Let’s start with the “after” photo. It isn’t quite after, as the coffee table has not yet arrived, but there is enough to see what is going on. If I started with “before,” you would not be able to see what I had in mind when I bought the place.

I remember the wallpaper as much sadder than it appears here. The curtains, though were every bit as dirty as you see, and then some. We pulled out the radiator and the worn-out bits, but saved the ceiling moldings and the window surrounds. We rewired and replaced the mildewy carpet with heated stone floors. I hope that by the time you read this, I will have found a “during” photo, in which you can see the basement, right from the living room! I know I have them somewhere….

After that I had to figure out what to do with the room. The TV is upstairs. I don’t like a living room that no one uses. So back in a corner — you can see it reflected on my right in the mirror — I put my stereo, which unlike Alexa does not spy on me and plays exactly what I like, not some Spotified approximation thereof. I have books and comfortable places to read. I may have to negotiate with Jacques for sofa space — so far he is not taking to his new bed — but all in all, it’s working.

16 Replies to “The Living Room”

  1. It looks great as well as comfortable ! The club chairs are perfect. I envy how you also have the talent to place artwork in a complex arrangement.

    1. Thanks. The photos and all have a pattern. I forget offhand what it is, but I had to develop a drawing so Julien could transfer everything from the floor to the wall. Something to do with center lines. I can still remember the dubious look on his face until he stood back and saw the finished wall.

  2. Lynn

    You are amazing. An awesome improvement!

    Sent from my mobile (pls pardon the typos)

    >

    1. He can be bribed. Actually I think the best strategy will be to have Julien bring over “his girlfriends.” Jacques has been fixed so it’s not as much fun as he’d probably like, but all three dogs will fit in that one bed. Once Jacques sees that other critters want it, he’ll be all over it.

    1. Thanks. Compared to California, France is cold, at least most of the year it is. The house is well heated, but when the rain pours down and the wind pushes it through the cracks in the shutters — and you can’t open the shutters because you can’t fight the wind to get them closed again — I thought it would be nice to have a house that would feel warm and cozy, too. Glad you like it.

  3. Both elegant and cozy……. quite an achievement.
    Better resign yourself to the dog basket, looking at the white gentleman’s expression.

    1. Yeah. Jacques poked at it once, then jumped on the sofa. Now it’s pretty clear he wants me to know, he’s ignoring the bed. Anyway, yes, it’s a good room for winter. The winds kick up in November and bad weather can last into mid- April. Plus it’s south-facing, so if you don’t close the shutters on some summer days, the heat will make you wish you did. I wanted a room where I’d be okay with it all closed up. I think this will work. Thanks.

  4. Love it! Great balance and use of colour. That landscape painting and the photos are great too. It’s wonderful to see people not turning their backs on real art.

    1. Thank you. My background is in architecture, not decoration. There are various rules of thumb that I simply don’t know. I just know that I want to be comfortable and happy there. Just between us, at every turn I think oh, I bet Pink would do it better. The photos are my own. The painting is by a good friend, Sharon Romero.

      1. You give me too much credit! My first (solo) attempts are almost always failures. In a sense I’m really an editor who’s fortunate enough to work with incredibly creative designers. I’m good at seeing what doesn’t work and fixing it – but definitely not creating a whole new concept as you’ve done in this room 😉

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