Before and After: A Classic and Cozy Living Room in a New York Apartment

Sorry for disrupting the cheat sheet furniture layout post. But I just couldn't wait to show you this beautiful Classic and Cozy living room before and after!

I did a photo shoot last week at a client’s home; I had the privilege to work with them a year and half ago on their living room, and I can't believe how everything turned out. I am so excited and proud of the client!

The clients are newlyweds and bought their first home together, and they were struggling with designing and decorating their living room to create a space that is beautiful, cozy, fun, and classic.  

The clients hired me to design and decorate their living room and the foyer and invested in my level 1 package, which was to come up with the design concept, color scheme, floor plan, furniture layout, furniture and fabric selections, lighting selections, and window treatment. 

The clients purchased all the furnishings and finishes and put the whole room together by themselves based on my design concept and furniture layout, which they got in a binder with all the information in it.

They changed some things around, but it came out looking amazing. This is what a home is about! It gives you the opportunity to change things but still keep the main idea there. Your home is always evolving so it should reflect how you want to live and feel. 

Getting to Cozy and Classic

When we first started the clients’ priority was to have the TV in the living room but after living with it for some time they thought it was not a good idea and focused on the fireplace instead. So the fireplace is the focal point of the living room. 

They have created a home that truly reflects who they are and how they want to live.  I am so proud of them! This is what a home is about.  Your home is always evolving to reflect how you want to live and feel and what your priorities are. 

Here are the before pics:

The apartment was already in move-in condition, so they didn't have to do much with it. It already had great bones so we just enhanced it.

Here's the after:

We painted the walls Benjamin Moore Decorators White to give the living room a crisp white bright fresh feeling and to enhance the color of the sofa and art works of the clients’.

We chose a classic rolled arm sofa from Restoration Hardware because the client likes the traditional lines of the rolled arm sofa with a modern touch from the fabric.  

The floors were stained a dark ebony to give the space more depth. 

Hope you like the before and after picture of this beautiful cozy and comfortable living room and got some inspiration for your own living room decor ideas!  

To find out more about the services that I offer you can check them out here.  
I offer Traditional Face to Face Interior Design for NY metro area and Virtual Interior Design nationwide and all the way to Australia.  

To unlock the potential for your own living room and create a cozy and comfortable living room like the one above I want to invite you to join me for a Free 30 Min. Happy Up Your Home Session.  


Learn how to decorate like a pro, get on my list to get free design advice!! 
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How to Draw a Floor Plan: Christine's No Fail-Guide to measuring your space

I can't stress enough how important it is to have a floor plan before you start your decorating adventure.  You know what Ted and Mary went through, and I bet you don't want to make the same mistake as they did.  

It's like baking a cake without first knowing what the ingredients are.  

Having a layout will tell you exactly what furniture pieces can go into your room, at what dimension, and where they will go. 

Follow these simple steps and you are on your way to creating a complete floor plan of your room. 

To get started you will need the following:

1. Your best friend or Partner
2. A Glass of Merlot
3. Your favorite music 
4. Pencil
5. Measuring tape
6. Paper
7. Ruler

Step 1 Start by drawing the outline of your space (don't worry about scale for now).
Here's an example from a client's floor plan:

Step 2Measure the overall width and length of the room. Tip:  When measuring, put your measuring tape on the floor against the wall to get the most accurate results.

Step 3: Start measuring each wall in detail. You’ll want to make sure you measure from corner to corner, and record the locations of all openings and built-ins (windows, doorways, pass-throughs, built-in bookcases, fireplace etc.).

Step 4Note the ceiling height of the room.  Start in a corner of the room, and measure from the top at the ceiling down to the floor.  If your room has multiple ceiling heights, note all heights.

Step 5: Indicate the width and height of all openings in the wall such as doors, windows, pass-throughs, built ins, arches, closets, fireplace etc. (Tip: All measurement should be from the outside trim to the outside of trim.  

When measuring for a window, make sure to include the sill height (height from floor to the top of the window sill).  If you are indicating a door on your plan, make sure to indicate which way the door swings (into or out of the room) on the floor plan.

Step 6Make note of any built-in component, such as fireplace, bookcases, seating nooks, entertainment units, desks, etc.  Measure and note the component’s width, depths and height on the floor plan.  If you can’t move it—measure it.

Step 7: Note the dimension and location of all wall and floor outlets, telephone and data jacks, switches, and any HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) units, panels or vents.  Refer to the diagram below (Floorplan Symbols) for the appropriate electrical symbols. When noting any wall-mounted components, make sure to measure the height from the floor to the center of the component and note it on the floor plan.  When noting any floor-mounted item, indicate its distance from the two nearest walls. 

Step 8: Now you are ready to draw you plan to scale.  Thanks to graph paper, drawing your room layout to scale is super easy! Print out the graph paper below.  Each block represent 6 inches, so two blocks represent 1 foot. If you think 6 inches to represent a block is too little, you can use 3 inches instead, so 4 blocks will represent 1 foot.  

                                                      (image via Printfree.com  Office Printables)

If you are not a pen and paper person, you can certainly use one of the many free software apps available on the web.  One of my personal favorites is FloorPlanner.com: it’s free and very easy to use even if you are a beginner.

Are you ready to start creating your floor plan?  Ready, Set, Go! 

Have Fun!

Stay tuned for next week when I will give you a cheat sheet to make it easy for you to start creating your furniture layout.  For more information about creating your perfect furniture layout you can read my 7 TIPS TO CREATE A SUCCESSFUL FURNITURE LAYOUT 

If you have more pressing questions on how to draw a floor plan, I encourage you to sign up for my 30 min. Free Happy Up Your Home Session.  You will walk away with action steps that you can take right away. 

Learn how to decorate like a pro, get on my list to get free design advice!! 
(Did I mention it's Free?) Sign up now!

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7 Tips to create a successful furniture layout that will save you money and headaches

Ted and Mary are newlyweds and just bought their first home together.  They didn’t bring any furniture with them to the new home because they want to start a whole new chapter in their lives. 

One day, Mary and Ted went furniture shopping. They saw this beautiful sofa in Restoration Hardware that they both liked, and ordered it on the spot. They were really excited that they found and bought a sofa that they love—but, lo and behold, when it got delivered to their home, it was totally the wrong size. 

The sofa was too big for their space and made their living room look cramped, there was no space for any side tables, and the coffee table they had was too small. Now they’re stuck with the wrong sofa for life (or until they decide it’s time to change it and sell off their furniture for a loss). 

They both hate it every time they see it, and it gives them headaches. They don’t invite their friends and family over because they feel embarrassed to show off their home. 

Can you imagine living with something that you don’t like and feel embarassed about? Yikes! 

This is why it's important to create a well-arranged furniture plan before buying any furniture.  It will save you time, money and headaches, and you’ll be proud to show off your home to your friends and family.
Here are the 7 tips to create a successful furniture layout:

(Image via Elle Decor)
1.   Find out what your main concern is for the space: Is your space too small? No focal point? Space too large?

(Image via Architecture Digest)
2.   Define your focal point - it could be a fireplace, a t.v., a window with a great view, or a piece of artwork.

(Image via Apartment Therapy)

3.   Always center your seating area to your focal point.

(Image via House Beautiful)

4.   Promote conversation: Make sure that furniture is placed within hearing distance, facing each other so that each person sitting can see each other and hear each other.  

(Image via Hallready)

5. Ensure ease of access from one side of the room to the other side. This is called the circulation pattern where one can move easily from one point of the room to another point quickly without hitting a dead end.

(Image via Garance Dore)

6.  Check suitability: Make sure that the furniture is appropriate for the purpose of the room.

7.  Check proportion: The furniture needs to be in balance with the space. Balance creates comfort and a place where people want to spend time in.

Creating a successful furniture layout will let you go out and buy furniture with confidence, knowing that your home will look like it just came out from the pages of House Beautiful. 

Creating a successful furniture layout will save you money and headaches – click to tweet.

Look around in your space: How do you feel about your furniture placement? Is it conducive to conversations? Is your furniture too big?  I would love to hear from you, so please leave me a comment and I would be happy to help you out.

If you have more pressing questions about your furniture layout, I encourage you to sign up for my 30 min. Free Happy Up Your Home Session.  You will walk away with action steps that you can take right away. 

P.S.  I am putting together a fun contest to celebrate the launch of my new website  - What prize would you like to win?

Learn how to decorate like a pro, get on my list to get free design advice!! 
(Did I mention it's Free?) Sign up now!

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Thank you for reading Happy Lady Decorates. I would love to hear from you about your design dilemma's or any other design problems you might have, just shoot me an email or leave me a comment and I will be very Happy to help you out with it.
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