This room setting was originally in a showhouse on Long Island. There were 2 of each chair instead of one, square end tables and 4 large leather ottomans grouped together as the coffee table. Obviously that would be way too much furniture for this space. Working with the sofa and one of each chair, I added appropriately sized items to finish off the room.
There are lots of great ideas to take away from the new room setting I did for the day job. First, using 2 smaller scale sofas facing each other is perfect for creating balance. This is set up works great if you've got 2 focal points across from each other (fireplace/window and TV). The sofas here are in a neutral khaki which is the perfect backdrop for the red pillows and artwork. Think of it like wearing a tan coat with a red scarf.
I wrote the other day about using color to reinforce a focal point within a room. But that much color is not for everyone. There's a reason why tan, off white and beige are the most popular colors for paint and upholstery--people like them (or are afraid of the alternative). There are a few tricks to making a neutral room work.
I had to do a second entry on the flea market because there was just too much good stuff to share. Like these lamps, for instance. They would great with a simple round shade (no trims) in a room painted a deep color (maybe a peacock blue?) so the white base really pops. One note, matching lamps work best on end tables that are the same height to create a more cohesive look. These would also work on a console or dresser, too.
I decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather yesterday and took a trip over to the outdoor flea market in Hell's Kitchen to do a bit of browsing. I was pleasantly surprised by all the treasures I found there. First off, ladies, if you are looking for jewelry (costume)--this is the spot! But I was looking for some things for the home. These antique keys here could be framed in shadowboxes, for a less expensive version of what you can find at Ballard Design.
What to do with that long sofa wall? It's something a lot of people struggle with. One piece of artwork alone (even if it's hung at the correct height) is not going to cut it. In this family room, the sectional is across from large windows featuring a beautiful yard and adjacent to a fireplace flanked by built in bookcases (see previous entry). The best way to address this wall is a grouping of items, preferably something that works with instead of detracting from the view.
I've added a new project to the Redesign page. I worked with one of the designers at EA to add some accessories to help fill in the built in bookcases in the client's family room. Take a look to see how we used their existing pieces and added some new ones to freshen up the look. There are future plans to line the back of the bookcases with grasscloth wallpaper, which will finish it off beautifully.
Christine Schwalm is an Interior Designer and Visual Merchandiser based in Los Angeles. This space will keep you updated on what's going on with CSD along with some ideas to inspire you. Go here for more information about pricing and services and here to make an appointment.