2017 Mansion in May: The Living Room with Floral Murals (Post #1)

Welcome to the first of this series on the 2017 Mansion in May at Alnwick Hall, also known as The Abbey.  You may remember that my son, Grady, and I were invited to see the house in its before state, back in February of this year.  After re-visiting this phenomenal designer showhouse following its incredible transformation in May, I’d like to share my favorite rooms with you here on Kristine Robinson’s Interiors. There are some truly amazing ‘before and afters’ in this grand mansion located in Morristown, NJ!

Today’s post features the Living Room as designed by Mark Alan Polo from Polo M.A. Inc. When Grady and I first visited, the room was already quite beautiful in its ‘before’ state. It features glorious floral ceiling murals, ample moldings, giant columns and a fabulous fireplace mantel with gilded details.

Living Room BEFORE painted ceiling mural and chandelier

The living room already featured this amazing ceiling with a handpainted floral motif. The soft, muted colors were stunning, alongside the generous moldings and architectural details throughout.

The Living Room BEFORE Mantelpiece and wallpaper

You’ll notice a tiny bit of the dated wallpaper in this before image of the living room at the 2017 Mansion in May (on either side of the glorious mantelpiece). It was a heavy burgundy paisley design and did nothing to enhance the soft, muted tones in the gorgeous ceiling mural which you can see reflected in the ornate mirror above the fireplace.

The designer for this space, Mark Alan Polo, wanted to update the living room, yet still pay homage to the past.  Stunning wall murals of cascading roses were hand painted on the walls to replace the dated wallpaper and enhance the already beautiful ceiling mural.

Living Room Mansion in May AFTER

AFTER: The dated and dark wallpaper was removed and replaced by stunning handpainted cascades of roses over a soft hombre turquoise ground. Surprisingly, the ornate chandelier has been removed and replaced by a simple, more modern yet elegant metal chandelier. While still scattering antiques throughout the space, the designer added some decidedly modern pieces to the space, including the upholstered pieces and lighting throughout.

Living Room Mansion in May Breakfront Corner AFTER

A front corner of the living room shows a very large wood breakfront, which anchors a small sitting area on one side of the room’s entrance.  The sitting area features a pair of tall, modern upholstered wingback chairs. In this photo, you also can see a dark contemporary sculpture in the left corner, highlighted by a modern brass articulated sconce (one of several such fixtures used to highlight art throughout the living room).

Living Room Mansion in May Mirror Corner AFTER

Another corner features a giant Victorian mirror, leaned against the wall. This reminds me so much of the mirror I used in my 2014 Bucks County Designer House Sunroom…great minds think alike, I guess! In this image, you can see the mix of several antique pieces (the side table and Asian Chair), used alongside more modern elements like the round table, the arc lamp and the aforementioned wall sconce. What a beautiful mix of classic and modern!

Living Room Mansion in May fireplace AFTER

AFTER: At the opposite end of the living room, we see the original ornate fireplace mantel with gilded details, flanked by a pair of console cabinets topped with matching lamps and artwork. A pair of modern sectional sofas with chaise ends creates a cozy sense of a room within a room in this half of the ample space.

Living Room Mansion in May Console Corner AFTER

This detail photo gives you a closer look at the modern console cabinets (which have an almost Art Deco vibe), along with the iron lamps and contemporary artwork. You also get a better look at the hombre wall coloration with cascading roses at the crown. What a gorgeous way to enhance the room, while paying homage to the original ceilings!  The murals were implemented by Darin Olsen Designs.

Living Room Mansion in May Sectional AFTER

Here’s one last look at the gorgeous Living Room in the 2017 Mansion in May, as designed by Mark Alan Polo of Polo M.A. Inc.

I was very impressed at how this designer chose to keep so many of the original historic features in this space, and even included antiques in his design, while creating a modern feel with updated furniture and lighting.  This transformation was very masterfully done, don’t you think?

All the photos in this post were taken by me, Kristine Robinson, at Alnwick Hall, the 2017 Mansion in May.  You can see even more photos of this beautiful living room on the Polo MA Inc. website by clicking on this link:  Polo M.A. Inc. website

And you can get even more details by visiting the 2017 Mansion in May website by clicking on the following link:  The official Mansion in May website

There’s still a lot more to share with you about the 2017 Mansion in May, so I hope you’ll stick around as I post the before and afters of this very glamorous gilded age mansion. Until next time, make sure to like Robinson Interiors on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter, and DO stay tuned for future updates on The Shack!

Click on this image to be taken directly to my website for more information on Robinson Interiors.

Click on this image to be taken directly to my website for more information on Robinson Interiors.


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