Design Dilemmas | Weeks 3 & 4

Weeks 3 & 4

For those of you who follow us on Instagram, you'll know we've been answering your Design Dilemmas every Friday. Heather and I have loved delving into these and it's so good to hear that you've been enjoying them too! Here are the third and fourth instalments - please share your thoughts in the comments, or send us your own query here.

W3 | Dilemma #1:

"We are about to move into a rental home with high pile, wall to wall carpeting and I don't know what to do with it. I wish ripping it out was an option...!"
This is a tricky one, but it can look great. We would opt to get as big a rug as would reasonably fit the room & layer it on top of the carpet. I used this rug when I lived in the US - it's a great neutral & pretty reasonable considering the size.
sources left to right: @kelleynan | Overstock
You could do the same with a patterned, antique rug but I would try to get similar undertones to the carpet, so it complements instead of clashes. Heritage 0039 or Polyanna would work well with yours!
rug: Frances Loom | image source: Pinterest, original source unknown
Having said that, I have occasionally had success in getting landlords to change carpet. If you plan to stay a while or can offer them something in the bargain then it's definitely worth asking!
source: @housesevendesign

Dilemma #2: 

"I desperately want to give our kitchen a facelift while we save up to replace it entirely. We're happy to get our hands dirty but want to spend as little as possible! Any tips?"

It's great that the cabinets are neutral and that there's lots of light! Here are a few small things that I think would make a big difference:

Rip out the tiles & repair the plaster. It just takes a little courage, patience and sandpaper! With the tile gone, paint the walls the same pale grey you have going, and paint the box hiding the pipework to match. I would treat the hob backsplash with antique mirror tiles to bounce some light around!

sources left to right: @humphreymunson | Etsy

If you have the door to the upper cabinet then put it back on. If not, I'd paint the shelf white and use baskets for all the open shelving and countertop bits & bobs, to keep things looking tidy. Add a bit of art with some black in it, et voila!

sources left to right: John Lewis | @betterhomesandgardens

Dilemma #3: 

 "I would like to soften and cozy up this room as it's just too masculine for me. I can't change the big sofa as my husband loves it, but I could reupholster the small one and add cushions?"

There's so much to like in here - the light, fireplace & stacked wood all feels a bit Scandi! If you can, I would reupholster the sofa in a lighter color. But if you want to avoid that, just soften it with some patterned pillows & a couple of chunky cream throw blankets.

sources left to right: @captainsrest | Restoration Hardware

 We love the beni rug but it's too small for the space. Something big enough for the chairs and sofa legs to sit on would bring the room together and add coziness. You could layer a jute underneath the beni or pair a vintage one like Heritage 0036 with a neutral wool rug.

Image source: @ashleymuirbruhn | rug: Frances Loom

Since there's a midcentury theme going here, I would add a large "arc" floor lamp to the back corner near the woodpile.

sources left to right: Studio Mcgee | Made

& finally, add a few more black accents with art or potentially a larger coffee table, for contrast. I'm personally obsessed with black pottery at the moment. To top it off, just bring in some of your incredible greenery from outside!

sources left to right: McGee & Co | Heather Rosenman Ceramics

W4 | Dilemma #1:

"We need help with our family room. I have had a few rugs in my cart - but just can't figure out which direction to go in. I am thinking we might need something with more of a blue-ish tone. Do you agree?"

via: @kstors

Lovely home! I love the iron staircase that's visible from all the rooms. I would start by swapping the navy and cream sofas around. Putting the larger one along the longest side of the rug means you'll see more of the navy sofa.

We think Heritage 0061 will look amazing in here! I recommend pulling your cream rug back about 18" (so it's underneath the sofa) & layering this stunning Persian rug on top.

Throw a few burgundy pillows like 0040 or 0051 onto the navy sofa to complement the chairs and add a bit of texture.

Image sources left to right: Frances Loom | Imgur

Consider adding a couple of black features by way of a leather ottoman or jute poufs.

sources left to right: Athena Calderone | Wayfair

& finally, you could add some tall floor art next to the fireplace. This would draw the eye upwards and accentuate the room's height.

Image sources left to right: Etsy | Architectural Digest

Dilemma #2

"My bedroom is honestly my favorite room in the house, but it looks pretty bland on rainy morning! I like the minimalism but want to replace the clunky chair and incorporate art & other elements that pull it together."

via: @marisa4styk

It's a lovely, bright space! I would suggest getting a dark green or blue headboard, for presence. This Lulu & Georgia one would look great! I'd also add these linen curtains in the longest size possible to soften the walls up.

Image sources left to right: Stoffer Home | Lulu and Georgia

Swap the chair for an ottoman at the foot of the bed - I love the Rhys bench from Anthropologie.

Image sources left to right: Anthropologie | Bedstead by Soho Home, photographed by  Lucy Williams

It's worth investing in a new side table and lamp, with nice low lighting. You could go for something cool and vintage like this one...

Image sources left to right: Domino | Design Mkt

...or something a little more conventional like this one. Finish it off with a great piece of art to the right of the bed & jobs a good'un!

Image sources left to right: Circa Lighting | Frances Loom

Dilemma #3

"We recently built our dream home in Alaska and have been slowly adding in wonderful pieces that we love, but are also kid & pet friendly. The one place we haven't touched is our large living room wall. The TV is definitely my husband's but I've been dying to pull the trigger on something that captures this space... the trouble is it's so big it's scary! Any help is welcomed."

via: @erinliesel22

Wow, what a breathtaking room! Here's what I'm thinking... I wouldn't generally recommend putting artwork over a TV, unless it's a Samsung Art Mode one, in which case I'd incorporate it into a mural, like I've done in my own bedroom. The frame below 'love' is the screen.

Image source: Heather's bedroom, photographed by Alicia Waite

But, as you already have a great TV, I would actually focus on the space below and beside it; putting a bulkier piece of furniture beneath the screen will balance out the wall, and hide all of the cables and internet boxes. On top of the console, you can then add photos, vases, branches etc, which will add interest & make it more intimate.

Image sources left to right: Athena CalderoneCrate & Barrel

As you've probably gathered, we love white linen curtains, but for good reason! Removing the wooden panel and adding these custom length, floor to ceiling curtains would add texture and create a lovely romantic feel. Believe it or not, they're actually pretty kid-friendly too - linen dries faster than cotton & it's really strong. So that's our final suggestion for this space!

via: Pinterest, original source unknown


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