Before: Shabby StyleBill and Eva Novak have a living room full of junk their daughters would like to see emptied into a dumpster. After 20 years of putting up with their parents' jumbled living room, daughters Jackie and Sue thought it was time for a change. When their family first moved into the house, Bill decided to remove a wall in the main living area, creating one very long room. Bill has a passion for travel souvenirs, while Eva has always dreamed of a space fit for a soap-opera star. They do a lot of entertaining and the space is perfect for mingling, but it lacks intimate conversation areas.
After: Dramatic FlairTo transform the space, Lawren and Belliveau rework the dull color scheme, choosing blue and brown tones to add richness to the walls. The non-existent lighting is revamped with a contemporary and creative new wall fixture that fits with the room's new direction. The elongated space is divided in two with a glamorous reading area next to the bay windows, which features two chic leather club chairs.
Before: Extremely LostThe old carpeting, muted wallpaper and yellow wood accents make the room look outdated and tired. The biggest challenge facing the designers is creating a space that combines Bill's love of wood and travel souvenirs with Eva's flair for the dramatic.
After: Mapping It OutTo honor Bill's love of travel, they hang a humongous map on the staircase. The tired carpeting is replaced with beautiful new laminate floors and the railing on the staircase is stained dark to match the new sophisticated look of the room. Bill's shelving unit is revitalized with mirrors and task lighting that help display family mementos.
Bamboo FireplaceSince the room was lacking a focal point, they create one by installing a built-in electric fireplace with a magnificent floor-to-ceiling bamboo facade. Floating shelves flanking the fireplace function as a tasteful display area for travel artifacts. A square leather ottoman and new couch transform the space into a warm, intimate gathering area.
Window CushionsEva's grandiose curtains are recast as cushions for the new bay seating area and provide a fresh accent to the natural color scheme. To transform a hard window seat, cut foam to the size of the seat, and then cut fabric 1-1/2 inches larger than the foam on all sides. Place the foam on the right side of the fabric and wrap it around the form. Pin the fabric together, leaving one side open, and then pull the foam out. Sew along the pin lines; turn the fabric right side out, and then tuck the foam into place. Hand-stitch the opening closed.
Hanging Stained Glass WindowsAfter finding beautiful stained-glass windows behind the couch, Belliveau uses them to create a visual barrier between the two rooms. To simulate the look, drill a hole two inches from each edge in the top of each frame and attach eye screws. Cut two pieces of cable per window to the desired length. Cut a piece of MDF to the necessary length after deciding the spacing between the windows, and then drill corresponding holes in the MDF. Secure eye screws to the MDF holes and use cable crimps to hold the cables in place (be sure they're tight). Attach the board to a ceiling joist with anchors and 2-1/2-inch screws. Use a level to be sure the windows hang straight. Attach the bottom end of the cables to the window eye screws as above after checking for level.