Designer Snapshot: Take Down That Wall

August 17, 2011

By Paula M. Bodah

John Day, an interior designer with LDa Architecture and Interiors didn’t have any trouble coming up with a beautiful design for a North Shore house, featured in our July/August 2011 issue, whose owners wanted something a little less predictable than the blues and whites so common in waterfront homes.

Day is used to dealing with the uncommon. His firm does a good deal of renovation work, and clients frequently want to create a more open, light-filled floor plan in a fairly traditional Shingle style or Queen Anne house. “Many of our clients are younger, less-formal families. Family life is more integrated with entertaining, working, cooking and all the functions of a home,†he says.

Long views and great flow are advantages of an open floor plan, but Day notes that it adds a challenge when it comes to interior design. “It also creates the issue of much fewer walls to display art, family photos or decor than many people are used to,†he says. One solution: working more visual texture and art into the interior design.

In a dining room with lots of windows, Day used a large silk-shaded standing light from Aqua Creations and a rug with a graphic design to add texture and visual interest without competing with the view.

Photo by Sam Gray

Art punches up the monochromatic interior of a contemporary house in Newton, Massachusetts. “On the free walls we do have, we often advocate for one large painting that will be a focal point from the many angles you can see it from; it can be appreciated at a distance and up close,†Day says.

Photos courtesy of LDa

Wood and stone bring warmth to the modern, open floor plan of a Cape Cod house designed by architect Mark Hutker with interior design by John Day. Built-in open shelves add visual interest and act as a place to display favorite items.