Design Dilemmas | Weeks 7 & 8

Weeks 7 & 8

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 7th and 8th installments - please share your thoughts in the comments, or send us your own query here.

W7 | Dilemma #1:

"Hi Kelly & Heather! I would love your design opinion on what I can do for my foyer / front room area. It's kind of a strange size and I'm having trouble deciding what to put in there!"

via: @norayin

It's great that this nook is off to the side - it allows you to have a focal point, without impeding the flow. I would do a round table like this one (linked) which is currently on sale.

image sources left to right: One Kings Lane | Wayfair

I love lighting and vintage fixtures bring a lot of character. I'd suggest swapping yours for a swagger chandelier to hover over the center of the table. I'd also add a big vase of branches and a bowl for keys and little things.
image sources left to right: Alice Lane Home | Style Me Pretty Living
And to bring it all together, I'd add a few pieces of small art, propped on gallery easels. The Alice Lane Home easel is amazing but sadly sold out. If you can get that one, great, but this is a great alternative.

W7 | Dilemma #2:

"My boyfriend and I moved into a beautiful Brookly pre-war apartment 2 days before lockdown. It has a ton of character but the bedroom is quite small so the adjoining room sort of acts as a multifunctional office, lounge, & extension to our bedroom. I have all these ideas on how I'd like to decorate, but can't seem to make a decision! I'd also like to buy 2 club chairs for the center of the other room and have it as a sort of cozy nook. Would love your advice on how to spruce it up!"

via: @courtguarino

It's a beautiful, bright space with great character, but sometimes that can be tricky! I would try to keep the two spaces as related as possible, almost pretending the doors aren't there. 

image source: Nuevo Estilo

I love the idea of two chairs in front of the fireplace and recommend you keep things light and bright by using the same linens and colors in both spaces. 

 image sources top to bottom: House Seven Design | Two Fold LA

These World Market armchairs are neutral and an unbelievable deal! 

 image sources top to bottom: World Market Home | Danielle Hausberg

But if you want to splurge these club chairs are really pretty! Chairish is a great site for antiques.

image sources top to bottom: Chairish | Kelly Vittengl

As for the bed, a headboard would be lovely, but to optimize the space, I would avoid anything with a larger bed frame! Perhaps something like this one

image source: Rejuvenation

W7 | Dilemma #3:

“Please can I get some advice on our bungalow/ granny flat? It’s a small space and a kitchenette is being made for the wall in front of the sofa. Not sure what to do with the flooring and the colors of the kitchenette. Part of me says be practical and paint it white, the other part says do timber or a green/color?”

via: @madison_p_mckay

The first thing I would do is swap that rug out. We are big on jutes over here, so I'd suggest getting a large on to cover the majority of floor space under/around the bed. I would then get a colorful antique rug for the kitchen area. Rio would look fab!

image sources left to right: Frances Loom | Jacqueline Brown

I'm big on taking risks with design, so I would totally go for the timber or green cabinets with a white floor. It will bring SO much more character to the space.

image sources left to right: Kelsey Leigh Design Co. | Grant Davis Thompson

A few extra tops: I would add a large mirror and/or a couple of pieces of art to the walls. This mirror is super affordable & would open up the space a lot!

image sources left to right: Casa de Rami | Ikea

Ikea also has some ready-to-hang art like this piece which would be really nice in the space.

image sources left to right: Sarah Sherman Samuel | Ikea

Lastly, I would throw a sheepskin on the bench, and get a hearty (or perhaps faux) plant for the corner to bring some life into the space!

image source: Amber Interiors

W8 | Dilemma #1:

“Hello! I’m having a bit of trouble with my living room; the TV zone is a big question mark for me, and I’m not sure what to go for in terms of a coffee table, curtains & armchairs. I’ve already ordered these lights, so would like to stick with this kinda vibe. Can you help!?”

top images via: @giulieka | lighting: Mette Schelde

This is a great place - look at those floors! Sometimes very open spaces can be hard to work with. You need to create smaller spaces with rugs, clusters of furniture and lighting. I've gone with a pop, eclectic vibe (which I'm currently loving) for your space, playing off your new light fixtures.

image source: Jen Talbot Design

Highlight the green sofa by removing the throw and adding some jewel tone pillows like Camilla Vest has done in the Objects NYC showroom (below).

image source: Objects NYC

I'd pick two armchairs with either a 60's shape like this one...

image sources left to right: Lulu and Georgia | Arent Pyke Studio

... or this one which has been woven with natural banana fibers for a great, textures look. Alternatively, you could look for a gorgeous vintage one like Athena Calderone's (pictured below).

image sources left to right: Athena Calderone | Lulu and Georgia

I would also look for a funky vintage coffee table like this one.

image sources left to right: Chairish | Marina Larroude's NY townhouse as featured in Architectural Digest

You need a big grounding piece under the TV. I've loved this dresser for a while (probably 'cause it's similar to my own 😉) & I think it's perfect for your space!

image sources top to bottom: Heather Kane | Black Rooster Decor

& finally, throw some cool, vibrant art pieces around. I am loving this sculpture by Emily Stollery at the moment!

image sources top to bottom: Casa Bry | Emily Stollery

W8 | Dilemma #2:

"I need some help selecting the correct rug size for our family room & dining room! In my family room, should it just go under the coffee table or the entire couch? This room's also a pass-through to the sunroom, so I don't want anyone to trip! As for the dining room, how much parameter should I keep visible around the table? We also plan to replace the sconces and add chairs or benches. Any input would be so helpful!"

via: @itsalisondelaney

What a beautiful home! I know picking the right size rug can be tricky, but a general rule of thumb when measuring is that they should take up more space rather than less. Having a large rug really helps pull a whole room together. An affordable way of managing this is to use jute or sisal rugs. They're massively on trend, add texture, are neutral and you can layer rugs of practically any style on to.

image source: Triple Seven Home

When it comes to your living room, you want at least the front legs of all pieces of furniture on the rug - especially as you have great wood floors (otherwise I'd suggest a jute that takes up as much floor space as possible.) For this room, I'd look for a jute or antique rug that's wider than your sofa, but on the thinner side. If you do choose a jute, and you're into DIY, you can cut it to your size needs, fold it over one edge, & hot glue it.

image source: Park and Oak Design

For the dining room, you'll roughly follow the same rules. You want something large enough that even when the chairs are pulled out, they're still on the rug. I say "roughly" because antique rugs are so great in dining rooms and they're never the perfect size! A good, average dining room rug size is 8' x 10', so follow those rules and see how you go!

image source: Loiloi

I personally think Heritage 0039 would look amazing in here! It'll work really nicely with your floorboards, and it also has that great pop of red which complements the brick fireplace & dark window frames.

Finally, when it comes to replacing the light fixtures and chairs, I would recommend these beautiful sconces from our friends at Triple Seven Home...

image source: Triple Seven Home

... and the amazing Stella chairs from Amber Interiors will be a really great, sleek contrast next to your lovely table.

image sources both: Amber Interiors

W8 | Dilemma #3:

"Hi! We just moved into our first house & we're slowly decorating and furnishing. I wanted to know if you have any suggestions for the fireplace or this room in general. Thanks so much! I've been obsessed with your rugs since you had a pop up in Venice, Ca."

via: @missjupe

I miss our Venice days! I love that you've been following for that long - thank you!

First, I would get a large jute rug for under your current one, to help expand the space a bit.

image source: Home Bunch

Above the fireplace, I would see about sourcing a large piece of art or a mirror. I that's not in your budget or you're into DIY, check out my friend Chelsea's recent art tutorial. It's an incredible, affordable way to bring something in that's textural and looks high-end.

image sources left to right: Amber Interiors | Chelsea Glattman

I'd put a credenza of some kind against the large wall to the right of the fireplace. Something vintage like this would look gorgeous. You can then create a lovely, minimal vignette with a big vase, some oversized branches, & some artwork leaning against the wall.

image sources left to right: Eye Swoon | 1st Dibs

If you do go with the mirror over the fireplace, you could also bring in the DIY art here! Athena has made an amazing vignette styling video that I highly recommend watching before you get started!

image source: Athena Calderone

And last, but by no means least, I would put some light pillows on the sofa to brighten it up, as Jeremiah Brent has done here. Our antique French linen pillowcases would look fab!

image sources left to right: Jeremiah Brent | Frances Loom

 

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