Designer Snapshot: The Personal Touch

December 5, 2012

By Paula M. Bodah

One reason Lucie Beauchemin–who was among our featured designers in “Perspectives†in our November/December issue–so enjoys her work is because it lets her play around with all sorts of styles. Rather than claim a signature style, Lucie likes to fashion interiors that reflect her clients’ personalities in a unique, special way. Here she shows us how different the results can be.

This “Hansel and Gretel†house in Carmel, California, was designed by Lucie’s husband and business partner, architect Guy Grassi. “In California, the idea of formal is a lot more relaxed than it is here in New England,†Lucie says. “The couple who live here wanted a somewhat formal design, but it’s also a really lively house. They always seem to have children and grandchildren visiting.†The furniture has an Old World, reserved tone, but Lucie outfitted the upholstered pieces in patterned fabrics so they’ll hold up to the wear and tear of grandkids playing in the living room.

Photo courtesy of Keehn Construction

Photo courtesy of Keehn Construction

A Boston family was also looking for a formal living room, and in this case, Lucie took the formality up a big notch, restoring the paneling, which had been painted, to its natural state and adding plush furnishings. “These people are very in tune with communicating,†Lucie says, noting that the living room has no TV. She set the two sofas facing each other for easy conversation as well as to let people focus either on the dramatic fireplace or on the aquarium on the opposite wall, an idea conceived by Guy, who was the architect for the renovation of this home.

Photograph by Robert Benson

For a house in Telluride, Colorado, Lucie took inspiration from the artistic nature of the homeowner. “It’s 1960s meets mountain style,†she says of the combination of midcentury-style furniture and modern art. The wife is an art collector, and, says Lucie, “she sees objects like chairs tables and lamps as art.†The family–Mom, Dad and five children–are all athletic and outdoorsy, too, so Lucie’s living room design focuses as much on comfort as it does on aesthetics. “It’s a cozy place to relax, but there’s some stimulation, too, from the art,†she says.

Photo courtesy of Beauchemin Grassi Interiors

Finally, for a “high-powered dude who needs to chill,†she designed a Boston living room to be all about relaxing. “Everything here is monochromatic and soft,†she says. “He spends his days under a lot of stress, and when he gets home, the eyes and the body need a place to relax.â€

Photo by Sam Gray