Marie Flanigan Infuses a Virginia Family Home
with Fresh Style
Soft furnishings, natural materials and expertly layered lighting make for a serene design scheme.
Photography by Julie Soefer
Any good fairytale includes a touch of kismet. Such was the case for Lauren and TJ Oshie and their story-book chateau in Virginia. Long before they ever lived there, the couple used to drive by the property, hoping eventually it would hit the market and they would be lucky owners to call it home. Then one day, that dream actually came true. All that was left to do was make it their own.
For that, the Oshies turned to interior designer Marie Flanigan. It was a match made in (Instagram) heaven. “Lauren is a dream client because she has great taste and a distinct sense of style, which allowed us to easily collaborate and create a home that uniquely represented their family,” says Flanigan.
Lauren was initially drawn to a monochromatic white palette and layers of organic elements, drawing inspiration from destinations like the 1 Hotel South Beach.
“Our challenge became how to translate ‘Miami Beach hotel’ into a home that was architecturally an Old-World European chateau,” explains Flanigan. “We landed on a tailored-yet-relaxed East Coast spin, filled with light and soft furnishings and beautiful wood and stone architectural elements that were fitting for the wooded Virginia neighborhood.”
Here is how Flanigan used a serene palette, luxe layers and bright lighting ideas to make their dreams come true.
Use Lighting to Create Layers
“Lighting is of the utmost importance in every design, but its impact is even more pronounced in spaces that are monochromatic,” says Flanigan. “The variation of lighting, textures, and materials keep the space from falling flat.” Here, in the formal living room just off the entry, a metallic finish on the lamp provides contrast to the rest of the matte finishes in the space, like the honed marble table, linen drapery, gray-washed wooden chairs, and iron footstool.
Design for Day and Night
Guests are immediately greeted by the grand, two-story entry, flanked with windows that illuminate the space during the day, while a stately table lamp creates ambiance in the evening.
In the dining room, a contemporary console doubles as extra buffet space for large gatherings. When not in use, it becomes a visual playground for contrast and scale, where iron and matte black finishes are juxtaposed against the light, white windows. A gild table lamp brings warmth and height.
Follow Natural Light’s Lead
“The bones of the home were beautiful, with an abundance of windows that provided ample natural light,” says Flanigan. “This gave us the freedom to layer in decorative fixtures like chandeliers and pendants to provide a soft glow and warmth.”
The primary bedroom boasts its own sitting room, where delicate details are grounded by masculine elements like the modern leather ottoman.
Make a Statement (Even in Small Spaces!)
Just off the primary bedroom, a spacious walk-in closet connects the bathroom and bedroom. Built-ins with glass doors maximize storage and visibility, while striking lanterns make a statement overhead.
For a little girl’s room, playful pink details add just the right pinch of sweetness to the otherwise neutral palette.
Marry Form and Function
“In any space, we want to ensure that there is a good mixture of ambient and task lighting,” explains Flanigan. “Ideally, you’ll have light overhead to illuminate the space as a whole and also some lighting sources closer to eye level. The specific location of each type of lighting is determined by the function of the room. So, in this bathroom, we had recessed lighting overhead and sconces flanking the vanity.”
Get Creative in Corner Spaces
Upstairs, the cozy landing doubles as a workspace and provides the perfect perch for mom and dad to keep an eye on the kids in the playroom to the left.