Paul Feiten, owner of Paul Feiten Design in Bloomfield Hills, likes to meet with the client before considering injecting personality into a room. “You have to ask them about personal artifacts and photos they love. If they’re outgoing, with larger-than-life personalities, you have a wide range,” he says. But in the case of the owners of this home on a lake in Oakland County, Paul says they’re “refined, quiet people.” His challenge was to invest the space with personality while respecting his clients’ reserved character. Although the palette is subdued and the mood tranquil, Paul used art to lend vitality to the room, with furniture selected from Baker.
The portrait of the woman over the mantel belonged to the clients. The smaller piece in micro-stone relief, which Paul layered against the larger art, came from their travels, as did the olivewood bowl bought in the Middle East. Paul added the sunburst sculpture on a pedestal for added variety.
If a client desires personality in a space but can’t quite articulate what they want, Paul pumps up the volume. “That’s when you get bolder with color, patterns, and layering” he suggests. “You just have to be careful not to overdo it.”