A couple of weeks ago I drove over to my cousins home to have a design consultation. Cousin Erin and her husband, Ben, and there new-ish sweet baby boy. I actually rarely meet face to face with a client, since most of my work is though the E-Design process. I do love it though, and like hello, you don’t give your cousin an E-Design, you obviously have to go to her house, take free Zaxby’s, and spend like forever talking about wonderful things, plus most importantly, her home, and sadly, the issues she has with it. Which is only sad in the present moment, because I was there to help her, and make everything right again.
Before I show you pictures of her home, just know, that she has a new baby, and a life, so if you see a random piece of something somewhere it’s not supposed to be, you totally gotta get over it.
Erin and Ben have an open floor plan. You walk in the door, and instantly you can see the living room, dining room, and kitchen. It’s a strait shot. See below.
The concerns that Erin and Ben have, are that the space is way too dark, not cohesive, decorations don’t pop, and they are not too fond of the couches, but they do not want to purchase new ones right now.
Aside from very little natural light, the darkness is coming from a color palette that is all too similar. See below. The wall color is totally great as a neutral, but not next to all of the other colors within the space. The carpet, the couch, the furniture, the floors, all of it is similar. So, when you walk into the house, it’s an overwhelming sea of browns and beige, and our eyes get lost. Which is directly related to her concern, which was that her decorations are not popping. So yeah, there are some concerns that definitely need to be addressed. Oh my gosh,as I’m writing this, Zaxby’s sounds so good. Too bad they are closed, and I’m trying to get abs, ugh back to the design.
All furniture must stay. But what is highly important, is that the window treatments stay. They love these, and I do too. A burnt orange floral design on an off white surface. This fabric is used in the living room, kitchen, and dining room area. So yeah, it’s important. Fun fact, Erin bought these from World Market, and then bought extra panels that she then turned into a valance for her kitchen, and dining room. The other “thing”that must stay is a current color palette that they began to introduce, which is turquoise and burnt orange.
Here is my suggestion board. None of these items are a must, but the idea behind them is what is important. With a suggestion board, Erin and Ben can go out and find similar items at their leisure, that resembles the ones I’ve chosen below. There are five specific changes I want to make, so that Erin and Ben can love their space again.
1. Change the paint color. Glidden, Distant Haze. This particular color I have suggested is much lighter, visually, than the current paint color. It’s a good mix of grey, white, and muted turquoise. It’s breezy, and incorporates the current turquoise accents that Erin & Ben have, but remains sophisticated. Too much of that raw turquoise color, can make a room look like a dorm room. The other great thing about the paint color, is that it’s almost directly opposite on the color wheel, as the burnt orange window panels that Erin has, so now, the panels will pop.
2. Incorporate modern white accessories. The room is so dark, it needs white sprinkled throughout, so that the light can bounce around and make the room seem brighter. White accessories throughout the living, dining, and kitchen area will also help unify all three spaces. Which is good, because they are all technically one space. However, some sort of separation needs to be created, just not through accessories. I suggested to use a white tray, atop the current dark brown side tables. Also, maybe add white modern cabinet knobs. Modern accessories are important here, so that the space feels current and updated. Erin and Ben have several pieces of furniture that were passed down, like a table, and a hutch. Which is awesome, because furniture is a great thing to keep in the family. But, that furniture isn’t modern, so to avoid the space looking like it’s from 30 years ago, a few modern pieces are a must. Modern being clean, strait lines, simple, minimal.
3. The couch situation. Couches are so stupid sometimes. Like big purchases, that you end up hating, or strongly disliking. It happened to me, too. Blah. Whatever. Anyway, without buying brand new couches, there are ways for Erin and Ben to improve what they have, while also creating a cohesive look. First of all, their couches are tan. Along with the rest of the entire space, like we established earlier. The best suggestion I have, is to buy a large throw blanket, preferable burnt orange, or white, to lay centered on the back of the couch. Maybe even tucked in. That right there, will add a big chunk of color, and change up the couches a bit. Secondly, throw pillows. In the board above, I have four different pillows, but those are all options, and really not meant to be used together. White, some turquoise, and some burnt orange, but nothing crazy. Also, choose solids, with colored piping, or patterns that are small, so that it creates contrast from the window pattern.
4. Erin didn’t directly mention this concern, and since she is my cousin, I’m not overstepping my boundaries, so don’t worry. But, one concern I have, is organization. Not because they not organized, but because they have a baby, and babies suck at being organized. I really suggest getting some large and extra large baskets, to store toys and baby accessories in. Cute, white dipped wicker baskets would be great. I actually need these exact ones myself. Thanks.
5. Now, providing some sense of separation within a non-separated space. Eventually, wood floors will be installed. But with, or without the wood floors, I think a large area rug in the living room is a must. The one in the board above is simple, and light. I would avoid a rug with too much pattern, because like the throw pillows, you don’t want to compete with the curtain pattern.
* An E-Design service provides the client with accessible design advice that sets the framework for a single room, for a set fee. All work is completed via telephone and email. All that is needed from the client is a completed design questionnaire, a budget, and images and dimensions of your room. Returned to the client will be a design concept, mood board (which is what you see above), a complete shopping guide which includes non-urgent and urgent items (usually sale items or items found on ebay/craigslist),and a detailed floorplan
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“E-Design Suggestion Board: Erin and Ben” is published in the “design & decor” category of Dahl House Blog.