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Friday, September 26, 2014

Making Sense in a Downsized Space

Have you recently downsized and are struggling to make your new living arrangements work?


Two of my all time favorite clients, Ron and Suzi, were so saddened to hear Mr. Décor and I were moving. Over the course of 8 years I had decorated two of their homes with Mr. Décor as my wonderful handyman. Last year they moved into a wonderful senior living complex. We worked together to downsize from their 3000 square foot home to a 1500 square foot apartment and their place turned out beautifully. Suzi then graciously referred me on to new friends they had met, the absolutely delightful Kramer’s!

Ron and Suzi

The Kramer’s had recently moved to Arizona from the mid west and were also facing downsizing issues. Connie felt the room was really “beige and brown”. After taking a look at her existing artwork and asking a few questions we came upon an accessory and accent color palette of orange and aqua.


I then suggested that a few things be removed from the room to open it up. The wicker chair went out onto the porch and the telescope was moved to a guest bedroom. The large vase was a family heirloom and it found a new home above the kitchen cabinets as did some of floral arrangements. The silver light fixture was moved into the office. 


Here is another angle of the living space. As you can see it is an open floor plan with the kitchen to the left. The two areas were begging to be unified.


The area above the kitchen cabinets would soon benefit from a bit of editing as well.


Here is a closer look at what the kitchen pendants looked like. In the background you can also see that I edited quite a bit from above the kitchen cabinets. I grouped all her crocks together for impact and brought in an orange flower painting from the bedroom.


While walking through the home I had spied a light fixture in their office that was exactly like the two pendants hanging over the eat in counter area, only larger. We just simply swapped out the wicker light and the silver light.  It instantly made the living and kitchen area feel so much more cohesive.


Although Connie liked her dining room table, she found that the chairs were uncomfortable to sit in for any length of time. The addition of some orange chair pads from Anna’s Linens brought in color and comfort.


The entire space began to feel pulled together with just a few simple and low cost changes. Artwork was also moved around the home.


But still more color was needed. I looked closely at the upholstered chair which was covered in a beige and taupe stripe….


…as well as the couch that featured a beige and taupe scrolling floral design. Challenge on!


The plush orange velvet pillow was found at Cost Plus for a steal. The floral pillow was from the Better Homes and Gardens collection at Wal Mart. The design works with the couch because it has a bit of beige and taupe but also features a scrolling floral. A repetition of elements will always work when mixing patterns. 

A perfect way to bring in accent colors and move away from boring beige!


I felt the room could also use a bit of softening and suggested curtain panels. Connie did not want the desert view blocked in any way so a good solution was to use a short curtain rod on either side of the window. I selected antique mahogany brackets, finials and rings from the Home Depot Martha Stewart collection. Just one 6 foot rod was needed to create two rods. Mr. Décor used a miter saw to cut the rod to the new lengths. 


I had brought 3 different curtain panels. A higher end stripe from Serena and Lily, a mid range taupe from J.C. Penney’s and a budget priced “Ritva” panel from Ikea. In the end we both liked the Ikea panel the best.


Unfortunately, given the time of day I did the install the mid day light was blinding and I could not get a clear photograph of the finished look. A pity, because the drapes MADE the room! :)


The important thing though was that I had VERY happy clients! Aren’t the Kramer’s adorable?


Many thanks to all my wonderful clients that I worked with while living in Arizona. You made my time there pure pleasure!



Lorrie said...

You did a wonderful job with what they had. I really like your approach to decor, Laura.

Betty from My Irish Cottage Home said...

Yes, I agree you did a wonderful job. We upsized when we moved into this home, but the next we will be downsizing. To be honest I cannot wait.

Karena Albert said...

Laura what you did was make them feel so good about having to downsize! Your special touches made all of the difference!
Still sad about the incident at the new house. Better things are sure to come your way though!
The Arts by Karena

Auntie Em said...

Your wise editing made such a difference. Thanks for sharing the before/after pics of your work! :)

Kelley said...

Lovely results indeed!

Hugs and happy weekend,

Gypsy Heart said...

Great job! Love that you brought color into the rooms and the "less is more" is evident.