A friend recently asked me to take a look at her living room and provide some guidance. Her style is very different from mine (plus she lives far away, so I haven’t even seen the space), but I thought it would be fun to stretch my boundaries and see if I could come up with something. Her living room space is similar to mine, long and narrow with lots of doorways and windows to work around. It also needs to function as TV space, office, music room and general living for their family of nine (9!), ages one and up. Definitely a challenge.

I started with a sample  floor plan, created in Floorplanner using their pre-set furniture options. This first option has lots of storage, both open and closed, with low cabinets under the east windows, as well as behind the second sofa, bookshelves on the north wall and shelving around the TV on the south wall. The piano is on the west wall and there’s space for an office on the east wall. Two sofas and floor cushions provide seating, with an armchair in the corner for a reading nook. Using a smaller coffee table between the sofas allows for open play space as needed.

The second floor plan has a sectional instead of two sofas and creates more open space. Slightly less storage and a smaller office space, but still plenty of room to move around.

Now for the fun stuff, choosing some furnishings and colors. They definitely want a leather sofa, so I looked only at those options. I think a classic Chesterfield is a great choice for a Texas family and I put together a quick mood board using the first floor plan as a base.

Sources are below and other options for the space are found on my pinterest board. The sofas, shelves and desk are dark, so for this go round I choose a lighter paint color, rug and accessories to lighten the space. The color scheme is a gray-blue, yellow and dark brown. Some of the lighter furniture, like the desk, connect with the yellow tones in the rug. Linen pillows and drapery soften the space, while whimsical accessories create interest in the space.  Mood boards are a great way to begin to think about decorating a space. They are not necessarily exact purchase maps, but allow you to keep an idea of what you like while looking out for options. The Chesterfield could certainly be purchased new, in several price ranges, but could just as easily be a Craigslist find if you keep your eyes out for one. The media center could be purchased intact or built from one of several plans, like this one, if you’re handy. Knowing what desk dimensions and cabinet space you need allows you to find these items over time, creating a space that is personal rather than something that looks like it all came from one store.

So, what do you think? It was fun to think about another space and to stretch my aesthetic, although a little nerve-racking to design a space for someone else.  How do you approach decorating, have you used mood boards to start?


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