If you think a symmetrical room sounds traditional and yawn, this project from the West Elm Design Crew will change your mind right away. Nicole McCoy, the lead designer at West Elm Milwaukee, helped local artist Maria Lipan tackle her new home in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. “When she first came into our store, she told me she was moving into a new home and she was overwhelmed,” Nicole says. “I told her about the free design services that we offer at West Elm and she was super excited about that.” Together, they nailed down a neutral yet eclectic look for the living room and dining room that leans into Maria’s love of symmetry and industrial style.

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The designer’s best advice for tackling a symmetrical look? “Don’t be scared of the fact that you like symmetry, because it doesn’t have to look old-fashioned and traditional,” says Nicole. “Just try to pick more updated, modern pieces instead of going for super-heavy dark woods. Lighter pieces, eclectic or globally themed accessories are good ways to break that up.”

Tour the full space below!

Photography by Andrew Standaert

Living Room

Subtle symmetry is the first thing you notice when you walk into the living room, which is highlighted by a gorgeous picture window looking out into the yard. You’ll see lots of pieces in twos here: matching Industrial Outline Floor Lamps, Streamline Side Tables and Carlo Mid-Century Chairs tie the whole room together.

Maria was drawn to the Andes Sofa, so Nicole picked out a long version in Twill Stone that would allow for ample seating for her family. She gave two options for additional seating – dueling sofas or two chairs facing the Andes – and they ended up going with two Carlo Mid-Century Chairs in Astor Velvet Stone to keep the room flowing. “I absolutely love the Astor velvet,” Nicole says. “It just elevates the whole room to the next level.”

Despite the fact that she has two very young kids (twins!), Maria wasn’t afraid of going super creamy and neutral in this room. “What I love about Maria is you would never know that she has two little twins – she was all for light, bright creams and the neutral palette,” Nicole says. “She’s like nope, it’s fine, they don’t eat in here. So she was just down for everything and super fun to work with.”

Dining Room + Kitchen

In the dining room, Nicole was able to lean a bit more into Maria’s global and eclectic sensibilities. The Sputnik Chandelier was an early favorite, as was the Pictograph Buffet. “I knew she would love that piece, because she likes that eclectic global touch, and that was a good way to get that into the design style,” Nicole says. The painting above the buffet is Maria’s own artwork that happens to go perfectly with the Gold Swipe Brocade Pillow in the living room, pulling that subtly gray-and-yellow color story from room to room. The Greer Dining Chairs around the Anton Solid Wood Dining Table add a bold pop of color to brighten up the space (get a similar yellow look with our Finley Low-Back Upholstered Dining Chairs in Saffron).

Ready to make over your own space?
Book a free West Elm Design Crew appointment today!

Photography by Andrew Standaert (@florals4spring)

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October 18, 2019

Great article on Nicole McCoy and West Elm. I enjoy how you feature the designer and the thought processes behind the collaboration with customers.

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