Water’s Edge | Inside the Hearth Room
One of the biggest challenges Shea and the design team faced when designing the sprawling 20,000-square-foot floorplan of our latest project, Water’s Edge, was the square footage itself. The clients requested a Cotswolds-inspired vibe, which is all about quaint, cozy spaces with a classic and rustic country feel. Elsewhere in the home, this was accomplished by bringing in loads of natural materials like stone and wood, introducing lots of layers, patterns, and prints, and taking moments of visual relief to break up symmetry or deeply modern elements like a state-of-the-art entertainer’s kitchen.
But to really give the clients a Cotswold feel, Shea and the design team took one space to par down in scale, an “intimate nook,” says Shea. The hearth room was just the answer. Sitting off to the side of the great room but still connected in an open-floorplan fashion, the hearth room is a cozy space divided from the others by rustic timber beams. All three of the walls of the hearth room are covered by the same stone used on the exterior of the home and throughout some of the communal spaces of the home elsewhere. These building materials go a long way in creating a warm and inviting space without even taking into consideration the furniture and styling elements that are brought within.
“This room is all about creating warmth,” Shea notes. For the layout, Shea and the design team landed on two identical sofas facing each other and flanking the sides of the fireplace. In between, McGee & Co.’s Parker Coffee Table in black marble and steel sits with two sets of identical furniture pieces on opposite ends. “The furniture is very symmetrical on the large pieces,” Shea notes, “but it’s the accents that break it up.” For instance, the two sofas have different pillow styling sets. On one side of the room, built-in shelving houses an artful stack of wood, and on the other side of the room, built-in shelving flanks a built-in desk showcasing a collection of styling accessories collected by Shea and the design team. “Since this is a new build, antiques are key to making it have some soul and interest.”