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Bachelor Pad Makeover

Q&A with Interior designer Beth Rosenfield of Beth Rosenfield Design LLC

Roy Weinstein & Ken Kast Photography

How long did the renovation take?

From ideation to completion the project took about 6 months including custom finishes and furnishings.

What was the design process like?

The design process was particularly fun because the space was a blank slate and the view of the lake was so beautiful. The overriding goal was to take advantage of the gorgeous lake view and bring the design out of the 1980’s. First, we widened the doorway into the living room so the view wowed you instantly upon entering. We banished the old golden oak finishes and stained all the floors in a custom driftwood gray. Modern light fixtures and paint instantly refreshed the feeling in the space. In the living room I purposefully designed the custom fireplace wall and the seating arrangement to draw your eye right outside to the view. In the master bedroom I created a sophisticated cocoon for my client to retreat into after working so hard. He likes a modern feel with a glimpse of tradition, particularly in his bedroom space. We achieved that by selecting classic styles with clean lines and a mix of textures and tones.

What was your vision in creating the new spaces?

The new spaces were designed to create a sophisticated and welcoming home for my hard working bachelor client. He specified that he wanted a “home”, not a “vacation house” feel just because it was on the lake. In the living room the custom fireplace wall and the furnishings provide cozy TV viewing in front of the fire while maximizing the great view. The cherry media/bar cabinet neatly hides the TV/stereo equipment and the 10 foot long rustic mantel guides your eye right outside. The smooth concrete fireplace surround and hearth partner beautifully with the rustic mantel and rich cherry cabinetry. We visually widened the long, narrow living space. My asymmetrical design replaced the original traditional marble fireplace flanked by dated oak bookcases. The dining area provides stunning floor to ceiling lake views.

How did you decide on the color profiles for the bachelor pad?

Masculine colors dominate throughout the home. Soothing, tonal shades of gray, taupe, and chocolate brown in the living room complement the hues provided by Mother Nature. In the master bedroom I brought in deeper moody tones of slate gray/purple for the headboard wall which complements the bedding and art. Textures and materials were as important as color in developing the design scheme. The glint of silver metal and glass and the rustic leather, wood finishes, and cow skin add patina to the living room. 

How involved was the client in the design process?

My client is a gem! I presented him with my design ideas and he knew what he liked right away. We had a shopping day where I presented him with choices (bedding, rugs, tables) and he enjoyed making those selections (from my preselected options). I want my clients personal tastes to be part of their design! Due to his busy career a lot of our communication was via text and email with me sending photo images, CAD layouts, and my analysis of why certain selections were right for him. Decisions were easy when I presented the pros/cons and costs of the various options. I loved creating a home for him!

What are your favorite parts about the new living room and bedroom?

So many decisions went into creating these spaces so it’s hard to choose my favorites! In the living room the custom fireplace wall design (cherry cabinetry, concrete, rustic mantel) is my favorite because it’s the core of the overall design. It’s such a departure from what was there and it changed the whole tone and feel of the home. In the master bedroom my favorite parts are the reclaimed wood paneled wall and the overall design of the bed wall (painting over high bed illuminated by candle chandelier). I couldn’t believe my good luck when I found sheets in the same color as the wall paint!

What was the biggest challenge in creating the new spaces?

The fireplace wall design was my biggest challenge. I was coordinating a cabinet maker, concrete supplier, contractor, mantel craftsman, gas log installer, and electrician. The installation of all these pieces had to be dovetailed together seamlessly.

What was the most rewarding part of the project?

My happy clients own words were very rewarding! “I used the fireplace last night a bit. Turned the lights down and ate some leftover Chinese with the fireplace on. Very nice! All of the decorative features including lighting, furniture and the art have been superb.”