Before: No PrivacyHomeowners Rob Brass and Tina Vu have a classic home with a living room they want to update. They're prepared with magazine cutouts and pictures showing colors and styles they like. Host/designer David Bromstad sticks to the colors they've chosen — blues and chocolates — for the color inspiration and shops for traditional items with a modern twist.
When he enters the living room, Bromstad immediately notices that the sofa is against the window, blocking the view, and is not facing the fireplace.
After: Rich TexturesBromstad adds color with the drapes, combining one brown velvet drape and one silk drape — one soft and one shiny — for a great play on texture. Also, the sofa is moved so that it's facing the fireplace and not blocking the window.
Before: Old-Fashioned FireplaceThe best solution is to create an updated facade to cover the brick. Over the mantel are a couple of awkward sconces that can be turned on only by removing the shades and twisting the bulbs.
After: Sleek Fireplace WallOn the remaining brick, the grout is stained to match the brick to eliminate the contrast. A couple of paintings beside the fireplace repeat the floral pattern in the fabric on the throw pillows. It's a simple way to tie together two areas of a room. Two new chairs with sleek, clean lines in lighter shades of blue round out the fireplace area. Using furniture in a lighter or darker shade, rather than matching furniture to the walls exactly, creates depth in a room.
chairs (item #010103424), curtains (item #042006812, 042727284), pillows (item #040780909, 040594166), sconce (item #14034998), floor lamps (item #105180323), tray (item #65151439), ottoman (item #65151445, 65040118) – Z Gallerie
photographer floor lamp (item #8502106), rug (item #7769359) – Pottery Barn
console table (item #EFCOSOLOM), coffee table (EFCTUEBLONW) – Eclexion
vase (item #65151399, 65151387), glass hurricane (item #54000819), silver mirror (item #65040083) – Target
fitted column chandelier (item #46871001-007), fitted column sconces (item #46844006-006) – Restoration Hardware
paint: ceiling (HC-146 Wedgwood Gray), wall (HC-148 Jamestown Blue), fireplace surround (HC-74 Maryville Brown), bookcase and stripe (HC-75 Plymouth Brown) – Benjamin Moore
fireplace insert (BBQ Black) – Rust-Oleum Premium Oil
brick on fireplace (Brownstone #6040) – Mason's Select Transparent Concrete Stain
fabric for pillows - Poppy Fabric
Shades of BlueBecause Vu is so decisive about her color choices, Bromstad decides to paint the room all blue, even the ceiling. However, he goes with a gray-blue instead of a bright or primary blue so that it won't look childish or garish. According to design/color assistant Danielle Hirsch, if a ceiling over eight feet, you can paint it a dark color, but if it's under eight feet, it's best to keep it lighter. For an unexpected touch, two brown stripes are added around the upper wall beneath the cove ceiling.
A Fashion Designer Designs-It-HerselfIn the background, Bromstad has created a series of nine original paintings on wooden boxes. Displaying the boxes in rows is graphic and modern, but what he paints on them — simple branches and leaves — is traditional. So, the pillows and paintings bring together the color scheme and the design style: traditional with a modern twist.