Monday, March 18, 2013

Don't Wait. E-Decorate!

My friend is changing up her den/living area and asked for some design advice. Her request comes at an interesting time as we have recently been dabbling in the possibilities of e-decorating.

The concept of e-decorating or virtual decorating is nothing new, but we never delved into it because it didn't seem related to home staging. After all, staging and restyling requires rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands on things. We have found, though, that many of our clients can actually benefit from some virtual services.

Often after we have worked with a client to stage their home for sale, they call back asking for help with arranging furniture and accessories in their new home. Trouble is, those clients have sometimes moved hours away, making hands-on designing a tough task. That's where our e-decorating services can help.

Let's use the example of my friend who asked for design advice. She lives about 45 minutes from us. Sure we could hop in the car and drive over there, but there's really no need. We have seen the space. We understand her style and needs. Now we can help her via design boards, layout plans, and shopping lists. Very simply, we layout the room, advising her on what types of items to fill it with, and she does the rest.

Take a look at her Before & After layouts and new room design board.
From the layout above, you can see that the biggest issue with her furniture arrangement is that the sofa is impeding the traffic flow from the room entry at left, to the stairs (the bottom step is visible in the lower right corner). What is not easily understood from the layout however, is the scale of the furniture in the room. The sofas are large and very deep. They are super comfortable and great for snuggling up with a good book or to watch television, but they are not great for the size of the room. They are really bulky for the room's small scale.

A second problem with the room's current arrangement is due to the television being mounted above the fireplace. Normally, I love when televisions are mounted over a fireplace because they make great use of otherwise unusable space. What makes this particular situation problematic is two-fold. First, seating opposite the fireplace/television in this room does not work because it impedes traffic flow and congests the room. Second, the owners have several boxy components attached to the television with lots of wires. You cannot see it in the layout, but wires from the television are forced to hang from the wall over to the media cabinet located beside the sofa. 

In the new layout, we relocated the television to the wall where the large sofa had been. Beneath it, we placed a console table with a shelf for media components, if needed.  We also placed two upholstered ottomans under the table for overflow seating. What you cannot see from the layout, though, is the closet behind the television's new location. It could potentially be used for media component storage to keep gadgets and wires hidden completely from sight. So this new arrangement gives two long-term possibilities for media storage. 

We added a rug to anchor the room and suggested using three different types of side tables -- round, a chest, and nesting tables or a garden stool -- to add interest and texture. Our friend was also particularly interested in having a set of recliners, so we suggested a pair that looks like club chairs, but offers a hidden reclining feature; keeping with a more tailored style in the new room.

We did not include a coffee table in the layout because that decision should be made only after all other items have been placed in the space. The room is fairly small, so the scale of other furniture items could make it so that a coffee table would overwhelm the space. Sometimes, it is best to just "wait and see" on such items.
Once we developed the new layout, we needed to give our friend some ideas for the new "look" of her space. This is what we suggested:

You can see we provided suggestions for wall color, fabric colors, rug colors, leather options, art, lamps, and occasional furniture. These suggestions are comfortable, classic and coordinate well with the rest of her home. Of course she does not have to follow these ideas exactly, this is simply to serve as a guide for the types and colors of items she can use to fill her redesigned space.

If you are interested in taking advantage of the possibilities of e-design services, we would love to help! Just click here to CONTACT US.

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