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  • Writer's pictureJ-M

When you say no to a TV in the living room & almost maim an artist in the process . . .

I was recently featured on for my East Isles living room project. Check out the interview below:


To maximize the number of pieces of furniture that would actually sit on the rug, we did a custom rug template in order to cut around the fireplace and bring the rug closer to all sides of the room,” Bloomberg says. “This increased our usable space by only about 36 square feet but allowed us to make the piano area and the reading nook as cohesive as possible — [with] no furniture dangling outside the perimeter.

Homeowners’ request: A functional, multipurpose space. “The room was somewhat long and narrow, so they hadn’t landed on a layout that maximized the square footage,” designer Jane-Marie Bloomberg says. “I wanted to break up the space into three distinct areas: the baby grand piano, a spot for reading and drinking the morning coffee, and a place to entertain or enjoy the fire. All could be accomplished by implementing some key strategies to bring everything together.”

Main feature: A palette of pink and orange accented by wood tones. “Somewhere along the way, a previous homeowner had painted the tall baseboards white but left the rest of the beautiful woodwork a warm oak,” Bloomberg says. “The husband was adamant that we not paint any more of the woodwork, so this became our starting point. Of course, the fireplace would stay original as well, complete with its beautiful arched opening. The pink and orange colors set off the wood nicely.”

Other special features: “When breaking a long, narrow room up into useful sections, one item that can help everything tie together is a consistent flooring material,” Bloomberg says. “We opted for a beautiful Argentinian wool rug to anchor the entire space. Then, to give the room some additional whimsy, we utilized two different wallcoverings — a floral print and a textured grasscloth — to keep the eye moving around the space and yet still emphasize the fireplace. New lighting was added, and by increasing the scale of the fixtures, we were able to use these to tie the space together this way as well.”

“Uh-oh” moment: “The custom chairs in the orange chevron fabric were built by a master wood carver in California,” Bloomberg says. “During the creation of these chairs, he injured his hand and did not believe he would be able to complete them due to the intricate nature of the design. We selected another design from him, but the clients had already fallen in love with their original choice. Weeks passed, and I received word from the artist that he had worked through the pain and completed the originally selected chairs for us. My clients were so thrilled and appreciative. I’m happy to report that the artist is doing fine and continues to make beautiful pieces.”


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