Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Not Your Typical Living Room

A living room is a place that often greets visitors and sets the tone for your entire home. We feel strongly that it should be a room that draws friends and family in-- and invites conversation. When this unique couple moved to their dream home, they realized that the wonderful furniture they brought along from their previous home didn't feel quite as warm and inviting in their new abode. Since they have always had a very adventurous spirit and were willing to have us make some suggestions, the room took on a personality all its own. Starting with rich plum color on the walls, the room already felt warmer. The gold ceiling added even more interest, drama and charm. And how about this wonderful chandelier? I can't think of a better way to invite people in.

Fabric on the windows in a fabulous plum and gold pattern made this room feel even more inviting. We found some comfortable new chairs and added a subtle pattern. Pillows in this pattern along with a couple of other new patterns on the sofa gave this room a look that this great couple could truly embrace. Finally, traditional elements like the area rug and the antique chest made this room like no other. It is now impossible to pass by this room without taking a closer look or to sit and have a pleasant conversation. It is definitely not your average living room!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Never underestimate the comfort of a room! Always consider how you intend to use each space before you start to add furniture. When we first met with this lovely client, she made it clear that she enjoys entertaining. She is a fabulous cook and enjoys sharing that with her friends and family frequently. It was very important that everyone felt comfortable and welcome. The space was already there—our challenge was to combine her unique style with her purpose. The dining table and chairs were the first concern. She wanted to be able to accommodate large groups of people. The room certainly lent itself to expanding. We selected a pedestal table so that squeezing a few extra people around would not be a problem with a leg in the way. We also helped her find a light fixture that she had admired for a long time. Problem solved!

Next -- recognizing that the living room was an extension of the dining area, (and was a room that was rarely used for any occasion), we wanted this room to be inviting enough for multiple purposes. Rich durable fabrics and great quality seating now make it a room that can be used for reading and/or working on a laptop. And additionally, guests can retire from the dining room table and have another comfortable place to sit. What a wonderful way to spend an evening entertaining friends and family!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Life on the River

In my last blogI talked about bold color! While a lot of color can be exciting and invigorating—sometimes a more subtle color palette suits the atmosphere and the individuals better. So take a ride with me on the Delaware River with soft greens and blues. Neutral shades and bold artwork. I have the opportunity to work with some unbelievably nice people. This couple had differing views on their styles and wanted us to help them blend the two. Her style was more traditional while his style was more contemporary. We set out to include Transitional Furniture with clean lines and more neutral colors. We didn’t want anything to compete with the fabulous view! More traditional area rugs softened the look and added some pattern. One of the issues in this tight space was the door to the HVAC unit. In the before picture it was made even more obvious by the striped wallpaper. By painting the same color over the door and the trim and continuing the artwork over the door—this area is still accessible when needed—yet-- it all but disappeared!

Soft waves of fabric simply highlighted the view and provided a sound buffer. The floor was continuous hardwood that gave the appearance of a larger space. Changing the definition of some areas also helped with the flow. The former eating area became a cozy little TV watching place for just the two of them.

The bedroom also had a great view. Here we needed to add some privacy and some relief from the sun that would wake them every morning. So, drapery on an automatic traverse rod with a blackout lining gave them the flexibility that they needed. Each home has its unique challenges and personality. Learn to trust your instincts and make the most of your home.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


As we enter in to a New Year and a new decade, I wish the very best for all of you and thank you for enriching my life in so many ways. You inspire me and motivate me—encourage and help me. I am grateful for the opportunity to stay in touch with each of you. May this New Year be filled with peace, joy and laughter, success and happiness. It may not be for everyone. And it takes a rather bold soul to venture out with as much color as we added to this lovely home. However, these rooms—and this client always make me smile. Obviously, our lovely client adores bold and exciting color. We drew our inspiration from a napkin that she had purchased in Paris. As dramatic as it was to have RED walls in her family room, we couldn’t resist extending that color on to her ceiling to draw your eye to the volume space. BLUE made the kitchen and keeping room bright and showcased the white cabinets and the white trim around the fireplace. The room was then pulled together with yellow fabrics on the upholstery and on the windows. Blue accents finished the look.

A hand painted armoire in custom colors added a funky and yet functional element. The one of a kind and varied jeweled knobs on this armoire were added to the cabinets in the kitchen. In her living room, our client had inherited some beautiful furniture from her grandmother that just needed some new fabric. Her contemporary artwork (also from Paris) updated this more traditional room. The end result was classic and yet new. I can’t tell you how much fun we had with this project and with this adventuresome client. Have some fun with your home!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Elegant, Warm, Traditional

As winter approaches, we turn our thoughts to cozy spaces that make us feel warm—inside and out. In the Delaware Valley, this time can mean snow and cold weather. What better way to treat ourselves than to enjoy this time from a place that is warm and comforting. As you probably know by now, our clients are very special people. We delight in their unique personalities and their special dreams. When we first approached this project, our client had already planned a beautiful, multi functional addition. Her concern however was “pulling it all together”. In this spacious area, there was an opportunity for two seating areas—one by the fireplace and one for TV watching. The large screen TV was visible from both areas, making this entire room a perfect space for a cozy couples night or for major entertaining. By adding a sectional in front of the TV and a sofa by the fireplace we defined these two areas. Two swivel chairs provided the opportunity to enjoy the fire or swing around and watch TV.

While working with this wonderful couple, we took in to account all of their wishes with comfort being the main concern. The upholstered seating was chosen with attention to style and durability. We considered everything from how the couple liked to sit on things to the big difference in their heights. The finishing touches were fun and very specific. We searched for just the right accessories and artwork. We found a way to include all of their collected pieces and photos to help personalize the space. When talking to this lovely woman today, she mentioned that “since you never know what to expect when you work with someone new, I started out being a little cautious in telling you what I liked and disliked. This was quickly dispelled by how easy you and Lindsay made it for me to tell you what I wanted. You always found the perfect things”. As I talked to her, she mentioned that they were sitting in the swivel chairs enjoying a cup of coffee. I am so delighted that we could be a part of this wonderful new room.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Vincent's Room

Starting High School is an important step in any young person’s life. New challenges, more work and preparing for the future can seem overwhelming. We have worked with this family on just about every room in their house and Vincent always had some great input. Now it was his turn to let us know what he really wanted for his space. It was time to say goodbye to some of the furniture that Vincent had grown up with. The bed had to stay and we thought that it was a perfect starting point. Vincent needed more room to study and read. He needed room to display his special memories of his grandfather. And he needed to have a look that suited the spectacular young man that he had become.
By reorganizing his closet and adding storage to his night stand, we helped to make this room more spacious and just plain cool. We incorporated the TV in to the wall arrangement so that it would not look so out of place. The windows were softened by adding a simple cornice. I can’t think of a better way to start the high school journey than to have a place that is totally yours! We just know that you will succeed Vincent and we wish you all of the best! Thanks for being such fun to work with. Vincent's Testimonial - "Before my room was just a place to sleep, but now it's so useful and comfortable. Diane and Lindsay were able to capture my sense of style and transfer it perfectly into my room. Everything looks great!"

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Feels Like Home

Home is a very special place for us. We spend a lot of time there and it should reflect our personality as well as our comfort. When we entered this beautiful older home, we were greeted by a warm and charming woman. The home itself had a lot of interesting detail—just not the warmth or the character of the people living there. This special client was having a very important party soon to honor her daughter’s book being published and her doctorate degree. We just knew that this important occasion had to be hosted by a room that reflected this family.

The challenge was to provide a space that felt good. We knew that this room was used on a daily basis—and that it was a room for TV watching. Everyone’s needs were taken into consideration and we set to work to make it impressive for guests while comfortable for everyday use. Working with this family was always a pleasure. We coordinated our efforts with craftsmen who helped us accomplish some of the repairs. We reframed some of the beautiful artwork. We added new furniture and accessories.

When we added the finishing touches, the daughter said: “We have lived here a long time, and thanks to you, it finally feels like home.” Now that is what makes our job worthwhile!