It's time to reveal the FINAL space in our Fitzgerald Condo Remodel project! Today, we're looking at the main living space of the condo—the great room! The great room includes a dining area and sitting area and is open to the kitchen, which we revealed a few weeks back.
Below you can see the original footprint of this main space. While we moved a wall in the kitchen, the living area remained pretty much the same, aside from our ability to push the dining area a few feet toward the kitchen.
Original Great Room Layout
(large open area on left)
Great Room & Dining Area Before
Our initial plan for this space was to utilize our client's existing dining set, sofa, and chairs that our client already had (note, the furniture pictured above is from the previous owners, not our client). The chairs were nice quality, dark leather chairs, which came from her previous condo, and the sofa was one that she had newly purchased for the space before hiring our team for design.
The new sofa was a chesterfield style sofa-bed from Joybird, a popular online vendor. The style was charming, but it required us to find a layout that would fit what she already had rather than design an ideal layout for her space. My go-to in this smaller space would be to utilize a sectional, which would maximize seating and floor space while keeping an open concept. Additionally, for upholstery especially, I always prefer to utilize the vendors whose quality I know and trust. Cheap upholstery will cost you money in the long run! We'll come back to this sofa in just a minute...
Below, you can see our original plan for the great room furniture layout, in addition to the style board with furniture pieces that we presented on our first round.
Great Room Proposed Layout (on the bottom left)
& Styleboard Version 1.0
We planned to move the bulky TV setup from the back corner of the living room and mount it above the TV. In its place, we'd utilize a vertical display cabinet that would be used for bar items and TV components.
The sitting area would center around the sofa, with a new vintage-look wool rug and marble coffee table, and a few new details, including a fantastic antique brass chandelier, custom curtain panels, and a hall runner to lead back to the bedrooms.
Our client was very excited about the original design, but—to my surprise and delight—when we met to present our final round of revisions, she looked at me and said, "Can we talk about my sofa?" Friends, I was so relieved! I never want to stop someone from using a piece in their space that they've planned to utilize (especially when they've just spent good money on it), HOWEVER, it marries you to that one option, and often it's not the best for the space.
Needless to say, I was very excited to have the opportunity to maximize this space. We talked again about my recommendation for a sectional, and we ended up choosing between these two options (ignore the colors, we'd be going with a similar color to the original chesterfield):
Sectional Sofa Options
We liked the arm and side profile of each of these, as we felt that they had a good blend of traditional while still feeling clean, and we liked the added wood element of the legs. We ended up going with the second option, but we nixed the nailhead detail on the arms (I'm not a fan of nailhead, except in very rare instances).
Here's the updated layout with the sectional in place of the sofa:
Great Room Layout with Sectional
In addition to the new sofa, we needed to find an alternate bar cabinet because, due to Covid, our original selection was back-ordered indefinitely (oh, Covid...). Additionally, after thinking about the functionality of the space, our client also wanted to add a sideboard to the dining area to add additional serving space and storage. You'll see a few of our options below. Lastly, the artwork was also (and often is) one of those things that took a few tries to hit the nail on the head. Take a look at some of the combinations we decided between below:
Artwork & Sideboard Option 1
Artwork & Sideboard Option 2
Artwork & Sideboard Option 3
with New Bar Cabinet (WINNER!)
I LOVE the bar cabinet and sideboard we went with. Both added a funky contemporary element that wasn't yet used in the condo, making the space feel unique and layered. Each also introduced new materials and finishes, including the chrome legs of the bar cabinet, the brushed silver scales on the front of the sideboard, and the grey washed wood of the bar cabinet. So much more dimension than the other options!
Also, I've decided we need to give this bar cabinet its own dedicated post because it is freaking amazing...stay tuned for that!
On the renovation side, we hadn't originally planned to change much (other than paint and floor) in the great room, but as we moved through the process, we decided the fireplace needed a spruce-up as well. At first, we had decided that while we'd love to do the fireplace, it didn't make sense for the budget—but as often happens...scope creep! It can be hard to leave an older element in a space that you're almost entirely updating, and when you think about the added cost versus the long term benefit, I usually say, just do it! You'll be glad you did.
We selected a marble tile for the fireplace in a fun, smaller-scale pattern to contrast some of the larger uses of marble in the space (counters/coffee table), and our client worked with the carpenter to design an updated fireplace surround.
See the original fireplace below, and then our updated version:
Great Room Window Treatments
As for curtains, we had to get a little crafty. We definitely wanted the added texture and softness we knew curtains bring to a room, but there wasn't a whole lot of room for curtains, so we needed to be super careful with our measurements. Additionally,on the window behind where the sofa would sit, we had a funky transition from wall to ceiling to deal with. Luckily for us, our drapery installer is the master macgyver of draperies, and helped us find a great solution.
Here's a look at the fireplace wall elevation. This is how we space plan for things like window treatments, TV placement, and taller items that will take up vertical space on a wall. Think of it as a floorplan, but on a vertical plane. An elevation gives you a visual of how the scale, placement, and height will work out on that wall:
Pictured from left to right:
bar cabinet, window, fireplace & TV, window
The Completed Space
And now, let's just drool over these photos of the finished space...on installation day, the styling process was made super easy because we partnered with our friends over at Stoffer Home (which just happens to align perfectly with the style of our condo). Were able to haul in a whole Subaru-outback-full of accessories and decor from their shop to style the space and make it feel complete, and our client then had the option to purchase any of the items (she kept most!).
I loooove the way the pillow fabrics came together in this one: a touch of masculine, and a touch of feminine. Again, mostly tone on tone, which is my happy place, but with just a few unexpected pops of color.
This rug was probably the inspiration for the entire project. I found this rug early on in the design phase, and everything grew from there. It is my faaaaavorite!!!
Alright, we HAVE to talk about this bar cabinet. IT IS SO. COOL. I plan to do a post solely on the amazingness of this piece, but for now...check this out:
SOPHISTICATED ON THE OUTSIDE:
PARTY ON THE INSIDE:
The Wrap Up
This condo truly feels like an amazing transformation. Previously, the condo felt odd and cramped, and so much darker and heavier than it does now. While there were fewer furniture pieces in the space when I saw it the first time, it feels so much larger now, even with all the new pieces! I tell ya, interior design is all about finding the RIGHT combination of pieces, scale, flow, and color for each unique space. It's never one-size-fits-all! Which is probably why it's so fun (AND CHALLENGING!).
All this to say, I'm SO pleased with the way this home turned out. The before and after photos are pretty darn satisfying to look back at, and I can't wait for our client's friends and family to enjoy a glass of wine together in this new space. It was an honor to be trusted with the task of creating such a special place!
About Lauren Figueroa Interior Design
LFID is a full-service interior design firm based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We work with clients throughout west and southeast Michigan, and pride ourselves on creating bespoke, people-centered spaces—because after all, people are what this life is all about!