Un Used Real-Estate . . . Living Room Turned Office

Hi There . . .

I warn clients about a slippery slope, and this is No. 2.   It will kill ya if you are on a roll and the main area of your place is done but the entry to that room isn't, or the library just off that room isn't.   With a new, virtually empty home and the upcoming holidays suddenly appearing on her radar, my client Lisa Hicks is thinking that tackling her front foyer and front office / sofa-bed (guest room) needs to be addressed at the same time as the back family room, dining room and kitchen we have already started.   Good idea and we have time to accomplish it, if we hurry. I worked on creating a plan quickly that complimented what I came up with for the back of the house to create a cohesive look that was equally interesting and fun.  Like I said, something is in the water !

Being that I just finished installing another front living room - turned casual office this week, I am in that frame of mind.  Losing the "formal" front room and turning it into a more casual, usable space has been something I am doing a lot more these days (see just that here, here and here).  It's a great idea and why not use the sometimes ignored real-estate in the front of your home that often is never used ?  

This room, just off the foyer was probably built as a formal living room.  The first thing I did was decide on a color scheme.  I am using the peacock blue from the family room (in the way of accent chairs and curtains)  as a strong wall color.  The red enters the picture too and was pulled from a rug I am using in the back of the house.  This will add cohesiveness throughout the house.

Being that the wall color in the entire house is grey and all the pop colors are in the furniture and fabrics, I chose to bring one of those pop colors on the walls in this room.  Don't be afraid of such a saturated color.  What will open it up is simple, large scale art and light rug -  as well as good lighting. Lighting is really important !

We needed to incorporate a large desk.  After really talking about it, we are pulling her existing 7 foot dining table in the office and getting a new dining table that is larger.  Great solution.  This table will face into the room as oppose to slammed up against a wall (a huge pet peeve of mine)   Without drawers or storage it is key to bring pieces in that will house the unavoidable office stuff.  An easy spin around from the desk and you have 8 small drawers to house pens, tape, staples, paper.. things like that.  Most of us have or want to ditch the big computer with the ugly tower that goes along with it . . so this lap top will be looking clean on this desk (thank you Apple).

On the opposite wall sits the sofa ... bed, a queen.  Simple, sleek and in a neutral.  Behind it, all the largely matted art I was taking about to add brightness to those dark walls.  I love the idea of these nesting coffee tables.  Can be easily moved around (to pull out the bed) as well as pulled between the chairs, next to the desk for extra work, etc.  Perfect.

This large 82" cabinet with mirror font will reflect the light around and house files and not so pretty stuff.  Another large piece of art.  I am suggesting a piece by Chaz Walker and will be visiting my favorite Gallery - Hidell Brooks - to show my client up close and personal.  Hopping to float a piece of his on a large white upholstered board to make it appear larger.

Recovering her existing wing back chairs in this more modern, very patterned fabric, and adding a great fixture overhead with arms that will highlight the art, the desk and generally add pops of light around the room.

The Foyer

Now the foyer, just off this new office is a long, narrow space that opens into the family room, will be the first thing you see walking in.  I kept the grey palette but used a busy paper with a reflective touch.  With the strong color in the office I wanted pattern as oppose to more color in the foyer.

Adding two large mirrors will reflect those peacock blue walls in the office . . bonus, and pretty !  A simple, yet custom wood and lucite bench and a big pop of red in the runner.  This all should tie together no nicely with the back of the house !!!

Pretty excited . . .  First floor . . done.

Well, almost . . . Master is next.

There is a lot to orchestrate . . . stay tuned for a full photo shoot this fall !!!

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