Eric Guenther is a sought after California interior designer who has mastered the art of blending youthful California glamor with a European sensibility worthy of London’s World of Interiors. I escaped Boston’s 90 degree humidity this week to interview Eric at his fabulous Whim Interiors in San Juan Capistrano, CA where it is a dry 75 degrees all through July and August.
Eric selected the Alcazar Rug in this colorful room that combines California glamour with European sophistication and American comfort.
Why did you choose a rug with a classic Italian leaf pattern for this sophisticated contemporary room?
I chose the Alcazar rug because it’s colors are contemporary. Also because the neutral beiges, taupes and whites look great against a stone floor specially a limestone floor. I also like that it has an Italian feel with its over sized acanthus leaves that give a feeling of sophistication.
Why did you select a neutral sofa?
Because the rug is neutral, I chose a neutral sofa but one that has a wonderful silhouette and a curved shape that allows conversation to take place more comfortably. The neutral sofa fabric coordinates well with the rug and it will always be in style.
How did you give this room a contemporary, fresh and younger look?
I added a contemporary, fresh, younger twist by choosing a colorful contemporary striped velvet fabric for the armless upholstered chair.
In selecting this fabric it was important that it had a neutral background similar to the rug as this helps tie everything together. Even though the stripes are fresh and colorful the neutral background ties this fabric to the rug.
I chose a neutral fabric for the highly tailored upholstered chair as well then added color again with a strong plum for the other chair. Then I used brightly colored pillows to tie all the neutral upholstery with the colorful upholstery.
Why did you not choose neutrals for all the upholstery and add color with only the pillows?
Such rooms remind me of someone who upholstered everything in neutrals and realized too late “Oh my God everything looks beige” and then as an after thought brought in colorful pillows to fix the problem.
I feel that such decorating gives a room the feeling of being portable and temporary.
A home should have a sense of permanence. By using colorful fabrics to upholster the two chairs it shows that we are committed to this home. It also shows that the overall design was not an afterthought.
Notice how the colorful pillows serve as extensions of the colorful chairs. They tie the neutral upholstery to the colorful upholstery and to the rug and wall colors.
At the same time, one should not go to the other extreme and use colorful fabrics in such large amounts that it overwhelms the entire room. Everything needs to be in the right proportion and balance”.
The white ceiling, columns, cornices and door tie in with the white highlights in the Alacazar rug and the upholstery