It's very common that when I tackle a new project for a couple there are differing opinions on budget, logistics and most commonly, style preferences. She likes traditional furniture, tufting, and gold accents. Him? He likes clean lines and mid-century modern furniture. I view it as part of my job to mediate the differences in style preference between a couple and find creative solutions so that everyone can be happy with the final result. It's a skill that was honed in my prior life as an attorney that has proven surprisingly indispensable in my new line of work.
This project was a bit different. The clients decided that each room would have a clear single voice. No mediation or compromise necessary. A feminine retreat for She. A library for relaxing, reading and book clubs. For Him, a home office, minimal in style with mid-century modern accents and a focus on practicality.
Let's start with the library. Here is the before:
It was clear that book storage was a priority. It's a necessity for any successful home library. Because the room was fairly small at 10 feet x 10 feet, we had to be smart in how to install seating. Another problem to solve with this older home was lighting, since there was no overhead lighting in this room. Although the room would be used primarily as a retreat, She wanted the option to hold small gatherings as well so I wanted to make sure we kept things cozy but not crowded. Below is the after.
Beautifully serene yet also very colorful. Since the room is so small, it was very difficult to get whole room photos. I hope these photos give you a glimpse of how cozy and inviting this space is. We briefly considered built-in bookcases but since this room may eventually be used for a different purpose, we decided to stick with the dependable Ikea Billy bookcases. The blue velvet settee sets the tone for the entire space and the gold accents throughout elevate the feel of the room.
I'm going to be honest, I was itching to rearrange the books into vignettes. But I controlled myself. This is a working library with all the books arranged by genre, and in this case, I very much respected the client's need to keep the library categorized as it is supposed to be.
One of my favorite details is the coffee table. See below.
It's all about the details. The gold curvy legs of this coffee table are so perfect for this room. Just the right amount of feminine with the modern. Although this room was already carpeted, I installed a small area rug to ground the space. This white shag rug is not only fluffy and welcoming but so very soft under your feet. What about the lighting problem? See below.
For a room without any overhead lighting, an arc lamp is the way to go short of installing can lights. This is a great temporary solution, providing diffused light for nighttime reading. And last but not least, since She would be hosting friends in this space as well, I thought it might help to have a beverage cart on hand.
Great right? One can easily imagine this cart filled with snacks and drinks for book club events. I loved how this library turned out and I'm just jealous I don't have one of my own.
Shall we move on to the home office space for Him? Here is the before.
Similar to the library, office storage furniture was a priority here. Specifically, file storage was sorely lacking. Although everyone says we're in the digital age, with every office I do, paper files are alive, well and aplenty.
For Him, he wanted a clear working space and overall a minimalist feel to the office. Here is the after.
Mission accomplished. The bold Rothko print brings some color into the room and plays nicely against the gray walls. The art cable allows one to display travel mementos and rotate whenever the mood strikes. The beautiful white task lamp is mid-century inspired with the brass stem and clean lines.
A breath of fresh air. Closed storage is everything for an office. Everything is tucked away behind closed doors. The walnut vertical bookcase not only allows for additional book storage but hides the printer in plain sight as it blends back into the background. The lower closed cabinet is where I put the harder to wrangle items such as packing supplies and smaller miscellaneous office items.
I usually believe that every room should try to remain cohesive with all other rooms in the house. But sometimes . . . rules are meant to be broken. And more importantly, if the space allows, embrace the true luxury of having a room completely and utterly defined by one's own personal style without any compromises!
I hope you enjoyed this before and after. Thanks for reading!