• Oct 31, 2016
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Behind The Design: Drawing Room

Living Room Designer Q&A Designer Advice Decor Ideas Articles Living Room Traditional Transitional Blues/Purples

Deep navy walls and beautifully crafted millwork offer eye-catching contrast in this formal drawing room. In an exclusive Q&A, designer Laura Hay answers the questions we're dying to know about this one-of-a-kind design.

Laura Hay Living Room Interior Formal

What were your clients’ needs for this space?

My clients’ wanted a dramatic and contemporary space to welcome and impress their guests. This room is small and the first room you see when you enter the front door of the home. 

Were there any changes to designing this space?

We redesigned the fireplace entirely. We introduced gas for ease of use, replaced the brickstone and included a beautiful marble surround and hearth and a pre-cast stone mantel.

Do you have any special considerations or requirements when creating a drawing / living room?

When a home has a formal drawing room off the main foyer, it is typically a more formal space that doesn’t get the wear and tear of the more casual and practical rooms in the home. Therefore, this room can be a place for drama and luxury.

How does the flooring play into your design?

The rich espresso stained hardwood floors provide the perfect backdrop to the opal silk rug and high contrast design scheme.

What makes this room functional?

The beautiful built-in bookcase provides elegant storage for seasonal entertaining ware and open bookcases to display unique art pieces and accessories. The simple and symmetrical seating arrangement provides a lovely conversation area that is welcoming and comfortable.

Why did you choose these colors?

The room is small, has high ceilings, large windows, and beautiful millwork. These elements combined provide the perfect environment for high contrast design including dark walls and light millwork. The warm white and blue-black design scheme evolved from a beautiful Donghia fabric I sourced and used on the accent pillows.

What is your favorite aspect of this room?

I love the lighting and the accessories. The simple yet dramatic color scheme are the perfect backdrop for the artistic décor elements. The muted gold chandelier from Visual Comfort, the chagrin mirror from Made Goods, the brass and bronze art and accessories on the bookshelf. These are the pieces that make the space feel curated and unique.

What did your client like the most?

The clients loved how the room felt larger with large furniture pieces in it. When they bought the home, they thought the room was useless. I loved creating a space they could be useful and beautiful and reflective of their taste for the unique and contemporary.


Laura Hay Decor and DesignAt Laura Hay Décor & Design, it’s our belief that the spaces we occupy should be a reflection of ourselves. With each project, we set out to understand our client’s individual lifestyle and create a finished design that reflects their personality while adding function and aesthetic appeal. Designing homes and hideaways, Laura Hay’s practice is distinctively known for her combination of classical conventions with contemporary surprises. Her finished spaces are warmly inviting with modern appeal. 



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