Sprucing up with a few changes

I just finished sprucing up a living room and dining room in Oak Park. The homeowners are very sweet couple with two young children. They didn’t want to spend a lot of money on new furniture right now, waiting (rightfully so) till the child-lunging-off-sofas phase has passed. So I needed to work with the existing pieces:  a sectional sofa, dining room table and chairs,  and two floor lamps. They also weren’t up to take on any remodeling work, so the color on the walls and the position of the light fixture over the dining room table were staying. But even without making any color or major furniture changes I was able to create a room that is more pulled together and relaxing for the family.

Here’s what I did:

It’s a long, narrow room, with a flatscreen mounted on the left wall and a sofa directly opposite on the right wall:

The sofa was actually part of a sectional in their old home, but as us Oak Parkers know, the houses here don’t lend themselves to sectionals very well. So they split up the two sofas and placed the other half in front of the bay window at the end of the room:

To begin, I centered the sofa on the wall directly opposite the TV and centered the existing art piece above it. I then moved the rug so it was also centered with the sofa and TV, and then I flanked either side of the sofa with those floor lamps that used to sit near the other sofa in the bay window, so they gave light to the more used sofa and kept them from blocking the windows:

A console was placed under the TV, to give it a grouping so it didn’t appear to be floating all by itself on the wall:

Next I removed the table to the right of the sofa in the bay windows because it wasn’t the right scale. I replaced it with this table from Crate and Barrel. It fit the space much better and the color, size and texture helped to de-emphasize the fact that this sofa was asymmetrical. I then placed a hammered lamp from Homegoods on top. The lamp has a low base  – good if pillows become projectiles – and the shade color echoed the mauve walls:

For the dining room, I placed a patterned rug with deep purples, pinks, golds, and tans under the table. The rug added softness and help to marry the two primary colors in the room – mauve and tan – and add dimensions with pinks and browns:

Next came this server that fit within the dining room inset. The wood tones closely matched the tones of the table, but even if they didn’t it would have been okay. Don’t be afraid to mix wood tones!

My clients had a beautiful Asian print given to them as a wedding present. I wanted to give the print more impact, so I had the brass frame replaced with one made from a wooden weave with red (hints of mauve) accent. I also replace the existing green fabric border with a layered look of taupe and pink, to bring out these tones in the print:

The window treatments were the biggest change. The existing hardware didn’t allow for the panels to sit between the windows. The length of the panels didn’t fit the windows and the hardware was too small:

So I replaced existing louver blinds with 2 1/2″ wood ones to match the wood trim. I then installed custom rods with elbows that allowed me to hang 8 new 50” x 96” grommeted stationary panels in-between the windows and on the ends. Now the windows seem much bigger and became a beautiful backdrop in the room:

So all in all subtle changes but what a difference and my clients are happy so I’m happy!

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