Rustic Finds a Bridge to Glam in Chapel Hill Living Room

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Transitional Living Room by Durham Interior
Designers & Decorators Heather Garrett Design
By Becky Harris

When a young couple moved into this Tudor-style house in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, he was really happy with the rustic finishes, but she was looking to glam them up a bit. They also needed items that could stand up to their 1-year-old and their three dogs, and to getting a little rowdy with their friends when relaxing and having beers together.

I find so many clients with young kids and pets want cool stuff, but they can't figure out to do it without worrying that they'll ruin everything," says interior designer Heather Garrett. In this case her solutions included upholstering with rustic leather and outdoor fabrics. The results are a balance of rough-hewn and sophisticated styles, a harmonious compromise that pleases both partners.

The existing architecture brought in plenty of the rustic, with a large stone fireplace and a rough-hewn mantel and beams.

Garrett balanced rustic and glamorous items all around the room by adding lots of layers of texture, including a Calvin Klein area rug on top of a large custom wool one, polished plaster walls and floor-to-ceiling draperies.

Transitional Living Room by Durham Interior
Designers & Decorators Heather Garrett Design
Individual items and pairings balance rustic and glam -- a tufted leather ottoman floats on top of Lucite legs, for instance. The only "taxidermy" items are silver fake stag horns. There's an antique brass mirror above the mantel.

The room has a pleasing symmetry without going full-on mirror image. For example, Garrett used two different sofas. "As long as the heights are about the same, you can play a little with depth, length and style, because the eye rests evenly on both sides," Garrett says.

We used a really rustic leather on the wingback chairs in a manly color, but then added metallic saddle stitching for contrast," Garrett says. Elegant embroidered pillows add a glamorous touch.

There are handy side tables throughout the room for those aforementioned beers. They have a mix of finishes and textures, including honed marble, galvanized steel, antiqued mirror and metal.

Garrett used to be rigid about sticking with one finish throughout a room but has loosened up now that there are so many different finishes available. "The metals are distressed, antiqued and vintage; the patina can tie them all together," she says.

Transitional Living Room by Durham Interior
Designers & Decorators Heather Garrett Design
The chaise is the largest piece covered in a pattern. "It's kind of a tribal Eastern pattern in raised velvet," she says. This fabric was treated with a fabric protector so that it can stand up to pets, kids and drinks.

A painting by Tyler Huntzinger plays with the eye depending on the light and the angle from which it is viewed.

"It's a winterscape of a forest, but then he used a silver-leaf oil wash over it," Garrett says. From some angles you see the northern woods; from others the silver looks like a natural pattern.

Accessories like geodes add some jewelry to the room.

The family room is completely open to the kitchen. Originally the kitchen had more of a country look, but again, Garrett glammed it up while leaving plenty of durable materials and masculine elements.

Transitional Kitchen by Durham Interior Designers & Decorators Heather Garrett Design
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