The Black Room has amasculine feel,with the velvet tufted sofa a contrast to the stainless steel of the coffee table, side tables and of the side chairs. White lamps
brighten up the mood. —NELSON MATAWARAN
Cynthia Almario’s tips on how to create the uptown glamour look
Uptown glamour, a decor style characterized by rich details, high sheen and a blend of vintage and contemporary looks, is for all ages.
This year, Ethan Allen’s statement is the Uptown look, which focuses on hand-tailored tufted upholstery, velvets and leathers, nail heads or grommets, metals in antique finishes, artisan-crafted cabinetry and accessories with historical references.
Designer Cynthia Almario worked with the Ethan Allen collection to appeal to a broad market, from the millennial to the more mature.
The Uptown look draws references from the Hollywood Regency, a décor trend popular in the 1930s. It was an era of small-scale furniture, tufted sofas, Greek fretwork, Egyptian-influenced patterns, and sparkling chandeliers. These elements are prevalent in Ethan Allen’s collection.
The showroom integrates Ethan Allen’s timeless modern furniture characterized by soft, round lines, neutral and bold colors. The Ethan Allen Design Center is at Twenty-four Seven McKinley, BGC.
“People have this idea that Ethan Allen is traditional when, in fact, it is transitional,” says Almario. “The furniture may look classic, but it’s updated to look luxurious.”
She points to a Chesterfield tufted sofa that was upholstered in bold velvet upholstery for today’s Uptown look.
There are chairs and benches with traditional details such as cabriole legs, modernized with nail-head upholstery.
“I create stories,” Almario says of decorating. “We want people to mix and match from different collections to create their own look. Don’t just stick to an all Uptown look. Explore. Combine traditional with new styles.”
A bedroom has a classic bed frame, modernized with leather and stud accents. The look becomes timeless when paired with round, veneer side tables.
A living room harks back to Hollywood Regency period. A glamorous Kyla chandelier, striking with clusters of metallic rays, hangs above an oakwood dining table and scroll-back chairs.
Almario says that another living room, done in all black, is created for millennials. It is furnished with a tufted silver-gray Chesterfield sofa and complemented with stainless steel elements in matching tufted bench, leather armchairs, coffee table and trolley.
The millennial dining room is a casual mix of an extendable maple table and matching chairs, offset by a black-and-white-stripe-upholstered bench.
“The strong graphic element in the upholstery translates to the 21st-century furniture,” explains Almario.
For an industrial feel, the place is lit with a rectangular metal lighting fixture.
For a touch of fun, Almario decks the table with milk and cookie jars. “We incorporate quirks in the accessories,” she says.
While millennials favor a relaxed look, their parents want styles that are formal, enduring yet current.
Almario shows a wing chair with nail-head accents: “It is a transitional piece because the legs are straight and there is no molding.”
Citing other pieces, Almario explains: “A classic sofa usually has a camel back, but this design is tweaked with sloping arms. The table is transitional because of the silver finish and the relief. The lines are streamlined.”
Tip from Almario: Incorporate different surface treatments especially in compact spaces.
She picks out Ethan Allen’s handcrafted cabinetry for pieces de resistance—Fulton cabinet made of wood, leather panels and nail heads, an oakwood cabinet with faceting inspired by Egyptian pyramids, or dining table with natural radiating grain.
Ultimately, it’s about the tasteful coordination of elements, she says.
With the sofa as room anchor, here are more tips from Almario:
Not everything has to be new. Don’t fret if your sofa is old. If the bones are good, buy a fabric in a current shade or pattern.
Invest in big pieces that ground the room—sofa, lounge chair, coffee table. If what you can afford is only one piece, get the sofa. As the biggest object in the room, eyes will be drawn to it.
Keep your rooms fresh and fun. If short on cash, buy accent pillows. You can change them after a season.
Graphic patterns make one happy. A bowl with Greek key patterns may look traditional, but its robin’s egg blue with gold accents makes it look current.
Everything old becomes new again. Never throw away things you think are old-fashioned. Keep objects that are dear to your heart.
Bed sheets are the easiest way to spruce up a bedroom. Neutral-colored bed sheets are fresh on the eyes. White is crisp.
A large mirror in the dining room not only gives the illusion of space but, it is believed, also doubles your luck.
Bring the outside in, especially in condominiums. Flowers make people smile.
Framed photographs and souvenirs from travels bring back happy memories. —CONTRIBUTED