Sensational Spaces

Mississippi March/April 2004

Press Photo

Elegant styles that suit a contemporary lifestyle. That was the underlying theme that slowly emerged as our team of judges pored over the entries for this year’s Sensational Spaces awards. Rather than shying away from the beautiful looks of eras past and going for a purely modern sensibility, each of the winners and runners-up shown on the next 30 pages embraced in some way, however subtle, the classical design elements that have delighted us for generations. But at the same time, every one of these outstanding designers managed to adapt these elements in a unique way that makes them just right for the 21st-century homeowner. After all, with all their gilt and grandeur, the Vanderbilts didn’t dream of rooms with plasma-screen televisions or fog-free mirrors - but our winning designers proved that incorporating modern luxuries like these doesn’t have to mean sacrificing beauty.

Judges’ Choice
This morning room was designed to be an “elegant space with comfort as its hallmark,” says designer William R. Eubanks of Memphis. One look around reveals that he has succeeded beautifully. Rich wood-paneled walls and a marble floor set the room’s formal tone. A scarlet Ziegler Mahal rug grounds the room’s design and softens the 16th-century floor, the survivor of an English chapel fire. Tapestry- and silk brocade-covered sofas and chairs feature down- filled cushions and are topped with antique pillows, creating unexpectedly cozy places to settle down for long hours of conversation. Simply pleated silk brocade enrobes the leaded and hand-blown window panes. Jewel tones of bottle green, gold, and brilliant red are combined to create a warm and pleasing palette.

Throughout the room, starkly linear mouldings, windows, floor squares, and tables contrast with rococo fabric patterns, furniture shapes, and objets d’art. Antique porcelain plates and vases give color to the otherwise dark walls, while painted canvases with gold-leafed frames add their own air of sophistication. It is clear that every piece in this room has been carefully chosen to suit the space and lovingly arranged for the perfect balance of color and texture. In the end, the interplay of classical and unexpected materials and fabrics in this room creates a timeless and dramatic statement.
Judges’ Choice Winner
Designer - William Eubanks
William R. Eubanks Interior Design, Inc.
Memphis, Tenn.