As we come nearer to party season—fundraisers, cocktail parties, holiday get-togethers—it becomes imperative to have a place in your home to entertain guests that is not only at the ready for an impromptu gathering but also sets the mood for fun. For a while, families were looking to get rid of formal sitting rooms and dining rooms, but since 2020, some homeowners have embraced the idea of private rooms where the adults can converse without kids.
When the homeowners of this Chappaqua, NY, home came to them looking to redesign their adult sitting room for hosting cocktail parties and listening to music, Alana Irwin and Cami Luppino, co-founders of Lulu Home, helped up the drama with a statement art installation, dark walls and lots of texture.
They started with the homeowner’s personal black piano, which inspired the “swanky lounge” theme. Velvet seating in soft rounded shapes provide lots of room for guests and give a bar lounge vibe. A corner spirits cabinet is a stylish and practical addition that makes it easy to serve your guests a drink or have them help themselves.
Don’t be afraid to duplicate
Sculptural pieces complete the look in the sitting room and the adjoining hall and dining room.
In the sitting room, Lulu designers chose a white bow-like sculpture made of paper maché formed in ombre paint. This, paired with rounded tables and curved sofas, was intentional, says Irwin. “Cami and I feel strongly that patterns should repeat. It’s not a coincidence that the rounded sofa pairs with a round table and even a round ball pillow. Repeating patterns big and small is always a chic look.”
Give it depth
Irwin and Luppino aim to approach each project by getting to know their client’s likes and dislikes. “Our clients loved saturated deep colors,” she says. On the walls, the duo hand-painted a venetian plaster in deep blue. “We think dark walls are timeless,” says Irwin. “It ups the wow factor and adds so much texture and depth to the room,” says Irwin. “This technique is a true art form.”
While many people hear the word “custom” and think it equals expensive, Irwin says, that doesn’t have to be the case. Prices, she says, can be equivalent if you know the right vendors, and the benefit of custom pieces is that they fit perfectly together in the space you have. “We often feel making the piece works out better for our design projects so we don’t have dimension constraints,” she adds. In this sitting room, the tables were custom made to fit with the dimensions of the curved sofa. Plus, it allowed the designers to select the black cerused finish and keep to the colors of the room.
Keep to a color palette
When designing a home, Irwin says, Lulu likes to design at least three rooms at a time in order to ensure cohesion throughout the client’s house. “This is especially true when designing a center hall colonial where most rooms give peeks into adjoining rooms,” says Irwin. In the adjacent hallway, they selected a warm oak console with slight gray undertone to pair with the existing floors of the home and the neighboring sitting room. Sculptural discs on the stairwell and light pendants that are modern, bright and artistic, round out the design. “It is important that colors and finishes tie together so the flow is seamless,” she adds.