In late December I started working with a former client of mine . We worked together last when I was pregnant with my youngest and he was a bachelor in a great apartment downtown. Today, my youngest is two and a bit and my client’s girlfriend of two years is moving in. He called me to help him change up some of his furniture which has started to seem dated and to create space for his girlfriend’s move. Specifically, we are looking for a new dining room table and chairs, some bar stools, a new desk for him, a better desk area for her, and a few carpets. There are areas of the home that need attention. The entrance is almost there but still too impersonal; the dining area needs love; the bedroom feels like a hotel; the office area is dark and needs brightening. My goal is to warm these spaces up and bring the apartment from “bachelor pad” to “grown ups living together in a nice, bright, welcoming pad”. Luckily, we are starting with a good base: my clients have good taste, are open-minded and they have a budget that allows for quality. Trust me this does not happen every day!
Let’s take a closer look…
Two years ago I had this gorgeous wallpaper from Marimekko installed in the entrance. We bought the red Jieldé lamp and that great marble table. But the space still doesn’t work: the rug, the plastic boot mat and the wall of mirrors are really dragging the space down. Not to mention the umbrella holder. My first change will be to have the wall of mirrors removed and replaced with a large, framed mirror. Something like these ones:
We will then need to find a new shoe/boot storage system, a runner and an umbrella holder, maybe something like this?
The Dining Area
Though the round shape of the table makes sense for the space, the chairs are too big and round and the round light fixture means that everything has the same shape. Also everything is see-through: glass table, plexi chairs, glass globe. I really believe that mixing shapes and textures makes for interesting, eclectic, and inviting design.
I want to bring in a rectangular or oval wood table. The kitchen is a deep honey coloured oak so I think that the best option (so that everything isn’t too orange or brown) is to go with either a painted wood table, stained wood table, or with a bright lacquered option. Something like this:
As for the chairs, I was originally thinking a version of the Wishbone chair would be great. I love the vibe of the painted wood or lacquer table with that particular chair. But then last Sunday, we went shopping on Amherst street here in Montreal. This is where you’ll find a smattering of vintage furniture shops. At Antiquités Curiosités we stumbled upon 6 (so rare to find 6 of these!) beautiful mid-century danish design rope chairs. The shop owner said that they were Poul Volther designed chairs. They look like this:
Such a score! And almost half the price of those listed at that Etsy shop pictured above. Yay!
I’m going to add two upholstered chairs for either end of the table to keep it eclectic and soft. Maybe something like this?
All that’s left is a rug to cozy things up and the dining area is complete. We were looking at some neutral wool and jute blends from Lalonde et Fils. Like this:
The Bar/Kitchen Area
I have a serious hate on for this angled, jutting island. So does my wise client. I want to chop it off and put a stand-alone piece of furniture (with a butcher block top on it maybe?) in it’s place. Something industrial to break with the kitchen a little. Maybe stainless or copper? And we need to ixnay those bar stools for real! Something poppy and bright and fun would work. Something like:
The Long Empty Hallway
This hall leads from the main entrance to the bedroom. It is a little over 12′ long and has zero visual interest. I want to warm it up and pop some art on the wall and a runner on the ground.
We will start with painting everything white. Crisp, clean and warm like Oxford White or Simply White by Benjamin Moore.
Next we will get rid of the nightstands, the lighting, the long piece of quartz on the bed unit. Maybe wallpaper or paint above the bed. We will add rugs and nicer, less bulky nightstands. Bring in more wood and natural, warm textures. This room needs to go from fancy, cold, hotel room, to chic, eclectic, and inviting bedroom. More like this:
The Office -her
This work space needs a complete overhaul. My client’s gf will be taking over this space and I need to brighten and soften it all up. I’ll keep the same desk idea (she needs as much desk space as possible for work), but I’ll paint it white. We’ll get rid of those dark brown melamine cabinets and look for white storage solutions. We want to go from drab to welcoming. And I think we can take it from the picture above to these, below, pretty easily:
The Office -him
We are going to take this random waiting area in the bedroom and make it into a home office for my client. Though the chairs hold sentimental value, they serve no real purpose- other than to dump stuff on which is really the case the minute a chair is allowed in a bedroom. It is most definitely like that at my house anyway. The chairs and rug will go and, instead, I’d like to bring in a nice vintage or vintage-inspired desk. Again the wood will serve to warm the space up. Also vintage furniture is, in general, quite fine and delicate. It won’t be big and bulky like those chairs! Sorry 😉 Below are images that are inspiring the direction I am going in:
I am super excited about where this project is headed. I am grateful to be getting the opportunity to transform this whole apartment room by room. I think the choices we are making will most definitely add warmth, character, and light to this former bachelor pad. You need to balance all of the glass and metal and laminate with something warmer. And bringing wood and textured carpets and art to this place will really do the trick. We are hopefully creating a great space for this couple to build their future in. So fun!
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