Mixed Material Design

by Debbie Gildersleeve of RENEE's
Photography by Liz Glasgow

Lighting and mixed accent pieces create a warm and inviting family room.

The concept for fashion design and interior design is very similar to me. You have to take into consideration balance, color and personal style. Every job is a problem solver – the goal is to make a room not only beautiful and functional, but to meet the client’s design needs. When­ designing this family room for a young couple with two small ­children, these elements were ­essential in creating the ideal ­living space.

As the family room is one of the most important rooms in the home, I wanted to design a space that was warm and inviting, and also a continuation of the rest of the home’s design concept. Beginning with a neutral base, such as gray or beige, provides a backdrop that can be easily dressed up or down depending on the space. For the family room, a plush sectional with fur throws and pillows in shades of blues, greens and browns brings the design elements of the other accent pieces in the room together.

Mixed materials and neutral colors give the space a unique personality.

Mixing materials such as fabric, wood and metal is a great trend that allows rooms to be functional and inviting and is something more people are leaning towards as they think about the design of a room. You can mix materials like rustic-looking wood with metal accents and leather pieces, such as the wooden chest and large leather ottoman as a coffee table. These items also provide additional storage, which is perfect for tucking away toys and other clutter when entertaining. Adding accent pieces such as glass vases and metal sculpted mirrors also adds a unique personality to the space.

Lighting is one of the key elements to bring warmth into a space. Different fixtures at ­different levels, coupled with candles placed throughout, is a sure way to create an inviting, family-friendly atmosphere that your guests will surely love as well.