Chic Disobedience

A posh lounge catches visitors for cocktails and lively conversation.

By Jamie Siebrase
Photography by Anne Matheis


Sick of papers piling up on a dining room table you haven’t used since Thanksgiving? Homeowner and designer Nisha Tailor of Nisha Tailor Interior Design knew the feeling; she broke from tradition with a posh lounge outfitted in a contemporary mix of textures and styles.

Tailor’s formal dining room had become as necessary as cable TV, and the designer’s guests were in the familiar habit of congregating in the kitchen. Tailor combated this tired routine by converting her existing dining room into a sparkling lounge that grabs visitors from the home’s entry and persuades them to linger for cocktails and lively conversation. 

The “Egyptian Wedding Couple” – those two shiny figures stationed to the right of Tailor’s hand-painted herringbone accent wall – inspired a stark, black palette — a modern scheme many of Tailor’s clients had shied away from. Even with black paint drenching two parallel walls, the space manages to be both bold and easygoing, thanks in large part to Tailor’s hospitality design experience. “Everything,” Tailor says, “starts with the lobby.” And, that’s what the designer recreated, on a smaller scale, with comfortable seating that doesn’t dare compromise style. 

All of the chairs – two Greek key patterned wingbacks and a relaxed white-tufted piece – are fabric, and the designer incorporated burlap and linen, too, with the high-back French dorm chair, a clearance find incorporating obvious height. “People say they’d never think of putting the French dorm chair there,” Tailor admits. But, she adds, “I realized everything was at one level, and I wanted something to be unusual. I wanted to give the message to my friends that there are no rules.”

Tailor delivers that message through an eclectic mix of furnishings, too. In fact, she says, “I tried to bring as many different elements into the room as possible.” The concept works: Fabric jives with a sheer, metallic buffet and a clean-lined coffee table placed atop a heavy faux leather-and-suede area rug. There’s trendy fur, you’ll notice, beneath the Egyptian statues — and even trendier deer antlers just beyond simple, sheer window treatments. (“I didn’t want drapery to take away attention from my painted wall,” Tailor explains.) Higher up, the designer kept a Spanish-style antique Jon Paul chandelier she’d purchased for the previous dining room, removing only its amber crystals.

“I was looking for a punch of coloring,” Tailor says. When she found the matching lamps, she “fell in love with the vintage teal,” and used the same hue for throw pillows, as well as a daring, bright ceiling. Take a closer look up top, and you’ll notice that the trim is dark brown, not black. That’s another nod to the old space; Tailor had painted the trim years back, and wasn’t interested in revisiting it. “Everyone kept asking why I didn’t re-paint the trim black; I decided to break the rules, and leave it brown,” Tailor says, without apology. Her design disobedience has given way to a chic and relevant space that guests simply adore.

Designer: Nisha Tailor, 636-866-7601