One of my favorite decorating assignments is arranging the clients' existing furnishings in new and interesting ways. It is called Interior Redesign. In one day or less, my partner and I transform the look and feel of our clients' rooms by rearranging furniture, re-hanging art, and re-positioning accessories. It's amazing what an objective eye and flair for design can do.
We recently completed an interior redesign for a client's living room. When we arrived, all of her furniture was lined up against the walls, and she didn't like her fireplace at all. The fireplace had a mantel-to-ceiling mirror that she didn't like, and because it was in the corner of the room, she had found it challenging to arrange the furniture around it. She had a lifetime of collectibles and family photos in the living room, all of which were special to her. Our challenge was to improve the look of the fireplace, display her treasures more effectively, and give her a new furniture arrangement that would be comfortable for her family and friends.
We began by clearing the room. Then we evaluated the shape and architecture of the room to determine the furniture arrangement. Often it works to place the sofa opposite the architectural focal point, which was the fireplace in this case. We tried angling the sofa facing the fireplace, but this time it didn't work. The large sofa blocked the flow through the room. After trying a few more places for the sofa, it became clear that the fireplace and sofa were not going to work together. Because the room was large and rectangular, we decided to create two separate sitting areas-one in front of the fireplace, and one incorporating the sofa several feet away. Then the room really began to come together.
We placed two matching wing back chairs facing each other in front of the fireplace. Between them we placed a small round table, set with the client's beautiful antique tea service. On the hearth, we placed a large floral arrangement borrowed from the dining room, which repeated the colors in the tea set and throw pillows. To camouflage the large mirror above the mantel, we used a gorgeous floral painting found in the bedroom. Propped on the mantel, it downplayed the mirror, and also supported our color scheme. A pair of candlesticks completed the look. What a delightful place for a cup of tea.
The sofa became the anchor for another seating area. We angled it to mimic the angle of fireplace, and placed an antique chair alongside it. From the sofa, there was now a clear view of the piano and the fireplace. Then we arranged all of her lovely accessories. We created vignettes on the tabletops and piano using her precious family photos and collectibles. We grouped her figurines together in a curio cabinet to give them importance. The best part of the day is seeing our clients' reactions. She was thrilled with her new room.