Classical Symphony

Creating this space was like orchestrating a beautiful opus in which repeats, scale, and rhythm play important parts // Photography by Marta Xochilt Perez

The two things a Grosse Pointe Park couple with two grown sons wanted to keep in their master bedroom were their headboard, upholstered in a brown velvet, and their wool carpeting, which was a natural beige color. Everything else could change, they told their interior designer, Kourtney Shammo.

At the time, Shammo, who has two degrees (one is interior design and the other is in business administration, both from Baker College), was working with Troy- and Detroit-based Petrella Designs Inc. The designer, who has since launched her own design firm, Kourtney Anne Studios in Birmingham, recalls that the project was fun and successful.

“(The master bedroom) had a very dull red paint on the walls and there was a wood armoire that was bulky in size and heavy in color,” says Shammo, who’s been in the design industry for a decade. “The goal was to lighten up the space and create a sanctuary.” Thankfully, the room has a lot of natural light.

Shammo decided that the brown (from the headboard) could be the neutral in the room. “I knew it wouldn’t be difficult to work with,” she says. But, she adds, because of the headboard’s dark color and size, it could quickly become a focal point, which she wanted to avoid. “The room is long, so our idea for a layout ‘stacks’ the bed with the settee (from Hickory Chair) in front, and then two chairs (from Lee Industries with a Rozmallin fabric) and an ottoman (also from Hickory Chair) are in a cozy coffee/reading area.”

Simple & Sumptuous

A timeless feel travels throughout this master bedroom’s updated space. “This room is in a traditional, Grosse Pointe-area home,” the designer says. “We kept the tradition, but made it more clean and streamlined, and not overly ornate.”

Like a conductor orchestrating a symphony of coordinating sounds and notes, Shammo’s first “movement” started by choosing a new grasscloth wallcovering from Schumacher for an accent wall. “That’s what sets the tone for the room. It makes the ceiling seem higher and it takes your eye up,” she says.

The designer selected a gorgeous Jim Thompson fabric for the settee. “If you look closely, it has a subtle pattern and texture, so it adds just enough detail and isn’t flat,” she explains. The settee’s color was selected because it echoes, like a repeat theme in music, the headboard’s shade. “We wanted the brown to be elsewhere in the room, so the eye travels; the settee balances the space.”

The blush, just-the-right-pink fabric (by Jab Anstoetz from Rozmallin) for the swivel chairs creates more rhythm in the room. “It’s not too pink and is a very sophisticated color. It works well with the grasscloth wallcovering,” Shammo notes. As for the gem-like emerald green ottoman (also from Jim Thompson Fabrics, Tennant & Associates), it’s a feast for the eyes — and the perfect spot for resting one’s feet after a long day. Its color is repeated on the bed’s bolster, again allowing the eye to travel and pick up repeats in tone. Neutral cotton-blend drapery from Pindler keeps the look soft.

Hickory Chair nightstands (which Shammo adores) in cream with brass details are timeless and evoke a mod-traditional vibe. The Visual Comfort sconces repeat the brass, making everything feel especially balanced. “There’s a flow and repeats,” Shammo says. Large art (from Wendover Art Group) featuring a charming bird motif hangs above the bed.

The entire space has a monochromatic feel, but still offers interest and details that are reminiscent of perfect hits of staccato in a musical piece. “The depth is in the fabrics, like the mohair pillow (Schumacher with a faux-leather Samuel & Sons blush-pink trim) on the settee, which ties in with the pink from the chairs,” Shammo explains. “You just need one pillow like that.”

Overall, Shammo says approaching the design was about being thoughtful about the space so it could live up to its potential. “It’s about a feeling,” she says. “What was the design that would make the room speak?”

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