Rothko Inspires Fashionable Understatement

Three residential designers who have mastered the style of “restraint … but not necessarily minimalism” – New Zealand-born Sandra Nunnerley, Canada’s Elizabeth Metcalfe and Suzanne Kasler of Atlanta – explain how they merge the sumptuous with the Spartan to stunning effect through palettes, texture and those all-important details.

When it comes to devising a room’s colour scheme, vaunted New York-based Nunnerley cites Mark Rothko, the abstract-expressionist painter, as her muse.

Nunnerley especially likes the paintings’ luminous yet mutable quality – how the colour black, for instance, can lighten or darken depending on the time of day. It leaves her feeling “ecstatic and energized,” she writes in her new book, Sandra Nunnerley Interiors.

Another palette trick of hers: lacquered surfaces. “I love the light quality that reverberates off lacquered walls,” Nunnerley says. “Lacquered walls are very magical at night – especially when candles are lit – and they’re a great foil for mohair and silks and wood.”

Nunnerley’s work has featured in Architectural Digest and World of Interiors. W magazine has called her one of the most fashionable designers in New York.

Tags: Architectural Digest  Elizabeth Metcalfe  Globe and Mail (The)  Mark Rothko  New York City  Sandra Nunnerley  Sandra Nunnerley Interiors  Suzanne Kasler  W (magazine)  World of Interiors  

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