A Bachelor Pad Converted for Two

A masculine, outdated living room is transformed into a stylish space for newlyweds.


Manny and Patricia have a gorgeous 1920s house that's oozing with character, but they're waiting until they tie the knot to move in together. While Patricia has been living with her parents until the big day, Manny has turned the living room into quite the bachelor pad. There's a stainless-steel keg fridge, a giant TV, video-game consoles, samurai swords — it's all frat house and no feminine. Before they can achieve marital bliss, Patricia wants to get rid of the masculine mess. She wants a more sophisticated, functional, female-friendly space in the main room of their new home, and she wants it before she'll let Manny carry her over the threshold.

The newlyweds-to-be asked me to help. Do I take this male-dominated room and promise to turn it into a warm, stylish home? I do!

After adding some final touches, including a gallery of Patricia's photographs on the wall, chrome lamps and a ceiling fan, I pronounced the space complete.


The focal points of the TV area are the fireplace and the new flat-screen TV set into the wall above it. For the fronting inside the mantel, I found a gorgeous tile in bronze, stainless steel, brass and copper. The tile works with chrome lighting sconces to add a modern feel to the room while also highlighting the traditional details. Across from the fireplace, I put a sofa upholstered in oatmeal tweed with stainless-steel legs. A couple of chocolate-brown velvet armchairs, a rustic coffee table and an area rug in various shades of brown complete the space.

I built the office area into a big, gorgeous bay window that had been dominated by a radiator. Patricia said she loved the heat the radiator gave off but hated looking at it, so I had a custom cover built, with shelving on both sides, to match the original woodwork. A desk in front hides the box and will give the newlyweds a place to work on the family finances. Woven grass blinds in a medium wood tone over the windows provide privacy while letting light in. I framed the area with floor-to-ceiling velvet drapes in a delicious paisley banded in chocolate with caramel and oatmeal tones.

I used the same velvet paisley, which ties the room's color scheme together, for drapes beside the window in the library lounge area. Two oatmeal tweed armchairs facing each other provide space for quiet time as a couple, and a long shelving unit serves double duty as a console behind the sofa and as a bookshelf for the library.

The only thing Manny and Patricia liked about the room was its rich wood finishes. Manny particularly loved the fireplace mantel. So using the rich brown of the woodwork as a jumping-off point, I chose a palette of chocolate, caramel and oatmeal - a female-friendly scheme that isn't girly. I also selected stainless-steel accents for a modern touch (in memory of Manny's goner of a beer fridge). Then I divided the room into three zones: a TV area, a home office and a library lounge.

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