With all of the glossy publications showcasing the booming downtown skyline, it’s safe to say that glamour is alive and well in Sarasota. The core of our lovely little city has become a magnet for design-minded buyers that care about the inside of their condo as much as the façade. As an interior designer, I recently had the good fortune to work with a few repeat clients on their new downtown destinations and let me tell you, playing dress up is fun! What I mean is, living downtown (especially if it’s your second home, like these clients) is all about expressing the fanciest version of yourself. It’s your chance to shed the family home feel and live out your fantasies of going out to eat every night at a new restaurant and shopping at boutiques. Living downtown, even if it is in “sleepy” Sarasota, is about being urban and hip.
So, what do you do if you find yourself living in an awesome downtown abode and want the style of your interior design to match the style of your city? Go for glam. I’m not talking glitter wallpaper (although that does sound pretty fun!) and crystal chandeliers, I’m talking about rich materials and warm color palettes. Use a few of my tips below to create a neutral interior that is glamorous and stylish.
Create good architecture.
Last year, I wrote a blog about how bad architecture is your worst enemy. So, if you live in one of the older condo buildings that has average ceilings and not a lot of design detail (but does have a killer view), you may want to read up. In the top photo, the ceiling was nothing special. To remedy this, I ripped it out to the concrete deck and used furring strips to drop the ceiling a few inches. This allowed for recessed LED can lights everywhere--on dimmers of course so the clients can set the mood. It also exposed the ductwork, which gave the interior a loft-like feel. While this alone is not glamorous, it did add personality. Sometimes, personality means drama and drama translate to glamour, like it did in this space.
Add rich finishes.
If your condo wasn’t born with good architecture or you can’t modify it, enhance the architectural finishes. In the same condo photographed above, the kitchen had to make a good first impression. One of the top things that comes to mind when I think of glamour is marble…and lots of it. Few things have more impact than one giant slab of marble with bold, defined movement. When the client and I were brainstorming and this material came up for the backsplash, we knew we’d found our winner. The multiple trips to the granite yard paid off because we found a fantastic slab of Calcutta Gold. The countertops are simple black quartz. They added contrast to the white cabinets and depth to the space while being neutral against the marble. Emphasizing the backsplash by taking it to the ceiling behind the range hood not only creates drama but draws your eye towards our architectural feature.
Add warm textures.
When I think of the photo below, I think luxury—a velvety tall headboard, a rich grasscloth wall, patterned linen drapes and tailored bedding. It was a white box when we started decorating so really, it could have been in any condo building downtown. The furniture came from my favorite company of the moment—Mitchell Gold Bob Williams. The drapes came next and they added a little glamour because they emphasized the tall ceilings. One last trick: add a chandelier. A lot of people like ceiling fans in bedrooms, but who can argue with the elegance of a chandelier? This bedroom is the perfect end to an evening out in our Sarasota paradise.
Jill Geisdorf, RID, LEED AP
Interior Designer at Chic on the Cheap