Design Dilemmas | Weeks 5 & 6

Weeks 5 & 6

For those of you who follow us on Instagram, you'll know we've been answering your Design Dilemmas every Friday. Heather and I have loved delving into these and it's so good to hear that you've been enjoying them too! Here are the fifth and sixth installments - please share your thoughts in the comments, or send us your own query here.

W5 | Dilemma #1:

"I don't know what to do with my bedroom! I live on Maui and furnishing the place is super expensive. I'm ok with spending money as long as it's worth it. Let me know what you would do with the space. I'm all ears!"
Hawaii is such an amazing place to live. I spent my first year of college there and loved it - but I know it can be expensive to import items! I would start with craigslist and facebook marketplace to source what you need.
Good news is there are a couple of easy wins here: a can of white paint, curtains that just touch the ground, and a room size jute will give a neutral, fresh palette like this...
bright boho bedroom with monchrome abstract artwork hanging above a bed with linen cushionsimage source: Wit & Delight
Adding a simple headboard will change the feel of the room immediately. Here's a similar one which is currently for sale nearby. Finish it off with your favorite color in a linen throw for the bed.
2 bedrooms, one with mustard velvet pillows on a white linen duvet, the second is a mustard linen duvet with a dark rattan headboardimage sources left to right: Ingredients Ldn | Istome
I estimated your room to be about 7' x 9' Ebay will ship to Hawaii so here's a great neutral rug which I think would look fab!
a white bedroom with a sloped wooden roof. A natural jute rug lies beneath a bed made up with pale linen bedding. A light wooden bedside table has a small plant on it and a small black pendant light sits just above it image sources left to right: Ebay | Jenni Kayne
As for the curtains, Target have some great natural linen panels that they'll ship to you for free.
a large Victorian window in a bright room, with small plant pots sat on an old radiator and long natural linen curtains hanging on either sideimage sources left to right: Ingredients Ldn | Target
AND, if you're feeling ambitious, you could even spend some quarantine time making a rope wall hanging, for an easy boho feel. Here's a great Youtube tutorial!
a bright, boho themed bedroom with a macramé wall hanging above the bed. A large Moroccan rug lies beneath the bed with a large mirror propped against the wall beside itimage source: @almostmakesperfect

Dilemma #2: 

"Hoping you can offer me some advice on my dining room! I love all the pieces but the room's reading very gold/yellow. Changing the light bulb temperature helped a bit, but I'm curious what you think I need in terms or art or window treatment to balance the yellow?"

Wow, what a beautiful room... and rug... and light! The bottom of the room is feeling a bit heavy, so in order to lighten it up, I would add white linen or sheepskin seat cushions, to bring some white a bit lower. Our favorite floor to ceiling linen curtains would also look great in here.

two bright rooms with dark statement furniture and light fittingsimage sources left to right: Michael Smith IncKate Lester Interiors

For the artwork, you'll want it to have cool tones like blue or black, and definitely stick to black frames! As the rug's traditional I'd balance it out with something that feels quite modern. This piece by Anna Johansson is a favorite of mine.
a dining room with wooden tables and chairs and two abstract paintings arranged above
image sources left to right: The Poster Club | Joanna Laven Interiors

I also love William Mclure and Josh Y öung, both of whom accept commissions!

two large pieces of monochrome abstract artworkimage sources left to right:  Josh Yöung | William Mclure

Alternatively, you can always find great art on Etsy, or use black & white photographs.
As for the layout, you have 3 options:
1) One single oversized piece
2) Three or four same-sized pieces arranged horizontally
3) Several pieces in various sizes, scattered to create a gallery wall
various pieces of monochrome artwork arranged above dining tablesimage sources left to right: Amber Interiors | Ali Havens

Dilemma #3: 

 "We have a couple of beautiful Frances Loom rugs, including this beauty in between the living room & kitchen. We already have a lot of color and pattern going on... what palette do you suggest for the living room rug? And do you have any other suggestions for this room?"
a large corner sofa positioned against large windows in the corner of an appartment

Your Frances Loom rugs look amazing! You have great taste ;) Adding a rug to the living room is definitely the right move. I would actually steer clear of anything too patterned and colorful so it doesn't clash with the other rugs in the house. A light Moroccan like this Lulu & Georgia one would look great.

a large moroccan shag rug styled with a large white linen sofa and a wicker poufimage source: Lulu and Georgia

 I would also add some charcoal accessories to the space as it's quite light and could use a bit of contrast. One of my favorite Etsy shops has beautiful dark pillows that I bought for my own sofa.

a linen sofa styled with pillows in various textures and colorsimage sources left to right: Amber Interiors | Etsy

Another way to bring contrast is to add a piece or two of art to the walls. Use black frames, and look for artwork that you genuinely love. Tappan Collective sells amazing original pieces like this one.

monochrome artworks styled above a mid-century cabinetimage sources left to right: Colombe Studio | Tappan Collective

W6 | Dilemma #1:

"I literally just moved into my dream apartment in Lisbon but I'm a bit stuck on how to organize my furniture. I work from home so was thinking the little room attached to the living space could be an office. I would love some advice on how to decorate or lay it out!"

a bright apartment in Lisbon with 3 large windows and wooden flooboardsvia: @madlynsmyth

Such a bright space! I love Lisbon and bet you have beautiful views from your windows. I would actually switch the living and dining spaces around, to give the sofa a bit more space proportionally. 

a large Victorian apartment with high ceilings, large windows and a big dining tableimage source: Marset

Rugs are also great for separating spaces and mixing a jute and antique will keep yours feeling light and bright. We'd recommend this La Redoute jute...

a large Parisian apartment with 3 high windows and elaborate furniture in neutral tonesimage sources top to bottom: La Redoute | Paris Perfect

... with Heritage 0061 over the top. Not only will this look great in the space, it'll also cool down the yellow a bit.

a large white linen corner sofa styled on an antique blue rug with light streaming in through the windowimage sources left to right: Chelsea Glattman | rug: Frances Loom

In the office, all you need is a large scale piece of art over the table. You could attempt one yourself (I do this all the time, as you can see in my kitchen) or buy a great print like this, to keep a lovely coastal feel.

a marble kitchen counter with various pieces of art in antique frames resting above itimage sources left to right: Heather's kitchen, photographed by Alicia Waite | Anewall

I'd do a small beni under the desk, to keep your feet cozy when you're working. 

a small white desk sits on an antique rug with a large piece of abstract art behind it image sources left to right: Crystal Sinclair Design | The Rug Souk

And lost but not least, I'd pop a vintage chair in for a bit of texture. Vinterior is my favorite European site for antique hunting. This one is inexpensive and neutral.

a vintage bamboo chair next to an image of an office with a large blue paintingimage sources left to right: Vinterior | Homes to Love AU

Dilemma #2

"I'd like your advice on this room... I bought a modular couch for flexibility and can either have it arm or armless. I think my carpet is also too small. Would love to hear what you think!"

a bright apartment with dark wooden floorboards and a bright white linen sofa. A pink antique rug sits in the centre of the room with a dark leather armchair on one cornervia: @azar_e

This space is amazing! Okay, so I love the sofa without arms... but only if it's for decorative purposes. If you're planning to lounge on it, I believe that comfort has to take precedent. If, like me, you enjoy snuggling in and getting as comfortable as possible, then you're definitely going to want the arms attached. Your place reminds me of Carly's and her sofa's arms are firmly on!

a large antique rug is the centrepiece, and a large white corner sofa sits on topimage source: Carly Waters Style

Adding some throw pillows will also make it feel effortless and even more snuggly!

a white linen sofa with various scatter cushions propped in the corner. An antique mural is visible in the backgroundimage source: Heather's living room, photographed by Hannah Mae Clark

As you said, the carpet is too small. The easiest remedy is just to get an area-sized jute and then layer yours on top. In terms of size, you'll want something big enough that allows the front legs of the sofa and chairs to rest on it. From your photos, it looks like you'll probably need something around 6' x 9' or 8' x 10'

two large vintage rugs are layered on natural jutesimage sources: Rebecca and Genevieve

Alternatively, you could move your current rug to another room and purchase a larger one like Heritage 0062 to go in here!

a large antique rug in the centre of a modern living roomimage source: Camille Styles | rug: Frances Loom

Dilemma #3

"I recently moved into this apartment in LA. My first order of business once quarantine is over (or during if possible!) is to get a dining room table and chairs. Would love your help or any inspiration!"

a dark room with a small table and chair and a yoga mat lying beside itvia: @m12linden

Since the dining room is really its own space, I think you'll want to keep the furnishings relatively minimal and modern, so that the room doesn't close in on itself. Definitely get a round table, to keep the flow of the room moving. I absolutely love this one from CB2.

two round dining tables with a cozy woollen throw over one of the chairs beside itimage sources left to right: The LisboansCB2

I also found this used West Elm one on facebook marketplace in LA...

a round metal table with a pink chair beside it and a single flower in a vaseimage source: West Elm

I would then add some chairs like these lovely leather ones, or some that are a little more mid-century like in the first inspo pic!

sloping brown leather chairs styled in a modern dining roomimage sources: West Elm

 If it's possible, switch out the light fixture to something that feels less heavy. Something as simple as this Ikea one would be great.

a minimal Scandi-style dining room with a round wooden table and a simple black pendant light above itimage sources left to right: Per Jansson | Ikea

...or add a little texture with a woven one like this.

a patio with a Moroccan feel and a white table and chairsimage sources left to right: West Elm | The White Company

Finally, I would add a bit of color with some framed artwork on the walls. I can see you've got some resting on the floor so hang one or two of those around, and perhaps get a tree for the corner!

a circular dining table surrounded by floor to ceiling windows and lots of greeneryimage source: The Identité Collective

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