Designer Snapshot: Building Harmony

August 15, 2012

By Paula M. Bodah

In Jeff Schwartz’s philosophy, architecture and interior design are organic and interrelated. “The most successful homes just feel right,†he says, “and they feel right for a reason: they are the product of harmony of architecture and furnishings.†All too often, he adds, “The furniture is an afterthought that should have been carefully considered in the architectural design concepts phase and throughout the project.â€

Here, Jeff, who was one of our featured designers for Perspectives in the New England Home July/August issue, shows us some recent projects by his architectural and design firm that illustrate his belief in the importance of creating harmony between a home’s architecture and its interiors.

“This house on the Maine coast was designed with each particular piece of furniture already in mind,†Jeff says. “For example, there’s a two-foot bump-out to accommodate the sectional sofa. Had this not been done, the seating would have been too close to the fireplace and the traffic flow wouldn’t have worked. Similarly, the sofa is embraced by the window box, which was sized so it would nestle right in.â€

Photo by Jean Donovan

“Today we’re forgoing formal dining rooms for dining areas that incorporate adjacent vistas inside and out,†Jeff says. “This dining room in a Maine home takes advantage of the freestanding chimney of dry-stacked fieldstones to anchor the round dining table. The contemporary distressed wicker chairs have a tone and texture that plays off beautifully against the earthy, solid stone.â€

Photo by Peter Vanderwarker

The center of the bay window might seem like the obvious spot for a soaking tub, but Jeff had a different idea. “Placing the tub at an angle invites one visually into the bay and beyond to the outdoors,†he explains. “When one is soaking in the tub, the views are enhanced.â€

Photo by Steve Vierra

“This room had little going for it at the outset,†Jeff confesses. “By creating a window seat with a sleek window valance and incorporating eclectic transitional furnishings, we created a harmony between architecture and furnishings for a space that’s not just nice to look at, but it used throughout the day by family members.â€

Photo courtesy of J. Schwartz Design

For more harmonious spaces, check out:

Hillside Harmony

Magic Formula

Concrete Thinking