Written by Megin Potter photos by Randall Perry Photography
Every time one of interior designer Julie Maleski-Putzel’s clients walks into her lodge-inspired sitting room in Ballston Spa, it feels as if she’s being transported back to her sister’s welcoming Montana home.
When Julie Maleski-Putzel of JMP Interiors, saw all of the unique décor pieces that her client returned with from her visits out west, she was inspired to transform a rarely-used space into an award-winning, inviting and warm mountain library for the whole family to enjoy.
“I changed so much about that room. She trusted me, trusted my vision, and then, once it was finished, was floored by it,” said Maleski-Putzel.
Creating a room like that began by changing the ceilings.
By building an elegant, dark-wood coffered ceiling, Maleski-Putzel introduces intrigue and depth into the space.
A rich color scheme is continued with floor-to-ceiling shelves, furniture and decor in complementary brownish tones.
The interesting furniture arrangement cleverly hides the biggest design challenge in this 10’ x 15’ rectangular room – every wall is interrupted by windows or doors.
“I wanted enough seating, so I created these spaces, these nooks, for the family to hang out in and do different things,” said Maleski-Putzel.
Perhaps the bravest – and most rewarding - design choice that Maleski-Putzel made, is to incorporate a variety of animal skins in this space.
“I have no problem using animal skins when the client has a personal story and an attachment to them. When it’s being used as a status symbol, you can use a faux instead,” she said.
This room has an antelope hide couch, cowhide rug and leather chairs, as well as a steer skull on the wall.
“My client found, fell in love with, and has a heartfelt, emotional tie to these pieces. They really spoke to her. Touch is a very similar sensation in the body and does a similar thing that scent does when it comes to evoking memories. Now, she can go in this room, rub her hand across any of these surfaces, and feel like she has a direct connection to her sister,” said Maleski-Putzel.
“It’s really humbling and such an accomplishment when you consider how big our region is. To be able to win an award of such prestige and to be recognized by the crème de la crème in the interior design industry, it’s just incredible.”
The Cream of the Crop
The stronger design elements, such as the heavy stone fireplace and plaid patterned drapes, are balanced by pieces like a custom-made natural edge coffee table and rounded out by refined gold accents.
“When you’re building a room, the whole beauty of it, is adding in these one-of-a-kind, unique elements. They are like jewelry for the room. They are the really eye-catching pieces that tie it all in and put the cherry on top,” said Maleski-Putzel.
In addition to pleasing her client, Maleski-Putzel’s design was the 2019 winner of the American Society of Interior Design (ASID) small-scale residential regional award.
“It’s really humbling and such an accomplishment when you consider how big our region is. To be able to win an award of such prestige and to be recognized by the crème de la crème in the interior design industry, it’s just incredible,” she said.
For more information about Maleski-Putzel’s designs, go to www.jmpinteriors.com
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