Main Floor Makeover
Urban touches bring a touch of the city to the suburbs.
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The space was in rough shape — outdated, tired and dingy¾so we started from scratch. We knocked down walls to open up the area and put up new drywall. We put in hardwood flooring, installed a central vacuum system and put up new ceilings with wiring for flat-mount stereo speakers.
When the groundwork was finally done, I divided the space into three zones: a living room/lounge, a small dining room and a new kitchen.
In the living room, I created a focal point that people will see as soon as they walk through the front door: a bench seat covered in a striped fabric of calming blue, green, taupe and beige, and a 46-inch television that acts a mirror when not in use. I also created a larger seating arrangement comprising a comfortable couch and two chairs with stainless-steel accents. And I put down a cool rug of carpet tiles in the same colors used on the bench.
In a small dining area next to the living room, the "wow" factor is a new gas fireplace featuring polished black stones inside and a surround of stainless steel with floating glass outside. In this zone, I also put in a gorgeous round, black pedestal table and some funky Lucite chairs.
On the living/dining room windows I put up some stylish curtains made of a neutral-colored silk with a woven pattern, and I put some woven grass blinds behind the curtains for privacy and light control.
Adjacent to the living room, I set up an ultramodern kitchen with all the bells and whistles, including lots of dark cabinetry, two glass-tiled backsplashes and beautiful quartz countertops. I then installed a roomful of stainless-steel appliances, including a new side-by-side fridge and freezer, microwave, induction cooktop, oven, warming drawer and sink. For added zing, I put up a cityscape mural at the far end of the room.
To lighten things up, I put in recessed ceiling lights, floor lamps and some pendant lighting.
Designer Jean Larette shares her story of how she gave a contemporary update to a living room that was stuck in the past.