Restyle :: Before and Afters of a Great Room Gone Bad

House hunting can be one of the most daunting tasks for a family to make, and my

latest clients began looking for their dream, old, new home over a year ago before they finally settled on this one. 

For them it was a bit of a downsize but the perks came with wooded privacy, acreage for that new garden, and beautiful interior architecture and character that they couldn’t find in a cookie cutter suburban home.  Once the paperwork was signed though, the call came in to me that they were a bit befuddled with how to work with their new “character.”  The great room, well was great, but the excitement was waning when the furniture arrived and now all of sudden they didn’t know where to put what. 

**Addy Cakes (12) apprenticed on this job using some of her new photography skills.  She took the Before pictures for me. Is it bad that of my 4 girls I dream that at least one of them will fall in love with design as much as I do and just maybe might want be my partner?!!!

The Restyle

My client’s great room is accessed through the front door and the traffic flows straight through splitting the living room into 2—a left side and a right side.  For the purposes of this Before and After we are working with the left side only.




I’m excited to reveal this After with you simply because it was so fun to work on and it has every bit the type of design anyone can learn to do in their own home.  Here are the Afters and how it all came together:



photo 1

My first goal in this restyle was to create the ideal conversation area.  I know you are wondering what that is right? Well, essentially, the best type of conversation areas are U-shaped!

:: You Can Do Design ::

If you take the first chair by the window and draw a

curved line from it to the couch on the wall and then to the chair

it faces, you will have a nice u.  This is ideal because all people can talk

and relate to on another easily and comfortably.  So, start moving your

pieces into place pronto!!!

To achieve my client’s u-shape I scoured the house and found the most ideal piece in the mix which was the sage microfiber chair which I placed under the window.  Once those pieces of the puzzle were in place I started the fun part—adding the accessories.  This is like the mascara and lipstick to any room. 

Thankfully, my clients already had 3 amazing framed maps of our local area.  Once I spotted those in the house, I knew they would be perfect on those large walls above the couches and even over the door.  But the small wall next to the window also needed some polishing, so I went to the basement and dusted off their vibrant French locale picture which fit into our new travel theme.  With the maps somewhat neutral, which was perfect over the deep blue couches, I needed a little pop of sugar over my sage chair friend who was now the neutral in the sea of blue.  Fortunately, the blue in the French picture popped off the couches on the other walls creating an overall balance in the room. 

Yay!  I like balance!  It’s like Pilates for interior decorating.


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To center and ground the room we kept her newly purchased floral rug and then added some pillows from around the house which pulled colors out from the rug. I then added the two small foot ottomans in front of the couch.

:: You Can Do Design ::

A rug can be the best litmus test for colors in your room. 

Pull out the neutral and put it on the wall.  Pull out the colored patterns

and throw them on your couch in the form of pillows and throws, or in books,

candles, and trays that accessorize your tables.  It’s quite simple!  Now go

look at your rug, run and pull accessories from your other rooms, then run back to

your living room (take a breath) and take out the boring and bring in the WOW! 

You could literally restyle your room in a matter of minutes!!

Lastly, for my client’s future room design, which her and her husband can do in the future on their own budget and time, I suggested two side tables to flank the large couch (think symmetry).  This adds function by creating a spot for coffee cups, books, and display but also fills in more negative spacewhich will create an even warmer feeling than they already have.  I also suggested two large, matching side table lamps for added night lighting (they only had the overhead fans), wall and table filler, and general use. 

And lucky for me the painters came before my After shots (I couldn’t take any right away since we did the restyle at night and there wasn’t enough lighting for the pictures).  So when I came back for my pictures, the paint I suggested was up and looking gorgeous just doing its thang.  Yay!  And in case you were wondering what color…you guessed it…one of my faves which I suggested on my last blog restyle: Camelback by Sherwin Williams.  Its got warmth, neutrality, and a little spunk!  That’s why I love it!!!

Hope you learned something that you can do right away for your home using what you already have!!

Happy Restyling Friends!!!