When Jamie wrote to us to help her spiff up her rental home (thank goodness she’s allowed to paint the walls and hang pictures!) we couldn’t wait to spring into action. Here’s her letter:
Help me makeover my living room! I’d like to repaint and replace some of the furniture in hopes of a fresh new space. As for what I’d prefer to keep, I like the chair and sofa but was planning to remove the leather recliner and put a desk there instead. I’ve already purchased the desk from Crate & Barrel and need your help selecting some side tables for the sofa along with a media cabinet with doors (I like some of the armoires I’ve seen at Pottery Barn). I’m also in need of a new TV and some pillows to work with my tan-copper couch that’s surprisingly hard to match. Oh and the location of the TV is due to the cable jack. I could possibly run wiring along the molding to a different location, but I don’t really see it fitting anywhere else. Looking forward to your suggestions. – Jamie
So we put on our thinking caps, consulted about a hundred of our favorite sources, and whipped up this fresh and sophisticated mood board:
Here’s the mood board breakdown:
1. Our serene and subdued color scheme will keep things feeling open and airy, and thanks to the contrast of the chocolate brown furniture and the coppery-tan couch, there will be just enough pop to make the room a major stunner. We’d suggest the pale silvery gray color for the walls (try Glidden’s Tears of Joy) and the moody gray-blue as an accent color on the wall above the fireplace (try Glidden’s Fostoria Glass) to transform that gorgeous fireplace into true focal point.
2. The next step to making that fireplace wall a fabulous feature is to pick up two of these that Jamie can swag from each corner of the room so they hang on either side of the fireplace (kind of like Stacie’s bedroom pendants). We love the pretty dahlia pattern, and they work perfectly with our new color scheme. And since they’re just plug-in fixtures, she can use a simple plant hook in the ceiling to swag them (which should be allowed if she can hang pictures). Best of all, she can take ’em with her whenever she moves out.
3. Next we have Ballard Design’s timeless and classic . We thought it would look great with her new Crate & Barrel desk (see #7) and although we’ve selected “Desert Chenille” as the upholstery fabric (to echo the copper-tan color of her couch) be sure to check out about a million other colors and patterns that they offer. We thought the criss cross legs of the warm upholstered piece would play really nicely with the crisp x-legs of the elegant Crate & Barrel desk she already purchased. Me-owww.
4. Jamie mentioned that she needed an armoire and liked a few that she’d seen at Pottery Barn. So off we went. Here’s (on sale with discounted delivery) in a rich deep brown that will complement all the other pieces in the room. Just as Jamie requested, it has doors and drawers galore (for oodles of concealed storage). And if that version’s a little too pricey, we dug up (also in a deep finish with doors and drawers to spare) from JC Penney on sale for $599. Oh and we even found this to complete the whole media center makeover- such a deal.
5. Speaking of the armoire, we’ll take this opportunity to tweak Jamie’s furniture placement. We think the new armoire would look great along the wall with the vintage map (instead of arranged diagonally in the corner where the tv currently resides). We also noted that Jamie wanted to keep the chair that matches her couch and lose the leather recliner, but we love the look of the leather with the couch- they totally work in the same color family without being too matchy-matchy. So we’d suggest that she lose the bulky chair and ottoman and place her new desk in that corner while keeping the leather arm chair right where it is for a more natural conversation area (guests won’t have to talk from across the room). Then once the desk drops in and replaces the chair and ottoman- and the armoire rests against the wall instead of sitting diagonally in the corner- we think the room will be crying out for a handsome (so not all of the furniture looks like it’s been pushed against the wall). This lowered pedestal version is a super swank piece to add to the room (and a steal at only $69). Plus we’re sure Jamie and her family will enjoy the added space to rest their feet, place a drink or stack a pile of glossy magazines. And it should be noted that this table is black, but with all the deep browns and tans going on in the room, we think one strong black accent piece will actually look better in the center of the room than another predictable dark brown item.
6. Next we’ll add a little sparkle. This pretty from zgallerie will add another dash of elegance and sophistication (it’s like jewelry for the room!) and we think it would look great behind the desk that will soon live in the right hand corner. Then the mirror that’s currently there can be moved to the other side of the fireplace behind the recliner (after the frame gets a coat or two of glossy brown paint) to bounce around some more light and add some sparkle on that side of the wall as well.
7. Finally, we get to the much mentioned that Jamie already purchased. Isn’t is swank? We’re confident it’ll look fab in the corner with the candle screen behind it and the glamorous x-bench tucked under it (which can also serve as additional seating for guests in a pinch). Plus the pendant lights on both sides of the fireplace will shed some gorgeous ambient light down on the desk and the recliner. Great for working or reading in style.
8. And now for some h fluff to hammer home our color scheme in the form of some . The stripes will add some more interest (and tie in perfectly with the trim on those to-die-for pendant lights) while the warm gold and icy blue velvet pillows will further break up the deep copper-tan of the couch.
9. Last but not least, a simple could be placed between the couch and the recliner. The rich color and the airy glass top are perfect for the space, and the $63 price tag practically begs Jamie to take it home.
So there you have it. Jamie’s sophisticated and chic rental reinvention. Whaddya think? We’re especially loving the plug-in pendants that will flank the fireplace (and the blue accent wall above the mantle). What’s your favorite part? Anything you’d add to the mix?
Update: We sadly can no longer find the time to take on client commissioned mood boards (we now whip up general inspiration boards instead) but if we ever reinstate them we’ll make a big announcement!