Andrea and Steve are a busy couple with one hyper dog and two young boys (who refuse to sit beside each other at the dinner table). They came to us wanting a design plan for their living and dining room that would be stylish yet highly functional, pulling together their existing furniture and adding new pieces to give their space a more unified pulled-together look.
The Design Plan
Sitt Designer, Alison Lau, created a look for the clients' living and dining room that is modern and stylish with nods to Scandinavian design, including functional furniture, light walls and floors, pops of bright colour and large doses of neutral elements and texture.
Designer Alison Lau was inspired by the combination of various textures and materials, such as wool, wood, cotton, leather and jute, to create a warm and cozy interior (inspiration image below and above).
The sofa is often the main building block of a living room. While the clients' existing sofa is of good quality, it isn’t the charcoal grey colour that they had wanted so we gave them an option to have it reupholstered or buy new. If reupholstering, we suggest a charcoal grey linen fabric from the OnlineFabricStore.net. Linen is a naturally durable fibre that resists pilling and has timeless appeal. If buying new, we suggest the Bliss sofa from West Elm, as in the image below. This sofa has down filled cushions making it very comfortable, and the single seat cushion makes it easier to seat multiple people (i.e. nobody falls through the cracks!).
We recommend flanking the fireplace with two armchairs to balance the room and creates a conversation area with the sofa.
To modernize and add visual interest to the space, we suggest reupholstering the existing red armchair in a graphic print and purchasing the Banquina chair from Eq3. Alison chose the Banquina chair because its armless low profile, making it suitable to place in an open area/passageway, while it is fully upholstered and comfortable enough for living room seating. Graphic new upholstery fabric for the existing red armchair injects colour and pattern that is fun, but not overwhelming.
The image below shows our suggested layout for the room.
We suggest getting a new dining table, centering it in the room and pairing it with two benches and two dining chairs. This will maximize seating for everyday use and when guests are visiting. The Basque benches from Crate and Barrel measure 48” long and tuck perfectly under the table when not in use and don’t take up a lot room when in use, keeping the main passageways open. Bench seats are also great for seating multiple people when necessary.
The table selected is from CB2 and measures 35” wide, again keeping in mind the narrowness of the room. The dark finish of the table hides stains well and the opposing leg shapes add an interesting design element to the room.
For the dining chairs, to be placed on each end of the table, Alison suggests the Charlie chair from CB2 for its warm texture and comfortable grey cushioned seat that connects with colours used in the living room.
Alison recommends installing a pendant light fixture from Eq3 in the dining room directly above the dining table. This oversized drum pendant plays with the scale of the small dining ro
om, defines the eating area and (of course) provides light. Light fixtures should generally be installed 30’’ to 35’’ inches above a dining table.
A new modern shapely lamp from West Elm has been selected for task and ambiance lighting in the living room, and is to be placed to the right of the Banquina chair. The curves of this lamp are a nice contrast to the hard edges of the built-in shelves, fireplace and existing coffee table.
Alison has also suggested installing pot lights in the rooms, as shown in the lighting plan image below. Lighting is crucial in any room – providing light where needed, as well as illuminating dark corners making the room feel larger and more open. We recommend not skimping on lighting.
For window coverings, we suggest floor length panel curtains for the dining room paired with an oversized metal rod in gunmetal finish, both from West Elm. The linen cotton curtains selected are a timeless neutral colour and the simple unadorned rod gives a contemporary look.
For the living room, we suggest custom Roman shades from Tonic Living in Gate Stitch, Espresso fabric. The woven pattern of this fabric adds texture and complimentary pattern to the room without being overbearing. Tonic Living Roman shades come with all necessary hardware, are made custom to the size of your windows and can be ordered directly from Tonic Living.
Alison selected a Jute rug from West Elm in “Clay” for its neutral colour and durability, making it suitable for a family with pets and kids. Jute is also a sustainable material and adds subtle texture to the room. We recommend getting the area rug in size 8’ x 10’ to fill the space and make it feel larger. Area rugs add cosiness, protect wood flooring and define the conversation area in the living room creating a welcoming space to relax or entertain guests. The rule of thumb is that at least every piece of furniture (the chairs and sofa in your case) in a room should have at least the front legs on the area rug.
Artwork and Accessories
We love the existing artwork that the clients had in the room, and like Scandinavian design we kept accessories to a minimum only adding a few select pillows and a side table for comfort, colour and texture.
Black framed black and white architectural photography would look great in the dining room. Texture from the drapes, upholstered dining chairs and warm wood furniture will keep the room from feeling too sterile.
1. Linen Cotton Window Panel – Platinum (West Elm) $50.86, 48″W x 84″H
2. Oversized Metal Rod Gunmental (West Elm) $102.77, 44″-108″
3. Oversized Equator Pendant Lamp (CB2) $229, 34.25″ dia. x 10″H
4. Charlie Chair (CB2) $169, overall: 23.25″Wx22.5″Dx31.25″H seat: 19.25″H
5. Basque Java 48″ Bench (Crate and Barrel) $379.67, 48″Wx14″Dx18″H
6. Blox Dining Table (CB2) $599, 63″Wx35″Dx29.5″H
7. Gate Stitch, Espresso – Roman Blind (Tonic Living), Fabric $33.95 USD per yard, Roman shades 33.5” x 48” $206.65, 46” x 48” $254.57
8. Turned Floor Lamp (West Elm) $362.28, 11″ dia. x 66″H
9. 11 Oz Smoke Gray Belgian Linen Fabric – Sofa $28.45 per yard
10. Sculpted Origami Pillow with Insert (West Elm) $51.90, 20″ x 20″
11. 9 Square Burnt Orange Pillow with Insert (CB2) $44.95, 18″ x 18″
12. Clutch Natural Pillow with Insert (CB2) $24.94, 18″W x 12″H
14. Banquina Chair (CB2) $799.00, 28″Wx33″Dx32″H Seat: 15″H
15. Tablo Tray Table (Eq3) $199.00, 20.5″ dia x 21″H
16. Jute Boucle Rug – Clay (West Elm) $369.30 Delivery Surcharge: $26.45, 8' x 10'