Friday, May 9, 2014
My last blog post featured an updated fireplace in a client's home and gave a sneak peak at some of the work we've been doing in her living room. In addition to the fireplace, there are several other things we've been working on, including custom living room furnishings and a handful of adjustments to the existing dining room layout and decor. While I want to save the full reveal for a time when we've been able to get in there and properly photograph the entire space, I thought it would be fun to share how we've transformed her dining area from somewhat plain and lacking in focus, to a room that is stylish and cohesive, all with just a few adjustments that can be easily replicated. (To be fair, while I make this sound simple, the transformation took place in stages over the course of several months.) Here's how we did it.
When we started, the client had a fairly new dining set in perfect condition. The set wasn't necessarily in keeping with the new style direction she wanted to go in, (Translation: more contemporary, with a touch of mid-century and "glam" mixed in) but she very matter-of-factly stated that she didn't want to replace it. While I don't consider myself a wasteful person, this type of situation is always a big challenge for designers--how to work in preexisting pieces without compromising the integrity of the new design. We smile at the client and say "no problem," but inwardly we're groaning! Several things bugged me about this particular set. For starters, the chair seats were covered in black leather. Practical to be sure, but also aesthetically boring. Secondly, the scale didn't seem right for the space. It looked too small and all those identical chairs created visual clutter instead of supporting the room's most obvious focal point: the formal dining table. Beyond the dining table were two additional major pieces that, while beautiful, weren't living up to their full potential. One was a gleaming baby grand piano, tucked in a corner so far away from the viewer that it was hard to appreciate its gorgeous lines and stately elegance. The other was a beautiful yet misplaced antique chaise lounge, which seemed to reside in an awkward location.