**Kitchen nook photo from our Studio City project. Inspiration only**
Sometimes in life you have to make some hard design related decisions, and nobody understands more than me how hard that is to do by yourself. Enter in “Design Agony”, a simple service where you as the reader, homeowner, or viewer can ask us a simple question that you can’t seem to answer yourself. Maybe you can’t find the right lamp for your nightstands, or maybe you are looking for the perfect rug to go under your dining table. Whatever it may be, we can help answer these questions, which is exactly what we did for the below Design Agony request (if you have a question of your own, go here to see how it works before you submit your form).
This client came to us looking for a few simple pieces to make her kitchen nook feel a bit more updated, without a total overhaul. The process of Design Agony starts out with a simple questionnaire that we use to get a bit more info about what the issue is. Here is what we got from her after she had filled it out:
“Hi y’all! I am going for an updated and vaguely boho look in my home (see my living room, attached). But in my kitchen area, I think my breakfast nook might be veering into ’70s hippie b/c of the color scheme and the table and chairs (which I’m hoping to replace with a 48-inch round extendable table with simpler chairs). Any furniture suggestions?
My floors are reddish oak and tough to coordinate with (I was thinking of either a very light beech wood table or more of an espresso brown). I’d like to recover the little yellow granny chair in the kitchen (suggestions? maybe mid-tone blue?) and possibly replace the throw pillows with something a bit fresher (ideas?). But I don’t want to recover the olive-colored bench upholstery because it was expensive and coordinates nicely with the foliage and landscape painting in the kitchen.
Other elements that I can’t change: yellowy walls in kitchen have to stay, landscape painting in kitchen (shown in one of the photos), and the striped kilim rug. Both my husband and son are wary of pink and purple, but they love blue and most other colors.
Can you see any way to freshen up our breakfast area (which is also our lunch and supper area!) without a total overhaul? Thanks!”
“I would prefer a table that is round, not oval (I don’t want a square or rectangle because I want to avoid pointy corners in a tight space). The benches are each 60” long so I think a 48-inch round table with ideally two leaves would be best. Yes, it needs to be expandable and the table top needs to be solid wood, but the pedestal base could be metal. It’s hard to coordinate other woods with this reddish floor! I don’t want table legs because we would bump our knees against them while entering the bench area.
Budget for table is $2, 000-$4, 000 for the right table (though a custom job might be tricky since I live in Vancouver, Canada).
I prefer high quality pillows made of artisan fabrics with natural fibers (but they can’t be scratchy). So $150 or less per pillow would be good. And I wouldn’t want a whole whack of pillows because they would end up on the floor (I have a kid) so three or so pillows on the bench are about right (the appliqué one in the corner is 24-inches, maybe too big?).
The budget is somewhat flexible as you can see. But I’m not at liberty to change the green bench upholstery, landscape painting, or location of the granny chair, and we would rather not change the wall color unless that’s essential. Wall color right now is BM ylang-ylang and bench upholstery is this: http://www.maxwellfabrics.com/p/SBO024
I’ve had trouble finding white paint chips that complement the flecks of cream and tan in the green fabric, which has a burlap like texture.”
All in all, she had a good foundation and a great space, but a few areas that she wanted to tackle. After exchanging a few emails to determine where she wanted us to focus our time, we decided that giving her suggestions for pillows would be most the helpful within the budget and timeframe. So with that in mind, we pulled together a few different pillow options and color schemes to show her what direction the space could potentially head. Throughout the duration, the client gave us a couple of table options she’d been looking at, and although this one still has some red tones, we felt that it would work the best in her space. The the other options were either super modern with an angular pedestal, or a bit too rustic country which we knew wasn’t right for the space.
Option 1 was a mix of both warm and cool colors, as well as the new proposed dining table we had decided on. The orange tones in some of the pillows help to bring out the warmer tones in the table, and the blues and greens of the complimentary pillows would work well with existing art and fabric she had on the cushions.
1. Navy, Oatmeal & Teal Pillow | 2. Navy Linen Pillow | 3. Leaf Print Pillow (no longer available) | 4. Teal Velvet Pillow (no longer available) | 5. Cotton Tassel Pillow | 6. Embroidered Pillow | Dining Table
Option 2 went a touch cooler, when we eliminated the orange from the pillows. It was a bit more calm, serene, and we brought in some life through a few graphic pillows.
For Option 3 we took away the greens and introduced a much warmer color palette of yellows, and oranges, with a few hits of blue to help tie in with the existing green bench fabric.
Ultimately, the client went with Option 1, and we made a few small tweaks, which you can see below in the final board.
What do you think? Which combo would have been your favorite in the space, and why would you have picked that combo? Are there any common problems that you constantly find yourself running into that we could help solve? If you have a question that you think might be a good fit for our Design Agony Service, or are in need of any other services head on over to the services section of the site to see if we might be able to help you!