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    The owner of a charming townhouse in Westwood hired me to update her living room. The wish list included replacing a distressed sofa with a new o… Read More
    The owner of a charming townhouse in Westwood hired me to update her living room. The wish list included replacing a distressed sofa with a new one, making the room more spacious and inviting, and increasing its capacity to accommodate friends and family. This translated into additional seating that serves multiple purposes - all for a budget of $6,000 The new living room is brighter, more comfortable, seemingly larger, and accommodates more people. To finish the room, I'm adding toss pillows and a throw for the sofa, a wall mounted swing arm lamp in the alcove next to the leather chair to create a cozy reading area, a source of illumination on the shelving unit, and an updated overhead fan. Read Less
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In a charming townhouse community in Westwood, a small but comfortable living room was shrinking. The owner came to me with a wish list to make the room more spacious and inviting, increasing its capacity to accommodate friends and family. This translated into additional seating that serves multiple purposes. The budget, a modest $6,000.
The initial purchase for the low budget project was the sofa. It was the most expensive item, but an important investment for the new space. The fitted button tufted upholstery with a tightly woven texture added interest, but kept the look streamlined and contemporary. A sofa with exposed legs makes a room appear larger than a sofa with a skirt or upholstery going all the way to the floor. 

Rule #1 for a living room design scheme is to buy the best quality sofa in a neutral color that you can afford. It can be accessorized with pillows and a throw in any color, texture, or pattern you desire. Photo by Robin Lechner Designs
ABOVE: BEFORE - The recess was unused space, blocked by the chaise extension of the sofa. Since there is an entire wall of shelving, the corner shelf unit was redundant.
BELOW: AFTER - The new sofa, without the extension of a chaise, allows access to alcove where there was plenty of room to add a new chair (in leather for added texture). In addition to providing extra seating, it adds a touch of contemporary to the space. A wall mounted swing arm lamp will make this corner a cozy spot to relax and read. The mirror adds sparkle to the room, giving the illusion of more space, and reflects the outdoors when the drapes are open.
ABOVE: BEFORE - The before room was dark and overstuffed.
BELOW: AFTER - The walls were painted a warm tinted white/yellow that makes the room inviting and eliminates shadows. Notice that the chaise was removed and the sofa blends in beautifully with the wall color. A more monochromatic look gives the illusion of a larger space.
ABOVE: BEFORE - The dark walls emphasized the clutter on the shelves.
BELOW: AFTER - Lightening up the room with a simple coat of paint, and removing the heavy drapery invites in natural light and brightens the atmosphere for a more upbeat aesthetic. Against lighter walls, the clutter seems to blend in with the background, making it less a distraction. Additional seating is provided by an openwork wicker chair that provides a lighter feel than an upholstered piece, and fits neatly into the small space.
ABOVE: BEFORE - Out of date swags, fringe and loose drapery obscures much of the view of the lake, and the hanging fabric often gets caught in the sliding door.
BELOW: AFTER - The new window treatments pull completely out of the way, and offer total light control. The open work chair, repurposed from another room, gives a lighter, airy feel to the room.
ABOVE: AFTER - The Hunter Douglas Silhouette style drapery provides various degrees of light control. The color is the same hue as the walls for a larger, more unified appearance.Carrying the room color through to the window treatments makes the room visually larger and unified. Photo by Robin Lechner
I humbly state that I more than exceeded the owner's expectations, not only by successfully achieving her initial objectives, but by making the room brighter, more livable, seemingly larger, and accommodating more people.
 
Rule #1 for a living room design scheme is to buy the best quality sofa in a neutral color that you can afford. It can be accessorized with pillows and a throw in any color, texture, or pattern you desire.