Mastering Modern Rustic Style (a la Mercedes Benz)
A few years ago, the team at Mercedes-Benz of Sugar Land came to us with a unique request: they wanted to transform a massive warehouse perched above their new parking garage into a showroom and lounge where they could hand off the keys to luxury vehicles or host special events for VIP clients looking to escape the surrounding city.
Challenged with creating a luxurious residential vibe within a commercial context, we employed a selection of guiding principles to weave texture, light, and warmth through an otherwise industrial space.
Juxtapose Hard Materials with Soft Furnishings
One of the most dominant features in the Mercedes-Benz showroom is the use of reclaimed wood and stone. The floors of the main level were laid with a beautiful Savigny Les Beaune aged limestone, while the ceilings were clad in antique lumber recovered from an 1865 Amish settlement in Pennsylvania. The inherent imperfections that make these materials so stunning are tempered by supple upholstery, plush rugs, and elements that are more sleek and streamlined. It’s a celebration of contradiction that speaks to both sides of the brain!
Upstairs, multiple seating arrangements continue the union of rough and delicate materials. A linear fireplace faced with chiseled stone and a concrete hearth could have easily slipped into a style that felt cold and unapproachable. But, when paired with sheer drapery, rich suede, and a bamboo silk rug, the space takes on a warm, welcoming vibe.
Contrast Refined Lighting against Raw Finishes
Just as Mercedes-Benz touts their vehicles as “perfectly refined, with an underlying wild side,” our light fixture selections for this project were sophisticated yet adventurous. In the wine lounge, we anchored a futuristic globe chandelier on the same antique lumber ceiling that spans the main showroom. Not only does the warmth of the wood contribute patina to an otherwise polished space, but it also serves as the perfect foil to the angular arms and shiny spheres of the chandelier.
In the powder room, a pair of tubular glass sconces with exposed bulbs were mounted atop raked tiles. The clean lines of the lighting coupled nicely with the uneven surface of the walls, illustrating how a man-made element like metal is handsomely highlighted when offset by an organic material like stone!
Balance Masculine Lines with Feminine Accents
Finally, it may be surprising to learn that inanimate objects can take on gender-specific characteristics. Case and point – the custom cocktail table below (the focal point in another mezzanine vignette) would probably be considered masculine given its dark, walnut stain and rugged stair-stepped corner. Thus, it was important to include a feminine touch when the time came to accessorize. We dressed the tabletop with overflowing white orchids, a round tray, and shapely agate bookends, creating a welcome sense of balance.
The union of strength and grace is repeated throughout the lounge’s second floor conversation areas. A linear light fixture harmonizes beautifully with a sumptuous tufted ottoman below, and curvaceous armchairs are supported by graphic ebony frames.
Who can deny that opposites attract!? Whether you’re tackling a new construction or simply on the hunt for ways to refresh your current design, keep in mind that your choice of style shouldn’t be an all or nothing decision! Approach each space with a fresh perspective and don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. And should you find yourself in need of a style mediator, you know who to call (wink, wink)!