Karen’s living room is bursting with serious potential. Here’s her letter:
Hey! I got one! Let’s get to it. I need serious help with my LR (and I’d love a few pointers for my adjoined eat-in kitchen). My decor is traditional but I’m trying to go more casual, hip, & younger. I call it my midlife decorating crisis. I fell in love with photos of your living room in a magazine and I believe that I’d be totally happy with anything you love. The sofa, chair, console & nesting end tables are all new and must stay. I still have the receipts for my two new lamps so they can stay or be returned. Everything else can go (the TV, armoire, round end table, etc). I’d also love a new small dining room table. I’m hoping to replace the carpet and vinyl with new hardwood flooring, so consider that when suggesting new area rugs for the living room/eating area. The lighting in our house is totally inadequate so I’d love all the light you think this room can handle. I would gladly replace the ceiling fan and the stained glass light in the kitchen with fixtures that are up to date. PLEASE suggest a new wall color, a color for the ceiling & trim, and a kitchen cabinet color. I like green, blue, and the neutral colors in your house. I fell in love with your nursery curtains and bought the fabric to make curtains for my living room. Basically I need you to somehow tie this all together and give it some good old Young House Love swankification. I honestly believe that mine might be the design dilemma that sends you running for the hills! – Karen
Here’s the plan:
And here’s the new layout suggestion:
Now for the mood board breakdown.
1. This is going to be one of those super dramatic makeovers, just because once there’s some color on the walls along with those cabinets (and the border is removed) the entire space will instantly look crisper and more updated. And the fact that Karen plans to replace the floor in both the kitchen and the living room with seamless hardwoods will further complete the transformation. As for the wall color, we’d love to see a soft and neutral khaki green tone (Benjamin Moore’s Dune Grass) in both the kitchen and the living room while the trim, the doors, and the kitchen cabinets get a few coats of glossy white paint (Benjamin Moore’s Decorators White). Oh and the ceilings can get a coat of BM’s Springview Green (a shade lighter than the walls) to keep them feeling finished and integrated (which will also help those white cabinets, trim, and doors really pop). Then we’ll bring in some rich dark wood furnishings with some nice clean lines along with some warm neutrals (to work with Karen’s tan sofa) and some cheerful pops of blue and green to keep things feeling fresh and lively.
2. Karen mentioned that her space needed a lot more light, so we think replacing the dated glass chandelier in the dining area with this chic dandelion fabric pendant (hung 32″ above the top of the table) will immediately sleek up that space. And swapping out the ceiling fan in the living area with this oversized striped pendant light (hung 24″ from the ceiling) will add so much life and color to the space (that will tie into everything from Karen’s new curtains to her future pillows and art). And when it comes to her two existing table lamps, we’d love for Karen to pick up another three-sphere lamp (like the one near the door) and another set of similar nesting tables to the ones she already has near the door and place the matching lamps atop the similar side tables on either side of the sofa in front of the picture window. And Karen’s existing glass based lamp can live on the console table near the door (she could even pick up a second one for the other side of the console for extra credit).
3. We’d love to see this oversized abstract print framed in a clean lined dark wood frame and hung on the wall across from the console table (above the chair that we’ll be moving over to that wall). Not only does it have every color in our scheme, the linear effect will really play off of the pendant light hanging above the coffee table and tie into the curtains and the accent pillows for a balanced and happy vibe.
4. We were instantly in love with these stunning floral plaques as soon as we saw them, and we think tiling four of them in a grid (about 3″ apart) and hanging them above the console table (with the center of the arrangement at eye level) will look amazing. Especially since they subtly reference the print in the curtains and the texture will add so much to the entire room.
5. This 8′ round jute rug (on sale!) will look great in the kitchen- especially once the cabinets are painted a glossy white tone and the floors are replaced with handsome hardwoods. Plus it’ll tie into the natural fiber rug we’ll be bringing into the living room without looking too matchy-matchy (thanks to the rounded edges and the tighter weave).
6. This classic dining table along with four of these chairs (both with free shipping!) will instantly update the dining area, especially once they’re placed on that round jute rug with the fabric pendant hanging from above. And plopping down a big bowl of green apples in the middle of the table can serve as a simple centerpiece that will add polish without breaking the bank.
7. Here’s the fabric that Karen purchased to make curtains after seeing us use it in our nursery. We think two floor to ceiling panels hung super wide (at least 20″ beyond the trim) on either side of the large picture window in the living room will look lovely (especially once the wall clock and the armoire are removed). And creating matching roman shades with the same floral fabric for the door and the window in the kitchen will add even more balance and punchy color to the adjoined space.
8. We’d love to see this assortment of pillows on the sofa and the chair to break up all that tan upholstery and add some layered texture and interest. Tossing one of the blue pillows on the chair- and adding another blue one, along with a green one and a patterned tan one to the sofa will really feel casual and inviting while working perfectly with everything from the art to the curtains… and even the posh new pendant light overhead.
9. This gorgeous 8 x 10′ braided jute rug (on sale!) will add texture and some light and airy interest to the entire space, while creating a floating seating area in the living room which is differentiated yet visually connected to the dining space on the other side of the room.
10. We love that this round and leggy coffee table will tie in with the round table and rug in the dining area while adding to the easy flow in the living space (round tables really make it simple to move around when compared to rectangular or square options). And topping it with a sleek white tray or bowl full of shell balls or woven orbs (we’ve seen them at Target, Z Gallerie, and Kohl’s) would finish things off in a snap.
So there you have it. A living room full of cozy and inviting style. We can’t wait to see what you guys think!
Update: We sadly can no longer find the time to take on client commissioned mood boards (and just whip up general inspiration boards instead) but if we ever reinstate them we’ll make a big announcement!