Pulling it All Together

Often one of the first things homeowners say to me is that their rooms don’t feel “pulled together.”   This post explains how to accomplish that feeling of cohesiveness, and demonstrates how you can do it without pitching everything out and starting over.  In each of the rooms below, the homeowner wanted to keep some of her furnishings, so we accomplished a lot with paint,  moving art and accessories from other rooms,  and by adding a few new furnishings to create the casually elegant spaces shown below.

MBR Detail

When she first called us, the homeowner had a laundry list of items for several rooms.  She wanted new linens in the master bedroom, to update the family room, and change the counter in her guest bathroom. Here’s a shot of the master bedroom “BEFORE”:


BEFORE--Master Bedroom

The only place to position the bed was under the high window, always a difficult position for a bed.  Her idea of changing the bed linens was a good one, but didn’t go far enough. The combination of brightly colored linens, window outlined in dark wood, and oversized dark furniture from a former, much larger home, made the room feel chopped up. Here’s how the room turned out “AFTER”:

Master Bedroom


We kept all of her wood furniture, but needed to make the headboard wall the focal point of the room.   I suggested three things:  create an upholstered headboard that would come up to the bottom of the high window, hang a textured grass shade over the window, and flank the bed with a pair of draperies hung from iron rods close to the ceiling.  Now the headboard wall makes a statement!   Limiting the palette to golds and browns and keeping the drapery and bed linens close to the color of the wall makes the room feel larger.  The area rug continues the  monochromatic color scheme and adds textural variety.  I moved some of her artwork and accessories into this bedroom from other rooms, and brought in a new pair of lamps to complete the look.

Next, we tackled the TV Room.  The homeowner loved her hand-knotted Tibetan rug, and the pair of ottomen she could put her feet up on when watching TV, but the sofa wasn’t comfortable anymore, and she was tired of the wall color.  Here’s the TV room BEFORE:

Sisul B/4 TV Room


Since she loves color, my suggestion was to flip the figure/ground relationship:  do the sofa in grey, like the rug, and the walls in terra cotta.  She was somewhat dubious about this idea at first, but when I found a well-priced sofa in the perfect grey color, she decided to go for it.  Here’s the “AFTER” shot of the TV room:

TV Room


We moved a floor lamp from another room, and reupholstered the pair of ottomen.  The pillows from the old sofa work nicely on the new one, and the art work pops even more than it did on the more neutral walls.  We asked the painter to cover the door trim with the same color as the walls, so it would disappear (you can see it as a white outline in the “BEFORE” shot).  Now this room feels pulled together.

The dated-looking guest bathroom, with its blue Formica countertops, needed a complete remodel.  In this room, we could save only the tub.  I brought in samples of materials for counter, backsplash, flooring, fixtures, and wall color, along with my perspective sketch and floor plan of the room.  I suggested removing the “privacy” wall between the counter and the toilet, since it really served no practical purpose and made the room feel smaller.  Here’s the guest bathroom “BEFORE”:

Sisul Guest Bath BEFORE


Once the bathroom was completely gutted, we discovered that there were two electrical boxes that had been hidden behind the old plate glass mirror.  I searched far and wide to find the perfect pair of sconces, one of which is visible in the “AFTER” shot below:

Guest Bathroom


Once the perfect pair of sconces was installed, I realized that because the old boxes were located so close together, the space left for a mirror was extremely narrow.  Fortunately, I located an unusual mirror with a narrow top and wide bottom, and we were able to pull everything together with this serendipitous find.

Winter Hill Construction did a masterful job of coordinating the various trade sub-contractors, and would like to acknowledge them:  floor, backsplash, and tub surround:  Campbell’s Tile Concepts; cabinet:  Kitchens and More NW; countertop: Conrad Stonecutter;  lighting and electrical work: Omni Electric Inc.; and plumbing: Silver Mountain Plumbing. The plumbing fixtures and sconces are from The Fixture Gallery.

Need help pulling it all together?  Give Emery & Associates a call!

There are 16 Comments to "Pulling it All Together"

  • B says:

    In the bedroom the textural depth of the fabric on the curtains is great, as is the the subtle tone of all fabrics in complementing the wood furniture. Of course, I love the bright walls in the den…a splendid showcase for the art

  • Margaret Retz says:

    Wow! What a gorgeous transformation of the bedroom, Kathia. I loved what you did create the headboard and draperies as a focal point in the room. The color and textures in the fabrics convey warmth, elegance and comfort for all who enter. Nice job!

  • Donna Pizzi says:

    Kathia, what a great post to go with the great new look of your blog and portraits that we shot just last week! As others have said, your use of color, texture and panache have truly pulled these rooms together. I am a fan of the brilliant den wall and reversing out the sofa to pick up the rug coloration. Bathroom mirror is a GREAT FIND, really makes the remodel sing. I also love the way you describe what you’ve done. Terrific job all around. Proud to have you as a client and friend.

  • Dinah Adkins says:

    Kathia, I LOVE this. They colors pop for all the right reasons, but the rooms are harmonious and restful (well the bedroom) . The tv room walls rock! This is terrific!

  • Karen Cleghorn says:

    What a difference it made to remove the small bathroom’s privacy wall, and the amazing mirror and lighting are masterful–kudos, Kathia.

  • Joan says:

    I love the new bathroom mirror and the wall color. Beautiful transformation!

  • The color reversal in the television room is especially inspiring. I love how it provides drama and yet leaves the room a place for relaxation.

  • Vickie Grimes says:

    Beautiful! I especially like the bathroom and the mirror is stunning. May I ask your source?

  • DeAnna says:

    I love the window treatment behind the bed. It really pulls it together nicely.

  • Beth Warner says:

    You definitely pulled it all together, Kathia, and it’s lovely. I love the mix of restful neutrals in the bedroom and color in the family room. It’s perfect! Congratulations.

  • Wow! What fabulous transformations. I especially like the bedroom with its warm colors and variety of textures. It’s given me some good ideas for our Palm Springs place. Another winner, Kathia!

  • Marisa Schaer says:

    I can imagine this homeowner’s pleasure each time she enters her newly transformed rooms.

  • Judi says:

    Incredible transformation in these rooms. The use of bold color for walls, plus neutrals in furnishings, feels so new, and the colors themselves are stunning. You never fail to amaze me with your ability to take something from Ho hum to dramatic and gorgeous! What a finely-honed gift!

  • Jason Thu says:

    I have not really looked into interior design and house settings. I looked at different posts and the pictures. That is quite interesting! I can see the contrasts; the new settings definitely look quite appealing. I don’t really know what causes such appeal; maybe the colour; maybe the whole setting. To figure out the answer, I’d need to follow the posts more consistently.

  • Cathy Bradach says:

    Kathia, the rooms look beautiful as usual. It is amazing what paint, new drapes and bedding can do.

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