In an extroverted, over-the-top, pundit-populated world, quiet style offers such an appealing safe harbor.
Nowhere is that more appreciated than at home, where we close the entry door behind us at the end of the day and heave a sigh of relief.
When interior designer Jimmy Angell began the task of furnishing the home of a Birmingham couple who sought a mature, welcoming — and quiet — interior, he began with fabric.
“The Lee Jofa fabric with the deer on it was a starting point — gray with two tones of taupe-gray and the apricot-mustard color,” says Angell, who has a strong affection for textiles and wallpaper.
“I really like to start with an inspired fabric. Normally, I don’t pull my paint colors until I have my fabrics.
“A lot of designers find the rug first. I find my rug last.”
The kitchen, which is at the core of the home’s open layout, had already established a neutral palette with white cabinetry and statuary marble in a blue-gray tone. Little else was complete in the home’s interior when Angell embarked on the design plan. He chose tile and fixtures at the beginning of the two-year, 5,000-square-foot project.
Angell calls the finished look “traditional with transitional elements.” Personality, the final layer, comes from art and collections, he says.
“It’s the mixture of furnishings, a found item with a new item, not having matching light fixtures,” Angell says. “Lighting can be a really creative way to go.”
That, and “incorporating an interesting collection in a display with pieces that mean something to the client.”
Jimmy Angell, principal designer and owner of James Douglas Interiors in Birmingham, was the Detroit Home Design Awards “Rising Star” in 2010.
A metro Detroit native, he began his professional life in Chicago, where he worked in arts management after receiving a degree in that discipline at Eastern Michigan University. A job at the Chicago office of the architecture, design, and planning firm of Perkins + Will steered his career in another path, and Angell returned to Detroit where he studied at Lawrence Tech and worked as an assistant at the design firm of Perlmutter-Freiwald in Franklin.
His essential advice: “Stay away from the trends.”
Other basic tips from Angell: Keep it simple. Contrast is a must. Embrace texture. Be mindful of scale. Keep a cohesive color scheme throughout the interior.