An Elegant Solution

This contemporary sitting room features a custom designed rug and silver chests, accompanied by a luxurious chaise and chairs from Donghia
This contemporary sitting room features a custom designed rug and silver chests, accompanied by a luxurious chaise and chairs from Donghia
This contemporary sitting room features a custom designed rug and silver chests, accompanied by a luxurious chaise and chairs from Donghia
The client's antique china collection is displayed on upscale modern shelving, as opposed to dark curio cabinet.
This custom designed dresser serves as a silver chest, housing the client's antique collection.

Adapted from “An Elegant Solution”

Ernesto Santalla overhauls a Colonial-style Potomac home in timeless, modern style

BY SHARON JAFFE DAN
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011

By simply repurposing dysfunctional rooms of this dated colonial, Studio Santalla [now Ernesto Santalla, PLLC] created more space for enjoying the home and entertaining without changing its footprint. “We often come across the issue of under-utilized space,” Ernesto  explains. “There is a tendency to say, ‘It doesn’t work so let’s add an addition.’ But there was no need for more space. This house was great for four people and occasional guests.”

In the formal living room, a slightly more luxurious and feminine look prevails, with a new version of a traditional “ladies” parlor. The custom Tibetan carpet of Santalla’s design is based on a motif he sketched of magnolia leaves. “We were very conscious about mixing traditional and modern elements in this particular room,” he says. He designed contemporary cabinets to store his clients’ heirloom silver collection and paired them with traditional paintings, while hanging abstract art above antique chests.

The living room opens to her home office, where she displays rare china inherited from her mother. In lieu of “old lady curio cabinets,” Santalla chose upscale modern, floating shelving from BoConcept and an armoire to offset the collection. He reupholstered a pair of luxurious traditional Barbara Barry chairs to complement the new look.

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