The Formal Living Room


“There is no greater space to promote dreaming than the home, no better room to share in it with loved ones than the formal living room.” -Shaun Mandelbaum

But please, please, do not make the mistake of confusing the word ‘formal’ with ‘unusable.’ Far the opposite! In this case, the word formal only implies a deep, much needed human ritual, something devoid of the television, devoid of electronics, but rather where, within the deep recline of a down filled sofa, against soft and sensual materials, sound and light softened by drapery, the most intimate of conversations can carry on undisturbed. 

In this thoughtfully designed space, each object in perfect consideration with the next, this formal living room creates a vivid fusion between the past and present, with traditional references and modern take. 

A sofa that otherwise would seem too formal with its tufted back and French nails, is made more inviting through its loose oversized, and overstuffed, seat cushions. Such opposites continue to attract through drapery with its classical appeal made modern through the use of, not silk, instead wool; a tailored refinement outside of the billowy version more popular in decades past. 

The silk, instead isolated to a single Ikat toss cushion in velvety view, is one whose blurring geometry references the modern art up above, squares shifting into squares. The sleek refined club chair, with its handsome stained smooth frame contrasts a pretty and nubby covering in boucle. 

Like sun on a wintry day, hits of brass, the warmth to an otherwise cool palette, through line of the coffee table relating to the rug’s motif, and form of the side table to the antique console’s legs in behind, these objects relating to each other through material alone, and sooner back to the space than too quickly themselves, keeping the eye moving.

The marble top of the coffee table and that of the antique console in behind, relate the modern to history once again. Even just through surface, most effective. The rug’s reference to traditional wood herringbone floors reborn in an undeniably modern take is scaled down to read as texture instead of pattern, set tone on tone to give depth instead of contrast. The dark bronze sculpture’s movement reminds us of the graceful lines of the chair in front, yet on its own beautiful against the space’s stillness, geometry, and control. 

A space to escape the realities of everyday. -The Formal Living Room 📸 

​Photo Credit: Brian Gluckstein 

There is no greater space to promote dreaming than the home, no better room to share in it with loved ones than the formal living room. -Shaun Mandelbaum

MANDELBAUM DESIGN is an interior design boutique with a highly energetic, talented, and skilled team committed to the satisfaction of their discerning clientele, with projects in the luxury residential sector. The firm offers a complete range of residential interior design services, space planning, project management, interior styling, as well as; most recently- a home staging service to realtors and sellers for the premium sale price of their home or investment properties.

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There is no greater space to promote dreaming than the home, no better room to share in it with loved ones than the formal living room.

Shaun MandelbaumPrincipal Owner & Lead Designer