Home Decor

Rove Concepts


Adrena's Living and Dining Room -  DIY+

Here's the first of interior designer Jason Martin's DIY+ makeovers of readers' homes. Let's start with Adrena’s notes.

This is the space we need help with, our living room/dining room area. My dilemma is that the whole room feels so cold and unwelcoming. It is the first room you see when you walk into our home and the only place we have to gather as a family and entertain (we have a three year old daughter). We’ve already collected a few Danish Modern pieces (credenza and dining set), and hope to add more. We love this style and feel it works well with our home, which was built in 1954. The room is 27 feet long and 15 feet wide, (the dining room is slightly less wide). A few things to note are that there are seven windows in the room, and deciding on window treatments has been a big issue! Also some type of concealed toy/ book storage would be great. Overall we’d love a warm, welcoming room furnished in Midcentury modern style. We need it all – paint colors, rug, new seating and window treatments and accessories. One sofa I love is the ‘Petrie’ model from Crate & Barrel. I should add that I’m a photographer and we love displaying family photos! Help! I have always wanted to walk into this room and say, "WOW!"

On a personal note, this home is very special because it is the home where my husband grew up.

And here's what Jason came up with for Adrena. Let's drop in on their consultation.

Floor Plan-
I think the room is basically laid out the best way possible. There is not enough room to float the sofa but have you tried chairs in the middle of the space to delineate the living and dining rooms?

“No we haven’t – are willing to try – possibly two smallish chairs?”

Chairs-See below for single chair opt and for a pair of chairs.

Sofa – If you can only fit one chair on the opposite wall, I might suggest a sectional where your sofa is now. If you have space for two chairs, you could go with one of the two traditional sofa options.

For the sofa and chairs-if you are looking for other options look for pieces that have high legs and thin arms. It gives more of a mid-century look and keeps the upholstery from making the room too heavy.

Coffee table – There is an opt for a traditional style coffee table but if you like you might try a set of ottomans, these rattan stools small or tables/stools like the Eames style pieces. This option would allow for extra seating and mobility in the space.


New storage under TV

Windows and walls

Note on rugs-

Since this is one open space used for two functions the best way to break it up is with rugs. My suggestion is to use a rug for each space but buy the same pattern for both. It with delineate the living room from the dining room without adding too much visual noise. You want the rug to be big enough for the front 3rd of the sofa to sit on it as well as the chairs-smaller will not anchor the room enough.

For accessories

I have made four different color stories here. You can keep thinks pared down and monochromatic buy sticking to just one color group or mix and match from each.

Accessories Options

Dining Room

I like the table and chairs and think they work great for the overall feel you want. If you want to change the hanging fixture here are a few options as well as some thoughts on upholstery fabric for the seats.

Dining Room Layout

Is the table/buffet group of center because off the door way or can it be centered in the space?*

“It can be moved over just a bit, but it does block the doorway to the kitchen somewhat”

Dining Room

I would go monochromatic with the major pieces of the room (rug, sofa, chairs and wall color). When trying to make one space function in two ways (living/dining) don't think of monochromatic as matchy-matchy think of it as paring down the visual noise in such and open space. Focus on similar colors but vary the textures and patterns. In this space I think a cool grey is the best option to make the mid-century colors pop. Since Adrena needs a rug in the living area and one in the dining area my suggestion is to use two of the same design to stick with the monochromatic idea. I promise it won't look bland.


Carter Williamson at it again

Shaun Carter of Australian architectural firm Carter Williamson sent us photos of their latest project. We've posted their work a few times in the past (see here, here and here) and this project, the Annandale house, finished this past Friday and it's fab. Modern, yet playful and energetic.


Rachel Vigor

Bright, happy, snappy and modern. These rooms styled by Rachel Vigor are wow and now. If you're young or young at heart these spaces will brighten your day. Like so many great Aussie stylists Rachel is right on the money with her looks.


Flickr finds - benches


Some WINKS I had to share

  • Until June 15th Greentea Design is offering 20% off on any model or design of their Step Chests which I simply ADORE and wish I had space in my house for one. They've created an interactive video to show the versatility of this cabinet system. So go have a looksie (this one is my fav).
  • We rescued Bradley from the shelter last night, and today I took him to a neurologist.

    The doctor had only sad news for Bradley...

    We agreed he should go to sleep and not suffer this severe hydrocephalus. (as you can see, his head is weirdly shaped due to a lot of fluids in his head / brain).

    I didn't want to let him go yet, so from the vet I took Bradley to the beach, I sat with him, played with him, and I fed him many cheeseburgers and fried chicken.

    We sat there for two hours, and after that I took him to the vet's office right on the beach, and he went to sleep forever :-(

    It was such a sad day... I cried like a baby for this little guy. Even now when I am typing these words, tears are coming to my eyes...

  • I came across these photos yesterday on Flickr member Eldad Hagar's photostream and my heart melted. Once I read that description under these photos, my heart broke (and I cried, and my sister and boyfriend cried when I sent them the link). You see, Eldad rescues and fosters dogs from local shelters and has created a non-profit animal rescue organization called "Hope For Paws". To try and keep Hope For Paws up and running, they've created a book which is for sale on their website that includes photos of the animals they've fostered, and it's only $9.95. I bought 2. It's so wonderful what they do these poor sick animals that wouldn't have a chance if left at a shelter. I was so touched by the story that I had to share it, despite the fact that it has nothing to do with design. But it does have to do with a big part of who I am, and my love for animals so I had to share this story, and I hope I can get a few people over to their site and buy a book, or 2. (P.S. I just received an email from Eldad (got me tearing up again) who mentionned that Bradley's condition could have been prevented but he was dumped at the shelter by a "backyard breeder" who didn't care enough. Bradley was blind from the pressure to his brain, and likely had the worst headache in the world. Good news though, Eldad captured 2 more stray dogs last night and they are getting the care they need).

  • While I'm on the subject of animals, I had to mention the Friends of Abandoned Pets Annual Dog Walk happening here in Ottawa on June 6. I foster my 6th cat through this fantastic organization and my boyfriend fosters his 2 cats through them as well. Last year I was their photographer (see here) and they've asked me to take photos again this year. It was a blast, and there were SO MANY gorgeous dogs (and even a cat in a stroller!). And it raised alot of money and hopefully this year will be even more successful. So if you live in the Ottawa area and you have a dog (or borrow one!) get some pledges and come on out for a great morning stroll. (Their website has all the details).