I’m delighted to share my client’s living room in a historic 1918 cottage. Like all projects, this one is unique. I think this room turned out beautifully, and it shows that antiques can be relevant, young and versatile.
Earlier this year, Jen and Chris purchased a couple items from my shop. Then one thing led to another, and I started helping them with decorating. Sweet, right? First of all, they’ve been terrific – very patient plus open minded. Jen and Chris were ready to finish the living room fast, but it was important for me to understand how they live – for ex: formal entertaining vs chilling out, etc. Together we slowly worked on discovering their style, which is traditional to transitional. I wanted them to have a living room in which they felt comfortable entertaining their parents as well as friends their age.
Because this is an older cottage, the room is not expansive. Also, it doesn’t get a lot of natural light. But, it does have a high ceiling, handsome staircase tucked to the side, charming millwork, and a casual vibe. Everything had already been painted, and they owned a pair of vintage camel-back sofas. I continued the neutral palette so the room could breathe. Tailored pieces were chosen for sophistication and timelessness. Antiques brought in character while accessories from West Elm, Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn, and Room & Board added that “current” look.
Let’s check it out:
One of the first pieces I placed was this 1800s Swedish Gustavian chest from Tone on Tone
. It provides needed storage and, being compact, doesn’t get in the way.
It’s important to mix textures and finishes. I found this mid-century style lamp from Crate and Barrel and hoped Jen would approve. Not at first, but now she loves it 🙂 Afterwards, I restyled the vignette using what she already owned: a print with vintage frame and marble bowl (handy for keys, etc).
Here is an overview of the living room. The room needed light so I selected the Reed pendant fixture from Circa
– notice the clean, tailored lines. The metal coffee table is from Room & Board
. It is narrow, and has a useful lower shelf. Plus it is reasonably priced.
The antique paintings and vintage sunburst mirror are from my shop.
Walls are painted in Benjamin Moore Hush – AF 95.
I chose a wool sisal style staircase runner with very narrow binding. It’s installed about 3 inches from the sides (and cut out around the newel post) in the Hollywood style, which is tailored and bespoke. The big area rug is the same, but with a different binding. Larger area rugs do wonders for small spaces!
BELOW: Cool agate coasters from West Elm.
Anchoring the other side of the living room is a brick fireplace with an arched opening – very cottagey! The little drinks tables are from Pottery Barn. The antique giltwood mirror with heavily foxed mercury glass I found in France.The previous homeowner had the built-in cabinets installed. Over them is a pair of early 1800s carved wooden finials I brought back from Maine. The finials, with their crusty patina, make the cabinets look less new. Also, the cabinets now are more like pedestals.
Old and new: Iron candelabra from Pottery Barn and 19th century painting from the Barbizon school, France. The scene in the painting reminds Jen and Chris of Upstate New York, where they vacation with family.
Botanical prints from Hugo Guinness – I selected frames resembling driftwood for an organic look.
Hope you have enjoyed seeing this project.
Huge thanks to my awesome clients, Jen and Chris!!!
LoiAnd for comparison, below is the room before. Excuse the mess… We were working 🙂