This past March, I popped over to Grand Rapids to work with a friend and fellow creative on he and his fiancé's main floor. The two had been in the house about five years, and with a wedding coming up in June, they wanted to have a plan in place to pull their home together.
When they moved in, they'd removed loads of wallpaper, replaced most of the light fixtures, and painted all the walls in beautiful neutral and moody tones. Our goal was to create a space plan and pull furniture and decor pieces for their living room, dining room, and sunroom.
I'll walk you through our conversation and what we came up with. Let's jump in!
Style Discovery Conversation
After giving me a tour of their home, my clients and I sat down to discuss their inspiration images. They showed me lots of spaces with dark moody walls, natural brick, warm wood tones, and lots of clean lines. They especially liked more geometric shapes, globe lighting, and round mirrors.
They weren't afraid of color, but they preferred less saturated, muddier colors to bold, bright colors. They also liked layered spaces with interesting sculptural pieces.
The Existing Space & Goals for Function
My clients have good taste, and they had a lot ofd pieces that we planed to incorporate into the design:
A gorgeous leather sofa by American Leather (if you love it, I carry this line!)
A striped wool rug by Crate & Barrel
MCM TV Stand
Grey chair by West Elm
Blue modular sofa
Two bright red chairs by West Elm
These pieces didn't need to necessarily stay where they were, but they were all up for grabs as far as reusing them throughout the spaces. Below you can see the rooms as they stood when we met:
EXISTING LIVING ROOM
EXISTING LIVING ROOM - ENTRY WALL
In their living room, they wanted to accomplish a few things. First, they wanted to address the entryway, which currently felt underutilized. Should they push the sofa all the way back? How would they create a walkway? And what about storage? Additionally, they wanted to add as much seating as possible, and bring in some additional ambient lighting.
EXISTING DINING ROOM
My clients wanted to do something a little different in their dining room. They love to host, and generally its larger groups of people. They'd observed that when people come over, there's a lot of leaning against walls in the dining room. So, they figured, if there were more places to land, people probably would sit down and get comfortable.
They told me that sitting down at a table to eat a meal is something that basically NEVER happens in their house, so currently, this room NEVER gets used. Instead, wondered about turning this area into an additional sitting room, and based on how they like to use their house, I thought it was a fantastic idea!
In the sunroom, they eventually plan to remove the drop ceiling and replace the floors, but they wanted to create a special place with as much seating as possible. We decided that in this space, we'd try to use as many existing pieces as possible so they could put more of their budget on newer items inside the house.
Creating The Floor Plan
The main living room didn't change a whole lot. The main change here was that I pulled the seating on the north wall in about 18 inches so that I could create something interesting along the entry wall.
Here, I planned for a credenza along the middle wall section with matching benches on either side below the builtins. They could pull these out during large gatherings, turning their 6-seat living room into an 8-10 seat living room. Pushing the chairs in a bit also allowed us to create a comfortable walkway from the main entrance through into the new "lounge" (aka the dining room).
I suggested a larger rug to tie together all the seating, and I added in lots of extra accent tables so guests could easily set down drinks—VERY important if you like to host! I swapped out their long oval coffee table for a larger round one, and I dotted the room with a handful of floor and table lamps.
In the lounge, I planned for a small curved sofa with nesting tables, paired with two smaller scale accent chairs. In this room, I planned to use the smaller rug that originally lived in their living room. We'd do some art/mirrors on the wall in here, and also add in a tall floor lamp.
Lastly, in their sunroom, I planned to use their existing blue sofa along the top wall (that end piece on the left is a matching ottoman that goes with the sectional, so it runs the entire length of hte wall) and the two red West Elm chairs. I finished out that space with two smaller ottomans that could also be used as seating, a small outdoor rug, and small side table.
Now, this floor plan ended up changing a bit, but I'll get to that in just a bit!
Selecting the Furniture | Round One!
We went a couple rounds before we landed on an exact design for this space, but I want to show you both where I started and where we ended up so you can see how the process works.
In their living room, I selected these two black leather and wood benches with a medium sized art deco credenza in the center. I selected a terracotta table lamp and ceramic bowl to style out the top, and opted for a funky arched mirror in the center.
In the main seating area, I kept the leather sofa in its place, and grounded the room with a large, neutral but textural area rug. On the north wall, I selected these two matching armless accent chairs in a warm off-white, and brought in some extra lighting with this small white table lamp and MCM inspired floor lamp.
For their coffee table, I wanted to tie in the darker wood tones in the entry, so I chose this dark wood round coffee table, and for their drink tables, I chose a combination of white, black, and metal accent tables all in various round shapes.
My clients mentioned they might be interested in a smaller sofa vs. accent chairs, so I also showed them an option where the chairs would be replaced by a cozy armless sofa similar in size to what they had in the room currently:
For the lounge (aka the dining room), I chose a structural curved sofa paired with gorgeous marble and brass nesting tables. I liked that the smaller table was quite a bit taller than the larger one, which made it feel a bit more like a cafe table.
Behind the sofa I found a quirky black metal floor lamp with a neutral shade, an on the back wall I chose an oversized painting with geometric shapes in neutral tones.
For the accent seating, I needed something smaller, so I selected a smaller scale armless chair in a funky fur texture, and a wood dining chair that had a bit less of a traditional dining chair vibe to it.
On the wall opposite the sunroom, I chose a round black mirror to reflect some of the gorgeous natural light, and to ground the space and bring in some color, I utilized their existing Crate & Barrel striped rug.
Lastly, in their sunroom, I mentioned that we decided to utilize their existing sofa and chairs. I don't have a great photo, but the sofa is a deep, muted blue tone.
I wanted just a tad of pattern, so I selected this striped outdoor rug in a 5 x 8 size, and for the ottomans/extra seating, I chose these funky ribbed leather ottomans. Between the chairs, I added a cement hourglass accent table.
Regroup and Revise
Now, it's not every time that I get it right right the first time around, so after regrouping and getting a better sense of the style direction, we worked through each of the spaces and made some revisions.
One consistency throughout was that they preferred warmer wood tones to the darker wood tones, they preferred brass to black accents, and they felt more drawn to traditionally MCM style silhouettes and shapes. I'd say my initial design went a little too eclectic for their tastes, which is 100% okay!! It's their home, and they have to love it!
In the entryway, we toned everything down a bit with a simple round brass mirror, and brought in a warm toned curved credenza. This piece was a little larger than what I originally selected, so we opted to use two of accent chair I originally selected for the lounge on either side of the console. Lastly, we topped it off with a simple white table lamp.
In the living room, they preferred the option with the sofa, but didn't love the cushy style of the original one, and wanted to go with something other than cream. Instead, we found a structured low-profile sofa in a soft grey (there's a better image below).
We swapped out the dark wood coffee table for one in a lighter tone with more traditionally MCM shaped legs, and because my clients didn't love the chord hanging down, we swapped out the tripod floor lamp for this cone-based metal floor lamp.
When we switched out the sofas, the color of the original rug no longer looked quite right, so we landed on this textured darker grey option instead.
In the lounge, we ended up going with a "straighter" sofa, but with curved edges, and in a gorgeous sagey green tone. We swapped out the art for something that tied in with the new color palette, and we chose an organically shaped brass mirror in place of the black one.
My clients especially love leather because of the easy of cleaning, so we swapped out the fur accent chair with this curve back leather chair instead. Lastly, with the new layout in here, we decided on only one accent chair vs. the two we had originally.
Below you can see the new floor plan once we swapped in the new pieces. You'll notice that the overall flow didn't change drastically from our original plan—we mainly just tweaked the sizes and shapes of the pieces in the layout:
The Wrap Up
All in all, this space came together so beautifully and my clients are now well on their way to creating their home together as a newly married couple. And the best part? We were able to create this entire design all in a single 5-hour session, which my client can then execute on their own timing.
When we set aside this focused time, I find that it helps my clients to get really clear on their desires and come to our session very prepared, and it also lends to making decisions more, along with coming up with some very creative solutions.
For this particular project, my clients left our session with a style board showcasing the exact pieces I recommended, a link to their custom collection of furniture which they could order using a one-click checkout, and a to-scale floor plan of their living and dining rooms so they know how to set it up when everything arrives at their home.
Our Designed in a Day service is definitely our most popular option with clients, 1) because it's incredibly cost/time effective, and 2), because it is an incredibly versatile service as far as the kinds of projects we are able to tackle. We cover anything from furniture and decor, to space planning, to window treatments, to making selections for a renovation project, or even just working our way through a list of design woes.
SO, if you find yourself wondering whether your own project might be a good fit for a day session, click here to view more details about the service. There's some great info there, or simply complete our project intake form here and I'll reach out to schedule a discovery call to discuss your project.
PLUS, did you know that it is good for your mental and physical health to live in a space that meets your needs? You and your family deserve it, and I can't wait to help you create a space that works for you!
Thanks for visiting my little corner of the internet!
- Lauren, XOXO
Work with Lauren Figueroa Interior Design
LFID is a full-service interior design firm serving West and Southeast Michigan known especially for our Designed in a Day service.
We work with clients from Detroit to Novi to Clarkston, and Grand Rapids to Holland to Traverse City—and anywhere in between! We pride ourselves on creating bespoke, people-centered spaces—because after all, people are what this life is all about!