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Makeover Takeover: Meet Janine and Jimena

Young homeowners Janine and Jimena left their apartment in the heart of San Francisco. They headed to a home with a backyard designed for entertaining in neighboring Oakland. After living in their home for a bit, they realized wanted a more grown-up style for the https://www.potterybarn.com/tips-and-ideas/how-to-decorate-small-living-room/ living room in their already warm and eclectic Craftsman-style home. Sound familiar? Making that transition from apartment to house or from young adult to grown-up sometimes takes a bit of guidance and planning. We at Pottery Barn stepped in to help the couple find their footing in their significantly new lifestyle away from city life. Learn the tips and tricks we used to balance their style by opening up the space and creating a comfortable yet sophisticated haven.


Better Proportioned Seating


The couple’s existing furniture was large and comfy. However, took up too much space in their living room. It was an elegant gray that they felt was much too dark for the area. It blended in with their coordinating gray drapery and an oversized gray coffee table. A harvest-gold tufted chair also overtook one of the corners of the room. To open up the space, we chose seating with better proportions for the room. 

The couple’s new furniture fits the scale of the room. It makes better use of the floorplan with a smaller scale three-cushion sofa and petite wing chair. Gone is the gray. Instead, light and bright is the name of the game. Neutral, off-white upholstery picks up where the white walls and white built-ins leave off to create an uplifting room. A coordinating storage ottoman doubles as a well-styled coffee table and softens the space at the same time.


Bigger and Brighter


One way to brighten a room is to look down at the floor. The couple’s beautiful dark hardwood floors cast a shadow into the room. There was only a small area rug to soften the space. To brighten it up without touching the wood, we added a larger and lighter tone area rug. This leaves the wood floor to peek through as a border. The subtle pattern and neutral colors of the rug soften the space without overpowering the room. 

To bounce light around the room, we placed an oversized mirror behind the sofa. It reflects the white wall and ceiling fixture’s ambient lighting. The mirror, flanked by two bare windows, appears almost like a third window on the wall. Threads of gold highlight the space, from the glistening gold floor lamp to the gold tone of the mirror’s frame. The accent pillows also have gold accents that tie into a gold-and-glass display box on the ottoman and the terra cotta tiles around the fireplace.

What’s intentionally missing? Window coverings! The couple didn’t need much privacy in this room. Now, more natural light can flow in. Should the couple ever want to add window coverings, simple sheers can give them privacy along with diffused natural light. That will only enhance the casual elegance of this new room.


Displaying Art in New Ways


The extra-long mantel shelf above the unused fireplace and built-in cabinetry were put to meaningful use in the makeover. Gone are the large television and media cabinet. These created a dark spot in the middle of the wall. They also blocked the beautifully tiled fireplace. The tiny, nearly hidden accessories on the mantel are gone, too. In their place is a bold, colorful gallery of framed art that expresses the couple’s personality, travels and experiences. To make the colors and shapes of the artwork further pop, the wall is painted a dark color with white trim. 


Bringing Outdoors Indoors


The former space was dotted with some indoor plants here and there. The new space brings indoors more of the greenery that the homeowners love in their garden. Grouping together lush and beautifully potted plants in front of the fireplace puts the formerly unused area to good use. It even elevates the healthy feel and look of the living room. The impact of placing green plants in larger pots also creates a soft focus in the room below the gallery.


Are you looking to lighten your space? You can easily use the tips and tricks that transformed Janine and Jimena’s home into a bright, welcoming sanctuary.