Reimagine Your Living Room
When Brandon L. came to us a few months ago, he wanted help redecorating his living room in his new 3-bedroom, 2,000 square foot townhome on the northwest side of Indianapolis. When he moved into the house, he brought some old furniture from his last place and stuffed it all into the room, but it wasn't very inviting. Just an old couch, area rug, chair and ottoman, and a TV.
"It's functional, but it's not inviting," Brandon told us at the time. "The kitchen is more inviting, it has been updated and decorated more. The other area has become sort of a no-man's land that's never used."
Brandon said that when his friends came over, they would congregate in the kitchen and dining area. So he needed something that was more inviting and more "grown-up" in appearance. He wanted a coordinated look between the furniture and furnishings that was also comfortable.
Parker Gwen's design team started consulting with Brandon and learning his likes and dislikes. We suggested several options and he made a few of his own, and we came up with a makeover that he was very pleased with.
To start, we found a fabric couch that was comfortable, but not too large or small for the room. It's a 6 foot, light gray Parker Gwen couch with a fabric color that coordinates with the wall color, which was already in place. We also suggested a few throw pillows to highlight some of the color in the area rug that sits underneath — a Roma Patterned Rug.
Brandon also got two leather chairs from Parker Gwen and placed them by the window, great for reading the morning newspaper or looking out at the yard. Plus, there's a fabric chair and ottoman from Parker Gwen on the other side of the room. The chairs and couch make it possible for several people to sit and talk into the late hours, or to sit with someone special and watch a movie.
The coffee table looks like two nested circles from Parker Gwen, and it accentuates the other circular elements throughout the room: the mirrors that hang above the TV, the ottoman, and even the logs in the fireplace basket.
Brandon also had a hutch he wanted to keep, and we were even able to incorporate it into the design.
Design Principles We Followed
Based on our conversations with Brandon and learning more about his life, we wanted to consider elements like texture, color, the symmetry and balance of the room. These are some of the design elements we took into account.
Balance is all about the visual weight of the room. Does one side of the room feel cluttered or perhaps empty? This is usually caused by a lack of balance. In Brandon's home, we had to tackle the imbalance caused by the fireplace and TV placed above. It was apparent we needed to soften this side of the room by creating variable heights with our design.
Smooth surfaces give a different feeling and appearance when next to rough surfaces. We used a range of textures to help create visual interest in the room, while also targeting visitors' sense of touch.
Colors can calm, excite, or highlight emphasis. We typically use colors that coordinate well in a room with more natural colors leading the scheme. However, by using a bolder secondary color throughout the design, Brandon didn't have to worry about the room becoming overly "matchy-matchy." We used teal and yellows to help stand out from the blues and greys.
Many times, we see rooms that are forced into having one shape — the box look is the most common one. Every piece in the room is either a square or rectangle. In Brandon's home, there were several sharp angles because of the vaulted ceiling and the climbing half wall in front of the stairwell. By incorporating several circles and curves in the design — coffee table, mirrors above the TV, the ottoman — we were able to soften these strong angles.
In the end, a design is only as good as how it is used. Our homes are meant to be lived in, not looked at from afar. Brandon's living room needed to be able to entertain guests, watch TV, and be a safe place for his dogs to occupy. We made sure the sofa had performance-grade fabric to protect from potential pet stains and scratches. We also made sure all the seats faced toward one central point, which helps conversations when friends visit. And let's not forget the flat panel TV mounted above the fireplace mantel with a soundbar beneath. You probably didn't even notice the wireless router and other electronics. We purposely tucked those behind the bookcase to keep them out of sight.
"I wanted to keep an old hutch that I've had for years, and I wanted to incorporate it into the overall design," Brandon said. "The Parker Gwen team was able to do that without it overpowering the room or canceling out the effect we were going for."
Brandon was very happy once everything was in place, but there was one more critical test: his friends were to be the final confirmation that he'd made the right choices.
So he had them over for dinner in February, to see what they thought of it. He hadn't invited them over before then because he didn't think his place was ready. Hosting family and friends was a big reason for the redesign in the first place, and he wanted them to be impressed.
What was the verdict?
"They loved it," Brandon said. "They thought it was very well done, nicely put together, and it was definitely inviting and comfortable. We had a nice time."
If you'd like to learn how Parker Gwen's design team can help you redecorate your own home or even just a few rooms, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website for more information.
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