Every room presents some sort of a challenge the designer must tackle - odd configurations, structure, budget, the unattractive piece of furniture the homeowner absolutely can not part with. It always amazes me how two different designers can come at it from opposing angles and both find perfectly workable solutions. As with anything, I've also found the closer you are to a project, the harder it is sometimes to stand back and see that there is another way.
It's with that in mind that I thought I'd feature a new series here on the blog tackling some of these tricky design dilemmas we all have trouble navigating our way around.
Today, I thought I'd kick it off a design dilemma I'm looking to conquer in my own home.
When we first toured our house - no let's even back it up further - when I first saw the MLS photos of our future home, I was both intrigued and turned off by the funky window arrangement in the main living area. In some respects, the angular windows up top struck me as a quirky nod to mid-century design (our home was built in '67) and I saw it as one of the most unique selling features. I also saw it as something I was not quite sure what I would to do with. Four years later and I'm still scratching my head a bit.
My first inclination was to keep it all bare and sort of adopt the bay window look - and for nearly the whole of the first year, we did just that. But eventually, we also saw the need for privacy and shade from the afternoon sun. Fishbowl living we found was not for us and these uncovered west facing windows were quick to heat up the house each day.
The windows themselves are old and quite frankly - ugly. That said, budget prohibits changing them out anytime soon. So, we did what any new homeowner on a budget does- we threw up some inexpensive "cut to fit" blinds from Home Depot to hold us off until we could make some decisions.
We've finally gotten around to finalizing living room design plans and lo' and behold if we aren't right back where we started while first staring at those MLS photos. I've thought about it quite a bit obviously and where we ended up is somewhere along the lines of this:
I had fought the idea of casing the windows because I thought it would take our home's design too traditional. But I think it will not only help us bridge the gap between the two windows, but it would also offer a more polished look for this high visibility room right off the front entrance. We're going for a "finished" look in this room and I've made the compromise with my minimalistic tendencies.
The blinds will unfortunately go back in for now as well. They hide the unattractive aluminum window frames better than any pull down shade could. Ideally, we end up with shutters someday when budget permits. I'm hopeful that the drapery panels we'll install will dress them up a bit more.
We've also got a paint color on the walls that seemed like a good fit in the beginning. But after living with it for a while (and decorating in vain around it), we are taking it back to white to give us the crisp, clean look we are after in the house.
So this is the direction we are heading. But in the spirit of this series, we are also open to suggestions! What solutions are we not seeing? Do you agree with our plan?