90-minute Redesign: Linda's Woodsy Living Room
Apr 19, 2010
I'm always amazed at the stuff people have in storage when I show up for a room redesign session. (What is Dwelement's Room Redesign Service?) My latest example was no exception. Linda called me, ready for a change in her living room. She had just purchased a new sofa and wanted to give the living room a fresh look to go with it.
Her driveway wound through the pines and led me to a veritable antiques storehouse. Lots to work with! The living room is open to the front entryway, very visible upon entering the house. Here's how it looked when I showed up:
The new leather sofa (from the Latitudes Collection by Flexsteel at Golden Fowler Home Furnishings) joined a collection of chairs: brown leather recliner, blue leather recliner, a neutral floral antique armchair and an off-white antique rocker. The focal point was surely the fireplace, but the furniture arrangement wasn't really reflecting that. A set of hunter green tables, an antique child's desk, and a beautiful Shaker-style bookcase rounded out the room.
There were lots of accessories—and lots of options for rearranging this large room. Right away I noticed that we needed to improve traffic flow, allowing direct passage to the dining area from the bed/bath hall without passing through the kitchen.
Linda took me on a tour of her house so I could see what she had to work with. Each bedroom and the basement were filled with possibilities, many of them interesting antiques. Then we rolled up our sleeves and set to work rearranging just about everything. The TV and bookcase stayed put because they were already in their best locations, but everything else moved, and a lot simply moved out.
My main goals were improving flow, enhancing the focal point, creating cohesion amongst the pieces, and decluttering to create more emphasis on the best pieces. The room immediately started taking shape when we turned the sofa 90 degrees and created a seating grouping with it and the brown recliner. From there, the ideas kept flowing and this is the final result, after just 90 minutes.
The new arrangement directs traffic around, rather than through, the living room and kitchen. There's plenty of space to pass from the hallway behind the sofa to the dining room. We removed the blue recliner and arranged the remaining seating into two groups. The sofa/recliner grouping is connected at the corner with an inventive side table arrangement, and the two antique chairs with their similar coloring now flank the bookcase.
The old coffee table was chunky oak with a painted wood base. Its style didn't blend with the look I was trying to create. I wanted to showcase many of Linda's beautiful pieces that were hidden in bedrooms or in storage. The new coffee table was actually a little-used game table set up in the basement. The height is adjustable, and its larger scale and round shape perfectly complement the new seating group.
This view (below) shows the new direction of traffic flow behind the sofa. This arrangement also creates more definition between the living and dining spaces.
Linda loves sitting in the sturdy and comfy antique armchair. Now it's in a better place for reading with its own lamp and a side table made from a repurposed piece she brought out of storage.
Any guesses what's hiding under the "tablecloth"?
It's an antique piano stool! The wood-and-cast-iron base has tons of character, but the red velvet and gold fringe were a little too "saloon" for the space. Linda brought out an old striped curtain that blended beautifully with the floral upholstery on the chair, and I folded it to drape over the stool. Then for stability of items on top, I capped it off with an antique tray I found in the dining room.
Still solving the table needs, I came up with this a quirky, yet elegant, solution for replacing the chunky oak side table that had no storage. Linda had a set of delicate and clean-lined bedside tables, one in a bedroom and the other in storage. We dusted them off and placed them right next to each other for a new side table that has both concealed and open storage.
The mantel just needed a tweak, and it was waiting right there in the same room. I picked up some nautical-looking metal lanterns off the floor near the bookcase and grouped them with the theme that was half-started with a boat painting and a vintage sailboat sculpture. The mixture of metals contrasts nicely with the oak mantel without looking like a matched set.
Once last corner deserved some attention:
The tiny desk and chair were no match for that tall wall. We cleared it out and replaced it with a desk more suited to the space, "stolen" from the guest bedroom.
This turned-leg desk fills the space just right, and the dark wood helps tie together the other antique pieces we brought into the room. A cast-iron lamp from the other bedroom and a large mirror found in the basement add needed height to the arrangement. A few accessories culled from the living-room mix add interest and character.
And that finished it, in a record 90 minutes. Thanks, Linda, for choosing Dwelement to help with your furniture quandary, and for being so helpful and open to new ideas! —Diane
Interested in seeing these kinds of results in your own home? Contact me for an appointment. Rates are $100 for the first hour and $50 for each subsequent hour. As you can see, I can work pretty quickly and achieve a big impact for as little as $125. Sometimes you don't need new stuff, you just need a new outlook! Email me for an appointment, or just to find out if a room redesign session is the right solution for your design challenge. There's never an obligation.
TAGS: room interior redesign work with me here dwelement traverse city interior designer grand traverse benzie leelanau interior designer michigan before and after photos living room antiques flexsteel sofa affordable decorating advice help
Like this post? Please share it: