Look Breakdown: Jarlath Mellett Southampton House

Southampton, NY Home Designed by Jarlath Mellett. Click to see full size

While working at Lonny I became acquainted with interior designer Jarlath Mellett. His home in our January 2011 issue blew me away with it’s mix of textiles, incredible Clic Gallery artwork, and open white space. I was hooked and wanted to see more! Upon looking at his website, I came across this incredible image of one of his projects in Southampton, NY. This design is one of the best examples out there of minimalism done right. Too often we equate minimalism with cold, empty, architectural spaces: something that is not very livable nor achievable. However, I believe that minimalism is about balance, one or two bold choices and a neutral palette. Contrary to popular opinion, it is a style of design that can be welcoming and warm, but also gives the space an overall feeling of peacefulness. So, to highlight this version of minimalism, I have decided to breakdown Jarlath’s perfect design and help you achieve this look in your own home.

This room is focused on the concept of tone. It is almost an direct representation of a gray scale through interior design: there is a smooth transition from the mainly white background to the gray pillow and photography, to the black detailing of the blanket. This is perfect place to let your thoughts and conversations take the foreground.

Here’s what to keep in mind when putting together this look:

1. Find a white wall color that is bright but not cold. My favorite is Farrow & Ball’s “All White” in the Estate Finish. This finish is matte, which is more sophisticated than a semi-gloss or eggshell.

2. Start out with very architectural, clean lined pieces of furniture and layer light gray and beige toned pillows. The more variety of textiles used in your pillows (ie. linen, suede, cowhide, velvet) the better.

3. Find two or three 18″x20″ prints that are mainly made up of white and light gray tones. Use very minimal gallery frames or mount them in just plexiglass as Jarlath has done here.

Don’t: Skip on warm lighting and earthy mid-tones. Black and white is a great design palette but if you do not have any mid-tones it can appear too stark. Also remember to have many sources of low wattage lighting to give the room a warm glow. Don’t have just one lamp in the corner of the room or rely on overhead lighting, it will make the room feel empty.

1. Hawaiian Horse Print by Ryan Bledsoe: $100 for 20″x 30″; PurePhoto| 2. Striped Alpaca Throw: $345; Canvas| 3. Petrie Sofa: $1,699; Crate & Barrel| 4. In Vogue by Alberto Oliva: $47.25; Amazon.com| 5. Rippel Square Coffee Table: $399; Bludot| 6. Taper Shade Floor Lamp: $199; west elm| 7. Brazilian Cowhide Pillow Cover: $89; Restoration Hardware| 8. Square Pillow in Vanilla Linen: $74; Canvas


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