Importance of Contrast

Opposites attract—an axiom among humans—can also be applied to interior finishes. The balance achieved by pairing contrasting textures, styles and silhouettes invites intrigue: how do those two seemingly discordant components work so well together? An adept eye finds harmony in contrast.

Consider the variety of textures deployed in the Family Refuge project: in the living room, a circular hide coffee table framed in metal lends an industrial-luxe edge in contrast to the lush seating schema, defined by a boucle sofa, wool pillows and alpaca throw. The soft angularity of the sofa complements the sleek table.

The alchemy of mixing old and new forever fascinates us. This temporal contrast lay at the core of our Ranch X project: charged with reimagining two existing homestead cabins, we designed an addition suspended over a pristine creek. The result melded the historic and the modern seamlessly, and this sophisticated harmony carried through inside as well, a dynamic epitomized by the primary bath where beloved antiques—a shaker chair, vintage loveseat and century-old Persian rug—juxtapose the sculptural modernity of the freestanding tub and floor-mounted faucet. An elegantly rustic aesthetic pervades the property, thanks to the consistent, coherent use of contrast throughout the home.

Palette presents an opportunity to play with high contrast in small scale, as shown in the Cozy Guest Cabin. Staining the existing log a deep umber, new walls sheathed in warm white shiplap set a blended, transitional tone. Blue, chosen for the kitchen cabinetry and accent furniture, softened the high contrast, as did the invitation of natural light issued by large picture windows. All told, the cabin exudes a sophisticated serenity singular to such a concise space.