Large Living Room

Location: Milwaukee, WI

Designer Credits: Suzan Wemlinger

Project Overview:

This young family wanted to furnish their dream home while keeping the 1920s charm. The large living room had to accommodate day to day living as well as entertaining guests, so four chairs, two of them swivel and two easily movable, anchored the room, while the gray sofa with nail head took center stage. A soft pallet of gray, blues, turquoise and creams gave the room a casually elegant feel.

Large Living Room

Charming with no direction

This lovely 1920’s home had all the charm anyone could ask for. What it lacked was a direction in which to take it. I met this charming couple the day they bought the house, one week after having their second child. To say they had a lot going on was an understatement. Also, because they didn’t want to bring their old furniture to this new home, there wasn’t a lot to base their style on. We talked at length about their likes and dislikes and how they wanted the room to function.

The husband was very involved in the whole process, and was the one who had all the inspiration photos to show me, which I found refreshing. The home itself is not large, and there was no additional family room, so this room was to be used for everyday living. At the same time, they wanted to make sure that it would be a wonderful room for entertaining. Luckily, it was a large room, and I was able to fit a lot of seating in the space. It needed to be elegant yet casual. There were also several large windows, 2 doorways, a fireplace, original radiators and a bookcase, so working around all of these was also a challenge.

A modern traditional family

Because the room will be used for both day to day living as well as entertaining, I put a couple of swivel chairs in the room so that they could be used for TV viewing as well as visiting with guests. I framed the entry into the room with two smaller occasional chairs that could easily be moved around, depending on how the room was being used. The rug I selected was a muted gray patterned wool rug – durable for family use, and in tones that will not easily show wear. The draperies are the most colorful, with grays, blues, turquoise, green, yellow, cream, and a hint of rose; many colors, but softly muted. It was important to keep the character of the home intact, so overall, furnishings leaned more traditional, but things like the distressed tables added an updated freshness to the mix. The lamps I selected (there was no overhead lighting) all had texture, which mixed well with the upholstered pieces, rug and tables. All in all, I wanted a modern traditional room for this modern traditional family.