The Living Room of Many Hats
The living room of Anne and Allen wears many hats, one might say:
It is the space that visitors are first welcomed into, thus needs to look “nice” with the usual living room furniture.
The home office, with the need for a fair amount of reference materials, papers, and computer equipment also calls this space home. (An office serving both parents + three kids using the computer, sometimes all at once.)
A busy piano is a fixture, as well as a couple of bookcases.
To top it all off, Anne yearns for nice, tranquil, relaxing atmosphere in the space. The second floor hall, connecting bedrooms, is open and overlooks the space, thus Mama Anne can actively direct family traffic while in this space.
Come on in, and we’ll show you
around this Dress Your Digs Gig!
Hat #1: Seating Area
This is, of course, a living room. The front door opens directly into this room.
Trish & I arranged the couch at a right angle to the door, so that as you enter this door, on the left you see the back of the couch. This creates a foyer space. We placed the chair opposite the couch. We wanted an area rug to anchor this seating area (even though the room is carpeted in a neutral tone). Have you ever considered placing an area rug on top of carpet? It is surprisingly effective in defining a smaller space within a space. Trish and I found a rolled up, unused dark green area rug in the basement. It may not have been our #1 choice as far as color goes with the rest of the space, but we felt that it’s advantages outweighed its disadvantages. After we placed it, we were very pleased with the look.
Hat #2: Office Area
These folks need a pretty good amount of office space. At our consultation,
they had a corner computer desk & chair, a free-standing desk, several two-drawer filing cabinets, and an office cart. This occupied the north wall of the living room. After discussing options with Anne, we learned that the office must remain on this wall. So how to unify it, make it cohesive? The corner computer desk which was a space hog wasn’t an efficient use of space in this case: the chair required too much space to roll in and out. Also, the focal point of the room is a soaring, two-story wall (which Anne had painted in an accent color of Mature Grape) was infringed upon by this corner computer desk.
So: Anne & Allen said goodby to the corner desk.
In it’s place, Trish and I suggested that the couple look for a couple of doors, remove the knobs, and place them horizontally across the two-drawer filing cabinets, and the existing desk, to create one, long streamlined look to span the north wall. A fabric cover would be needed to hide the things stashed under neat. I have done this before for a sewing table, and it works great and looks super clean and crisp. The fabric front can be attached completely straight for a modern, no frills effect; a box-pleat can be used for a tailored look, or if you’re a cottage type you can gather it.
The couple obtained a couple of doors on craigslist, Allen refinished them, and Anne plans to make the fabric front. When you check out the picture, (left) be sure and visualize the fabric covering the stuff underneath (put your finger over the “stuff!”)
Hat #3: Piano
One beautiful piano. Three kids who play piano. One soaring, two-story
accent wall that must house that piano. (A piano should be placed on an inside wall, so this was our only choice).
Trish & I wanted to do justice to that big span of wall space. Anne had
several large mirrors that could look like dynamite there, but, The Digs Team is all about your stuff, your syle, so…..we didn’t really think the mirror thing was Anne’s style. Anne & Allen have a striking collection of religious art, which had been set out for our choosing, among other pieces: A wedding picture of the couple, a needlework Anne made for her mother 25+ years ago (these fell under the category of I would love to have these hung, but have never found the right spot yet…) So Trish & I made a striking collage of these pieces, and we are very pleased with the result. (Are you afraid of collages? Lay the items out on the floor, arranging and re-arranging, until you like how it looks). You may notice six small, empty frames in group – Ann had purchased these some time ago, with the hope of one day filling them with wedding pics of parents, grandparents, etc. The time is now: They’re waiting!
We also found the cutest little chocolate brown lamp shade in the basement, which we switched out with the shade on the piano lamp – and we are crazy about how rich it looks against the wall color, and with the collage!
Trish & I have discovered that folks planning to Dress Their Digs often become, well, unexplainably motivated to do projects they may have been only thinking about: like painting. This is what Anne did, she painted. When we met with Anne for the consultation, we were in a country blue living room and voila! When we returned on Makeover Day, the walls were New Raisin and Mature Grape. We were surprised! Anne and Allen had purchased new blinds and scarf valances, left in their boxes and packaging. During the Makeover, Trish and I popped the blinds into place and draped the scarves over the windows.
The hats are in place, Anne and Allen are happy with their new room, and life goes on for this fun and energetic family!