Posts Tagged ‘living room curtains’

Before & After: My Living Room

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I’m living the dream in my new living room! What started as a beautiful light gray color palette is embellished with bright cobalt, deep plum, and a little bit of leopard print. Seriously, everyone needs a bit of Leopard print.

We ditched the dark 70’s wood paneling and covered up the brick fireplace to wrap the room in a beautiful light gray and bring some life and light back into this space.

As you can see, 1970’s was alive and well in this “Before” space. The paneling was dark, the brick, while cozy, felt heavy with the dark beams and minimal lighting. Even the floors were dark! I covered the brick fireplace for a few reasons. First, I felt that adding a wood panels would help the space feel more modern. Second, this is the only place for the TV to live in this space, and the brick did not provide somewhere to hide all of the wiring needed. So all of that now lives neatly tucked away behind the panels! We added a beautiful surround and hearth top from Dekton by Cosentino to give it that little touch of glamour.

Now the floors are a lighter wood with a chic grey octagon rug in a David Hicks pattern from Prestigue Mills.

If you remember from my New House Diaries blog posts, my living room is long, and best suited for multiple seating arrangements. Here you can see a handsome area with the white sofa, newly upholstered tub chairs in my Duralee Spencer fabric, and someone can easily pull up one of my cobalt blue India ottomans from CR Laine to join the conversation! The floral drapery and ikat pillows bring the bright cobalt in without being too bold, and those custom, silk, plum-colored lampshades layer in my accent color on this end of the room.

You see that little pass-through to the wet bar with those charming shutter doors? Yes, I closed up that lovely hole in the wall and I’m not the least bit sad about it!

Now I have the perfect place to hang this original piece by Jane Booth that heavily inspired my color palette! My dogs and I love to sit on this gray velvet sofa which creates a second seating area where once again, you can pull up one of those great India ottomans to rest your feet and see the TV perfectly from here!

I removed those large open bookshelves and replaced them with smaller built-in units with octagonal detailed doors with antique mirror  to house all of the AV equipment on one side and provide great storage on the other side. Making those units a bit more narrow allowed for more space around the window so I could create yet another seating (and work) area!

These lounge chairs and ottomans are a great place to cozy up for a conversation, and during this time of year, to open Christmas presents!

And behind the chairs I tucked his great oval desk and pair of klismos chairs. Perfect for doing a little bit of work on my laptop in the morning with light streaming in from the window, and even better for putting together a puzzle or a mean game of scrabble on family game night!

I couldn’t be more thrilled with my new living room! And if you include the fun retro cushions I made for the hearth, I can seat at least 20 people comfortably in this room for holidays or entertaining friends. The color palette feels effortlessly chic and everyone can really spread out and take advantage of this large space. I’ll be walking you through more of my before and after reveals in my home soon so stay tuned!






Before and After: Soft and Relaxing Living Room

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It’s Before and After Friday and today we’re looking at a living room remodel that is soft and relaxing. This busy house is for a blended family of 6 kids, and with all the hustle and bustle that goes on under this roof, it’s nice to have at least one space that is toned-down and a bit more quiet.

Living Room Before (3)

This project included a large addition, but this formal living space is part of the original home. It’s the first space you enter from the front porch (which is now covered and wraps around the house) and there is really no entryway or foyer in this home. The client wanted “pretty and soft” for this room. I often say, “the entry sets the tone for the whole home” and for this home that means this space has to be up to that challenge.  Though this household will often be busy and chaotic, that doesn’t mean that there can’t be some calm amongst the chaos. We even took inspiration from their love of the beach (which is their favorite place to relax and escape their busy life) when making fabric, color, and materials selections for this room.

So here is the blank slate before the remodel started.  The wall to the right has now opened up to a new hallway.

Living Room Before (2)

And here is the soft and subtle after. Soft doesn’t mean we can’t have color. The tones of blue here bring to mind sea and sky, accented with hints of pink for a bit of freshness. We kept the original front door for the charm and contrast it brings to the room.


Here is the view towards what is now the new dining room and a wraparound porch beyond…

Living Room Before (4)

I don’t have an official after of this corner of the space, but here’s an “installation shot” that will help you get perspective of how these rooms work together. Decisions on the accessories were being made at this point and the coral lamp didn’t make the final cut. This photo also shows us a glimpse of the Art Deco chandelier the client brought with her, befitting the age of the original part of this home.

crestwood before 1
And here is what the new dining room looks like that flows seamlessly from this soft living room design to something coordinated but a bit more dramatic.

crestwood dining

A look at the living room fireplace wall before. There is now a large opening on the left to access the addition.

Living Room Before

And a vignette of this pretty wall with fresh cut forsythia vines waiting to bloom for Spring, plus a better look at that fab antique chandelier!


And here is a tiny glimpse of what I did in the new hallway to transition my soft color palette to the newly remodeled upstairs kids’ zone.

crestwood stair

I hope you loved this sweet before and after. These colors have me wishing for Spring!

Happy Friday!


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Before and After: Traditional Living Room Gets an Update

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photos 001I love this room. I designed it several years back (like probably 7 or 8), but I love how it still looks fresh. Good design is timeless, or at least it can withstand trends and design fashions for many years. I would say, on average, my clients get tired of their design – meaning they just want something new – far before the spaces actually become dated or wear out.

And on average, I do hear from my favorite clients again every 7-8 years wanting a refresh or to start a new project. I have 3 of those types of jobs happening as we speak.

The room above didn’t always look so fresh. Let’s take a look back at where we started and what we transformed…

Jennifer Green 001 The “before” was a luxury spec home in a great neighborhood in northwest Arkansas. Many of the details of the home were darker and more traditional than I would have selected had I designed the home. But they certainly weren’t something I couldn’t work around. The clients were newly married and just moved in their “his, mine, and ours” stuff knowing it wasn’t right for the space and then called me to create an atmosphere that blended both their styles. Jennifer Green 002Here’s another look at the before. It’s fun to see that this time period was coming off the “animal print, Hemingway, and Tuscan” trends that were big in the late ’90s and early 2000s in the South. And the client was ready to move into something more updated and fresh. Green Living and Master Bedroom Photos 003 (2) Here’s the emptied-out space getting ready for our fun drapery made by sewing solid silks into oversized stripes. Green Living and Master Bedroom Photos 007 (2)

And a view of the fireplace with the drapery going in and before we got rid of that palm tree for a cleaner look. before Here is a floorplan of the before, when the client was trying to lay out their existing furniture and finding it wasn’t functional. This room is challenging because of all the windows and openings into other rooms. There is literally no wall to anchor large pieces of furniture. after And here is the after floorplan I created to maximize the floor space and include additional seating for friends and family. I added a sectional, 2 extra wing chairs, and replaced the oversized lounge chairs with a more appropriately scaled pair. I added several tables to make the space more functional. There is actually a 5th chair in the final version that isn’t even shown here. It tucks in the bottom right corner normally and pulls in to accommodate another guest.


One half of this couple didn’t want to paint the stained wood and trim. And we’ve all had those clients or we are married to that spouse that is crazy about wood. So, like many of you, we’ve learned to work around it in some cases where it is appropriate for the architecture and the design style we are striving to achieve.

One of my solutions was bringing in this fun hexagon tile on the fireplace (this is the “in progress photo” when the installer is putting it in). It appealed to the more modern flair of the other spouse and I felt like the color palette worked great with the wood. It feels a bit California Bungalow, don’t you think?

And you can get a peek of the great Greek key pattern bound rug in the photo above that I used to fill the space and give us “permission” to use all the floor area for seating and storage.

Green Living and Master Bedroom Photos 012 (2)

Now keep in mind this was a few years back, so the accessories are different than what we might select now, but I still like the composition of the tables flanking the fireplace and the balance of the pieces. And the choices were a blend of the modern and classic styles of the two homeowners, which makes it all work seamlessly.

IMG_3273 (2)

Here is a snapshot of the after and it shows how the space is working after the arrival of a new “addition” to the family.

photos 001

And here it is again in all its glory. The fresh new version that looks charming and warm with the stained windows. See? Definitely not a deal breaker. I sort of think the stain actually makes this design better in many ways – it adds warmth and charm.

So what do you think about this transformation? It seems much more “REAL” in many ways than some dreamy, clean-slate project, doesn’t it? Since there were some non-negotiables like painting the wood, many of you can probably relate to this couple and the design dilemma.  How does this remind you of solutions you have created that help keep everyone happy in your home or your client’s home? Leave me a comment and let me know.

Want to see more of this family-friendly home and the “after” of this space? Check out this old video. I think my hairstyle is much more dated than the interior. Ha! Ha! But the solutions for hiding baby toys, accommodating guests, and creating spaces that will grow with the family are all still relevant and clever.

Happy Friday, Friends!


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