Architect wentworthstudio.com">Bruce Wentworth believes a "great room" often is not great until it has been remodeled with excellent design, and he proved it by transforming a cavernous space in a Cleveland Park home that was devoid of architectural character.
The homeowner wanted the room to look and feel like a luxurious hotel lobby. This meant bringing a sense of style and cohesion to what Wentworth described as a disjointed room. "The space before the renovations was disorganized," he said. "It had 21 feet of exposed brick on the fireplace wall, an inefficient and unattractive wet bar, a tall blank wall, and a 3-foot high railing on the second floor that blocked the outside views."
Now, at the center of the room is a towering travertine fireplace surround. Wentworth said his client saw silver travertine in a magazine and loved it, so he installed it with the grain running horizontally, which "provides a break from the verticality of the space."
New 8-foot French doors give the room an elegant appearance and eliminate the transoms that cluttered a rear wall of the room. A recessed metal base was added to avoid the clunky intersection of wood baseboard with travertine marble.
The space is grand, yet accessible. All of the openings are harmonized, including the doors and openings to the second level, to balance the room's separate elements, Wentworth said.
"We blended colors, fabrics and high-quality materials, such as travertine, velvets and leathers that add texture and are accessible and touchable," he explained. "The draperies soften the window openings, too, making the room warm and welcoming."
The coffered, beamed ceiling with a large chandelier in the center anchors the space. It also adds an upscale hotel vibe.
The stunning black iron chandelier complements the metal railings used inside and outside the room.
"We also grouped the furniture in several seating groups with a chaise in the middle, seating near the fireplace, and a seating group in the niche, also mimicking a hotel lobby," Wentworth said.
By grouping seating areas, the space is grand enough for a large party yet intimate enough for small gatherings, said Michael Sicheri, a hotel executive who owned an interior design business, Abstract Decor, for eight years.
Sicheri has worked for several luxury hotels, including the Hay Adams. He said like a hotel lobby, the Wentworth-designed space is warm, welcoming and adaptable.
"Whether you have 15 people or two, it's important for the space to feel comfortable," Sicheri said. "They created two separate environments, yet put them together. "
Flowing pillars of drapes help balance the scale of the room, Sicheri added.
No longer disorganized, the room is perfect for entertaining.