How A “Bonus Room” With No Purpose Finally Realized Its Full Potential - Lenore Frances Home Interiors

How A “Bonus Room” With No Purpose Finally Realized Its Full Potential

Bonus Room Interior Design

“Bonus Room” Interior Design Transformation

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”.


What is a “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.


Pool Table Entry Way


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.

Client requests:

  • We would use the existing paint colors, carpet, and window treatment.
  • Her existing artwork would be incorporated into the design.
  • An entertainment unit from another room would be used.
  • This narrow room would provide great seating without looking crowded.

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.


Banquette Lenore Frances Home Interior

Floor Plan And Furniture Plan Board



Two chairs were added to this seating area, with the fabrics complimenting the existing artwork and wall colors.

All Fabrics Design Patterns


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. Center Table

Art Placement


Installation Day (New Artwork):

Wallart Placing Ideas


I love finding coffee table books that go with the color scheme of the room.

Coffee Table Books


Finished Room:

Bonus Room Interior Design


Lenore Bonus Room Design Donnacupples


Finished Living Room Interior Design



Client Love:


Client Love Lenore Frances Interiors


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.

Let’s Make Home Your Favorite Place to Be!

lenore-frances-mediumLenore Frances Signature

Comments on How A “Bonus Room” With No Purpose Finally Realized Its Full Potential
  1. Anne says:

    Lenore, you hit this one OUT of the park! What a beautiful transformation.

    1. lenore27 says:

      Thank you Anne!

  2. Leslie Carothers says:

    Lenore: What a great story that, after 14 years, you were able to deliver on a dream bonus room for your client.

    It came out so nicely!

    1. lenore27 says:

      Believe me, it was so satisfying to finally have this room completed and my client so happy!

  3. LINDA MERRILL says:

    Such a beautiful room now! You’re client must be kicking herself not to have done this sooner!

    1. lenore27 says:

      Thank you Linda!

  4. Janet R Lorusso says:

    Such a beautiful transformation! I LOVE all the fabrics you pulled together for this!

    1. lenore27 says:

      Thank you Janet. I was thankful to find what I needed to go with the artwork and the existing colors chosen so many years ago.

  5. Sheri Bruneau says:

    This is such a smart and beautiful design! Thank you for walking us through your process. You client must be thrilled. The use of the banquette was just brilliant!

    1. lenore27 says:

      Thank you Sheri!

  6. Lisa A Peck says:

    I love the way the lines in this room relate to each other. It turned out beautifully.

    1. lenore27 says:

      Thank you so much Lisa.

  7. Carole says:

    Lovely room – I especially love the happy chairs with two fabrics! Great job!

    1. lenore27 says:

      Thank you Carole, they are happy chairs aren’t they?

  8. Robin Baron says:

    Good things come to those that wait! Wonderful post! You gave life and purpose to this unused room in a creative and beautiful way. Kudos to you!

    1. lenore27 says:

      Thank you Robin!

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