Yes, I’m kidding. But even on dark and rainy days the mood in this room is sunny and warm, like a day in Provence. When we first started talking about what kind of changes they wanted in their home, Sue and Bob Van Brocklin let me know their color and style preferences, and we spent a lot of time talking and walking through the house, discussing the things that they loved and didn’t love about their home. We began in the kitchen nook (see my post “French Dressing for Kitchen Nook,” under category “kitchen nook”), which firmly established the blue-and-yellow color palette. Sue had a large collection of table linens, china and other objets d’art from France, including the very china from Monet’s table in Giverny. This became our color palette inspiration.
They told me they rarely spent time in this room, and it was obvious to me why they didn’t. For starters, the furniture arrangement didn’t encourage conversation. The sofa and chairs were too far apart, there was no coffee table to set down drinks or snacks, and the colors were bland. The lighting was dim, and the fireplace wall, with the oddly mis-matched windows flanking it, lacked charm.
I did a concept sketch of the fireplace wall, showing a European-style carved stone fireplace to create a dramatic focal point for the room. I also added drapery to minimize the window differences, and pairs of sofas, lamp tables, and lamps, to give a slightly more formal and dressy feeling.
I presented blue-and-white fabrics for drapery, upholstery, and pillows, which would contrast beautifully against the sunny golden walls, and a magnificent Oriental rug from NW Rugs, which added a vibrant tone of red. New recessed lighting in the ceiling, on dimmers for maximum control, would keep the room warm and inviting no matter what the weather or time of day.
Last week a friend sent Sue and Bob a lovely magnolia wreath, so I suggested they put it above the magnificent custom-carved limestone fireplace, fabricated by the Stone Center, for the holiday season, since we are still on the lookout for the perfect piece of art.
We finished this room the day before Thanksgiving. My gratitude is unbounded for Sue and Bob’s willingness to go along with my ideas for their space, as well as for the massive inconvenience and mess that goes along with a major renovation of this kind. Emery & Associates is also grateful to all of our vendors and skilled artisans, who work so hard to create beauty and value for our clients. This response from the Van Brocklins warmed our hearts:
“Thank you so very much for making such an improvement in our home! We truly love everything you did in the living room.”