Shifting the furniture back so the sofa is against the wall, and positioning the chairs so they're across from it make the room seem bigger and open up space for passing from one room to another. A colorful rug and light celadon walls balance a sense of calm with splashes of color and give the room a cozy, cheery feel. Throughout the room, zingy raspberry and yellow warm up the celadon walls and teal upholstery. Ivory, brass, and chocolate brown keep the candy colors sophisticated.
With the seating area pushed back against the wall, the free space in the bay window was put to good use as a desk area, flooded with natural light. The raspberry-color spray-painted console table matches the colors in the rug (not shown) and chair, making the colors cohesive. Simple Roman shades trimmed with green ribbon, a comfy wooden chair, and a white lamp and desk accessories keep the area from looking too busy or overdone.
Repositioning the furniture creates a spacious front section of the living room, giving free range to add transitional furniture like this bench. The bench blocks the black space of the firebox and provides extra party seating that fits right in with the rest of the furniture. Colorful artwork above the fireplace highlights the simple beauty of the fireplace mantel. The arrangement of this section of the room makes the room seem less crowded and more conducive to smooth traffic flow.
Set the Mood
Small mercury-glass lamps add warmth and ambience and eliminate the need for wall sconces. Half shades make it easy to position the lamps close to the wall to ensure that they fit on the shallow mantel. The elegant and almost vintage finish of the lamps adds character and a bit of texture to the room.
Prior to the redesign, a long window covering hid this charming window seat, and the awkward placement of the furniture left the built-in bookshelf somewhat inaccessible. Repositioning the furniture and partially uncovering the window allows the seat to be integrated into the room's furniture arrangement. The shelves were painted a few shades darker than the walls to call out the character of the built-in without being overbearing, achieving Griffin's design goal to "call them out without screaming."
Both cute and functional, these cubes in the built-in bookshelf offer a unique focal point in the room and serve both as storage and decorating space. The room's palette colors the accessories for a cohesive look.
Designer tip: There is such a thing as too many colors. If your eye has nowhere to rest, you have too many colors and you need to edit.
Switching the Sofa
The dark brown leather sofa was too nice of a piece of furniture to get rid of and the scale was right for the room, but its deep tone gave a dark look to the room as a whole. To brighten up the room but keep the same furniture, the original three seat cushions were swapped for a single lighter-color one. The antique look and the comfort that the couch provided are still present, just in a lighter way that accentuates the other new, bright features of the room.
Designer tip: Contrast is the way we decorate today. A mix of finishes and style is the recipe for a beautiful space.
A circular coffee table adds a much-needed round shape to a very rectangular room. The antiquelike table was once dull-looking, but a bit of metal polish did the trick to make the brass table shine, and it coordinates with the new tables on both ends of the couch. The zigzagged edge and patterned tabletop are discreet yet pretty details.