Other than the “Great Escape Great Room” for the 2019 Cottages & Bungalows Magazine Project House, (on stands now in the Jan/Feb 2020 issue!) it’s been a while since I had a new project to reveal to you! But I wanted to give you a sneak peek of a fresh traditional living room I recently completed.
My super awesome (and super busy) clients are both physicians in their 30s with a 2-year-old son and a cat. Their Forever Home is a lovely 1940s colonial revival home in Concord, NH, sided in shingles, much like many of the seaside vacation homes of the late Victorian and Edwardian periods. The home is amazingly well-built, but not much had been done to update it since the 1980s.
So much of what I see online tends toward a more casual style of living, so I was thrilled that this couple sought a semi-formal room — one that was comfortable and inviting, a place for them to sit in front of the fire after their son was in bed, but also a place to entertain guests in style. But they also wanted seating that was also fairly durable in case of the inevitable spills that come with kids (even when they’re on good behavior!), and adults who may occasionally be clumsy. 🙂
In other words, they wanted a RETREAT for grown-ups and a space and for kids learning how to behave in a civilized manner.
(Nothing wrong with a little bit of formality in my book, whether in decor or in manners.)
Both clients LOVE very traditional style and created a Pinterest board for me chock full of blues & whites, golds and merlots, brown furniture (yippee!), formal window treatments, and Oriental rugs. Some of the inspiration images they gave me below.
Further reading: Quality “Brown Furniture” Is Always En Vogue
While being blessed with windows on 3 sides, a fabulous marble-surrounded fireplace, and built-in bookshelves, the original space felt dark and squat overall. This feeling was mostly due to the fact that the room is fairly large in square footage (about 18′ x 25′) but the ceilings are only 94″ high. Furthermore, there were no lighting fixtures, only a couple of outlets wired to a switch.
I wanted to take their preferred colors of blues, golds, and merlots and “youthfulize” them up a bit — light taupe, sky blue, and berry red. Final fabric scheme below.
I also wanted to swathe the room in a single color in order to make the ceilings seem higher (no visual break points at the base and crown moldings).
Lastly, to add some “architecture” to the room, I wanted to create shallow millwork on the walls and ceiling. These details would help distract from those disproportionate dimensions (low walls, lots of ceiling) and break up those big expanses.
For additional subtle dimension and texture, we’re adding a slightly shimmery grasscloth to the backs of the bookcases in a color very similar to the walls.
The clients had loved the idea of grasscloth in the room overall — but grasscloth is a definite NO-NO when you have a cat! (We’re talking, climbing the walls!)
Below is the final floor plan and furniture/lighting plan. I was SO HAPPY my clients went for the curved sofa! Fits so nicely in the crook of the piano. The settee by the windows is lightweight (but well made!) and can be drawn forward for extra seating during entertaining, or moved to the entrance hall when the Christmas tree is set up.
The floral flush mount is another of my favorite things — fresh twist on a traditional crystal chandelier, and appropriate for the not-quite-8-foot ceilings.
I almost always have renderings done of main living spaces these days — kitchens & open concept rooms, living rooms, dining rooms, master bedrooms, etc. — especially for new clients with first-time projects. It really ends up being a very efficient use of time & money.
Why? I find that most clients have a hard time visualizing the final outcome, even with inspiration boards. With new clients especially, trust can be very difficult to surrender. I understand that. I really do. Renderings allow clients to see the end result. Buy-in happens so much faster, with so much less agonizing & reselecting … and that time savings amounts to $ savings in the end.
Renderings by Kelly Fridline Design.
These are not exact renderings of every piece of furniture, but, rather, they are representational of the actual furnishings selected, scaled to the proper size and in the correct colors/fabrics. They allow you to get the idea of scale, color/pattern balance, proposed millwork, etc.
I knew that a rug was important to my client, so I gave them 3 choices at different price points. The rug they chose is different from above, as is the lounge chair pillow, but based upon these renderings, everything else was approved in the first presentation.
I’ll be photographing this and another space with Emily O’Brien on Tuesday, so there will be snow and gray branches outside the windows instead of greenery. Oh well. Can’t win them all!
Check back in the coming weeks for the final reveal!
See you next Saturday!