Jan 24, 2018


Hi Kendra, 

Thank you so much for helping me with the mock-up floor plan so I could visualize your space.  I love how the view carries from the front door to the back through those amazing windows.  In fact, I think that we need to capitalize on that by making it a true focal point and drawing the eye straight through.

1.  In the living room I would use a large sectional or two large sofas set in an 'L' to mimic a sectional.  Scale is important in this room, so the sectional/sofas need to be large enough to fill that space.  It looks as if you inherited a mirror?  (I would center it over the sofa along that wall it is on currently.)

so the configuration would be like this with the windows on the very left

this shows doing two sofas in the 'L' shape

this 'L' shape creates an open area and plenty of room to add more seating.

2. Add a sofa table at the back of the sofa/sectional that backs to the windows.  This will allow us to add lamps and accessories to the table and draw the eye to the windows beyond. 
A sofa table allows us to stage a bit of a focal point, to draw the eye through to those amazing windows in your home.  It also keeps the sofa off the wall/windows.

depending on the size of the sectional/sofas
you may be able to walk behind the sofa and table

Length is more important than depth.  It need only be 14-16 inches deep - but should cover most of the length of the sofa.
There are a lot of styles to choose from - from rustic to modern - depending on your personal style.

Pottery Barn uses sofa tables really well - check out their catalog or pop into one of the stores to get an idea.

3. The cocktail/coffee table needs to have a good size as well, and I would choose a large square-ish table.  A tray and a few accessories will make it functional as well as pretty.

a large square ottoman would also work.

4.  To make this the conversation area you would like, I would add a couple of occasional chairs to create a grouping.

not in front of the fireplace, though

5.  For practical purposes,  accent tables can be added at both ends of the 'L' of sofas and between the two occasional chairs.
shy away from 'matching sets'


6.  A large area rug will further define this conversation area and pull it all together.

7. Curtain panels on the lower windows will draw your attention to the windows and the view. They are also important as they soften hard edges and add color and texture.
I'm not going to suggest you take them all the way up, just to the top of the bottom tier of windows.
you can use a neutral color so that they soften but don't stand out too much

 and single panels - nothing too bulky

8. Lamps, decorative pillows and accessories will be added to bring in color.

the best thing about making the big stuff neutral, is that you can change your color scheme fairly easily with new accessories and accents down the road

this is where we add more personality, and it does come last
like putting the jewelry on for a party

9. You mentioned you would like to have your television 'hidden' if possible.  Is there a family room in this home, or another designated area for television viewing?  If this is the primary viewing room, the best place for a flat screen tv would be over the mantle.    The bookcase is a little small to hold a flat screen, and the only other option would be a media cabinet next to the fireplace - which may work depending on the size of the television. 

The hidden part is possible even over the mantle, with a little creative thinking.  There are several ways to disguise a tv, with a little bit of help from a handyman who can hide the cords behind the walls, it can look something like these examples:

sliding framed art or photography

recessed cubby with paneled doors
cabinet with folding mirrored doors

or shutters
Doors covered with art installation

I think this is my favorite as it adds to the beauty of the room, too
and looks good even when open.

Barn door look

with sliding barn door hardware

mirrored cabinet (POTTERY BARN)

recessed with sliding panels

10. The bookcase to the right of the fireplace should have a variety of books and accessories - again, one of the last things to work on...


11.  In the dining area, I would add a large area rug

12.  Also in the dining area, I would change the curtains and also hang them higher, above the window molding and just under the crown molding

They should be the same color and fabric as the curtains on the windows across the room, since this is an open concept floor plan and both are visible

13.  Another softening trick in this area would be to use an upholstered chair as the captain chairs - or the chairs at the ends of the table.
it will further soften the dining area, along with a rug and curtains, and make it more inviting and less hard surfaced

14.  Another chandelier - could really make a difference here.  Something a little larger and more commanding or substantial.


15.  In the Entry - you asked for a bench and I have a lot of styles to choose from.

you will need to let me know which type or style you prefer


16.  The fireplace is red and you can certainly keep it that way.  For an updated look, I would paint it 

or cover the brick in a stone veneer.  The hearth seems overly bulky or high.  I would lower it by 4 - 5 inches and make any repairs.   For a bigger change and the one I would do if it were my house - reduce the hearth portion and cover the brick, except for the top of the hearth, in a stack or ledge stone veneer sorta like this...  

I would use a slab stone for the hearth top.  This is totally up to you - you may like the brick and want to keep it.  This feels more like your house, to me.

17.  Final touches come last, and I will address them once I see the style and colors you choose for the furniture.  I'm a big believer in neutral for the $$ items and bringing in the colors you want with the accessories, etc.

Now that I have finally got this to you, and way overdid the options - sorry - you need to give me feedback about everything.  I have given you a ton of choices because I need to find your personal style - you do have one, you know - and just let me know what you like, what you don't like, what you want to do and what you don't, and we will finish up the plan from there.  Feedback!  Talk to me :)



Hi Kendra,

So happy for this opportunity to help you with your lovely home.
You elected to start with the front room/living room.  Here is what you told me:

"We recently bought a new house and renovated a cabin on the lake and she said you might be willing to give me some advice on how to decorate and what furniture to buy.  I have pictures of the house beautifully decorated by the last owner, but I don't even know were to start in buying furniture etc.  Would you be willing to give me some help?  We live up in Moscow Idaho and there are few options for furniture/decorating help up here." 

"I like simple, I would love to have a nice room were we can sit and talk.  Would like to have a TV hidden somewhere, but not totally necessary. Want it to look put together.  I like the colors that we have in the house now so I don't want to change the walls.  We need somewhere to put our shoes when we come in the door.  I would like some sort of bench so people could put their shoes back on when they leave.  We take our shoes off when we come in the house. I like dark woods but I am also moving towards grays and whites too.  We need more seating than we currently have, one couch and one chair doesn't do it.  I am open to ideas because I don't really have great taste:(  I hope that helps.  Kendra"


This is a wonderful room.  I get it that you are feeling a little overwhelmed - that's natural in a new space - but I have to say this has great potential and I'm kind of excited to help you bring it to life!

 I think one of the biggest challenges you are facing in this space is the change of scale.  The vaulted ceilings and spacious feeling of the room makes your current furniture seem a little small in scale, right?

The previous owner's real estate photos helped me with this space because of the panoramic lens view.  The dining room and entry are both parts of this room because of the open floor plan, and should be taken into consideration in the planning of this space.

( previous owner photos)

How do you feel about the red brick facade of this fireplace?  If this were my home, I would want to change that, because I wouldn't want it to dictate 'red' to me all the time.
I think the former owners did a good job on the wall colors (except for the kitchen - red again) and agree that you can leave them as is (except for maybe the kitchen -- later) and the floors and woodwork and detail trim are all lovely.  I do think they missed the mark a little on this view though.
This is your entrance, and the far windowed wall is your focal point.  Its the first think you see when entering, and it looks a little - bare? boring? unimpressive?  So I think we need to address that in the placement and choice of furnishings.

So I need a little more information from you, so that we get the right scale to the furnishings and correct placement.  Can you please draw me a little floor plan.  I'm more interested in measurements and window and door placements than your drawing skills, so don't panic.
Draw me a little plan of the living room and measure the wall lengths, mark the door placements and window placements, the height of the windows to the first horizontal trim, the fireplace dimensions, etc.   Kind of like this:
Show where the windows are, and doorways, etc.
Then take a picture with your phone and send it to me.

In the meantime, I am gathering furniture ideas and playing with placement.
Talk to you soon!