I see it all the time in my interior design work. Homes with these quirky little wall insets in halls, foyers or transition spaces. I’m guessing it’s the builder’s attempt to add “character” to the house but, inevitably, the homeowner is left scratching their head as to what to do with the dang things! In most cases, the easy “go-to” is to lean family photos or artwork or place a floral arrangement inside but, many times, those choices leave the homeowner feeling underwhelmed and bored. I, too, was faced with this problem in my own home. However, my problem was two-fold. (A)… I didn’t enjoy the look of the inset and (B)…I needed more storage space. In my case, the inset was placed on an angled wall and angled walls usually house unused space behind them. Now…those of you that know my work know that I am never opposed to busting through walls if I think there is hidden storage behind and that’s exactly what I did! Check it out! See the pretty antique door? That used to be an unimaginative wall inset! How’s that for “turning it up a notch?”
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard, “I just don’t know what to do with my mantel,” I could at least take a couple friends to cocktails with my earnings! (Wait! My friends really, really like cocktails! I could probably only invite one friend!). I digress…but yes…mantel styling can be a pesky enterprise. But sometimes a mantel’s problem is not only the mantel itself, but the entire fireplace wall.
I present to you to you a calm, cool and collected living room and fireplace feature wall that is stylish but also comfortable and livable!!! Can you say gorgeous?? Alas, it was not always the case. When I came on the scene, the homeowners yearned for a much more contemporary space and the fireplace and mantel that came with the house was anything but! It was nice…if you like uber traditional fireplace walls without much personality. So…I fixed it (wink, wink)!
The kitchen…the heart of the home…the very hub of life’s “hubbub,” wants to be loved too! If our kitchens could talk, I sometimes think that they would say they felt neglected. Not just neglected from a “wear and tear” standpoint, but aesthetically, as well. Don’t you agree? The kitchen performs on the daily for us…first in the morning over pots of coffee, bowls of cereal and trails of toast crumbs…then into the evening where it takes the heat, the sauce splatters, the wine spills, the ice cream plops, the oil slicks and performs like a champ through it all. But shouldn’t our kitchens be more than just our work horse? Doesn’t most of LIFE happen in the kitchen?…from social gatherings to family meals to homework to bill paying? And since everyone ALWAYS ends up in the kitchen, shouldn’t your kitchen not just function but look really awesome too??? I think yes! Continue reading
Can I get an AMEN????!!!! This makeover is, to quote my husband, “bad to the bone!”…and that’s a good thing! Let’s take a closer look at this home office makeover, shall we?
The office space is small…a 10′ x 10′ cube…however, this cube has a twin on the adjacent side and is divided by an entry hallway…office on the right, sitting/media room on the left. So…it is actually 10′ x 23′ in total space (you’ll see the sitting room in the next photos).
- Create a masculine office for the husband (wife’s office is upstairs) that is a functional home office (he works from home), music/writing room for him and front entry to home.
- Keep as much of the existing furniture as possible.
- Keep it budget friendly.
- Make it gorgeous!
- Remove credenza and lamp from the room. (Too cramped)
- Reposition desk to the center of the room looking out toward the middle of the entire space.
- Move book shelves from sitting room to the back office wall.
- Start shopping! The windows are empty, the walls are bare, the floor is naked and style needs to be infused everywhere!
…Moving to the opposite side of the space, let’s take a look at the existing sitting room before the makeover. The room includes pretty pieces from Ethan Allen, a flat screen and a media shelving unit…that’s it! Those shelves were moved to the office side to provide much needed functioning storage. The sitting room furniture was reconfigured to the middle of the room and I added a mirrored side table between the chairs, removing the one you see pictured here. The flat screen was also installed onto the wall.
New view from the center of the sitting room into the office..
View from the center of office into sitting room…
…Playing off the beautiful fabrics found on the homeowners’ furnishings, the space became an open and airy office that is sophisticated without being too formal or stuffy. I LOVE the masculine window pane plaid on the arm chair and the linen tweed of the desk chair!…all providing the cues I needed to pull the rooms together into one cohesive and stylish space that not only he would love…but one the wife would love too! The velvet drapes in Fog Grey add just the right amount of luxury needed for an office which resides in the front of the home. The artwork is bold and resonating, taking up the entirety of one office wall. This is a wonderful trick for small spaces…placing something very large in a small space creates the illusion of having a much grander space. The background art is a personal composition by the homeowner who is also a songwriter and piano vocalist. Adding unique touches to the home like this one is a must in my design work. A home should reflect the homeowner’s life, interests and dreams.
A closer look at the details…
The media/sitting room design is clean and contemporary as represented in the artwork and furnishings. Art was chosen as a starting point for a gallery wall which will evolve as the collection grows.