a price, and this dreamy great room in Chesterfield is no exception. Before the homeowner hired designer Liz McGovern of June Roesslein Interiors to bring the expansive space to life, it was the perfect empty stage for a certain ballerina—the homeowner’s 6-year-old niece. But now that it’s finished to elegant-but-intimate perfection, another member of the household is pretty content: Munchkin the cat has discovered just the right sun-washed nook for an afternoon nap.
Munchkin’s owner is pretty happy, too. “For my client, this home was just meant to be!” says McGovern. “She lived in a smaller condo nearby, and she liked this one from the moment she saw it. Even the wall color, a soft celery-sage, was her taste. That never happens! When we began designing the great room, we used that color as our canvas, and brought the room together with texture, pattern and accents of Chinese red.”
With a full-length atrium wall of windows, the great room is bathed in natural light, says the designer, even on the gloomiest days. “It’s western exposure, so the windows are outfitted with motorized light-filtering shades, operated by remote control. They’re great for reducing glare without blocking out all of the light.” The dramatic two-story windows are framed by lush panels of faux silk, suspended from separate rods. “Sometimes less really is more,” says McGovern. “That window style can be hard to treat, and the divided rods are less distracting than a full rod running the width of the wall.”
Just off the great room, French doors open to a vestibule leading to the master bedroom, where an Asian-influenced fretwork mirror and a two-door mirrored chest make a glamorous statement. Surprisingly, the pieces were not purchased together. “It just worked out that way!” McGovern notes. And although the bedroom is just a few steps from the great room, she adds, the vestibule offers privacy. “The entrance really defines this as a personal sanctuary, sequestered from the public areas of the home.”
On the angled east wall, fretwork makes another appearance on a three-drawer chest with a rub-through finish. “This is one of my favorite pieces,” says McGovern. “The bun feet have a fretwork relief and the painted finish really does make it look like an antique.” Topped with a pair of French candlesticks, the chest also offers visitors a peek at that favorite little ballerina.
One particular challenge for the homeowner was the grand scale of the great room. “Her other condo had standard eight-foot ceilings,” McGovern explains. “And her furniture just didn’t work in this room, so we used it in the smaller hearth room, off the kitchen. All of the new pieces were chosen for this specific space, and the scale is perfect.” Achieving proper scale, she adds, is sometimes difficult. “It’s hard, because you see something in the store, you love it, and you know it will fit in your room. But it’s important to get the scale right, or you’ll be disappointed with the final look.” Before ordering the new furniture, McGovern drafted several designs utilizing different pieces and arrangements. “We did a to-scale floor plan and then she picked her favorite. One must-have was a chair by the railing so you can look outside, or curl up and read.”
And if anyone curls up in a certain sunny spot, they just might notice a contented purring very close by. LN