Clear Thinking: Designing a Design Studio
The one common denominator of all guests of the design studio of Eric Ross Interiors is the response we get from them when they enter. “Wow, this is beautiful!” This was the goal… after all of our hard work and planning, but it wasn’t easy.
Our design studio is located in the terrace level of Boxwood Hill. I banned everyone from saying “basement,” because it sounds so wet and moldy. I am a firm believer in the power of words, that what you call a space affects the mood of the space. So, getting this space right was important to me. The light is absolutely fantastic and it streams through a set of 6 patio doors creating the perfect light for reading colors. This is what immediate sold me on the space. What didn’t sell me was the frize carpet (which I hate and banish from every house I’ve ever done over the last 10 years). Also, the yellow walls were a big, NO! The bathroom was tragically decorated with glass block (gasp!) and there were several small areas that were just for clothes storage.
Designing a Design Studio
I decided to divide the space into three distinct zones: one for the main studio, which would house our workstations and conference room; one zone for a wallpaper sample library; and one zone for upholstery and rug sample storage.
For the main studio, I replaced the carpet with a luxury vinyl tile in a tobacco colored wood look. We also painted all the yellow painted exposed rock China White from Benjamin Moore. I really wanted the palette of the entire space to be bright and fresh. As you enter, I placed an antique Italian dining table as our conference table with antique French chairs. There are a pair of wicker chairs I covered in a white, gray and beige plaid, which I repeated on the window treatments. I also selected a striped rug. In the rear of the main studio I installed built-ins to house all the fabric resources.
The second zone was the center room, which is the wallpaper library. There was a small cedar closet which, once removed, made the room twice as large. For this area, as well as the rear upholstery library, I carpeted in a handsome charcoal and oatmeal herringbone broadloom. This gives a warm look to the subterranean space. In the upholstery library we were fortunate that the rock foundation had not been previously painted, so we have left the beautiful natural Tennessee stone, a perfect accompaniment to the carpet. Again, we created custom built-ins for both of these spaces to accommodate our extensive resource library materials.
Lastly we had the bathroom. There is a full bath, but the finishes weren’t my favorite. Everything was brown. We had no money to spend on renovating this space. So, my go to rule for ugly rooms—decorate! I chose a large-scale charcoal and white Thibaut wallcovering that takes your eye off the glass block (eek!) and the brown finishes. I added artwork and accessories. Voila, a pretty bathroom!
Our new interior design studio isn’t just pretty, it’s a well organized, brightly lit space that induces us to create some of the most beautiful homes in the Southeast. Come see us!