Pretty cute, right?
It turned out my clients had found a beautiful Spanish style home a few miles away that they just fell in love with. With two young boys and lots of hobbies and activities in the household (my client is working on her first novel!) it was time to add a few more square feet to their living quarters. Sadly, my client's mother, who had decorated their current home, became quite ill during the moving process and was unable to work with her daughter's family on their new place. (She passed away while we were working together.) I was honored to be able to help guide my clients in their transition, but also felt a huge responsibility. I had big shoes to fill...and it was so important that the new space be as authentic and "homey" as possible.
Here's a shot of the new living room.
The home was built in 1929 in a Spanish Revival style and still has many of the original elements and fixtures. The wrought iron sconces being my favorite! Well, either those or the barrel-vault ceiling.
Despite the inherent natural beauty of the living room, it definitely did not have the "home-iness" that the clients were looking for. And how to arrange all of their furniture? Here's the empty floor plan. (And, yes, for all you super-detailed error catchers that might be reading this - i.e. family members- there are rectangular steps drawn in this plan when they are actually curved. Can we not focus on that and continue reading? Thanks.)
I had a few ideas so I drew up several floor plans. After a bit of studying, analyzing and a major sweat-building furniture moving session/workout, we landed on the following layout:
We were really asking a lot of this space. As the main family area of the home, it needed to function as a music parlor, a cocktail lounge, a fort-building palace, a comfy reading nook, a dog-lounging retreat, as well as an office and research center. It's pretty amazing, but we managed to get it all in there! While at the same time pretty much using pieces my client already had.
The sectional was existing (you may have noticed it from the old living room), as was the piano, two chairs, a coffee table, lamps and a few accessories. While we were getting started with the project, my client had fallen in love with an early Californian Monterey poker table and chairs at a local antique store. She also picked up a beautiful painting of a California landscape. Before committing to the purchase, she asked me if I thought it would all "go" in the new space. I told her, if you love it, it "goes." That's when she started to tell me a little about both her and her husband's family lineage. They apparently both come from long lines of prominent Californian families. She didn't go into details, but I knew this was something we needed to respect in her new home. Anyone who lives in California knows how rare it is to have any sort lineage extending beyond a single generation in this state. Most of us are transplants, so when someone's got this much Cali blood running through their veins it's pretty exciting, and definitely something to be proud of.
|The Monterey game table.|
Originally, my clients had wanted to paint the space but opted not to after they lived with the existing color a few days. The buttery beige backdrop worked well, and has a nice, sunny California glow when the sun shines in through their wall of arched windows.
We did a bit of reupholstering (the poker chairs and the old burgundy upholstered arm chair needed some updating) and also had a few custom throw pillows made. We found all these fabrics at Calico Corners, including a stunning chocolate colored leather.
Here's the existing armchair chair we had reupholstered. I suggested we add the nail heads to give it a more Spanish look and create a better relationship with its new chair friend from the poker table set.
|Monterey Chair before|
|Monterey Chair after|
A few more after shots.
Is your home lacking authenticity? Give me a call at 650.867.3896 or send an email to email@example.com to discuss your project.