Why is it that we tend to put ourselves last? In my case it’s because I’m so busy designing other people’s homes that I run out of time for my own. Then, of course, there’s my family life, which always comes first before anything. So, I’m really thrilled that after a couple of years I’ve finally begun to work on my own living room.
Previously, I’ve used my living room as a template for two interior design companies that offer an online service. You can read my reviews of Designer At Home and and RoomJuice to see their solutions. The upshot is that, while I think this is a growing trend, it can’t yet compare to creating the best interior design solution without actually seeing the space. Read my reviews to see exactly what I mean.
I thought I’d share my interior design plans with you.
Here is the horrid picture of the living room “before”. I know, it’s a sad tale of woe.
I’ll spare you the gory details. But it involves no time and not enough parties. I definitely need to change all of that. Anyway, I did enough interior design work so as not to totally embarrass myself. The art placed along the floor was not part of the plan. I wonder how it got there?
Getting down to business, the major problem with the interior design of this long and narrow (23′ x 14′) room is that the coffee table is out of scale. It’s way too big. Basically, this is called Trying to fit the furniture from your old house into the new one. The sequel is called Then I got too busy to fix it.
First, I tossed the curtains. We don’t need the privacy and the windows are lovely by themselves. Next, I bought two Westside loveseats from Duralee and covered them in a taupe fabric from Clarke & Clarke. I tucked one loveseat slightly into the bay window and placed an existing console table behind it. Two small Studio Adjustable floor lamps from Visual Comfort on either side. The other loveseat sits at the opposite end of the room, but not directly across. Don’t be afraid to lose symmetry in a room. The idea is to make it work as a whole.
I’ve placed my McGuire nesting tables to the right and a really cool and inexpensive Palm Barrel table from Waterworks on the left. The coffee table is Pottery Barn’s Moroccan table. I thought a round table would be nice as there are so many square shapes in the room. Mixing geometrics is a good thing. It’s also important to have tall and low furnishing as well. It all creates movement. It’s a great way to create an interior design style that looks terrific.
Who doesn’t love a bargain? I bought the McGuire chair (shown on the right) at a sample sale. Score! It’s covered in the perfect yellow fabric. My antique chair (covered in a Larsen fabric) sits across from it. Behind that is a bookcase I bought 100 years ago. I painted it indigo and covered the inside with Farrow & Ball wallpaper (see below). Yum. We’ll get to my color palette in a minute.
Now for the other half of the room. I have an antique Polyphone, (a sort of primitive “jukebox”) that’s tall and plays giant metal discs. No photo, but it sits behind the loveseat. Opposite is my great grandmother’s writing desk. I mixed all sorts of styles in the interior design of this room. It’s really okay as long as the scale is correct and you mix it up enough. Don’t use all modern with one antique.
The other seating area consists of the same loveseat, a round table and new side table, in the same finish from Milling Road. I went for symmetry here because I was determined to buy these gourd table lamps (in an antique silver finish) from Visual Comfort. I adore their lamps. Anyway, the tables had to be the same height for the lamps to look right. Score! (My husband likes to say that).
Next, I chose the Tanner coffee table from Pottery Barn. The glass creates a sense of more space. That’s good for a small room. Plus, it was inexpensive. You can definitely mix inexpensive with their opposite as long as the cheap stuff is well put together.
Finally, I bought two Carter Club ottomans from William Sonoma Home and had them covered in an awesome red fabric. I’ll add red accessories to tie it all together.
The main fabric attraction is Ellington velvet from Clarence House. It will go on the ottomans. This was my starting point for the rest of the room. It’s so gorgeous I want to marry it. The Clarke & Clarke taupe is on the loveseats. The carpet is Trellis from Godfrey Hirst. And the colors on the side chairs pull the whole look together. Finally, I painted the bookcase a dark indigo and used Farrow & Ball’s Rosslyn paper in the back. The living room mantle will be a darker version – almost black – of the bookcase’s indigo.
Now for the color palette. All my paints are Benjamin Moore. I love their Aura paint especially. It’s scrubbable – no matter how dark you go. The walls are Fog Mist. The trim is Mascarpone. The bookcase is Twilight. I added Drop Dead Gorgeous to the palette because the living and family rooms are open to each other. The red will go on the family room walls.
It’s really important to tie colors together when they’re situated like this. I guess that’s obvious. It’s also a good idea to have your colors make sense throughout your home. You can do this by using at least one color from one room in another and so on.
So that’s my plan. Everything is ordered and I’ll show you the results when it’s complete. I can’t wait! My living room is finally going to look like humans live in it.
What do you think?