Striking a Balance

When McGrath Interiors began this project on a two-year old home in West Chester, the first impression I got was that there was a dichotomy between the formalness of the house, and the relaxed, updated feel that the clients wanted … Continue reading

Refreshing a living room

I always recommend that people live in their new house for awhile before making any design decisions.  This gives them time to see how they actually use the different spaces, what rooms get sunlight when, and where they gather when they entertain.

When the owners of this home moved in about a year ago, the “formal” living room was not given much attention.  They decided that this room would be a sitting room, but definitely not too formal.  The furniture we chose is comfortable, and the light colored fabric lends itself well to the casual feel of the space and keeps it airy.  We chose a light, gauzy fabric for the windows, which comes “pre-wrinkled” to continue with the theme.

 

LR Before

LR After

LR After-Chairs

Furniture Arranging 101

If your furniture is arranged against the walls around the perimeter of the room and that’s not working for you, try the following:

Ignore the walls and try to arrange a seating group that is no more than 10-12 feet apart.

Consider where the focal point of the room is. Try not to have a sofa or loveseat with its back to that focal point if it’s a TV or fireplace. If you don’t have a TV or fireplace but do have a large window, try bringing the seating group out from the window with the seating perpendicular to the window. Use an area rug to anchor the pieces, as well as occasional tables.

Mix up the seating components, as in one sofa and two chairs, or two loveseats and two chairs. You won’t get much more in the seating group, but that’s okay. If you have a very large room, you may need more than one grouping, or you can have a table and chairs, pool table, etc.

If you have the budget to do so, add architectural interest to the room. Consider a gas fireplace, built-in shelving, a mirrored wall, or a combination of elements.

This is a typical living room in an older colonial-style home in Chester County. The temporary “fix” for this room cost under $100. It was just a matter of rearranging the furniture and adding lamps to the sofa table. I designed the space for a future remodel when the budget permits. A beautiful gas fireplace and new windows will add more natural light and a new focal point to the room. With shelving and a comfortable seating arrangement, this room can become a lovely library/retreat away from noise, TV’s, etc.ImageImageImageImageImage