Media rooms are often the last project in a house to be completed and when they are, comfort is typically king. When J. Wheeler Designs shared this recent project, our jaws dropped. Sure, the sectional looks perfect for a long nap, but the room is no snooze. We had to learn more! Designed for a young married couple in the Vinings neighborhood of Atlanta, the goal for the design was to be modern yet reflective of their Southern heritage. Both are frequently away from home on business, so the goal was to create a warm and inviting space that served as a restful retreat from the couple’s busy schedules.

Beyond desiring a comfortable and welcoming space to relax, what were the requests for the space?
With this project, my clients left the design and selections up to us. They wanted warm and inviting spaces that felt elevated yet still approachable and livable. We were inspired by their love of nature and tradition, so I drew color inspiration for the media room and office from the neutral elements in nature, which gave the room an overtly masculine feel.  It was important to merge both masculine and feminine elements into each space. Our greatest challenge was creating a sense of warmth and lightness, while also concealing some unsightly architectural elements (like the attic access doors) in the media room and office space.

Where there any challenges in the space?
Because this space is on the upper level of the home, the only natural light is through two skylights. We removed hanging light fixtures and replaced them with mini can lighting in a grid pattern to add soft lighting and help elevate the ceiling. We also opted to keep the upholstered pieces and rugs light to brighten the space. To conceal the small attic access door we designed a custom storage piece for the office area. This custom cabinetry hid the access panel behind one set of the cabinet doors, leaving it still accessible if needed while also adding storage for the homeowners. I think we achieved a beautiful balance by utilizing rich texture and color, and a mix of traditional and transitional furnishings. The color palette creates a strong visual impact that you feel the instant you walk into the room. The layers of texture—leather, linen, velvet, and natural elements like sisal and jute—really help evoke a feeling of warmth and approachability. I believe it’s these elements that make the space so unique and special. Even the linen trim and nail heads on the velvet settee are special! The result is a timeless design perfect for the young, professional homeowners who share an appreciation for both the old and new.

We love the art in the space. Tell us about those horses!
The oversized paintings of the horses in the media room were the owner’s own and their only request to include in the space. As the media room is on the upper level of the home and has some odd architectural angles that could not be fixed, the over scaled art pieces create an instant focal point and ground the room. We hung these pieces slightly off center to create more movement with the eye.

Thank you for sharing your process on this project. It really shows the thought that goes into a project. What advice do you have for our readers? 
Design should be fun and exciting. I see so many people become overwhelmed when designing their spaces and it quickly becomes more of a chore than a fun experience. If you’re unsure or find yourself getting frustrated with a space, don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional. There are so many great resources to call on today. Also, resolve to spend more time decorating your home this year. It will pay dividends in the long run!