Sara came to me earlier this year about her family’s living room. She called the living space “old” and “dark” and wanted something new that was functional, inviting and family friendly. Sara described her style as transitional and pretty much knew what needed to happen to achieve the above.
They knew the carpet had to go and really wanted to replace the stone with something that felt more modern. They also mentioned that the bookshelves felt very dark.
What we did:
Hardwood floors: The clients were drawn to a dark wood and ended up going with a bamboo. Durability was the most important factor to them, and bamboo is the hardest type of wood.
Paint: Oh man. People say that paint is the easiest, most inexpensive way to transform a room, and this before/after is proof of that. The walls were originally a light beige with a gold/tan accent wall, and we took the walls to a light gray, painted the bookshelves a darker shade of gray and then painted the stone on the fireplace white. The clients originally wanted to replace the stone with something else, but after getting quotes, they decided it wasn’t worth the cost. I promised them that painting the stone white would immediately transform the space (in conjunction with the lighter walls and bookshelves), and while I don’t think they ever fully believed me, they trusted me enough to go through with it and ended up loving it.
Popcorn ceiling: Byeeeee.
TV placement: Before, the TV was in an awkward spot that blocked the left bookshelf. With the windows taking up most of the back wall and the family wanting to add a sectional, over the fireplace was the only option for the TV placement. I usually try to avoid doing this, just because over the fireplace is such a great opportunity to create a focal point for the room, but in this case, it wasn’t avoidable. The clients weren’t too crazy about the idea, but they agreed that there wasn’t another option. They decided to remove the mantel because they were worried that the TV would be too high for watching with the sectional so close to the fireplace. Visually, it could go a bit higher, but for functional purposes, it’s where the client wanted it. Their TV mount is adjustable though, so they can move it higher if they decide.
Furniture: The clients requested a cozy sectional, and with that, one accent chair was the only other seating option we could fit. We added the stools in front of the coffee table for extra seating, but the floor plan for this space was pretty much a no-brainer.
Accessories: Because we stayed neutral with the wall color and sectional, we opted to bring in color, pattern and texture through the layered area rug, drapes and throw pillows. For the bookshelves, I incorporated several of their existing pieces and also added in lots of natural and wood pieces for a cohesive look. We wanted the bookshelves to look full and styled but not cluttered, which is why we opted to keep the accessories neutral for the most part.
Below is the initial concept board that I sent to the clients. While the concept and overall look stayed the same, the client preferred to make purchases in person (which isn’t a problem in Austin since we have most all of the big home retailers). The actual pieces ended up changing because we shopped in person rather than online, but the concept still feels pretty true to this first board.
I’m sure you can see the layout from the photos, but here is the floor plan. You’ll see the the dining room as well, which we recently wrapped up. I’m not sure if I’ll get around to photographing that (it’s a whole day thing), but writing this post and having these photos to share is nice motivation.
(Sorry so tiny.)
After the floors were installed, paint was complete and the sectional had arrived, we started talking about adding in some layers. Below is the “pillow plan” I sent over, although we ended up adding much more. You’ll also see a progress shot of the living room. And yes, I used my own parents’ living room sofa pillows as “inspiration”. I just love that pillow combo.
And here she is in all of her glory. All styled up and looking her best…Enjoy!
I actually brought that great Dhurrie accent chair in for the shoot, and it’s still available via The Brass Peacock.
The client had the piano in that spot before and really didn’t want to move it. Their kids use the piano often and I was happy to keep the piece in the living room. It’s a great backdrop and is in a central, convenient spot for the family. The art belonged to them as well (and was in that spot). I should have mentioned earlier, but the family is Iranian, has family that they travel to see and has amazing authentic vintage pieces from their travels. The piece of art over the campaign chest was theirs as well and so was this rug behind the sofa.
I found those horse lamps at Homegoods (ha), I love finding unique pieces there because sometimes it seems like all of their pieces just run together. Not trying to down them, because I do love Homegoods, but they do buy for the masses ;). The client loved the horse lamps because she said her aunt had an almost identical pair (but I’m sure her aunt’s were WAY cooler).
That covers it….. This was a fun project to see come to life. It was so drastic and the client would text me saying how happy they were after progress was made, which literally makes me want to cry every time it happens.
What do you think? Please leave me some comments. I LOVE hearing from you and have felt so distant lately!!!
*Photography: Laura Alexandra Photography
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