Ten years ago, Lorna Gross-Bryant designed the interiors of a Bowie, Maryland, home for a couple with teenagers. Recently, the same clients—now empty nesters—called on her again, this time to decorate their new townhome in National Harbor. They desired something completely different to reflect this fresh, new phase of their lives.
“They wanted an edgier look,” Gross-Bryant observes. “Fashion-forward elements and bling—not practical for kids, but livable for them.”
The couple requested all new furniture and a palette of grays. Gross-Bryant selected both colors and pieces carefully to ensure a unified look throughout the open-plan home. “Grays can be sterile unless you incorporate texture and pattern,” she explains. She used a charcoal base with creams to keep it light; metallic silver finishes and saffron accents add zest and interest.
Furnishing the rectangular great room was a challenge. Gross-Bryant split it into two areas she calls “his and hers”—one with a custom sectional where the wife, who owns two area salons, can relax and watch television, and one with four chairs centered around a coffee table for the husband, who is retired and likes to invite friends over for drinks.
Gross-Bryant softened the monochromatic, contemporary areas with a Global Views rug in a swirling pattern, hair-on-hide chairs, a faux-shagreen coffee table and accent wallpaper in both the dining and great rooms. A chandelier by Regina Andrew in the dining room exemplifies the home’s glamorous style: Made of lightweight resin, its “leaves” look like layers of glass.
Interior Design: Lorna Gross-Bryant, ASID, Lorna Gross Interior Design, Bethesda, Maryland.
Lorna Gross-Bryant’s Trade Secrets:
- Contemporary spaces tend to have a lot of geometry to them, so it’s important to soften their lines with textiles, which prevent interiors from reading as sterile. A room should not feel too structured.
- Don’t try to force one big seating area in townhomes with long, rectangular rooms. Better to make separate seating areas that look different but connect visually—maybe one for reading and one for TV or drinks.
- Open spaces have to be unified in a condo or townhome. You can do this through color and feel. Everything should have the same vibe and should continue the same concept—in this case, it was the element of glam and bling. If one room has an elegant or casual sensibility, the other rooms should share the same sensibility.