How to furnish and love a long narrow living room in 5 easy steps

So, you have a long narrow living or family room, and perhaps you are a little puzzled on how to go about using it to it’s full potential or at least making it appear less long and narrow.   Well, I have some quick tips for you so you can achieve this.

1.  First off, do not make the shorts walls a featured area.  This will just draw your eye right to the other end of the room and emphasize it’s narrowness.  So therefore, no accent walls of paint or wallpaper, and if possible, do not place the television or fireplace here.

2.  Do try and place the television/fireplace or other focal pieces, on one of the long walls, so that your focus is redirected there.

3. Place furniture away from the short walls wherever possible, so that they are drawn more into the center of the room.  Creating two seating areas works well in this kind of room and enables it to be used to it’s full potential.

4. Built ins or shelving units are your friend and can be used on the short walls to create some additional storage and they will inevitably cause the room to be shortened in length.

5. Don’t be afraid of larger pieces of furniture, like sectionals.  They take up less space than a sofa and loveseat and give you just as much seating, if not more, and allow you to stretch out to watch your favourite Netflick shows.

Recently, I did up a floor plan for a client with just this dilemma and here’s the two options I gave her.   *There is an interesting closet like space at the end of the room that we needed to work with, you know old homes and all their character.  Also, keep in mind drawings are for design layout purposes only and not necessarily suggestions for colour or specific pieces.
Option 1 - 
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End of the room closet area was brought forward by using a console with a piece of art above and two matching chairs in front as the secondary seating area.  The remainder of the room is focused on the television set in the middle of one of the long walls with a sectional facing it.
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Option 2 - 
The east side of the room remains the same, with the west side accommodating a built in bookcases and storage.
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So what’s your favourite Option?
Lisa

Transformation from living room to home office

I’m very excited to share this transformation.  It started back in the fall and is now entirely finished, just in time for spring.   You can click here to read my previous post on this project and how rooms in your home can be altered to suit you and your family.   Needs and wants change throughout life, and your home should change and adapt right along with you.

So without further ado, here’s the finished space  -

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Here’s a couple before shots -

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So to recap, the stairway wall was closed in and the half wall by the entrance were both closed in to allow french doors to be added to the room.   A trio of long,narrow and frosted windows were added to the now full entrance wall to keep the light flowing from room to room.

The first item purchased was the desk with its dark grey wood legs and glossy grey lacquered top, and it help dictate the mood and style of the space.

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Next, the Ikea’s Galant cabinets and bookcases were purchased in grey to coordinate with the desk.  Add, a black and white patterned area rug for a graphic punch and a cosy chair and a half for reading and conversation.  My client’s new artwork made it easy to choose colourful purple as an accent.

Lighting is provided by the great sparkly and modern fan that my client found, a modern floor lamp and a glass table lamp that adds a touch more sparkle.

And a few more pretty shots.

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My client is thrilled and is now inviting clients to her office. I love how changing your space, can transform your life as well.  What room do you want to transform?

Lisa

 

Design Plan – Gray, Mauve and Yellow

For this cold St Patrick’s Day, I’m sharing I’m  a little bit of spring with a fresh and pretty design, even though there’s not much green in it.

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I’m totally in love with the yellow chair, the artwork, the rug, the console…okay I just love everything.  This entryway design is for a client’s home. It was decided to do the entryway after we had finished converting their main floor living room into a functional and pretty home office, a little bit of reno creep.

Stay tuned for the home office reveal soon.

Lisa

 

 

How to spring clean your home without trying too hard

So, if you are like me and spring fever has hit hard and fast, and you really aren’t Molly Maid, here’s some tips for spring cleaning your home without really trying too hard.

I try to do one room at a time, that way you’ve felt like you’ve made some headway instead of being overwhelmed by the entire house.  Today, let’s focus on the bedroom.

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1. Start by removing all the bedding, yes, all of it! Start washing….and open the windows (if it isn’t snowing and blizzardly, as it is here in Ontario today).   Nothing like a breath of fresh cool air to make your home feel shiny and clean.

2. Take one of the long handled swifter type things and dust off your fan blades.  That way, there will be no more dust swirling around every time you turn on your fan.   No fan?  Then dust off the light fixture, you’ll be amazed at how much more light it will give off.  Remember to vacuum the lampshades as well, with the upholstery attachment, of course :-).

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3. Move all table top/dresser top/accessories to one area.  Dust off the empty table tops and sort through the accessories. Only put back the ones you love and put the rest in a box to either use in another part of the house, store for another season, or giveaway.

4. I like to tackle one junk drawer, cupboard, closet at a time.  Set aside about 1/2 an hour for each, maybe 1 hour for the closet.  Have a garbage ban or box for giveaways, a small box for things that belong elsewhere and a garbage bin or bag for garbage (which trust me, will be the fullest thing) at the ready.  It’s amazing the junk  stuff you keep.  Be ruthless.  By the by, this also goes of your clothes closet.  Though you may want to set aside a half day or a whole day for this, depending on your level of shopping addiction. Honestly, if you haven’t worn it the past season, why are you keeping it?  You’ll love being able to find the items you actually love, fit you, and that you want to wear, easily and quickly.
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5. While vacuuming, move the bed, dresser and sofa, or at least pass the vacuum under it.  That way those sneaky, pesky dust bunnies won’t be coming out at the most inopportune time.

6. Remake the bed and stand back and be amazed!

IF YOU ARE NOT AMAZED BY THE LOOK OF YOUR BEDROOM, GIVE ME A CALL AND WE’LL HAVE IT BEAUTIFUL AND FUNCTIONAL IN NO TIME!

Lisa

 

How to have the home you want with the family you love

How to have the home you want with the family you love, without covering it all in bubble wrap?

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Isn’t that the trick, though, a happy medium of nice furniture and finishes that stand up to the hoards, which can sometimes get totally out of hand.

I have a large family and being a designer, it  has definitely caused some friction between my wants and desires and the reality of a life, where you can’t run around telling everyone NOT to touch or NOT to sit there.  Well you can do this, but you won’t win any popularity contests.

First, things first.

1. If at all possible buy classic and quality for the larger pieces that will get used and abused.  Like the family room sofa, because after the kids have grown to the point that they don’t wipe their dirty hands on it, yes, this will actually happen.  It can be easily reupholstered and given a new lease on life.

2. Use a good quality, washable paint for the walls, this will be a life saver.  And make sure you have extra paint left over, because believe me, you will be touching it up, if you are anything like me, just before a dinner party.

3. Hard flooring is easier to clean and perhaps, disinfect (you know it, it happens) … than carpeting,  Porcelain tile, stone and even hardwood (as long as you can embrace scratches and think of it as patina) will all be worthwhile in the end. A note on hardwood, light and mid toned floors will show less dirt, dust and scratches than that ebony stained floor.

4. To soften the hard flooring use area rugs, just make sure the one you pick is cleanable.  And I am a big fan of the Flor floor tiles as if something disastrous happens you can just replace the tile or tiles that are affected…how wonderful..a do over.

5.  For smaller pieces, like coffee and end tables, this is the place to have fun and add some whimsey. Use second hand or vintage pieces, paint or stain them to suit and if they get banged up, you have an excuse to redo them.   Another tip with case goods, is to use distressed pieces, so any extra dings or dents just look like they are supposed to be there.  I have used this many, many times in my own home.

There you have it, some tips for having the home you want, with the family you love.

Lisa