Some designers might say that a lightbulb moment sparked a successful design scheme. For Patrik Lönn, there was no lightbulb, just light. The Swedish-born interior designer took cues from his Scandinavian roots to employ a clean and crisp blond palette at the Connecticut home of his clients, a look that illuminates all his projects.
“I’m not one of those interior designers that you would call a mix-master,” says Lönn. “There is a certain repetition in my design with elements that have proved to be successful for most of my projects. The design is tailored to each client but makes reference to my visual sensibilities.”
One of Lönn’s trademarks is horizontal stripes. Often rejected in fashion for their tendency to distort proportions, the stacked ribbons of color trigger movement around the rooms of this house, acting as a decorative guide to each space. In the living room and library, unlined gray-and-ivory- striped linen panels dress the windows, and a two-tone striped linen fabric covers the windows in the dining room. “Horizontal stripes can make a room more active and interesting,” says the designer. “They lead you through a room as if you were reading a good book.”
Furniture in the library is anchored by a brown-and-cream Moroccan rug. To maximize light in the dark space, window panels in horizontal stripes—one of Lönn’s signatures—were left unlined. A black Chinese cabinet from the owners’ previous home was given new life with a shiny white lacquer coating.
His affinity for monotone palettes meshed with the homeowners’ desire to highlight their art collection. In various arrangements, the artwork delivers the main pops of color throughout the house. For example, the dining room features a sculpture positioned in front of the windows plus a pair of colorful contemporary paintings on the wall.
The chic dining room is quiet in appearance. The warm ivory walls are done in an Elizabeth Dow covering that overlaps squares of parchment paper. “This is one of my favorites,” notes Lönn. “It makes the wall three-dimensional and interesting but also calming.” Around the dark table, dining chairs by Hickory Chair are upholstered in a Jim Thompson fabric, a nubby cotton blend in cream with camel threads.
In the living room, a landscape oil framed in gold echoes the panoramic view of pond, creek, pool, and garden outside. “This house was going to be used year-round, so it needed to be cozy and adapt to all seasons,” says Lönn. “The light, neutral colors served as a great base for working in warm shades that nodded to whatever was going on outdoors.”
Large in its proportions, the living room presented challenges to Lönn. He divided the room into several seating areas. Sofas feature tight upholstery from Ralph Lauren Home and Pierre Frey, while club chairs are loosely slipcovered in linen by Holland & Sherry.
The coffee table, designed by Lönn, is topped with travertine that mimics the stone fireplace.
Architectural details in the master bedroom include an arched ceiling and windows. Covered in a gray-blue fabric by Rogers & Goffigon, the tufted Hickory Chair bed is flanked by bedside tables from Bungalow 5. The tables, with their ebonized mahogany frames, feature horsehair on the drawer fronts and blue stone tops. Lamps with golden bases provide light for bedtime reading.
Patrick Lönn's tips of the trade:
- Keep rooms bright; using metallic ceiling paper can bring a lot of light into a space.
- Allow light to filter through window treatments. Never block natural light from entering a space.
- Use horizontal stripes to create a sense of calm and drama.
- Combine solid upholstery with an unusual patterned or textured accent pillow to commence a harmonious room.
- Carefully edit every space to maintain a strong sense of balance, keeping in mind the timeless notion of traditional style.
Photography: Patrick Cline
Art Direction: Michelle Adams