Last week we featured a quiet and minimal boudoir by September Studio from the San Francisco Decorator Showcase. This time, we’re sharing Gretchen Murdock of Modtage Design‘s alluring modern-meets-vintage styling room. As a great lesson in how powerful a mix of masculine and feminine elements are together, this room features many intriguing moments. One of our favorites is the open closet system displaying not just beautiful items of clothing but also vases and catchalls for accessories.

We wanted to find out more about Gretchen’s design, so we asked her a few questions:

When you were first faced with the task of designing a styling room, what was the first idea that jumped out at you?

As this was our first Showcase, we knew we wanted to design a small space and we were thinking about unique ways we could transform a closet. We decided a styling room would be the perfect fit. We wanted to incorporate our Modtage roots and develop a space that was both modern and vintage. The open closet system was a natural choice, maintaining an uncluttered aesthetic and providing a special place for each component of your wardrobe.

What are the exact dimensions of this space? Were there any architectural challenges that you had to work with?

The room is 9′ x 7′ x 7’2”ceiling height. As you can imagine, given the above dimensions, the major architectural challenge of this room was the ceiling height. We had to drop it further in some locations, due to ceiling height variations, in order to level it out and apply the wood paneling. We were able to find a great light fixture from Apparatus that protruded very little into the space but still provided the interest and drama that we desired. The curved wood ceiling and wall paneling do not have a straight edge to go off of and therefore required more time and consideration at install. We had the most fantastic Contractor and Carpenters who took the time to work out all of these issues and to provide quality craftsmanship up to par with our standards.

This space feels very old world meets new. What are the elements that represent the past and the future?

It definitely is. We love mixing modern design with vintage components which help to breathe life into a space. The past is represented first and foremost by my grandmother. Her portrait from the 1940’s is hung with other vintage portraits and they give the space a more personal touch. A Danish midcentury lounge chair by Nanna Ditzel pairs flawlessly with a modern-day drink table from de Sousa Hughes (Mattaliano).

The future is found in the overall clean lines, minimalistic design and open closet system which provide modern day functionality & aesthetics for today’s clientele.

The color palette is rich with midnight blue walls, an orange leather chair, and a blush accent wall. What made you decide to choose these tones?

We wanted this to be a space that balanced masculinity and femininity. The matte black curved walls and Mallard Green paint color provide a rich masculine aesthetic while the cognac leather, rift cut white oak and blush colored floral tile add softness and femininity to the space. The finishes combine to form a rich and intimate environment.

You decided to use an open closet system – is this where we are headed, towards more open closets?

I have successfully used an open closet system in the past for clients that are well organized. I think almost everyone could benefit from a small area of open closet; a place that is clutter free, a place to display things you love and to celebrate your style. The clutter of a large closet can be overwhelming and stressful, and having a place to pull things out of the chaos and prepare for a meeting or a night on the town can relieve some of that stress.

How can we achieve an attractive styling room or walk-in closet? Is there a specific way to display our best pieces?

Think about your most treasured pieces that you might want to display, whether it be a $5 necklace purchased at the beach in Mexico or a more lavish heirloom piece that you’d like to see more of. Less is more with this type of system so you are able to enjoy a few pieces at a time without too much clutter. I love the versatility of the hooks and rods we custom designed for this open closet system at the Showcase; the hooks at the back wall are 5” long with a nice rounded top-cap that allows almost anything to hang from them, from standard hangers to elegantly laid scarves and necklaces.