The Living Is Easy

There’s a reason a living room is called a living room. You live in it. You lounge in it. You escape life’s stresses in it. See how Delawareans are living it up.

(page 1 of 3)

This rustic living room in Winterthur is by Dewson Construction. It features a white oak, wide-plank floor, reclaimed beams that were hand-crafted with arch bracket details, and lots of wormy chestnut woodwork. The room’s windows reveal a glorious view of the Winterthur Museum grounds. To its left is the foyer, which is accented by reclaimed brick spiral steps. Designer Nancy Conklin of Wilmington chose the furniture.The world moves fast. Responsibilities pile up. The living room remains still, ready to offer solace to its weary owners. This is where we unwind, read a book to the kids, watch a flick, light a fire. The living room is security in an insecure world.

We don’t always think of a living room as a personal space, like a bathroom or a bedroom, but it is. It reflects individual

style and expresses to outsiders how a family spends its time together. It also speaks to the way a family welcomes friendships into its universe.

Designer Rose Giroso, of Rose Authentica in Wilmington, says that living rooms built in the early 1900s—which many in North Wilmington were—are basically large rectangular rooms with several openings.

“This giant living room design went on for about 50 years,” says Giroso, “and they don’t really make sense. Rectangles are not conversational, so the challenge becomes creating a center.”

Kathleen King’s West Grove, Pennsylvania, room by Rita Wilkins of Design Services in Wilmington features soft coral upholstery that was inspired by the Indo-Persian carpet. Photograph by Jared CastaldiFor the Wilmington space featured on page 39, Giroso added built-in cabinetry on one end of the room, and a recreational area at another end. “Working within squares creates a more conversational space,” she says, which is why the fireplace is intentionally set off from the sofa. A game table by Maitland Smith adds informality to the room, and offers young folks a place to do homework or enjoy family games. However, Giroso warns against turning the living room into a toy story.

“It’s not good Feng Shui when the living room becomes the playroom, and toys are scattered around,” she says. “It drains the energy, so we want to create a higher vibration when entering.” (Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese system of aesthetics that stresses balance to promote harmony and positive energy.)

Giroso’ s plan was to create unity and balance by incorporating several pieces of furniture from the same company. An oval cocktail table and rectangular side table are from Baker’s Thomas Pheasant Collection, and the sofa is from Baker’s Dapha line. The furniture was complemented with interesting accents, including Ferguson Copeland martini tables with marquetry tops with brass bases, and Century skirted kilt fireplace chairs by the hearth. Most of the pieces can be purchased with a professional interior designer at the Marketplace in Philadelphia.

Page 2: The Living Is Easy, continues...