Interior design ideas: simplicity goes a long way in a living room


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Before Michael Kim of MK Architecture and David Cohen of Hampden Design + Construction reworked this 1964 addition to their client’s 1938 Colonial in Weston, there was a utility room in one corner, a low ceiling, and limited access to the courtyard. Nothing in space seemed right. After reducing the room to studs and simplifying the shell, the duo created a tranquil living room with an understated backdrop of built-in shelving and a fireplace worthy of a focal point. “Now the room looks like it’s supposed to be, like it’s always been that way,” Kim says. “That was the goal, that was our mission.”

1. An oriental-flavored rug from Dover Rug & Home offers a subtle color and pattern that echoes the international sensibilities of homeowners.

2. The dark blue Pumpkin chairs by Pierre Paulin for Ligne Roset are a sculptural statement that balances the weight and neutral color of the sectional.

3. Kim designed the shelves, which he calls the room’s “supporting actor”, to be as visually silent as possible. “They are not meant to draw attention to themselves,” says the architect. “Their function is to showcase the artifacts and books of the owners. “

4. Cohen re-clad the stone veneer fireplace with 11-inch-wide white oak planks divided by thin strips of ipe inserted into aluminum channels. “We originally tried oak floorboards, but the effect was too heavy,” says Cohen. “It has the same organic texture, but looks a lot calmer. “

5. Thomas D. Mangelsen’s limited edition photograph of a grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park hangs over the fireplace and a Native American peace pipe rests on the mantle.

6. The curved design of the hand-forged burnished steel Switchback pendant by Hubbardton Forge was inspired by the ski slopes of Vermont. Cohen replaced dated recessed fixtures with energy efficient LED fixtures.


Marni Elyse Katz is a regular contributor to Globe Magazine. Send your comments to [email protected].

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