Dissecting the Details: Summer Thornton

Hello everyone, Nancy of Marcus Design blog here for an installment of Dissecting the Details today. Chicago-based Summer Thornton is a designer I have long admired, and her work exudes bold color and luxurious finishes to create a very ‘New Trad’ style. I’m examining living rooms Summer has designed to find out exactly what makes them tick. Here are 4 key elements I find Summer commonly implements to achieve this look.
There is no fabric that says luxury more than velvet! The texture is divine and the pastel and jewel tones Summer tends to stick to add such depth. Through sofas, chairs, and pillows, velvet is a major player in these spaces.
 (believe it or not, though this one ‘looks’ like the dream living room, it’s actually a dental office in Chicago!)
Summer is definitely not all about white on white with neutrals. She implements color in all of her work in a very expertly layered way. I love that the above rooms ‘read’ as green or blue, but when you start to look closely there is 1 dominant color in several shades, and many complementing colors mixed in as well. Your eye might still see ‘one’ main color, but the rooms appear much more sophisticated because of the layering of many tones, shades, and hues.
I noticed this one in almost every space! What a fabulous idea, a nook created with a pair of occasional chairs and a table. It is so inductive of creating comfortable entertaining spaces, where friends and family can more easily have multiple conversations going on in one space. I personally wish I had the space for this design scheme in my living room!
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – a room should have at least 1 antique piece. I read a quote a while back that said, ‘One should never be the oldest thing in one’s house.’ I love that it creates so much more interest in the living rooms above – I particularly love all the old fireplaces you see in the rooms Summer has designed.There you have it! Four main details that the talented Summer Thornton uses to create such memorable spaces. Which was your favorite? See more from her extensive portfolio here.
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