House Tour: Modern Flair with a Soft Touch, Part II
Baroness Monica von Neumann needed a modern “chick pad” to express her nobility and personal warmth. With modern style and old-style comfort, Monica created a romantic home that is simultaneously stylish and cozy. This is Part II of a House Tour–to see the rest of Monica’s home, be sure to check out Part I.
For Monica, these one-of-a-kind features are just some of the things that make her home such a romantic setting. One of her favorite rooms is the kitchen. Here, friends and family pile up onto the Zen bed, which is loaded with large chocolate-colored chenille pillows, and visit with Monica as she cooks—a common scene in her home.
“I love food, and I love to cook,” she says. “Right now, it’s soup season for me: it’s Italian meatball soup, chicken soup, lima bean soup. I love to get the smell wafting through the house, especially in the winter; it makes me feel all warm.”
It is the simple things like this that give Monica’s home a warm, welcoming and personal atmosphere. Although her home is modern in design, Monica proves that contemporary does not have to be cold and uncomfortable.
“The problem with contemporary homes is that everything is so uncomfortable and trendy,” she says. “I don’t think you have to be cold and trendy when you do contemporary. No matter what, comfort is important.”
Monica achieves this sense of comfort and romantic simplicity through simple accessories. Vignettes of candles with fresh flowers or exotic orchids are placed in corners and on tabletops throughout her three-bedroom home. Couches are softened up with fluffy and vibrant purple pillows. Simple area rugs add mellow earth tones to the dark hardwood floors, while framed photos of family and friends add a personal element. She also balances the modern style of her home with classic paintings—including Picasso, Matisse and Renoir—which also reflect her passion for art and travel.
Whether it’s a classic painting, a scented candle or a photograph of her daughter, Monica finds comfort in the personal details she has sprinkled throughout her home. “They lend to the romance, warmth and feeling of bliss I feel when I come home from a long day,” she says. “Love is in the details, and that’s what I create in my home.”
By Justine Lopez
Photography by Bret Gum