We usually start our design process by selecting a rug. They’re foundational, especially in creating the palette of a home. In this case, though, we started with a painting. That’s what drove our choice of rug for the main living space and became the focal point for the entire project.
This top-to-bottom remodel of a 1980s ranch-style home in Billings started with homeowners who came to us because they were stuck. Their home was ample in size and had a great fir ceiling with a lot of character but, from flooring on up (their home had wall-to-wall carpet throughout), they weren’t sure what it was meant to be.
Their great room was blessed with fantastic symmetry centered down the long view from the front door onto a brick fireplace. The owners envisioned it as the social heart of the home, and they wanted to be able to comfortably fit as many people as possible. We installed hardwood floors and painted the trim but kept the fireplace as it was; we didn’t want the home to look as if it had been renovated, but rather as if it had always been that way. We added a white mantel with strong, simple lines on which the painting could rest, then worked with symmetry and layering and textures and splashes of color to create a super welcoming, comfortable, and lively yet elegant space.
Using the surprisingly vibrant colors found in the Kira Fercho painting of aspen trees in winter (we actually took the painting with us to make a selection at the rug gallery!), we placed four sumptuous orange leather wingback armchairs around a coffee table with a recessed tray within a black leather surround. We commissioned two oversized Chesterfield sofas, covered them in linen and layered them with velvet pillows which provide pops of color. We located two glass-fronted cabinets to flank the fireplace and enhance the symmetry of the room; these provide a place for special collections that can be seen and enjoyed without visual clutter.
This attention to detail is carried throughout the house, from the custom dining table and chairs, which are of navy leather and have Ralph Lauren fabric inset into the backs, to curtain rods made specifically for the project. From furniture to lighting, from draperies to rugs, from kitchen to bedrooms to baths, and from hardware to accessories, we were involved every step of the way in creating a home that’s about conversation, comfort, and gatherings of family and friends.
Photos courtesy of Renata Haidle.