Before: Clutter Gone WildHomeowners Paul and Celeste Jennings are overwhelmed by the lack of space and storage in their combined family and dining room. In short, they are fighting a losing battle with clutter. Host Karen McAloon suggests a traditionally elegant design that will divide the long room into distinct spaces and keep the family's antiques as a prominent feature.
The homeowners are ready to tackle the piles of clutter that suffocate the space. However, all the furniture in the room must stay. Since it is the room where they spend most of their time, creating something warm and comfortable is their goal.
After: Taming of the StuffThe furniture gets a touch up with restoring finish to make it shine again. McAloon also repeats colors and fabrics to visually unite the two spaces. When you have a small room, the more the eye stops, the more cluttered it feels. Keep furniture fabrics in the same color family as the walls to help the eye move over them. The less busyness in a room, the bigger it feels.
Before: Buried CapacityThe clutter has taken over, and there is no differentiation between the living and dining rooms. The dining room features an alcove and windows that let in a lot of natural light. These two features alone provide opportunity for increasing the feel of spaciousness.
After: Beginning to See the HeightThe armoire is removed from the alcove. An alcove is meant to give a room dimension — if you fill that space with large furniture, you lose it. McAloon also adds dimension by balancing the horizontal and vertical lines in the space. Lighter paint color on the ceiling also adds height.
Drum ShadeMcAloon fashions a drum shade out of metal strips and a fabric remnant. It's as simple as making two hoops out of the metal to put on both ends of the fabric panel. For a no-sew shade, use fabric tape, which can be ironed onto the material to create a seam. It's a modern cover-up for almost any outdated fixture.
Hot SpotMcAloon groups the Jennings' antique clock collection over the mantel. Collectibles that are grouped together create a focus in the room. The fireplace originally had a gold surround and a wood mantel that didn't match the other furniture. Heat-resistant spray paint can change the color of fireplace surrounds. Now the black surround blends into the room. A thin, even coat of darker toned gel stain gives the mantel the same wood tone as the furnishings.
Hidden TreasureAlthough it's tempting to tuck large furniture out of the way in an alcove, you actually lose space in a room. McAloon pulls the armoire out of the alcove, replacing it with shelving and an antique riddling rack used in champagne making. She refreshes the rack with a fresh coat of stain. Paint expert Danielle Hirsch uses a two-tone paint approach to increase the depth of the alcove. On the inner surfaces, she uses the lighter tone ceiling paint. For the back wall, the regular wall color provides contrast in the nook.