Combining Households–How to Make It Work

Detail: TV Room AFTER

Susan Bach and Doug Egan combined their households some years ago. When they asked Emery & Associates for help redoing the entire house, it was apparent that what they needed help with the most was integrating Susan’s family pieces and whimsical country style with Doug’s more formal, traditional French style.  We began in the TV room, since it got daily use.  Here is a shot of the room “BEFORE”:



Both Susan and Doug  were tired of the dated valance, wallpaper, sofa, and peach-colored cellular shades, and they also felt they didn’t need a sofa in this room; a pair of chairs would do.  After scouting around the house, I suggested moving a rug from the master bedroom into the TV room to use as a jumping off place for a new, more vibrant, palette.  The Tibetan rug not only amps up the color palette (Susan is very fond of red), but the fleur-de-lys design and colors telegraph “Provence,”  thereby keeping a French vibe going for Doug.


Inspired by this rug, I proposed Dijon yellow for the walls, a cayenne red fabric for a pair of chairs, and a media cabinet painted in traditional cream like the room’s trim to hold the TV, books, and objets d’art.  New Silhouette blinds replaced the old cellular shades, giving much more flexibility as they diffuse the light during the day, while at the same time affording a view to the outside.  At night or when needed, the blockout vanes can be completely closed for total privacy.

Egan:Bach Palette TV Room


Once the painting was completed and all the new furnishings were installed, we moved a pair of whimsical pastels by Anora Spence from another room, and added a lamp and table between the pair of chairs.  Now this room has a warm, cozy feeling, and reflects both Susan’s and Doug’s taste.  Here’s how the room looks AFTER (also, see detail, above):

Egan:Bach TV Room AFTER


One way to unify a space is by the use of color, which is what we did in this case.  “We’re really pleased with the house, its transformation and all your work.”  I’m pleased that they are pleased.

There are 11 Comments to "Combining Households–How to Make It Work"

  • Great idea, Kathia, to utilize an existing rug as your jumping off point to update and unify this family room. The colors are fresh and joyful. A wonderful place to begin enjoying family members – in a room that makes a bold, but friendly statement with its colors, textures and welcoming nature.

    • Margaret Retz says:

      What a warm and inviting place. How is it possible that this is the same room only transformed? The colors in the chairs and rug compliment the warm wood tone of the table. Beautifully done, Kathia.

  • Dinah Adkins says:

    Love the colors and the job you did. This is a huge improvement over the original and I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of the house. BTW, I just got rid of most of Tom’s stuff when we combined homes. Luckily, he didn’t seem to miss much except a ratty old leather sofa. He is totally over that though and loves our house as it is now. And he threw me out of the kitchen, so we ended up in different but compatible spheres!

  • Kathia Emery says:

    Thanks, Donna and Dinah! I love hearing other people’s “combining households” stories! When Jim and I combined ours 8 years ago, I had furniture and he had art and books, which worked out very well. We had no “dueling” furniture, thank heavens.

  • Judi says:

    Fabulous design, Kathia. I love the red chairs; they’re so inviting! How lucky the owners had the rug to start the project, and how clever of you to utilize it. The room feels young and hip, even though you’ve used traditional elements. I’m sure they will love it for years to come!

  • Shari House says:

    This room has gone from drab to fab! The colors are striking and cheering. I would be very content with a change like this.

  • I love how you manage to keep the feeling classic and timeless, yet up to the minute hip and fresh, Kathia! Another great job. I brought the furniture and a lot of art to our marriage, and my husband brought enough large paintings and sculptures to open a small museum…so we just had to buy a lot of walls to hold it!

  • Kathia, love your redesigns – traditional with a fresh modern twist! Soft, but vibrant colors – love it! I was looking at your past posts and I had missed the living room with the orange walls – very cool. I wish I could do something like that…:) Thanks for this great post, so inspiring!

  • May I simply just say what a comfort to uncover someone that
    actually knows what they’re talking about online. You actually realize how to bring a problem to light and
    make it important. More and more people should look at this and
    understand this side of your story. It’s surprising you’re not more popular since
    you surely have the gift.

  • Espero encontrar otro artículo más profesional.

  • Very soon this website will be famous amid all blogging visitors, due
    to it’s nice articles

Write a Comment

houzz interior design ideas