Our bags were packed, our design boards were set, and it was time to hit the road for the Adirondacks to give a "lodgey living room" a REFRESH.
THE PLAN: New everything!
Interesting pieces that worked hard and could absorb massive amounts of wear and tear were crucial. I also wanted to bring some sophistication to the fun, cabin vibe and mountain motifs that had long done the job. Incorporating some items that meant something to the owners was also a goal-- like the faux zebra hide to remind them of a family trip to Kenya, or the wish bone floor lamps that would remind them of a mangrove lamp they loved at their favorite Miami hotel.
Before leaving Connecticut for upstate New York, I talked my plans through with the homeowners and got a resounding YES to the items I selected. This trip was to get final measurements and begin the purchase process for each piece.
I was excited for them; this was long overdue. I have visited their lake house many times over the years for family get-togethers and summer weekends made up of happy chaos: excited kids, playful dogs, and relaxed adults. Big dinners, boat rides, sunbathing on the docks, fireworks, swinging on the porch swing-- so much activity and it eventually all ended back in the big lodgey living room in the center of this well-loved home.
OUR DESIGN MISSION: take the traditional Adirondack feel out of the decor.
Add some fresh new updated color classics, like white, black and tan.
Replace old seating with pieces that are edgy and unexpected, but still fit the mold of their new surroundings, while also making sure they can stand the traffic and constant guest flow. Breathe new life into some of the slightly tired pieces throughout the house so they shine again, but mostly, the plan was all about a fresh new direction with fresh new things.
We started first thing in the morning as soon as everyone went out for breakfast. Not much is open around their home this time of year, so the food run took a lot longer than expected. We were fine with the delay because it gave us just enough time to make a big impact.
We changed the floor plan
Edited down things that were tired, or no longer belonged
Gathered all the dog toys and blankets into a beautiful basket
Reworked the lighting so that every corner could be lit
Cleaned out the bar and got rid of everything that shouldn't be there
Put away everything that was in boxes on the floor
Less than 2 hours passed and soon we were lighting fragrant pine candles and asking Alexa to play "CHILL" music.
I knew they would like the way the room looked, but I didn't expect their reaction to be so off the charts. Within minutes, they decided to scrap any new plans and I watched them fall in LOVE with their living room again.
TOTAL PROJECT TIME: 2 hours
TOTAL PROJECT COST: $0
BONUS: Take a tour of the entire home as we tear apart room after room so we can build it back up with a REFRESHed new look! Watch the reaction to our quickie living room REFRESH on the cheap in the video below.
(Can you even begin to count how many bags of stuff we recycled and threw out?)
YOUR HOUSE IS NEXT:
1) Get the couches off the walls
This is often the first thing I try to change up in a space. So often we push our furniture-- especially our couches-- to the perimeter of the room to "get more space." But this comes at the cost of comfortably being able to sit and talk because we are just too far away from each other.
2) Create a new floor plan
Try moving the big pieces of furniture around first. Once the couch has a home then the coffee table, side tables and accent chairs will fall into place. Getting this right is the key to achieving function and comfort and feeling like the room is working with you, instead of against you.
3) Edit accessories and "shop" your house
Look around your home, you'll see accessories in other rooms with new eyes. Move things around, change them out and you'll see for yourself how drastically that not only finishes off a room, but it makes it feel cozier, fresh and new.
LET'S SEE IT!
Give it a try, and tell us about it in the comments below. Just think of all the things you can buy for yourself now that you've saved all this money!
COMING UP NEXT: Another Black History Month Feature on THE REFRESH with Keshunde and Chas Wallace who talk firefighting, design and why bringing their kids into the family business is so important to them.
In the meantime, LET'S DISCUSS!