In addition to the large overhead fixtures, under bar lighting enhances the moody, glamorous vibe of the space.
Best Use of Color 2022 Winner
The goal of the 2022 Best Use of Color was to create a moody, Gatsby-inspired basement lounge, with designated areas for entertaining, game playing and music memorabilia.
by Colin Shea Denniston
Winning Designer: Erica Lea Hendrix, Erica Lea Design Studio
To create a moody, Gatsby-inspired basement lounge, with designated areas for entertaining, game playing and music memorabilia.
Originally created from a purely practical standpoint, a backsplash—in either a kitchen or home bar—is now regularly used by designers as a way to infuse a room with a bit of personality—a fresh spin on tradition through a bold splash of color or unexpected pattern. But for Erica Lea Hendrix, Principal Designer & Owner of Erica Lea Design Studios, one backsplash in particular became the inspiration for an entire room’s color palette.
“I was at a tile lunch and learn and I found that absurd backsplash in the bar,” says Hendrix. “So, we based the entire basement color scheme and design off that mural—that mural is a tile mural and it’s just gorgeous.”
Created in Italy and then shipped to Hendrix in 417-land, the eye-catching mosaic tile arrives in 12 by 12 squares with a map to carefully guide the installers through the process. “Square one goes here, two, three, four, five,” describes Hendrix. “And he literally had to put them all together to create that 5 foot by 10 foot mural.”
Hendrix carried the bright citron from the backsplash into the rest of the bar and lounge through a variety of textural applications. Citron velvet barstools sit directly across from the backsplash, while over in the main seating area the same vibrant color is displayed in leather on the four barrel-style armchairs.
Balancing out the bright yellow-green accents is the equally stunning deep navy high gloss paint applied to both the walls and the ceiling. Despite a somewhat concerned phone call from Builder Rick Ramsey, Hendrix believed in her vision and ensured Ramsey—and her clients—that the bold, moody paint choice (even on the ceiling) was necessary to create the desired aesthetic.
“I said, ‘Here’s the deal, wait ’til all the furnishings gets in—all the artwork, all the light fixtures. Wait ’til we get all the different fabrics, and if at that point, you still think that that ceiling is too dark, I will pay to remove all that furniture and I will store it while they repaint that ceiling white,’” recalls Hendrix. Luckily, her instincts were correct, and the homeowners were thrilled with the finished product “I’m glad they trusted us,” says Hendrix. “I don’t think the whole space would have looked nearly as dynamic with a white ceiling.”
The inspiration for the bar’s design came from one that sits at the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Hendrix and her team re-imagined it with different colors to suit the space and added underlighting to highlight its details. “It just turned out phenomenal,” says Hendrix.
Interior Design/Decorating Project Lead(s)
Erica Lea Hendrix
Erica Lea Design Studios
Photographer of Project
Starboard & Port
Cabinets and Bar
Cabinet Concepts by Design
Mosaic Tile Backsplash Supplier
Erica Lea Design Studios
Harry Cooper Supply Company
Ramsey Building Company
JL Thompson Design Group
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