Before: Design DilemmaAllison is a first-time homeowner who loves her cottage-style house, but unfortunately the area between her living room and bedroom has become a design dilemma. She loves the fact that her space has a fireplace, but its looks very outdated. She'd like to keep her hardwood floors and French doors, but get rid of the oddly placed laundry closet. The tone she's going for is a reflection of her favorite vacation getaway — Nantucket Island. For her color palette, Allison has unusual inspiration. She wants Kenneth to base his design on the colors of a cocktail napkin she found at party.
After: New England TranquilityKenneth took the former walk-through space into a personalized relaxation area / workspace. The entryway wall into the dining area was extended to make the room feel more cozy and intimate. The washer and dryer closet was moved to another part of the house, allowing more room for furniture. By adding another set of French doors, the room is now brighter and more balanced.
To create balance in the room and offset the heavy fireplace, French doors are added to the opposite wall. Having a second set of French doors allows more natural light to enter and helps bring the outdoors inside. Luxurious but simple silk drapes frame the view. The old bricks from the fireplace are reused to create a patio outside.
Instead of using a standard ceiling fixture, Kenneth creates some soft lighting by hanging a simple, feminine shade. Beaded trim is wrapped around the linen shade to add some sparkle to the light's glow.
Updated FireplaceThe outdated fireplace is given a complete makeover when the old heavy bricks are torn off and replaced with soft green tiles. The wall above the fireplace takes on a new shape when the sharp corner is cut, turning two walls into the three. New molding on the white walls adds to the cozy, Nantucket-cottage look.
Plush SeatingThe two plush chairs create a cozy conversation area. Having a big ottoman and floor lamp by the striped chair makes it an ideal spot to curl up with a good book.
The cottage-style wall unit provides a perfect place to display memorabilia and photos. The center armoire converts into a desk. When the homeowner is done working, she can just close the flip-down door and relax.
An Aubusson rug anchors the seating area and works perfectly with the wall color. Aubusson is a scenic tapestry-style rug or upholstery that resembles needlepoint. It is named after the town in France where the style originated.
Kenneth's Tip: Ask the retailer if you can take a rug home first to look at in the space before you make the final purchase.