Above: The view from the master bedroom was spectacular, but the decor dated before Martha Dayton re-envisioned the space. The soft gray palette plays well with the beige stone mantel.
As they prepared to welcome their first baby, homeowners Tom and Amara felt it was time to move from his Lake of the Isles bachelor home to one more suitable for a family on Lake Minnetonka. The view—especially from their new master bedroom—was spectacular, but its dated design was oppressive and unwelcoming.
“It didn’t feel like it reflected us,” Amara recalls. It was time for an upgrade, her husband Tom, agreed. “I wanted to make my wife happy; no question about that.”
For their new bedroom retreat, the couple sought a relaxing and cozy feel that was also modern—with a touch of glam. Balancing Amara’s love of sparkle with Tom’s preference for something more grounded was designer Martha Dayton’s task. Art Deco sconces and mirrored bedside tables topped with crystal lamps exude glamor. Meanwhile, the dark wood of the coffee table and other accents provide solidity and also fulfill Tom’s goal to complement the woodwork in the remainder of the home.
Their palette tended toward soft grays, including a textured, painted finish on the walls, but needed to blend in an existing stone mantel and tiled hearth—both in beige tones. To play up the layered neutrals, Dayton incorporated rich textures—cut-velvet upholstery, lined creamy white silk draperies, and linen pillows. The subtle tone-on-tone stripe of the chairs is a nod to Tom’s tastes. The embroidered accent pillows, fringed in metallic silver, bring the ethereal tones together. The result is sumptuous and comfortable, rather than formal.
“We were trying to keep it serene, really tonal, with beautiful texture. It feels rich and elegant and inviting,” Dayton explains, adding that the subtle design complements the show-stopping view rather than vying for attention.
The room’s captivating silver ceiling was the couple’s own doing. Amara scoured Pinterest for ways to soften and modernize the barrel ceiling, which had felt heavy and dated in the previous design. After an initial try at an antiqued patina (“It just didn’t work,” she says.), the couple chose silver leaf, expertly laid in single squares by painter Donald Olson. The sheen glows and shifts as the natural light changes throughout the day. For his part, Tom, a private pilot, says the visible seams remind him of aluminum used in airplane hangers.
Dayton describes the bedroom’s overall effect as calming and elegant, echoing the boutique hotel design style that is on trend. After going “a million miles an hour all day,” busy homeowners want to retreat and relax come evening, she explains.
Above: Layered neutrals incorporate rich textures – cut-velvet, silk, linen, and eye-catching silver leaf on the ceiling.
The calming effect of this space is palpable and transformative. Amara couldn’t bear the room’s previous iteration with its cringe-worthy yellow walls and curtains. And now? “I would spend all day in here if I could,” she says. Likewise, the divan and armchairs are both glamorous and functional, serving as the perfect place to corral their two small children or curl up with a book by the window.
In the end, the re-envisioned space—from the smallest details to the grand view—created the family escape that the couple needed.
They muse about some day transforming the entire home to reflect the same sense of light and elegance that they embraced in their bedroom. Those plans have to wait for calmer days, however. The next room on the docket for a makeover is the guest room, which will become their 16-month-old son’s “big boy” room.
By Diane Cormany
Photos by Susan Gilmore
Designed by Martha Dayton