It’s been a busy two weeks. Our newsletter went out last Thursday about a new tortoiseshell design, Ann Alger’s Bloom series, re-introducing Casart Decor pillowcovers, Libby Langdon’s special Daykeover show with HouseBeautiful aired on LXTV on Sunday, the 24th and House Beautiful’s Dec./Jan issue with an article about the Daykeover hit the news stands the next day. This week closed with Thanksgiving and I was most thankful for some down time.
In the House Beautiful article, Libby changed 3 rooms in a Rumson, New Jersey home in just 12 hours with wallpaper, paint, window treatments, new furniture and lighting. Here are some comments by Libby during an interview by Jen Renzi. “Not everybody can go in and overhaul a room with all new furnishings. Sometimes you just need to add a few new pieces or rearrange existing ones-which can be just as fun and dramatic as a complete redo.”
Here are the rooms, their challenges and solutions
The Foyer-How do you make a big first impression when every wall is punctuated with either a doorway or a window? The solutions:
- Wallcovering-you don’t need big expanses of wall. If you never see it on a full wall, it doesn’t look too busy..
- Don’t be afraid to block the window. Low pieces, like the ottomans, won’t block the view and lean pieces, like the Parsons console, allow light and air to pass through. Libby used ottomans throughout the 3 rooms to introduce another scale and provide extra seating or act as side tables.
- Use a large rug in a small space. A large faux sisal rug makes the space seem larger. The indoor/outdoor material is ideal for a foyer and the subdued pattern doesn’t compete with the wallcovering.
The Living Room-Furniture layout was a concern. The room is long and narrow with alcoves on either side of the fireplace. Seating had to be maximized for entertaining.
- Utilize dead space-Libby wanted the nooks on either side of the fireplace to feel intentional. “A pair of wing chairs softened the angularity and extended the seating area.” This space would ordinarily contain bookshelves but Libby didn’t want to “overpopulate” the space and distract from the fireplace surround.
- Unleash the furniture from the walls. Furniture pushed up against the walls is too far apart for conversation. Libby suggests pulling the furniture away from the walls and leaving at least a 30 inch passage space behind it.
- Use a super size cocktail table. “If your guests have to stand up to grab an appetizer or set down a drink, the layout of your room needs to be more user friendly.” A generous sized table, with a foot between it and the furniture, will unite the seating areas.
- Encourage conversation with your furniture arrangement. “I find it unusual for three people to sit side by side on a sofa together and turn their heads to talk. Chairs are better if you love to entertain.” And don’t forget those ottomans to pull up when needed!
The Study-A compact seating arrangement for family to relax and play games in a small space. How do you incorporate pattern without making the space too busy?
- Use wallpaper as an accent. And here’s where Casart came to the rescue! “The clients loved this patterned wallpaper, but the room is square foot challenged, so we had to limit ourselves. We used it to line the backs of the bookcases-a neat trick if you don’t want to go for a full accent wall.” And if and when they want to remove or change those bookcase backings it will be a simple feat to peel, place back on the saved backing sheets, roll up, store and use again if you like. There won’t be any residue left behind to clean up either.
- Maximize seating area with a slim-armed sofa. Libby said the arms of the previous were almost a foot wide thereby wasting 2 feet of much needed space. “They can squish a whole other kid on there!”
- Swivel chairs (29 inch-wide), super comfortable and sleek afford ease of movement in a small space.
- Small artwork is grouped for big impact. “One large piece -or a grouping that reads as a single big piece-works best, opening up a room to make it feel larger.”
You can see the entire Daykeover in video on LXTV’s website. And there you have it! You DID see this!
- Lorre Lei