With the popularity of HGTV’S “Fixer Upper”, I receive calls quite often from potential clients wanting to create the Farmhouse look in their own homes. With this project, I was able to redecorate an actual 1903 farmhouse – and my client didn’t request that I just copy Joanna Gaines. Today’s post is all about the living room of this project I completed in April 2017.
The Farmhouse Living Room: BEFORE
These were the “Before” shots of the room I took at Trade Day:
So yes, I had my work cut out for me. Mr. Client was open to letting me do whatever I thought best in his home, which is rare. We were not purchasing furniture, but new rugs, window treatments, paint, accessories, and a good cleaning were all in order for this project.
The Living Room Concept
My concept photo shows similar furniture to the sofa & chair my client already owned, but were not exact. They were there for representation only. But here was my Design To-Do List:
- Declutter – remove the wall-mounted bookshelves, excess furniture relocated to other rooms upstairs
- Add lighting – more lamp light and a central fixture that would illuminate the room from a switch at the door
- rearrange the furniture for better room flow & conversation; bring coffee table down from an upstairs bedroom where it was stored
- paint the walls. At one point Mr. Client’s wife had painted samples of several shades of yellow on one wall. I felt that with the bay windows overlooking the hillside, a green above the chair rail would keep the room “earthy”. I chose “Artichoke” SW 6179 for the upper walls. The chair rail is “Creamy” SW 7012 and was used on trim throughout the house. For the lower walls & stairwell/upstairs hallway, I chose “Kilim Beige” SW 6106
- new area rug, new window treatments & hardware
- art, accessories, and throw pillows
Getting the furniture moved wasn’t easy, due to my timeline and the remote location. In the end, I hired the General Contractor and one of his helpers to do the majority of the “furniture shift”. The round table and chairs had to go up to the Game Room. The two Wingback chairs came down from one the upstairs bedrooms, and the coffee table was in another upstairs bedroom. The little brown tufted chair needed to be moved to the upstairs hallway. The dry sink went to an upstairs bedroom. And all of the excess books and “stuff” were put into storage at my client’s request. At the end of the project during final installation, I did have a couple of helpers with me to make the final furniture shifts happen.
One of the difficult parts was putting down the rug pad and rug, because the room was already full of furniture. That took some creative maneuvering to get it centered as well. I swung the sofa out to face the bay windows and not block the unused door that had been hidden by the quilt. The sideboard and a chair were moved to be along the stairs. The wingbacks went in to the bay window with a small table between them, and Mr. Client’s chair stayed as close to it’s original spot as possible. When we had our Presentation meeting, that was really his only question about how it would all come together – “Where will my chair be?”. If only they were all that simple!
I struggled some with hanging the window treatments as well. It turns out that sometimes, in 100+ year-old houses, the window trim isn’t square. And when curtains are hung level, it becomes extremely obvious that they aren’t square. I solved that by lowering the rod to go across the trim so it “hid” the gap that would have shown.
And that coffee table is very cool, but I cannot even count the number of times I tripped over it before I put a few accessories on top to make it more “visible”.
I also did some custom pieces for this project. One of them was sewing pillows for my client’s sofa out of some fabric I purchased. The olive green pillows here on the sofa pick up the wall color and rug colors and help tie it all together.
Using mostly my client’s existing artwork but adding a few new pieces, like the metal rose swag hung at an angle, I created a gallery wall along the staircase above the buffet.
The Farmhouse Living Room: After
I was completely THRILLED with how well this room turned out. I added lots of styling pieces, reused all of my client’s artwork that had been in the house, and pulled together a room that he was very happy with. In fact, at the Reveal, he sat there (in his favorite chair) for 45 minutes in utter amazement looking around and commenting on everything before I asked him if he’d like to see the rest of the house – this was only the second room he’d seen so far. Click on any photo to enlarge it.
Another Look: Living Room Before & After Photos
These are side-by-side shots so you can see the transformation:
The Farmhouse Living Room was a Success
When you think “farmhouse”, don’t be afraid to go with a color palette you love. It doesn’t all have to be a variation of cream or white. My client had indicated on his Questionnaire that he loved reds, yellows, and greens. I was reusing furniture so this color scheme worked well with what he already owned. In the end, I felt it all came together well and it was a job I was very proud of. If you’d like to learn more about working with me, please feel free to contact me at (540) 271-2686. You can see all 7 rooms that were redone in this house in my Portfolio and other blog posts here at Bluestone Decorating. Photos by Crystal Ortiz and Jim Pell.