New Kind of Design


Total Floor Area



I love interior decorating. I may be an addict. Like, I think about it all the time. eek.

So, I jumped at the chance to do my first ‘real’ (i.e. not my own, family member or best friends) interior decorating opportunity.

For the past month or so I have been working on this project. I was enlisted to decorate the home of a young guy in his twenties who recently moved to Tampa. He bought his first house and quickly realized that making it feel like a ‘home’ was a little harder than he expected and maybe more than he could handle on his own. He asked me to make it feel like home. In my mind that means, put together, purposeful, and finished.

The house is a tri-level town home with the second floor being the main level with an open concept living and dining room. Off of the living and dining room is a beautiful kitchen and a bonus room that we are making into a study. When we met together, I showed him inspiration photo after photo and he always gravitated towards neutral palettes with nice details. He liked an aged, worn look that communicates warmth and character.

The living room had great bones and definitely lent itself to working quite well for my client’s taste. The wood floors are a light oak and the walls a creamy neutral with white trim, so the foundation for a beautiful (and manly!) neutral space was already in place. The room previously had the furniture flipped with the tv being the focal point as soon as you entered the room. TVs being a focal point, even in a bachelor’s home, to me equals cold and harsh. So, my first step was to play with the furniture arrangement with the purpose of finding a better flow to the room, both practically and visually.

I then just began to accessorize. First, I added an espresso rug to ground the coffee table. The budget is pretty tight so instead of opting for a large area rug that all the furniture to sit on we settled for a great rug that would act as a centerpiece to the room. Then, I added espresso curtain panels that have wonderful grommet detailing making them very masculine. Textiles such as rugs and curtains instantly warm up a once cold space. Instantly, my friends, instantly. The 5×8 rug is from Ikea and the curtains are from Marshalls so we made a huge impact for very little investment.

I then added a side table from Target and two lamps. I looked for inexpensive lamps with a bit of character. Lamps tend to be on the expensive side so when I found this gem for $10.00 it was a keeper. However, the lamp is small so I created height and a bit of visual interest by placing the lamp on a stack of old books found at Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore. The floor lamp in the corner is from Ikea.   

A few throw pillows were added with a teeny pop of color for interest. The homeowner had a collection of old maps that he loved and because there color palette was too perfect to not use in this space I framed them and hung three of them above the sofa as a great focal point to the room.

Last thing was to add live plants. I love live plants in a home and the homeowner specifically asked for them, so it was definitely a must have. I added a large plant by the large tv to soften to the hard edges of the tv/tv stand. I also added another large on in the corner to again, soften the edges, to fill a large open space and to give some visual dimension to the focal wall. If you look at that main wall where the sofa sits, your eye moves from the maps to the right and down, like stair steps down ending with the beautiful plant. Natural elements in a space provide a sense of calm and peace. And I think this space is just that, peaceful.

What do you think of the living room?

There will be more to come as I finish the dining room, study, guest bath, master bedroom & bathroom. So get excited!

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