I remember when formal living rooms in bigger homes were “off limits”; saved for special occasions and holidays. Back in the 80’s and days of watching the Carringtons and the Colbys on Dynasty, you may have been wearing big shoulder pads and your formal rooms and furnishings were all white. No one was allowed in this room. You know I’m right. Fast forward to 2006 and I am helping my NJ client design her new-build townhome in Downingtown, PA. She will use the furnishings from her NJ home, but will also need more since this new house is much bigger. Long story short, we finished all the rooms except one, the “Bonus Room”.
Apparently, it can be anything you want it to be, unless it has limitations. In this case, we went ahead and painted the walls in the popular colors of tan and red, (no white rooms in this house), and even installed window treatments. But my client still could not figure out how she wanted to use the room.
Fast forward again to 2020. Fourteen years have passed, and we finally discuss what to do with the room. She told me how she would entertain and have a catered affair, and that the bonus room contained an unusable pool table that she covered and used as a big buffet when she entertained large groups. The pool table was unusable because the room was long and too narrow to use the pool cues. So, there it was. A room with no purpose or style for 14 years.
Now that we were aware of a pandemic and everyone was basically living in isolation, that did not stop my client from wanting this space designed to welcome guests, have comfortable seating for conversation and enable her to be a most gracious host.
Reading floor plans can deceive you into thinking that there is plenty of space. The reality is, that this room would not be able to handle the depth of a sofa (36” deep or more), a coffee table, the entertainment unit, and still have space to walk around comfortably. My solution was to have a custom banquette made at 22” deep and 72” wide. The design is represented by the chair with the light fabric below.
Two chairs were added to this seating area, with the fabrics complimenting the existing artwork and wall colors.
Another seating area was created with a center table and 3 ottomans instead of chairs with backs, to keep the room functional without being crowded. I did have to reselect the original table as it was out of stock.
I love finding coffee table books that go with the color scheme of the room.
To see another great transformation and information on how I did it, check out Behind The Design Of A Cottage Sunroom.
If you know you want or need to move ahead with a home project, and you know handling it on your own is not the best option, please reach out to me. I am happy to listen to your needs and dreams so I can deliver the best results.