The Homeowners: Cynthia Shipman and Brian Green.
The Dilemma: Although there was a lot of potential for this spacious living room to be a great gathering and entertaining spot right when you enter the house, it was left spare with few furniture pieces that were poorly arranged. This ultimately resulted in making the room feel (and look) dull, uninviting and lifeless, unlike the homeowners who are lively, social and fun. Thus, this tired-looking room was not only unfit for relaxing and group functions, it also didn't reflect the homeowners' personalities at all, especially Cynthia's.
The Fix: To turn this living room around, it was important to identify a purpose for the room right off the bat. Given that there's not much seating for the homeowners to relax and lounge around or for entertaining guests, it made the most sense to transform the room into a sitting room that tackled both those issues.
First, it was key to rearrange the furniture in the room to make it more welcoming and conducive to conversation. First, the big, heavy couch was relocated into the den, where it fit the space better. In its place: A tailored couch, nailhead-trim chair, an large ottoman and a polished round side table, which were placed directly opposite it to create a furniture grouping that would help facilitate conversation. And to further add to the entertaining aspect of the room, a two-tier console was brought in to serve as a beverage station.
However, one of the important additions to the room was an electric fireplace. It's a hard-to-miss focal point that offers the looks of a real fireplace and also serves as a smart alternative to a television, which can often become a distraction in a room that's meant for conversation and mingling. (Plus, the homeowners already had a dedicated television room.) Geometric candle sconces flanked the fireplace, which added some contemporary style to the room.
And finally, to elevate the look of the room from drab to stylish, inexpensive modern artwork was brought in to decorate the walls. Most importantly, the oddly-placed single sconce (which was technically an outdoor fixture) was taken away. This didn't take away from the brightness of the room, since there was an overhead light and side lamps to help illuminate the space.
Click on items in the images below and scroll through the product rails to find some of the pieces used in the makeover.