Most of the time my posts are precipitated by a project or client, so is the case with this post. I have a client who recently went through a big life change, and because of this she decided she wanted to redo her living room. She had a healthy budget and although she considered herself pretty traditional as far as style, she also wanted to change things up a bit.
I am always a little concerned with people who want to “change things up.” My experience is that they really don’t want to push the boundary too far, but they want to “dip their toe in” and that’s why I am called. This is not an easy thing to navigate with most people, but in this case the client was so nice, so generous, and so open, the project just sailed along seamlessly.
The home had very traditional architectural elements and her style definitely leaned toward traditional. So rather than trying to pull contemporary items into the room, I concentrated on choosing normally traditional items that were updated in some way, either through color, texture, or material choices.
We also wanted to lighten the room up a bit as the old draperies were dark, the sofa was dark, and the rug was dark which created, yes, you know it, a cave-like room.
The first thing I addressed were the light fixtures. I decided to stick with a traditional shape but updated it with softer lines and wood elements. I replaced both the dining room and living room fixtures because the rooms were connected. We stayed with a metal “iron-like” look for table lamps but scaled them more appropriately to the occasional tables she already had. We took a chance on a funky larger lamp as a statement piece and she loved it. In fact, she said the one thing that makes my heart sing: “I would have never picked that but I love it.”
Turning my attention to the sofa, I replaced her traditional red burgundy leather Chesterfield with a green velvet camelback that mimicked the soft lines in the chandelier and also added a tufted side chair in a deep teal color to complement the sofa. We kept two gold-toned chairs in place, and so created our color palette of greens and golds which was all pulled together with the floral print draperies, soft green and gold rug, pillows and accessories.
I then dressed her mantle, taking away the crystal candleholders that were beautiful but gave the mantel a dated look, I was left with a traditional mantel with a mirror. Since the mirror could not be removed, I chose to tone it down by placing a metal design piece right in front and flanked it with mercury glass candlesticks and fruit bowl of the homeowners.
Truth be told, I tried to sneak in some leopard print pillows but she just didn’t love it so I placed my crewel backup pillow on the couch and …..oila! we achieved design gold!
The pictures below are of the living room ALMOST completed. You will notice a floor lamp in the corner that is basically a place holder for the fiddle leaf fig we are going to put there, but since Christmas is around the corner we decided to wait on that purchase. And lastly, pay no attention to the person who got her reflection in that damn mirror on the mantle…..ugh. But the star of this photo shoot may be Louis who oversaw the entire project.