Like people, homes evolve through ages and stages of life. For longtime collectors in Wayne, it was time to edit their possessions and create an intimate space for themselves and close friends. To help them refine the look and function of their home, the couple turned to Amy Forshew of Proximity Interiors, a full-service design and furnishings destination in Wayne.
Forshew suggested transforming a seldom-used formal dining room into a cozy lounge, a place devoted to reading, conversation and contemplation. “Once we agreed that it would be a sitting room, everything fell into place,” Forshew says.
The designer helped sort through vintage items, antiques and other pieces the couple had collected over the years. Some things were donated. Items that continued to bring the owners’ joy were retained, and a few things were tucked into storage. At the top of the must-keep list was an oil painting of a young girl, which was placed over the fireplace mantel as a muse for the room. Walls, moldings and built-in cabinetry were painted a moody blue inspired by her shawl. The brass lighting fixtures and fireplace screen mirror the painting’s frame.
Four club chairs stationed around a circular ottoman in the middle of the sitting room form a conversation area, with a large brass lantern overhead. “This room is for reading or spending time with just a few people. The chairs swivel so you can enjoy a view out the window or the fireplace no matter where you sit,” Forshew says.
Because the room is small, the designer streamlined pieces and maximized space. “The very simple, clean lines keep the transitional feeling and don’t take away from the art and furniture,” she says. “We have sconces in the window seat; the creamy herringbone tile fireplace surround ties in the lounge chairs and keeps the whole thing from feeling too heavy. It’s a little unexpected, which makes it interesting.”