One Room, Five Lessons

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed I have a thing for this living room designed by Rita Konig. It’s also pinned in my office, on our dream home mood board, on Facebook and Pinterest…you name it. I love it so much that I try to study it every chance I have. It is really funny how rooms can surprise you. There are so many talented designers out there with a different style whose work I admire but this cottage/farmhouse living room has my heart. I can’t fully understand why but every time I post this image on my social media, the positive response is overwhelming, so clearly I’m not the only one!!!

The more I look at this space the more details I notice about it so I though it would be a fun exercise (fun for me, I’m not sure about you lol) to try and deconstruct its beauty. In case you’re interested, here are five things I love and have learned from studying this room:

Rita Konig

1. Shiplap can be chic. Over the past few years, wooden planks have been used and overused in every which way and it’s comforting to see that they can still feel fresh and new, and so chic! I particularly like Rita’s treatment with wide vertical planks of varying width, so good!

2. Shiplap doesn’t have to be white. If I had a nickel for very time I saw shiplap painted white… It has become the standard whenever you want a casual cottage look, and it does look good, but it’s unusual and more original to see painted shiplap that is not white.

In this case, Konig chose a soft blue-gray for the built-in bookshelves and planks and I think it makes all the difference. Produced by a small, family-owned European company Emery & Cie, this blue has depth and so much warmth to it. It’s luminous and it doesn’t overpower the room, it is perfect.

3. Hanging art is an art. What’s the first thing you notice when you look at this space? Me, I notice the gallery wall above the fireplace. It is such a cool mix – modern vs abstract art creates a good tension. The trophy adds a touch of the old English hunting lodge, while the surrounding frames are more casual. Silver and gold metallic frames play beautifully with wooden frames of different shapes and sizes.  The vibrant splash of pink against the blue of the planks brings everything to life and draws the eye in.

Cafe Design | Rita Konig

4. You can never have too much furniture in your living room. Okay, this one I’m still trying to grasp and for the life of me, I can’t bring myself to count the number of chairs and tables in this space (keep in mind there’s the other two sides we can’t see). But basically, there are around 12-14 different furnishings in here, easy. I think scale, slim figures and good planning are key.

5. Have fun with color, pattern and textures. My favorite thing about this space is how fun and happy it looks. Nothing is too fussy yet it feels glamorous. Blue and green is the main color story in here but notice how it all gets better with dashes of pink throughout – the artwork, the stool and book covers, the throws on two chairs in the back. Pink can be dangerous to decorate with yet Konig does it with such ease. A little goes a long way and using it as an accent creates a sophisticated room that is also fun.

The tufted velvet ottoman and slipper chair add an extra touch of glamour while mixing different finishes – metallic frames, wooden tables, velvet and linen, leather, bamboo and sisal –  definitely keeps things interesting.

So here you have it, five things to learn from this room. After all, this is what good design is all about… Have a peaceful weekend!



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  1. August 18, 2017 / 3:02 pm

    This space feels real. And that is everything!

  2. Diana Bier
    November 12, 2017 / 5:00 am

    Hi Eva,
    Another lesson I got from this room is that perfection is overrated. The window shades aren’t lined up perfectly, the leather on the armchair is genuinely distressed, the colors aren’t all coordinated, and the frames on the gallery wall are a hodgepodge. But that all contributes to the sense of welcome–you just want to enter this room, sit down and have a chat! So cozy and inviting!

    • Eva Contreras
      November 12, 2017 / 7:02 pm

      Absolutely, you’re spot on – the best rooms are not perfect, they are welcoming and comfortable and this room sure is both! Thanks for your comment 🙂