Victorian Design Plan Before + After

It’s time for another before and after! So this home is a really beautiful historic home. And I don’t have really great before pictures. This is what happens when Kyle doesn’t come with me on consults. (I’m usually busy talking about design and making sure I get all my notes so that we can give our clients these really helpful PDFs after, and really pull together something special for them). But he’s usually in charge of taking in the photos, so I just had to take quick shots and of course missed some details that I knew were there, but you’re not going to be able to see.

So I’ll just explain them to you. So, these are two separate rooms. This one here is the formal living room and this client, he’s an artist. So he makes this incredible, incredible art. And we really wanted to showcase that. We really wanted this formal room here to kind of feel like a gallery, obviously still be a living space but feel like a place where they could show off the art and really bring people through.

It was dark in there, probably because of these old swag window coverings. Those tended to be really thick, heavy fabric that blocks a lot of light. And so that was priority number one: let’s get these old, dated, swag window coverings out of there. They were dusty, they were dirty, they were the previous owner’s. They just weren’t nice and they were blocking a lot of the light.

This back room here, they did not want to paint out the wood paneling or do really anything cosmetic to the room. It was just more about furnishing, making it feel cozy and making it feel kind of hip. Making it feel not as tired. So we wanted to do that just by using some furnishings and getting a bit creative with things to add some personality to the room.

Now this room had its challenges. Actually, it has a lot of the challenges because of the really awkward way that it needs to be laid out. So right on either side here, there are sets of French doors. On this side leading into the entryway, and then on this side leading into the back room.

And oh my goodness, because those doors swing into the room, to create a way to stack the furniture without it hitting the doors, and keeping those doors functional was a nightmare. And it’s also a really long skinny room. So it is probably 24 feet long by about 12 feet wide.

I have the same size room inside of my home, but it’s laid out a little bit differently with the windows down the side. But it still has French doors everywhere. They’re really challenging rooms to lay out.

But we were up for the challenge.

So let’s take a look at what we did here. First, let’s look at the living room. So we kept the built-ins across the back here. And what you can’t see just because of the perspective is the fact that obviously here’s the opening for the French doors and here’s the other doorway here. So they did have this beautiful old historic fireplace on this wall, we wanted to really build the furniture around that so to create a conversation zone. We went with a large and low concrete dining table to bring in that hip feel, but then added in some historic antique chairs to stay with the nature of the home.

We kept things light and bright because we wanted the focal point… You guys know, I love colour and we normally recommend adding colour to any space because it keeps things fresh. But this client has these amazing works of art that have so much colour in them. And they’re nice and they’re big, and they’re framed and they’re gorgeous. And very few people have art that is this nice in their homes, right? So we wanted to showcase that and so we wanted to keep everything else really subdued so that the art was the star of the show.

You can see there is a bit of a pathway here behind this sofa that is large enough for somebody to walk to the other side of the room, because there’s quite a bit of space in behind this sofa as well. You can’t see it because of the perspective of the rendering. But you can kind of see here that there’s this table, console table here and a console table here. So if you imagine there’s about three or four feet behind the sofa to the wall, where we have this big long bookcase that could also double as a window seat inside of the room. So this is the opportunity just for another cocktail area on this side of the room.

We recommended replacing the swag draperies with just some really simple, clean roller shades, because the roller shades will take up very little room here. And because there was so much lush greenery outside of the window, the greenery is already blocking a lot of light. So we wanted to open up as much glass as possible, but they could roll it down when they needed the privacy, but then have it all the way up like that whenever they wanted to really bring more light into the room. So this did it really, really well.

On the other side of the room that you don’t see because I don’t think I have the rendering here for you guys. We’re just trying to put together some videos, quickly. But on the other side of these doors there’s a matching set of windows and window seat back here. And then we just suggested putting a couple of chairs with a big round table in between, which is a great place to have some coffee, to do a puzzle, to do a board game, to read a book, wherever. That would be a really nice place over there, on the other side of the doors.

Now, let’s take a look at room number two and what we did over there. So this is the wood paneling room and you can see what we did now. Because we didn’t add ceiling lights, the rendering is a little bit dark, but we just wanted to really brighten up the space by pulling in some colour into the sofa. So we went with kind of a cobalt blue, because it really complemented the orange undertones in the wood. And we really loved the wood inside of this space. We recommended using the client’s black and white art in this room to balance out the big black TV box here. And that way the TV isn’t going to be the star of it. It’s going to be the artwork that’s the star and bounce the eye around the room to all of these different black rectangular objects.

We did recommend this long 10 foot L-shaped sectional, just to line the room because it’s a really, really narrow room. And using this brick wall here as the focal point for the TV, putting a cute little plant beside it just to fill this corner. Now it wasn’t quite big enough to put a chair or something like that over there, so just a little plant would do to fill that up. We’re using the existing blinds because again you can lift them all the way up to get some seating. And then adding an assortment of colourful warm-coloured pillows, so that we’re mixing the warm with the cool all the way throughout this space.

Hope you guys liked it! Our clients really loved all the suggestions and they have gotten busy putting their house together. I’ve got to pop back up the next time I’m up that way to see it, because I’m really excited to see what they did based on all the ideas that we talked about.