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Meet Michael and Guillaume

Makeover Takeover: An Apartment with Soul 

San Franciscans Michael and Guillaume found their dream apartment after a long search. They fell in love with the apartment due to its sense of history and deep soul. Architecturally, the tall windows and the large space are atypical for an apartment in the city. But not only does the open, airy space work for the couple – it also works for their adorable dog, Chloe. Together, the family can breathe in their apartment. But, there were some issues that needed to be fixed. We at Pottery Barn were up for solving the design puzzles! 

The first issue? The couple definitely wanted a new couch. Another issue was how to get the most out of the underutilize, yet spacious living room. The solution? A better furniture arrangement that also supported their entertaining lifestyle. You’ll see how we transformed this already-chic city apartment’s living room into a contemporary entertaining oasis where everything harmonizes.

Choosing the New Sofa

A forlorn chocolate-brown sofa appeared to float unanchored in the spacious living room. Though flanked by two side tables, it wasn’t a very inviting conversation area. The other seating pieces were far away from the sofa and turned away from the television. That put the screen almost completely out of view. An uninspiring flat-weave area rug tried to tie the seating together. It didn’t quite do the trick because only the front legs of the sofa were placed on the rug. Things just weren’t very cozy.

To create a truly welcoming conversation area, we placed a tailored, three-cushioned sofa off-center in front of the wall of windows. The new area rug goes under all four legs of the sofa to fully anchor the piece. The placement of the sofa brings it closer to the other chairs, which are draped with Chloe-approved faux fur to add texture and warmth. Adding texture by draping soft textiles over seating is a way to invoke a cozy, welcoming mood. Guests also love these extras when you’re entertaining

Organizing the Entertainment Wall

The large flat-screen television created a dark spot on an empty expanse of white wall. To put that vertical and horizontal space to work, we moved the TV into a modular media console. This turned the entire wall into an entertainment and display center. The modular system with towers and shelves adds floor-to-ceiling storage without clutter thanks to open shelving and well-designed drawers. The sofa and seating, now differently arranged, make watching TV comfortable.

Incorporating the Existing Furniture

To keep a bit of the mid-century modern vibe in this apartment, the Eames lounge chair stayed. It’s also an integral part of the new design. Gone, however, is the space-crowding cocktail table. Instead, a simple, airy and well-curated glass table fits the space. A warm, wood-topped round side table between the sofa and leather butterfly chair closes the gap in the conversation area. It also ties in with and calls to attention the striking wood beams in the living room.  

Making an Impact with Drapery

Floor-to-ceiling drapery panels found their new home across the stunning French windows. There’s no lack of natural light flowing into this space. But, to warm up the windows, we added lightweight gray linen panels. An accent pillow, the pendant lamp over the side table and the pattern in the accent rug pick up on the gray in the window coverings.

Entertaining Year-Round

The lucky couple has a lovely outdoor patio space filled with upholstered furniture and lush plantings. Here, they frequently entertain in the warmer months. To make better use of the living room for entertaining in the cooler months, the bar and cocktail area is set up as part of the perimeter. It defines the conversation area to make it more of a self-enclosed space. The bar area is easily accessible to seated guests. This makes the conversation seamless and keeps the cocktails flowing!

Michael and Guillaume’s apartment shows you don't have to make big design changes to make a big design impact. With a few new pieces of furniture and gorgeous accessories, it’s easy to transform your space.