Design duo Kelley Lentini and Berkeley Minkhorst prove first impressions speak volumes.
When House of Nomad designers and partners Kelley Lentini and Berkeley Minkhorst took on the responsibility of designing the first floor of a new Myers Park house that was being built, their marching orders were simple: Create a unified look among currently disjointed showcase rooms while balancing the design desires of a young couple. They aimed to design a light and energetic interior in the otherwise traditional neighborhood. The formal living room is the first room visitors see and where Lentini and Minkhorst began to build a good first impression. Focusing on a feminine aesthetic, they added a triptych with a modern vibe, which incorporates all the colors of the room’s furnishings – shades of warm gray, taupe, white, brown, mauve, and cream.
“The art set the tone for the entire room,” Minkhorst says. “The brass frames tie in with the inlaid brass applique in the artwork as well as the brass-trimmed coffee table and other accessories in the room.” They added texture and interest with a white contemporary Loloi shag rug and exposed wooden arms on accent chairs. Brass is a recurring theme on the first floor and makes another appearance in a transitional gold-leafed hanging light fixture that serves as the crown of the dining room. It is offset by deep navy blue walls and velvet drapery, which continues the velvet theme first introduced in the formal living room. Nearby, a powder room receives a moody, dark floral wallpaper to contrast other linear elements on the main floor, including vertical, linear wallpaper in the butler’s pantry, vertical powder room sconces, and the vertical lines of the dining room light fixture.
“The wallpaper was an instant favorite of the wife,” Lentini says. “Its oversized flowers have tiny butterflies scattered around them. It’s so realistic.” The wallpaper introduces white into this room, which Lentini says is necessary for balancing the darker, more masculine elements in the house and keeping the spaces light and fresh. White lightens the mood in the casual living area, where a dark leather sofa, the husband’s choice, anchors the entire space. Bursts of aqua and cobalt blue antique Murano glass artwork mixed with vintage accessories are striking on the white painted built-in shelves and cabinetry surrounding the fireplace. The blue pieces connect the other downstairs rooms, which have blue walls or accessories in shades of blue, improving the flow through the entire space. One of the living room’s standout pieces is a white custom Tritter Feefer console table behind the sofa, whose design mimics the lines of the herringbone-laid tile inset in the fireplace. A piece of glass artwork from Darnell & Company on the console completes the cohesive look. Brass is introduced in this room with a pair of Restoration Hardware glass floor lamps accented with brass trim details. The casual living area is open to the all-white kitchen, so the design duo carefully considered the appropriate furnishings and lighting to complement both spaces. Dark wood tones, white, brass hanging lanterns, and mauve bar stools balance and marry both the casual and formal living rooms. “It’s all about balancing choices between light and dark so both the husband and wife have their likes taken into consideration,” Lentini says. “Our goal is to make interior design approachable and fun for people like this couple. Design should not be intimidating.”
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