This Guest Room Is All About “Ease, Grace, and Not Trying Too Hard”
Inspired by an Italian socialite.
Published May 1, 2019 7:00 AM
Bold, modernist angles; eye-catching art; and rich textures dominate this artist’s retreat in the newly opened San Francisco Decorator Showcase. Designed by Lindsay Anyon Brier, principal of Anyon Interior Design, this petite space had large shoes to fill.
The room is located on the top floor of Le Petit Trianon, a 1904 Neoclassical house designed after a Versailles guest house. Fittingly, the inspiration behind the room is equally glamorous. “Marella Agnelli was the doyenne of Italian society and a great patron of the arts,” explains Anyon Brier of her imaginary client for the showhouse. The late wife of Fiat chairman Gianni Agnelli created wonderfully glamorous and comfortable homes and gardens and was named by Truman Capote as “swan numero uno.”
“I imagined the room as a modern version of one of her guest suites, particularly catering to the emerging artists she championed.” Designed as an artist-in-residence’s retreat, the room was to be “all about ease, grace, and not trying too hard,” which was coincidentally Agnelli’s style motto. Ahead, Anyon Brier shares her top tips for creating a colorful room that’s well-balanced and elegant.
Start With Precise Visual Inspiration
“I was inspired by an image of the original Petit Trianon as well as an image of the architect Charles Zana’s Parisian apartment featuring a pink totem-like sculpture by Ettore Sottsass,” says Anyon Brier. “The terrace around the room also has a Parisian feel. Very quickly, a color palette started coming together.” The palette, composed of greenish blues, deep teal hues, acid greens, and pops of pink and yellow, doesn’t feel overpowering at all. Instead, each color holds its own in an environment swathed in warm neutral hues.
Work Around Low Ceilings
“The 8’6” ceiling was a challenge,” says Anyon Brier. “I decided to just embrace the ceiling and make it a focal point. The designer approached Paige Cleveland, the founder of Rule of Three, to create a wallpaper in a custom colorway for the ceiling to tie the space together and make the low height feel intentionally cozy. She also picked low-slung furniture that would work with the proportions of the space and make the ceilings feel higher. “We drew the furniture layout several times to make sure we captured the right scale of furniture.”
Don’t Overcrowd Your Room
“We tried not overcrowding or overpopulating the space, keeping things light and fresh but still layering in color and texture,” explains Anyon Brier of her choice of contemporary and modern pieces. The acid green 1935 Gerrit Rietveld Utrecht chair is paired with a custom-designed daybed, a hand-poured resin desk by Martha Sturdy, and a coffee table from Slash Objects. “I love the table’s name, ‘Coexist.’ It won a ‘best new furniture piece award’ at ICFF.” To finish off the space, the designer worked with Simon Breitbard Gallery on the art and commissioned a piece titled “Love Over Fear” from artist Pierce Meehan.
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