Best Living Space

Comfort in Minimalism  |  B Smart Builders
While working on the open concept dining room in this Westover Hills home, Cheryl Bean refurbished the living area as well. (In fact, B Smart Builders worked on the house remodel for five months and addressed the kitchen, playroom and utility room with future plans for the master suite and bedrooms.) To keep the two areas separate yet fluid, she and her design staff had a large area rug made specifically to fit the large room and used the furniture to designate the different spaces. Oversized pieces worked well with the room’s grand 16-foot-tall cathedral ceiling, which featured five large beams in dark, stained maple veneer for a contemporary vibe. “The homeowner has a great eye and used pieces that have been passed down from her grandparents,” says Cheryl. The nearby dining table was a custom family heirloom — it had been created for the client’s grandparent’s modern Japanese home — and meshed well with the neutral toned Barcelona chairs, chaise and sofas, all designs by famed German-American architect Mies Van Der Rohe. Even the small adjoining wet bar area was done in the same neutral tones and simplistic design, including recessed wall shelving for glassware, to deliver an exceptional Asian fusion interior. “The clean lines of the pieces help keep a cohesive look.”

Warm and Neutral in Preston Hollow  |  KL Milam Interior Design
When you see a photo of a neutral room, great pains have been taken to light everything exactly right, so you have shadow and light in just the right places,” says designer Kim Milam. “Neutrals can appear flat if you’re not careful. People want and even need visual contrast and at least a small amount of color, even if they don’t realize it.” So for her client’s neutral-toned living room in their Preston Hollow residence in Dallas, Kim incorporated a thoughtful selection of pillows, art and accessories for the finishing details. She first added creamy linen draperies and grass shades to tone down the room’s formality, then had the furniture covered in monochromatic neutrals. The custom designed daybed’s textured fabric meshes seamlessly with the creamy gray linen for the sofa and wide-striped viscose for the chairs, both of the latter fabrics by Kravet. Kim designed a uniquely shaped cocktail table and clean-lined sofa table, then brought in lamps from Arteriors and accessories like a 19th century egg mold, green glass fishing float and geodes, all from the Dallas Design Center. Opposite the sofa, the stately fireplace mantel gives way to a beautiful molding design above it, which frames black-and-white, domino-esque works on paper by Dallas-based artist Otis Jones. And a trio of intricately sculpted wall reliefs by Dalton Maroney bedeck the nearby wall for a subtle, yet effective pop of color and texture. “The best projects happen when there is great trust and collaboration between client and designer,” says Kim.