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Traditional with a Twist: A Client Living Room Refresh

Whew - things have been busy and I haven't had a lot of time for blog posting but I'm not complaining one bit! Life, work, kids and summer are keeping me on my toes!

It's been a few months since I completed this living room refresh but I thought it had some great take-aways that were worth sharing. First and foremost, one thing that is really important to me that my clients (and potential clients!) know is that I am never going to come in to a home and suggest that we get rid of everything and buy everything new. (The two exceptions to that are if the client requests that or if the room is already empty and needs furnishing!) In fact, one of the first questions I always ask when starting a project is what are the things you love about this space and what are the things that must stay? To me that helps give me a good sense of what my client's style actually is and also helps in the planning process when thinking about color schemes, room layouts, etc.

This client called me in for a living room refresh. She didn't want to purchase new furniture or make any major investments/changes (save for recovering a chair) but it is amazing what we were able to achieve with some de-cluttering, some accessories and a couple of new fabrics.

We focused on three major things in the space:

1. Updating the mantel and fireplace

2. Reupholstering the arm chair

3. Restyling the built-ins

First, the mantel. Her mantel had a HUGE (I mean to the ceiling!) mirror over it and it was not getting removed. A lot of times mirrors are my go-to over mantels but that obviously would have been redundant so I suggested leaning art. At the very mention of that, my client remembered that she had an unused large piece of art upstairs that she loved but hadn't found the right spot for it. Immediately she brought it down and presto, the once troublesome mirror immediately faded into the background and we didn't even have to buy anything! She did want new accessories and a new fireplace screen so I did source those for her. Here's the before and after of the mantel:



I adore that fireplace screen. It's modern without feeling too contemporary next to her traditional furnishings and it opens the room up so much. It was also extremely well priced and very sturdy! We kept the accessories simple but added some vases for color, the branches for height and the wooden candlesticks for height and warmth. It was spring when we finished up this room and so the branches have spring buds but I sourced a back-up option for her as well that she can change out during other times of the year to keep them seasonally appropriate. This is a good trick to note when you are going faux. If you have spring buds in the dead of window, it's a pretty big clue that your branches are fake!

Next, we addressed reupholstering this armchair.


The lines of the armchair were great and so it was definitely worth keeping (not to mention, if I remember correctly this had been in her family). The other thing was that the coral color was needed to help tie the other elements in the room together so that immediately narrowed down our color palette. I sourced a few options for her and she selected a great fabric with a much more modern design. The end result was fantastic and totally changed the room!


In the picture above you can also see the new coffee table styling and side table styling I worked on for her. She had a skirted table next to the arm chair previously and knew she wanted a pretty wooden table in there and after several months of both of us looking, she finally scored one and it was such an upgrade to the space! She also wanted new pillows in the space and we both fell in LOVE with the incredible Schumacher fabric (see pillow in the buffalo check chair) that worked so perfectly with the other existing colors in there and helped pull out the coral as well.

We also updated her piano bench fabric. We chose a little leopard print. It was just that perfect hit of a little something different that the room needed! This was also such an affordable update since we only needed a small amount of fabric and the upholstery work wasn't complicated at all.



Lastly we addressed their built-ins. They had some great pieces and PLENTY of books!


While I do love books, these shelves were feeling a little cluttered so my clients did their homework and took everything off the shelves. I asked them to leave out the things and books that they truly loved and wanted to display and I came in and styled the shelves for them. I added only a couple of new accessories and you can see how different and how much more lightened up the shelves feel now.

And that's a wrap on this living room refresh project! I think the clients are really happy with the end result which makes me even happier!

xo, Cameron

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