DESIGN ASSOCIATES, INTERIOR DESIGN CONSULTANTS
as a teenager,
interior designer Maggie Aardema regularly
visited one of the oldest beach houses on South Harbor Island.
Built in the 1920s, the structure emanated the quintessential style
choices of the time. Until, that is, Aardema returned to the home as
a designer and gave the living room a few refreshers.
With plenty of assistance from the homeowners, Aardema
selected a mixture of finishes to emphasize a casual lifestyle and a
layout perfect for intimate gatherings, without compromising the
original formal accents.
“We wanted a very tailored feel to the room without losing the
original charm,” she says.
The oak wood floor sports an uncommon mahogany inset
around the perimeter of the room, a feature that the designer and
the homeowners highlighted using an area rug with a herringbone
weave. In fact, she says, the rug was chosen with the 2-inch inset
specifically in mind.
Aardema used the white of the trim and the preexisting gray hue
of the walls to accentuate the desired contemporary vibe, playing
off the crispness of the colors to contrast with the traditional mantle
and built-in bookcases. Furnishings encourage symmetry to allow
for the owners’ musical gatherings.
“It’s the heart of the house,” says the designer, adding that one
stipulation of the process was to include accommodations for the
owner’s upright piano so that it would not be pushed to an exterior
wall and thereby in closer proximity to the elements and tempera-ture
In keeping with the idea of sophisticated simplicity, Aardema
found a small sofa with a walnut base to complement the deep blue
of the window seat cushions and the stained gray tones of the inte-rior
doors without downplaying the functionality of the room.
“When I design a room, it’s to reflect the style of the people who
live there now,” Aardema says. “If I can walk out of a house and
have someone love everything I’ve done, I’m happy with what I’ve
WBM september 2017