Larry and Pat Merriman of Canton, Ohio, traded their seasonal Longboat Key bayside condominium for a higher one with a Gulf view, then hired designer Sally Trout to create a comfortable space that would also serve as backdrop for their collection of vivid Russian paintings.
"We needed a quiet color scheme," explains Pat Merriman. "This summer in St. Petersburg, Russia, we actually met three of the artists whose work we collect. We rotate the collection frequently, so adjustable lighting is important."
Trout picked a neutral palette of cerulean blue, taupe, burnished gold and cashew enlivened by fabrics and furniture finishes with varied textures, a sure way to add drama and personality to a pale scheme.
After a six-month renovation in which walls were eliminated, doors added, a tray ceiling reconfigured and lighting enhanced, the Merrimans moved into their sophisticated but relaxed beachside apartment, surrounded by the art and Gulf views they love.
The softly contemporary sofa showcases a heavily textured cashew-colored chenille woven in a chevron pattern. From Grant, it's a fabric used in both commercial and residential applications. Throw pillow fabric from Beacon Hill is an assertive tapestry in an azure blue print. Just a little of this sophisticated pattern makes a strong statement ideal for accent pieces.
Dining chairs, in faux bird's-eye finish, are clad in hand-printed ultra suede fabric from Pasini Pelle that's both luxurious and durable. The pedestal bleached walnut dining table from Bausman & Co. seats eight comfortably.
A wool rug, designed by Sally Trout in cashew and blue, references the geometric design of the reconfigured coffered ceiling and pulls together the furniture's various hues.
Occasional leather chairs from E.J. Victor were chosen for the textural interest of their raffia backs.
The wood and glass cocktail table from Artifacts features Florentine carving on the apron and stretchers to introduce a Mediterranean aspect to the room.
Custom-crafted Hart chandelier was painted and given a textured finish to harmonize with the dining table and chairs.
Raw silk side panels and a mock Roman shade valance cleverly conceal motorized shades that work off a remote control unit.