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  1. Very smart! We also had some dark furniture and dealt with it by making ecru slipcovers. That won’t work for bergΓ¨res, but if at least the seat cushion cover is washable, that would be a good thing.
    Totally agree about curtains. They would really finish the room. Bare looks good in an industrial setting, which this isn’t.
    The furniture does feel a little too pushed-against-the-walls. Pulling it in would make the conversation area more cozy while making the room feel airier.
    She has some nice big art on the walls, which would look even better if it were professionally framed.

    1. Yes, I will admit, my answer to almost everything home decor related is to make it white… πŸ˜‰ I have a cream bergΓ¨re in my own family room and cleaning hasn’t been a problem. I think people tend to use the sofas more often. I also agree about framing artwork.

  2. I love all the suggestions and choices you’ve made to bring this room together. When I first look at a room that I think is a little “off”, I don’t have the ability or talent to see what changes need to be made. That’s why I appreciate your talents and willingness to share your ideas here with us. When you explain why you made the changes you did, it makes perfect sense. Thanks again!!! I knew your idea of “First Reader Design Consultation” would be so much fun!

    1. Thanks, Cecile! Of course, there are always many potential solutions to any one question but having an outside perspective helps see things you might look past in your own home. I also was responding based on the reader’s own concerns with her space, so that helped guide my suggestions.

  3. You made very nice and inexpensive changes for this project. I hope we get to see after photos.

    1. Thanks, Ruth! I can’t guarantee the reader will like and make these changes, but that would be a fun addition to the design consultation series. If readers do send me updates and give me permission, I will happily share the progress in future posts… πŸ™‚

  4. I was thinking the same thing about the room appearing dark even with the high ceilings and wonderful source of natural light; and I also though that the sofas were too far apart. She does have some nice pieces in there and the room is wonderfully large. Love the ideas you posted on reestablishing the look of this room. I need you to come and do a total remake on my house! :o)

  5. Will the bergere chairs then flank each side of the wood sideboard once centered? This is REALLY fun, Lory! Dang, you’re good!

    1. Thanks, Ginger! Keep in mind, I have the same information you have – just the photos, so I’m not 100% sure what the space dimensions are. There are actually a few ways I could see laying out the room, but it appears to me there’s not enough space to put the chairs on either side of the sideboard and still put the couches closer together (since you would then need enough room to walk between them). So I’m assuming the two chairs would be next to each other and the sideboard centered on the wall where it is now.

  6. Teddee Grace says:

    How fun it would be to see the actual makeover!

  7. Kathy Pelletier says:

    Hi Lory- I am amazed. You gave many inexpensive ways to update the room. If on a budget, they can do it at a pace, but maybe by changing the rug and reupholstering the chairs would be a great start. I know fom my own experience, sometimes it just takes one good eye of a designer to get one motivated. I am curious, how long did it take you ( not counting sources) to do this ?! The drapes especially would make a difference. I love the idea of the linen panels like you plan to do in your D.R. I couldn’t tell from the pictures–what type of lighting do they have in the ceiling ? I can see some pretty chandeliers to also brighten it. I am curious, was there any question about the paint color on the walls ? Perhaps when the subtle white is brought in the room, that will help. A few years ago, the Tuscan style was so popular and it still is, but you have taken this room from Tuscan to French Country which is so popular today and to me, never goes out of style. I agree with Teddee ( love the name ), I’d love to see a picture of the transformation. Lory, I am afraid that by seeing these reader’s rooms, you will have many new customers and will not have time to do as many blogs LOL You really are amazing. I have sent in a few pictures of my kitchen, but I know now, I would like your professional help with others. I can’t wait to see the future ones. I think this was a great idea !! Sooo excited ………. Kathy

    1. Thanks Kathy, and yes, your room is on my list… πŸ™‚ I do agree that a great way to design a room is to figure out where to invest and find less expensive solutions for everything else. I also agree that the rug and chairs would be the perfect place to start if this project were to be done in stages. I’m not sure what the lighting looks like in the living room, but I would certainly love a statement chandelier in the dining area. And I think the existing wall color would probably work with the creamy whites. As for the French Country direction, I guess I can’t help that. It tends to be my style of choice. But I would argue it’s the modern version and even has some farmhouse and glam spin to it… πŸ˜‰

      I would certainly welcome new customers! The first room, of course, is gratis… πŸ™‚ (Oh, and it took about 5 hours to do the design.)

  8. Kathy Pelletier says:

    O wow Lory–You have made my day !!!!!! I am about to head out the door for a dental appointment, so I can dream about it while she’s cleaning. πŸ™‚
    When I first started changing my traditional taste, I seemed to navigate toward the Tuscan style. I love it, but love the whites more now. I especially love how you add the blush and yellows with the creamy whites. I can’t wait .. Thank you so much !!

  9. bobbi duncan says:

    I love this post! What fun seeing the before and after photos, and your choices are lovely. I, too, felt the room needed some brightening up and a larger coffee table. You always seem to know where to find great pieces, while I seem to hunt forever for them. Hugs!

  10. Great ideas to bring light and life to this room! In the design board you put together for the room, there is a beautiful french sideboard. Do you have a source for that? It is exactly what I would like for my dining area and have not been able to find it. Thank you!

    1. Thanks, Melanie! And I’m so sorry, but when I found the sideboard, I was just looking for a photo that would look similar to what the reader already owned. I just tried to search for it again but I can’t seem to find it. I’m sure it was an antique from an online dealer. In the future, I’ll give sources to all the items, even if they are just place holders… πŸ™‚

  11. Hi Lory,

    Thank you, I love ❀️ the ideas! I was on a cruise- what a wonderful surprise to return from vacation and pull up your site to see the great vision boards! Since we had no wifi, I literally went radio silent.

    Your ideas pull everything thing together. Love the details. Your insight to add light not color is the direction needed… it adds the richness that I was wanting. Just excatly the touches and “life” this room needed!

    You have created a wonderful site and community of inspirational (interior decor and beyond) for us to use and enjoy.

    Can’t wait to start incorporating your ideas. Thank you so much for your time and sharing your talents!

    So impressed by your talents. I wish you continued success.


    1. Thanks so much!! So glad you like the results and glad you came home to the surprise, too! I realized when I emailed you about the post that you were away but since I had it ready to go, I knew you’d see it eventually… πŸ™‚ Hope you enjoyed the cruise, as well!!

  12. Hi Lory,

    Update! I ordered the gold coffee table and large oval bowl with hydrangeas from your links! I have great cream pillows that I will move to the chairs.

    Looking for the lamps. Plan to order the rug too.



    1. Awesome! So glad you found this useful. I think it will look beautiful, as you had a wonderful base to start with… πŸ™‚

  13. Dianne Lanier says:

    I would LOVE to see the finished room if she uses your suggestions! You provided such great ideas!!!