Up­grade by Down­siz­ing

When it comes to de­sign­ing a mid­cen­tury-in­spired space, the adage of “less is more” cer­tainly holds true.

Atomic Ranch - - Contents - By Jade Boren Pho­tog­ra­phy by At­lantic Ar­chives/ Richard Leo Johnson Styling by Joel Snayd

A mid­cen­tury-in­spired sit­ting room show­cases that “less is more.”

“It was ba­si­cally a sim­ple cube, a bor­ing room,” says Joel Snayd, prin­ci­pal de­signer of Re­think De­sign Stu­dio, which he co-owns with his wife and head of busi­ness oper­a­tions Erika Snayd.

Want­ing to trans­form their sit­ting room into an en­ter­tain­ment space, these home­own­ers were faced with a prob­lem.

Joel needed to liven the tra­di­tional room in the Whitemarsh Is­land, Ge­or­gia home of Brian and Canada Cole­man, which was orig­i­nally built in the 1970s. But in­stead of adding more, Joel sub­tracted. “Mid­cen­tury is less is more,” he says.

Joel un­dressed the room, rip­ping off the win­dows’ heavy plan­ta­tion shut­ters and strip­ping the room’s color to paint a monochro­matic white over the walls. This all played to Brian and Canada’s per­sonal pref­er­ences, both of whom Joel needed to nudge un­til they caved into adding the red dresser off to the side.

The room’s de­con­struct­ing process was also Joel’s way of keep­ing the sit­ting room strictly mid­cen­tury. No other eras were al­lowed to seep in, as per Brian and Canada’s re­quest. “Ev­ery­thing came from the mid­cen­tury pe­riod. They re­ally wanted to keep the flow of the space,” he says.

The shed­ding process was sym­bolic of Brian and Canada’s phase in life. With a child mov­ing into the home and Brian ad­vanc­ing in his ca­reer as a doc­tor, the clients de­sired a more adult space. “[They wanted] to cre­ate a true home for them­selves and rep­re­sen­ta­tive of who they are,” Joel says.

The muted walls high­light Brian and Canada’s per­son­al­i­ties by al­low­ing fea­tures like their paint­ings and wood screen pop even more. But it is not the art­work that draws the most eyes. Brian and Canada are con­nois­seurs of words, and they wanted to show­case their col­lec­tion of books and mag­a­zines. Their strat­egy: Throw in a wild­card. Brian and Canada’s wild­card de­fies expectations, just like it does physics. The float­ing shelves, which were the cou­ple’s main re­quest, were not only de­signed for strong vis­ual im­pact but to cre­ate the vibe of an ac­tual li­brary.

Adding the float­ing shelves for books and re­mov­ing the win­dow shut­ters to open the back­yard view were just a few ways Joel tin­kered with the room to en­hance its per­son­al­ity with­out hav­ing to break out a jack­ham­mer. “[It was] re­ally just bring­ing in the cos­met­ics,” Joel says, as he de­scribed how the pro­ject was not a full remodel.

It was a sim­ple process for a sim­ple out­come—with a touch of dy­namic dé­cor to poke through the uni­for­mity.

THE WOOD SCREEN COL­UMN IN THE COR­NER NEEDED A COS­METIC LIFT. JOEL RE­PLACED A TRA­DI­TIONAL COL­UMN NOT TRUE TO THE MID­CEN­TURY PE­RIOD WITH VIN­TAGE TEAK SCREENS THAT DATE BACK TO THE LATE 1950S OR EARLY 1960S. BRIAN AND CANADA CHOSE TO USE TEAK WOOD, AS THEY A

OPPPOSITE: JOEL’S MANTRA IS TO KEEP EV­ERY­THING TRUE—AND “BIG­GER BOX STORES” DO NOT CUT IT. BRIAN AND CANADA WANTED TO WORK WITH ORIG­I­NAL DAN­ISH PIECES, AND JOEL TURNED TO AN ON­LINE SOURCE FOR ORIG­I­NAL­ITY: ETSY. JOEL PULLED THE TWO WOODEN CHAIR FRAMES FAC­ING THE TWO-SEATER FROM A DAN­ISH DE­SIGNER’S SHOP ON THE WEB­SITE.

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