Susan and her husband wanted a space where guests would naturally gravitate for gathering and conversation: a welcoming room, especially in winter when the family regularly uses the fireplace.
They felt their existing furniture (hand-me-downs from a friend) was worn and tired, and the room too dark. In addition, the fireplace was off-center on one long wall in the room, making it feel off-kilter.
Susan's Living Room: BEFORE
Susan's Living Room: AFTER
To help give the fireplace the attention it needed, a new custom mantle with built-in bookshelves on either side was designed by Susan's husband and built by a local carpenter. This visually broadened the "gathering space" of the fireplace, and with a coat of designer white paint added a brightness to the room. A fresh coat of paint on the walls in a pale warm gray further amplified natural light.
New furnishings replaced the old: a new sofa with chaise on one end allowed for relaxed (or extra) seating while allowing light to be fully utilized by the one full-sized window in the room. A petite mid-century rosewood coffee table, updated vintage cane barrel chair, Danish modern side table, and arts-and-crafts antique bench (a Craigslist find that Susan recovered with help from her mom!) mixed old-with-new. Art was rearranged to maximize impact and visual access. A larger, updated rug and sheer curtain panels bring more texture and patterns without weighing down the space.