When renovating her dated Brookside cottage, Lisa Curran confiscated a piece of the front yard to create a space that defines cultured design. Inspired by Italian architecture and open gathering rooms, she filled her new space with a few of her favorite timeless treasures.
Vintage pieces, complementary colors, assorted fabrics and intimate vignettes are welcoming conversation pieces. Flooded with natural light, the room’s eclectic style is on display, which she pulled together with a “sophisticated eye, inspired by experience and knowledge of culture, fashion and art,” Curran says. “The room is a reflection of the past and present. I put a lot of thought into how the objects work together.”
The room’s fresh, current vibe revolves around many repurposed and cherished antiques: a reupholstered French daybed, original Aubusson-upholstered French chairs, an Italian bench with custom green silk fabric, an Asian vase and a midcentury walnut table, among others.
Channeling designer David Easton’s modern take on seating arrangements, as well as her mother’s creativity and her father’s eye for art, her multipurpose great room can host a 60-person dinner (and dance) party, a family gathering or simply provide warmth on a snowy night. Weaving in her own strengths—she’s also an artist who painted the artwork on the easel as well as the room’s walls and stained the concrete floors—the new addition is versatile in function and aesthetics.
Though a designer’s work is never done, Curran has created a space that exceeds expectations, especially her own. Garnering design accolades from colleagues, it’s a graceful tribute to—and reminder of—those near and dear to her heart.
Why it Works
Adding flexibility to the space, the quirky seating arrangement was intentional and well-thought-out. You’ll find a working station with desk, a “wonderful intimate dinner” setting with a midcentury table that doubles as a daytime tabletop display piece and additional seating in the form of a reupholstered antique French daybed (plus several other seats strategically scattered about) to comfort guests as they mingle.
When dreaming up the space, Curran wanted to fill it with complementary colors. Staying true to her design, the room features shades of red and gray-green—with bits of gold throughout—found in vintage toile throw pillows from Bailey and Griffin, French side chairs, an Asian vase from the 45th and State Line antique district, Persian rug (purchased from her father years ago), floral decor and a painting she found in her grandmother’s house. “I love the energy and modern touch that it adds to the room,” she says of the painting. “Family pieces are important to your personal space.”
Another reason this room works so well is because of a tried-and-true design concept: no matter the style, fill a room with what you love. Her grandmother’s painting, which finally has a place to live above her new room’s 100-year-old French marble fireplace surround, pairs well with reupholstered pieces and vintage finds. The satin drapes with burlap edging, which she had custom-made for this room, provide a nice backdrop for many prized possessions, such as the Asian vase, her favorite piece, that she fills with seasonal arrangements. And that vibrant leopard-print wingback chair? Reupholstered in Cowtan and Tout’s fabric, she’s had it for roughly 15 years. “When you buy something you love, it lasts,” she says.
Get the Look
1. Take your birdcage to a whole new level with this stunning 52-inch antique-brass hanging cage at J’adore Home & Garden. Your guests will be singing its praise.
2. In a vase or on a wall, bring nature in. Renew your room with Anastacia Drake’s textured acrylic Spring Has Sprung from Stroke of Red Studio.
3. The scrolled arms, curved legs and taupe burlap upholstery give the Lorraine bench from Seville Home an antique look and feel.
4. These decorative pillows from Nell Hill’s will infuse your room with a pinch of red and a punch of green, keeping your complementary colors on point.
5. If it’s animal print you’re looking for, shop (with your designer) at KDR Designer Showrooms for the Spencer chair by Ralph Lauren. You’ll never want another.
6. Keep it eclectic with the addition of a pair of Asian vases with champlevé enameling from Webster House.