calm & carefree
living room makeover
text by Lauren Liess
photos by Helen Norman
When I first met my client, she was ready to redo her home because her children were older and she felt like she finally was at a point where she could focus on the house. She and her husband were ready to get their home looking and feeling like them. An adventurous yet laid-back couple, they wanted a house that felt calm, comfortable, and relaxed. They love spending time on the water and wanted to bring a natural vibe into the home.
To call to mind the coastal feel they loved, I pulled together a soft palette of ivories, tans, and beiges with accents of pale blues and green. I brought in a variety of natural textures and materials–seagrass, linen, burlap, jute rope, driftwood, and raw woods mixed with metals, which feels very calming when mixed together. Deep, comfortable seating was a “must” and we added a pair of airy rope chairs to keep the space feeling light open. (Which are surprisingly comfortable to sit in!)
We had the curtains–a soft ikat of mixed blues, greens, and chartreuse–hung above the arched windows, to simplify all of the room's lines and to make it feel more classic and architecturally pleasing. We kept the floorplan fairly balanced to play up the symmetry of the room.
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I hung a small gallery of vintage and new sea life prints that I'd been collecting for a while above the sofa. Because my client is so trusting, she was comfortable with me finding all of the pieces over time and hanging them for her, sight unseen. (This is always fun for me because I feel like I can stretch my wings a little and I can do things that might seem a little disjointed on paper but that look great in real life. I'm happy to report that she loved it.
We hung a gorgeous canvas my client painted herself above the other sofa. (She doesn’t consider herself an artist–but I do!) Natural objects and things collected on their travels fit in easily throughout the space and there’s enough breathing room to allow them to keep on collecting as the years go by and they find new treasures on their adventures.