SOUTH (and a little bit of north) WESTERN

This project is a great example of how collaboration is often a win win situation. My client approached me after having finished some major renovations to the rest of her house. She had worked with kitchen and bathroom designers and even some interior decorators to get her house feeling really good. But for the family room she called me for help because she had seen these blue chairs and wanted that same energy incorporated into her space.

It was the last room to get a makeover, but being a main living space, she wanted to take her time in getting it right. Here is where we started. 

From the get go we agreed to a fresh start with furnishings and accessories. My client had been tossing around a southwest vibe and knew she wanted to incorporate more grays and rich leather. She also wanted to display as many family photos as possible as she loves to be surrounded by those she loves. So with those guidelines, an improved room layout, new furniture, and a van load of accessories, here is where we landed. 

I think it turned out just right. A touch of southwest in a geographicly northern home. 

The biggest change was the layout. By shifting the sofa to the window we opened up the room and allowed for the TV to move on the adjacent wall. Which started out like this...

But now looks like this. Hello family photos wall...just what she wanted. 

With the sofa shift, this side of the room also opened up allowing for a game table and additional seating. 

Another big change was painting the brick fireplace white. The room leans dark so brightening up that area and unifying the brick made the room feel much bigger. 

Check out that double stack of wood! It's something my client said she never would have thought to do. But it helps to unify the otherwise choppy space.

As with any room, the details are what make the space feel welcoming, personal, and finished. With this room, we worked at bringing in a few southwestern elements without going overboard...the hide rug, a bleached skull, and southwest inspired pottery and fabrics. 

But, in striking the right balance, we sprinkled in 'woodsy' new and preowned accessories to make the space feel at home in Minnesota...a duck decoy, a stuffed bear (every room needs one of those) and a one of a kind reclaimed wood side table (which my client picked out...she has great taste).  

Speaking of great taste, do you see that white and gray side chair? This is a good time to talk more about collaboration. When I met with my client we worked on the big decisions...layout, furniture, fabrics. As those pieces came into place, my client used them as a launch pad to make further changes. The chair and coffee table were changes she made before my final styling session and I think they are great compliments to the rest of the space. A little feminine touch to the otherwise masculine space.  

The horse picture is another example of the design process being a collaboration and work in progress. I had envisioned a different piece of art for that wall...something contemporary, but my client felt that this piece worked best for the space (plus she loved it). After stepping back and reassessing the pieces we already had in place, I agreed...she was right. Here it is in all it's glory. 

Collaboration for the win. 

I also wanted to mentioned this oil painting. When I first propped it upon the mantle, my client wasn't so sure about it. She said she would never have picked it (or the matador print) out and she didn't think it went with any of the other pieces. But, after some time she realized it was just the right piece to pull the room together. 

The painting brought some color to that side of the room and tied in with the gold pillows on the couch. I love pushing/surprising my clients. :) 

Well, to end the tour, here is another angle from before. 

And after.

Check out the Queen Anne chair we reupholstered in a rust colored velvet. It lived in a different spot in the previous layout but now adds the 'blue chair energy' my client craved. A touch of color to an otherwise neutral room. 

I think this room pulled together so well. A good mix of my ideas and my client's additions...a display of how a room can evolve over time. When I finished up the photo shoot, my client mentioned that she loved the space because it wasn't designed, but felt personal, like the pieces had been 'found'. In my opinion, that's just as it should be.