Hey all it’s Ginny again with the as promised reveal of the Silver Lake Hills living room. Check the post from earlier this week to see all the before photos, the process, and our initial plans for it, but in short, we wanted to take this room from dark and heavy to bright and happy.
Some of you asked in the comments why we ended up doing a full redesign instead of the partial design we initially set out to do with the client. The short answer is that the scope changed throughout the duration of the project. Some of their existing pieces that you’ll read about below did work, so we kept them, but other pieces did start to feel out of place. It’s our job to make things better and be open and honest with our clients and if things aren’t working then it’s up to us to suggest alternatives. Granted we have budgets to work towards but the family was very open to upgrades and if we could make existing things work then great, but no love lost if not. Not only that, but some companies did reach out wanting to participate in the makeover and kindly gifted a few pieces which obviously made the changes more appealing. Anyway, back to the design itself – just wanted to give some of you commenters a bit more background on why things changed and it turned into a full redesign.
This family isn’t afraid to go bold, and they love colour and pattern, so while the previous design was pretty pulled together we wanted to create a space that felt more like them. We started off by finding the perfect rug. We wanted an old, worn, colourful Persian, for less than $3k in 9 x 12, which is harder than you’d think but we did it and this rug really brings life into the room.
They already had a pretty dope sofa, so instead of buying a completely new one we had theirs reupholstered in a blue/green linen. They have two teen kids so we brought in some playful and contrasting patterns and textures for pillows and throw blankets. It took us a long time to find the perfect lamps for in here. They needed to be organic and rounded in shape to contrast against the square side tables. They also needed some height too. Their previous vintage lamps would have worked perfectly but sadly one got broken (not by us), plus they were white and we wanted something colourful to pop off the walls. Surprisingly it’s really hard to find good, tall, colourful, none-cheesy globe-like lamps without spending a small fortune. These marblised glass ones are from Safavieh and fit perfectly what we were looking for.
We kept their existing side tables since they were already pretty cute with their brass detailing/hardware, and the size worked well for the space and sofa. With the side tables being black we decided to bring that in as an accent colour throughout the space as well. The artwork is by our friend Jaime Derringer and these two pieces are sold on Art.com. We love the energy and modern vibe that they bring to the space.
We toyed with swapping out their coffee table as that was another item contributing to the dark and heavyness of the room. But once we started to pull in other pieces and colour, the table became less of an issue. You get a real view of the rug here, it’s beautifully worn and saturated in colour without being too in your face. We kept the styling simple and fun for everyday. The white tray pops off the dark table top and is a great base for a stack of books, a vintage vase and a box to hide away unsightly items.
We really liked the idea of leather in here, and even though they already had a leather chair and ottoman we replaced it with a new, lighter feeling more modern version. I have this in my living room and love it, so I couldn’t recommend it more. We added a white garden stool side table and surrounded it by plants since that corner gets a good amount of light. The armoir is a beautiful family heirloom from Austria (I think). It’s so pretty in person and there was no way we were going to remove it.
There was talk of completely redoing the fireplace and we gave them a few different options, but the most cost effective way came down to just painting it. We like the surround as it feels traditional and speaks to the house, so we kept that and gave it a fresh coat of paint. It originally had an ornate flourish detail on the front that we removed before painting to give it a more seamless feel. The bricks were a red which really brought it down so we convinced them to paint them black which makes the fireplace feel bigger and more modern.
We styled it out with a touch of brass with these cool candle holders from Lawson Fenning, a marblised vase from Target with some flowers Emily may or may not have ‘borrowed’ from their back yard and a stack of books with a simple wood box. Layering and landscaping. The circular mirror brings in a more organic shape and bounces light around the room.
We really tried hard to make their existing side chairs work. We questioned refinishing them but with all that caning it could be tricky and expensive. We could paint them. We could reupholster the cushion. When I say we tried hard, we tried damned hard but what it came down to was the shape and the fact that they didn’t feel so cosy. We got these two side chairs from Article which sadly are no longer available on their site – but they do have a handful of similar options still available.
The rounded backs bring in a softness that the cane chairs were lacking and the colour pulls from the colours in the rug. We teamed them up with some stripes, lots and lots of black and white stripes. This adds a fun modern vibe in here and that pulls in from the other black elements around the room.
Their exiting gallery wall behind the sofa was feeling quite static and formal, so we decided to liven it up with a more organic gallery. We mixed varying sized framed and mats to give it some variation but used materials found elsewhere in the room. This area now feels more balanced and happy.
What do you think? Does it feel more fun, family and friendly to you?
And because you know we love a dramatic side by side, check out some before and after photos below:
We thought their mantle was a nice example of a simple, pulled together mantle. So it was a perfect excuse to pull together a mantle Style School episode for you all:
And if you want to recreate it then see the “Get The Look” below.
1. Cream Pillow | 2. Blush Striped Pillow | 3. Blue Striped Pillow | 4. Art (left side) | 5. Art (right side) | 6. Sofa | 7. Pouf | 8. Rug | 9. Blue Table Lamp | 10. Floor Lamp | 11. Chair | 12. Sheepskin Rug | 13. Accent Table | 14. Gold Burst | 15. Blue Box (no longer avai|able) 16. White Tray | 17. Fireplace Tools | 18. Log Holder | 19. Gold Table Lamp | 20. Nesting Striped Accent Table | 21. Blush Dot Pillow | 22. Black & White Pillow | 23. Pink Throw Blanket | 24. Black & White Throw Blanket | 25. Mirror | 26. Sconce | 27. Footed White Vessel | 28. Blue Marble Vase | 29. White Vase | 30. Pink Marble Bookend | 31. Marble Tray | 32. Wooden Box
**Photography by: Zeke Ruelas