Hannah’s recently renovated living room is bursting with major makeover potential. Here’s her letter:
We have a blank canvas of a living room to work from. Our style is casual, comfortable, but visually interesting. We have a 2-year-old and a dog (who is allowed on the furniture and sheds white hair everywhere) so nothing that is museum-like or doesn’t actually invite usage. We like Pottery Barn & Crate and Barrel. Because of the narrowness of the room (compared to its length), we were thinking *maybe* two smaller seating groups but we are REALLY open to ideas. We have 2 pieces of art that are earmarked for the living room and we want to put an upright piano in the room (but we don’t have it yet and are open to color suggestions). We’ll also be installing and definitely need a new wall color (we will be painting the ceiling and the beams white). We like visually interesting prints and solids and a brighter, cheery feeling room, or a palate that’s soothing/comforting without being dull or boring. We like blues, greens, oranges, taupes, and whites. We want it to be fairly durable, though, so no white couches or anything like that ;) Oh, and we clearly like nature, especially the bolder side, as evidenced by our art. Thanks again, and we really look forward to receiving your ideas. -Cheers, Hannah
This space is primed for a major transformation. Here’s the plan:
And now for the mood board breakdown.
1. We plucked our color palette right out of the gorgeous nature photography that Hannah will be bringing into her room. Chocolate brown wood, a few hits of that rich clay-orange color, a dash of moody navy blue, and plenty of neutral tans to tie it all together. Of course the ceiling (and those gorgeous beams) will be going white just like the fireplace. And thanks to the giant glass door, this room will still have a surprisingly light and airy effect- even with the rich tones we’ll be bringing in. And as for the wall color, we’d love to see a soft creamy tone (Benjamin Moore’s Natural Cream) to create the perfect backdrop for all the interesting art and accessories while setting off the white ceiling, fireplace, and trim ever so slightly.
As for the furniture arrangement, one big 8 x 10 rug floating in the middle of the space will create a nice little “room within a room” effect, so we can introduce one airy and open seating area to accommodate multiple functions and allow for enjoying the view of the fire and the great outdoors just beyond the gorgeous glass doors. We’d actually like to see a sofa in the space as opposed to a bunch of smaller pieces (like a few disparate chairs and loveseats) to match the proportions of such an expansive room. And placing the sofa so it faces the glass doors is definitely the way to go. This does mean that upon entering the space, you’ll be greeted by the back of the sofa floating a few feet away on the rug, but adding a beautiful sideboard behind it is a great way to create function, balance, and beauty so the layout instantly makes sense.
Then we’d love to see a gorgeous low coffee table to further define the centered seating area, and two low backed slipper chairs facing the sofa a few feet in front of the glass doors with an almost invisible side table between them to tie that side of the seating arrangement together. Then the brown upright piano (to match the furniture) can be placed in the center of the right wall with that gorgeous piece of art above it. The room will feel open yet oh so functional and inviting.
This layout might be hard to picture, so we’ve found with a sideboard behind a sofa and big glass doors with two matching slipper chairs in front of them. Although this example is a lot more modern and the sofa isn’t opposite the chairs, it still demonstrates how seating in front of a glass door doesn’t have to obscure the view and the back of a sofa can be a beautiful thing!
2. Just as we mentioned above, a dash of navy blue will add tons of visual interest to the space, while complementing the art and the orange-clay colored tones we’ll be bringing in. We’d love to see these on the sofa (with patterns in the rug and the chairs, we don’t want to overdo it in the seating area). Then to bring some of our accent color over to the piano on the right wall, this great will look fabulous on the piano bench (reupholstering the seat with some batting and some fabric will add more of that interest and movement to the space and tie everything together with a look that’s far from cookie cutter). Plus the piano bench can serve as additional seating in a pinch (when you’re entertaining or just hanging out with family and friends).
3. Here’s that we’ll be placing behind the sofa in our floating seating area that will feel balanced and visually stunning in such a lovely space. We were sure to find something low to tuck behind our low backed sofa so the view out those sliders is still the first thing you see. A matching lamp would look lovely on either side of the sideboard assuming the floor can get wired with outlets before the new wood flooring goes down. But even if that’s not something Hannah wants to take on, anything from a stack of books to some decorative objects will draw the eye out the window to the gorgeous view beyond.
4. And speaking of lighting, two of these amazing will look great framing the glass doors. One on either side of them will create more balance, add height, and introduce sculptural interest (the lamp bases are truly stunning in person, by the way).
5. Here’s the art that Hannah has chosen for the space and we think it’ll add drama and more of that nature-loving vibe. Her idea to hang the long horizontal piece above the mantel while the vertical one hangs on the opposite wall with the piano is perfect. In rich wooden frames they’ll be just the thing this room needs to take it from blank slate to brilliant.
6. These can be hung high and wide around the glass door to frame the view without blocking any light. The breezy, comfy, and casual vibe that they’ll add to the room will draw everyone into the space to enjoy a cozy fire or the lovely view of the backyard.
7. Here’s another textural element to add to the interesting, collected over time look that Hannah gravitates towards. Not only will evoke more of the natural feeling seen in the art, it will also be a nice low piece to tie the chairs and the sofa together and ground our lovely rug.
8. And here’s another occasional table we’ll be bringing into the room. This will sit between our two slipper chairs that face the sofa a few feet in front of the sliding doors. And thanks to the leggy and airy look, it won’t feel too chunky or block any of the view. The substantial wooden top is a great, natural element to add to the mix, and of course the price is pretty hard to beat ($59 on clearance!). Clean-lined elements like this table, the sofa, and the sideboard will keep things feeling casual and comfortable while patterned pieces like the rug and the slipper chairs add to the visual interest that Hannah adores.
9. And speaking of those patterned slipper chairs, here they are now. Two of (can you believe they’re just $299?) facing the sofa with our wood topped leggy table between them will be sheer bliss- and they’ll actually draw the eye out the glass door instead of obscuring the view. Sometimes creating a focal point in front of an architectural feature is just the thing to get eyes moving in that direction! Plus since they’ll be floating on the rug in the middle of the room, they won’t be backed up against the doors so there will be lots of breathing room for coming in and out.
10. We’d love to see this (on clearance!) sitting to the left of the firebox full of firewood. Instant cozy ambiance!
11. Here’s the that’s just perfect for Hannah’s space. Upholstered in a neutral tan fabric it’ll be dog and child friendly without feeling too dark and heavy in the light-filled room (while working seamlessly with the rest of our palette). And as someone who owns a Pottery Barn sofa, we actually think Room & Board offers superior styling and quality for just about the same price (if only we could turn back time…).
12. This room will be nice without … but positively stunning with it. It’s the thing that will tie everything together while adding interest, movement, texture and pattern for tons of that visual interest that Hannah has requested. The hand tufted wool will be comfy and cozy underfoot and the color is perfect for a house with a dog and a child. Plus the gorgeous medallion detail will add so much je ne sais quoi to the space!
So there you have it. An interesting and welcoming living room full of soft and inviting style.
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!