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She Likes Bohemian, He Likes Modern: How We Managed to Merge The Design Styles | Day Session Diaries

Boxer Puppy cutout with a teal background

A few weeks back, spent the day in West Michigan to help a couple tackle a few spaces in their new home with a Designed in a Day session.

This cute lil boxer pup (just four months old!) hung out with us for the day, too, and of you know me, that's always a major plus!

The focus of our session would be furniture layout and selection, as well as lighting and paint, for their living and dining rooms.

The house was built in the 1920s and had some FANTASTIC architectural details, including a massive, THICK archway from the living room into the dining room, as well as all original wood trim throughout.

They also had been told that the wood floors were in good shape beneath the icky old carpeting, so they had plans to rip that up and restore its former wood-floored glory—alway a good idea in my personal opinion!

The Existing Rooms—Stunning Architecture With Dated Decor

The photos below are from the listing, so when I got to the house, these two rooms were essentially empty aside from one tall cat tower for their two sweet kitties. I knew immediately that these rooms has SO much potential to be amazing. You just can't beat that old home vibe!

First up was the living room. My clients wanted space to seat 6 adults, a not-so-focal location for the TV, and to maximize flow and functionality.

Living Room View #1

a before image of a living room for a design project by Lauren Figueroa

Living Room View #2

a before image of a living room for a design project by Lauren Figueroa

In the dining room, they wanted additional storage and seating for 6 regularly with the option for more. Currently, the rooms felt very dark and dingy, so they wanted to change the wall colors to something that would either brighten up or cozy up the spaces.

Dining Room From Living Room

a before image of a dining room for a design project by Lauren Figueroa

Style Discovery Convo: She Likes Bohemian, He Likes Modern Design

Before each session, I have clients pull together images of a handful of spaces that speak to them. These clients had fairly contrasting styles, so we talked through the images in detail to determine what was the highest priority for each of them.

She was drawn to warm tones, velvet, oranges and greens, and lots of plants. She said she could go either way as far as bright white walls or dark and moody walls (below images from pinterest).

Her Inspiration Picks

Four pinterest images of bohemian living room design ideas

In contrast, he was drawn to clean lines, more minimal decor, dark blues, and wood tones—though not overly rustic. They both liked some industrial elements and both felt that comfort was key in the seating (images from pinterest).

His Inspiration Picks

We sat down together and talked through each of the images and what they hoped for in their own space—and ways we might tacktfully merge the Bohemian and modern design styles.

Consistent themes within the inspiration images and conversation included functionality (two cats + a puppy to consider), space for plants, and they loved the idea of contrasting the historic elements of the house with modern lighting elements.

Proposed Living & Room Furniture Layout

Once we had an idea of the general style direction and their needs as far as functionality, I got to work measuring the space and putting together a layout.

The dining room layout was fairly straight forward: a moderately sized table centered in the space, a sideboard beneath the window for storage, a small narrow console beneath the back window, and a couple extra dining chairs for hosting larger groups. We'd also add a large wall mirror to the right of the kitchen door, as well as ground the space with a nice warm area rug.

a proposed furniture layout for a living and dining room design in grand rapids michigan

In the living room, we chose the only all without windows as our TV location. This fit their goals as well since it's not the first thing you see when you enter from the foyer, so not a focal point. The sofa would sit beneath the side wall of windows, which are higher from the floor, ad wouldn't be blocked by the sofa.

Behind the sofa we'd run a narrow console for plants (and cats LOL). Centered in front of the main set of windows (and the front of the house) would be two matching accent chairs. We liked this idea because the chairs wouldn't block the windows as much as a large piece of furniture.

Beneath the TV would be a funky media console, and we'd set one additional accent chair angled in front of the TV toward the seating area. We planned for some accent tables, warm lighting, and artwork throughout this space as well.

Living Room Furniture & Decor Selections

After we agreed on the layout, I got back to work sourcing product while my clients took a break to entertain their puppy.

a proposed furniture layout for a living room design in grand rapids michigan

For our main seating, I chose a comfy, deep sofa perfect for lounging, and bookended this with cement side tables to bring in the contemporary elements. To bring in the warmth of the bohemian influence, I chose a light wood console with an arched detail on the doors and a rattan inlay.

Because this space did not get very much natural lighting, I decided to lean into that and go darker and cozier vs. bright and airy. Sometimes white walls in a very dark space can look dingy, so I landed on SW Portsmouth as our wall color.

Interior design style board for a living room in a bohemian modern design with leather chairs, deep comfy sofa, and light wood media console

To contrast the dark moody walls, I chose a mid-toned leather arm chair, as well as an industrial wood coffee table. We'd ground the space with the textured blue area rug, and contrast all the blue tones with blush velvet curtains.

I brought in a variety of warm lighting with a semi flush drum style ceiling light, arched floor lamp, ceramic striped table lamp, as well as a wall mounted plug-in sconce (I love these because they don't require wiring!).

Finally, I selected a variety of pillows, a textured pouf, and cozy throw blanket to warm up the space.

Dining Room Furniture & Decor Selections

In the dining room, I wanted to bring in some of the warmer tones, so I gave them two options for their area rug, but both with a rich burnt orange color palette. We'd use the same velvet blush curtains, and bring in some additional storage with an industrial style sideboard in a rich wood tone.

a proposed furniture layout for a dining room design in grand rapids michigan

For our table, I chose a lighter wood table with a contemporary parsons design, and one that would extend to allow for larger gatherings.

I chose a modern style dining chair with faux leather and an aged brass frame, as well as a gold framed console with marble top for along the back wall.

Rug Option #1

interior design style board showcasing an eclectic warm modern dining room

Rug Option #2

interior design style board showcasing an eclectic warm modern dining room

For the lighting, we'd replace the tiny sconces on the archway with these modern flush mount sconces (I LOVE THESE!), and swap out the dated chandelier for this large contemporary one.

Again, because the space is so dark, I wanted lots of warm lighting options, so I added two matching plug-in sconces on either side of the back window, as well as a table lamp on the main sideboard.

For wall decor, I chose two simple coordinating framed pieces for the wall beside the kitchen door, and a large round wall mirror to bounce light from the windows.

The Wrap Up

All in all, this space came together so beautifully! And the best part? We were able to create this entire design, which my clients could then execute on their own timing, all in a single 5-hour session.

I find that setting aside this focused, limited amount of time helps my clients to get really clear on their desires and come to our session very prepared. It also lends to quicker decision making, along with coming up with some very creative solutions.

My clients left this session with a fully customized design plan.

This included the style boards for each room to showcase how the pieces will work together, along with PDFs of the layouts so they know how to set everything up when they arrive, as well as links to the individual items where they are able to source the items I've suggested.

Is "Designed in a Day" Right for You?

Interior designer, Lauren Figueroa, poses for a selfie in her home in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Designed in a Day has hands down become my most popular service, and it's easy to see why!

It's cost + time effective, and it's super flexible as far as the kinds of projects we can tackle, the range of budgets it fits, and the kinds of styles and functionality needs that clients have.

If you'd like to find out more, you can click here to view the service, and then complete our project intake form here and I'll reach out to schedule a discovery call to discuss your project. Can't wait to help you create a space that works for you!!


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