Friday, April 29, 2011

Haven's Housecalls: Kim's Living Room

My friend, Kim, was so sweet to let me crash her house yesterday, to give some thoughts on her living room. She and her husband are just finishing up a gorgeous kitchen renovation, and you know when something at your house looks awesome, it makes everything else around it look just o.k....hmmm...

This is "Living Room USA"....literally everyone has a living room like this, has had a living room like this, or knows someone with a living room like this. Its not bad, but as I said about the kitchen, its just looking a little tired now, comparatively.

They've been married for 17 years, and have resorted to using the slipcover to cover all those blue and white gingham 1990's plaid couches. You know you have one too! We all do. The rest is a combination of hand-me-downs both from other people or from other rooms around the house.

Kim also has some "trouble spots", like an upright piano (difficult design-wise), and some too-small accessories, as well as outdated lamps.

My goal with "Housecalls" is to use real life houses, in order to make recommendations, that you might use in your own house. Not everything will apply, but some will. It will get perfected over time, hopefully!

So, here's a design board, with some suggestions (sorry for the small'll figure it out!):

1. This great circular mirror (Pier1) would add some shape differential in between the two picture ledges. All the square lines of the frames get to be overwhelming, and this would finish out the photo wall over the couch.

2. Update the slipcover to a slate gray, or save up for a great dark couch, like this, from Ikea, for only $499 (Karlstad)

3. Use these gorgeous geometic curtain panels from Ballard Design, to add softeness to the windows. (in charcoal)

4. This paisley pillow from Pier 1 would be an inexpensive way to add great color and style to the new white chair (#6), as well as the updated (spray painted) wicker chairs. Its a way to bring the blues and greens from the family room, into the newly updated living room.

5. This whimsical green short bolster could be used (a pair of them) on the couch. It would soften the otherwise modern/sleek couch, and bring in more of the greens.

6.Then, instead of the floral rocker, she could add a crisp white chair, also from Ikea (Ektorp $249)

In terms of the wicker chairs (seen here) in the bay window....


My suggestion on those, is to get spray paint in a warm taupe or gray, and recover the/make cushions in cream or white. Again, adding the aforementioned throw pillows.

Her lamps were somewhat dated, and didn't match, but that can easily be a fake out by updating the shades to cream or white drum shades. When the shades match, most people don't notice that the bases don't. The brass lamp base could quicly be sprayed with ORB (Oil Rubbed Bronze), a tried and true solution to dated brass.

Additionally, I did suggest that she blow up some of those great pictures, and arrange them differently on the wall, to make more of a feature wall, picture-wise, as you can't really see any one picture very well due to their small size.

As you could see, they have a bay window, which people are always a little freaked out about. The reality is, is that its not a problem. You need two short rods, with a panel to each outside window, then a longer rod in the middle with two panels. Four total panels. Easy-peasy.

What else, what else....a little accessorizing on the coffe table, and I think we're good to go.

Thanks Kim, for inviting everyone in to your house! Good luck. Watch for a future posting on what she did to update.

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