October is finally HERE!
Along with the return of hot apple cider, football Sundays, falling leaves (so many, many, many leaves) and Halloween, this means that the new house renovation gets kicked up a notch.
Last week, I spent some time helping to redecorate my parents’ living room which has had essentially the same layout since they moved in close to 30 years ago. The furniture styles may have changed over the years, but the basic floor-plan stayed exactly the same: couches around the perimeter of the room with a large wall unit and entertainment system on one end. Finally, with their post-Hurricane Sandy home rehab, my mom let me take a crack at doing something a little different. So I DID!
Step #1: Think about the space in terms of function.
How do you want the space to be used? For my parents, this large room with high cathedral ceilings and a sliding glass door opening to their patio was a lounging space, a hosting space for guests, and an entryway into their home. Additionally, the family room opens up into an adjacent dining room, so the floor plan had to accommodate that flow of traffic.
Step #2: Think about the space in terms of conversation areas.
It took only a moment for me to realize that the room was always totally underutilized because the couches and armchairs were so greatly spaced apart. You practically had to shout to reach the person on the other couch. A lone armchair also blocked the traffic flow into the dining room. A simple shifting of existing furniture, not only created a more comfortable and intimate living/dining space, but also allowed for a portion of the room to be dedicated to a new reading corner and functional entryway. Instantaneously, the room looked double it’s original size.
Step #3: Think about how you can best recycle existing furnishings and accessories in your redesign.
What pieces could you use in a different manner to achieve your design goals? Don’t be afraid to experiment- turn rugs around, split up furniture sets and give existing furniture a new purpose. Change is good, and in this case, change is FREE!
Step #4: Fill in the missing pieces.
Once you’ve shopped your own home, you have a better idea of the furniture and accessories you may be missing to complete the space. Now is the time to be patient, search out the pieces that meet all of your needs and search out the deals. Most importantly, only buy the things you truly love! Hopefully, these items will be with you for a long time to come. Or in my parents’ case, until the next hurricane/super-storm sweeps them away!
And below… some design eye-candy and great inspiration for creating your own new conversation areas! Enjoy!