Auburn Bay Project | Living Room Reveal

Solving design problems is our specialty. During our complimentary consultation, we identify a client’s challenges and then aim to solve those challenges. It might surprise you to learn that we focus on functionality first and aesthetics second. For this project in Auburn Bay, our main challenges involved maximizing seating and incorporating family heirlooms into a modern design.

Before & After

A Common Living Room Dilemma:

Maximize Seating for Entertaining but Keep It Kid Friendly

With three grown children who are married and starting families, our clients wanted their living room to be light and airy yet still accessible to their grandkids. They regularly entertain small and large groups of family and friends, so the space needed ample seating and stain-resistant fabrics. We offered a large sofa, two reclining chairs, and two ottomans. The recliners are not only beautiful pieces to look at, but they are extra cozy for family lounging, reading, and watching TV. All the fabrics have been treated so spills and other messes can be easily cleaned, which makes for worry-free entertaining.

Ottomans are an excellent addition to any space for maximizing seating. They don’t block focal points (in this case the fireplace), they add form and shape to a space, and they can be easily moved around to accommodate entertaining and mingling. 

Finding the Perfect Balance:

Antique Collection versus Uncluttered Style

As life goes on, we tend to accumulate more and more things (unless you’re a well-practiced minimalist—in which case we salute you!). The struggle is to balance the things you collect with the space you live in. How can you keep your space uncluttered and perfectly styled? For one, you have to be picky about the things you buy and choose to put on display. But you should also consider following the Marie Kondo method: every once in a while, go through your things and decide if they still bring you joy.

Marie Kondo is a Japanese decluttering guru. In her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Kondo explains how to decide whether an item is worth keeping—and it all boils down to joy. When you hold that object or look at it, does it spark joy? If it does, great! Keep it on display. If it doesn’t, replace it for another object that does bring you joy. You can put the other object away, donate it, or throw it away altogether. 

Our Auburn Bay clients had a lot of items they wanted to display—mostly antiques and family heirlooms. They had to narrow down those collections, and then we had the added challenge of incorporating them into the homeowners’ desire for a modern design. To blend the two styles and create flow, form, and function, we did a lot of “style mixing.” We purchased an iron and antiqued mirror étagère to display their antiques and other treasures, while we “sprinkled” other modern accessories around the room. (Most of the homeowners’ antiques and heirlooms still held joy for them, so we decided to display them in their home office. That big reveal will come in another blog post next week, so stay tuned!)

Extra space was required to display the homeowners’ additional pieces and to continue the “sprinkling” of old and new. Matching consoles on either side of the fireplace was the perfect solution, but we only had six inches of depth to work with. We sourced two curved marble consoles to flank the fireplace and voilà!Functionality and aesthetic appeal at its finest!

We accentuated the ten-foot ceilings with custom drapery to draw the eye upward and frame the large windows. 

We grounded the space with this beautifully textured, tone-on-tone rug. It really summarizes the colour palette of the space perfectly and ties everything together. Plus, its texture and “worn-in” style is perfect for a well lived in living room – it will hide crumbs and doesn’t need to be vacuumed everyday which is ideal for when the grandkids are visiting. 

The dining room had even taller ceilings, so custom drapery was an obvious choice again to accentuate the height of the space.

Have you ever tried the Marie Kondo method for decluttering, or do you have any other tricks up your sleeve for keeping clutter to a minimum? We’d love to hear them in the comments below.

Don’t forget to check in next week for the office reveal of our clients home. See you next week!

Photography by Lindsay Nichols
Design by Jenn MacDonald

Who We Are

We are all about designing spaces to leave impressions on our clients with a seamless, trustworthy approach.