Simple, achievable design and renovation strategies for a beautiful, comfortable home
Project Portfolio: Living Spaces
(before and after photos- click on photo to see full size view)
This is the family room that is part of the kitchen that you'll find of the same name on the kitchens page. The man of the house is a go-go, power influencer, so he needed a family room that felt more like a library with masculine attributes that wouldn't over-power the kitchen at the other end of the room. I used the same stained wood for the shelving and mantel as I did for the island and banquette and the result is handsome indeed.
This living room with its yellow, knotty pine floor, baseboards and window trim was a few knots too many! The gentleman owner wanted a room that made him feel at home but would equally welcome the special lady in his life. He had his heart set on a white leather sofa, so this became the central piece around which all else revolved. I darkened the floor color, painted the baseboards and window trim dark grey, added linen curtains in a grey blue/green/cream check, found an antique Persian woven rug, driftwood lamps and some comfortable upholstered chairs. Curling up in front of a fire is "knot" a chore any more!
The living room in the same home as the kitchen of the same name on the kitchen page, it desperately needed a lift, extra seating and book storage, but because it's a heritage house with original wood beams on the ceilings and hand-troweled plaster on the walls, renovation was not possible. So I designed and had built an oak window seat with upholstered seat cushions and book storage underneath, with a built-in pedestal for the iconic sculpture of The Working Man. Because I couldn't drill into the ceiling to install an art light to highlight The Working Man, I devised a surface-mounted art light that lights him from below and creates the most wonderful shadows at night. Sometimes necessity is the mother of invention.
The owners of this condo bought the studio unit next door and we broke through the wall to create a more spacious living area for my clients and their two children. The new unit houses the new living room, fireplace wall, entry hall, mudroom/laundry room and powder room. I designed a custom wood and glass sliding door to separate the living area from the original unit where the children sleep. Now Mum and Dad can watch TV without keeping the kids awake. The dark cherry cabinetry wraps around the wall from the old unit to the new creating a huge amount of new storage and a strong contemporary statement, rather than the bland, blank wall that existed before.
The three stair cases leading in and out of the existing family room felt overwhelming and chaotic. It gave a disturbing vibe to this otherwise gracious 1930's home. You can see the kitchen level and master bath in their respective categories in the projects menu. The non-descript builder-beige walls didn't help and the whole thing needed a lift. The new color scheme is a grey blue, white and grass green which feels fresh and airy no matter what the quality of light coming in the windows and doors.