Monday, February 8, 2010

A Visit from Wanda Crossley & A Transformed Layout!

Quick Summary (otherwise this might be a hard post to follow!): (1) Living Room expands into space that was once the dining room (2) Dining Room relocates to former office/tv den (3) Family Room will become a real family room, with a tv and a small breakfast table for a second place to dine. Credit goes to Wanda Crossley and Kevin Chadwick.

Do you remember the recent feature in House Beautiful where the designer came and transformed the owner's living room while she was gone? Well my experience was even better because I got to stay and observe Wanda Crossley and Kevin Chadwick of Matthews House and Garden work their magic! Originally Wanda offered to help me with my dining room dilemma but after standing in this 10' w X 13' l space, and looking around the rest of the house, she wisely said, "How do feel about this room not being a dining room but rather an extension of your living room?" Answer - That sounds great and then the fun began.

As you can see from the Before floor plan, the former dining room was narrow and essentially a passageway to the rest of the house. Wanda pointed out that using the L shaped space as two rooms chopped the space visually and ending up creating two smaller, cramped spaces versus one larger space that flowed visually. So now the L shaped space is one large living area, with ample space to walk through freely.

That led to the next question: Where will we dine? The original thought was to place a long, narrow farmhouse table to the right side of the family room. This plan was based on the fact that I really didn't want to have a tv in the family room. I only had a few hours with Wanda and Kevin before we headed off to a dinner party but after living in my newly revised space for a few days I began to rethink my self-imposed tv family room restriction, expecially since my kids are older. So now I'm thinking that the family room will become a "real family room" with a tv, new comfortable furniture and a small round table for the four of us to dine at. The office/tv den will become a formal dining room/library combination which I think will take greater advantage of the room's large window and french doors. My writing desk will remain so I will still be able to use it as a work space.
Here's the view from the entry way. The armless yellow sofa that was in the family room is now in the extended living room area, next to the floor lamp that was near the front door. Without any prompting from me, I've found the kids gravitating to it to sit and listen to music or read a book. Artwork is needed for that wall to ease the transition and some color changes may be in the future too.
Here's the view from the kitchen entry side of the dining room looking towards the living room. Notice the round table in the corner - that was my old dining table. I absolutely love it in this corner, piled high with design books! The two Knoll ottomans were moved from the family room into the living room and in the distance you can see the black Wisteria demi-lune table is to off to the side of the front door.
The gray bureau that used to be against the small entry way wall now serves as a focal point when you first walk in. The lamp and mirror were moved in from the family room. This looks so much better in person than this photo shows.

Here's the view from the hallway that leads to the bedrooms. Interestingly enough, that lamp came with a shade that is too small, so it's on my list to replace.
Here's Kevin after we hauled the still-being-built shelves from the family room into the old dining room. (p.s. the glare from the snow really made the yellow appear bolder than it is)
Now the gray shelves face the sofa, anchored by two chairs that can be pulled over for additional seating. The bamboo bar table was pulled up from the downstairs rec room. I really like the simple placement of the artwork on either side of the door to the family room. Somehow Kevin spotted these in a jumble of pieces I had. Recognize the bench off in the distance - it's sitting there temporarily until I purchase new furniture for that space.
A base still needs to be built to give additional height to the piece and the MDF panels are slated to become the doors to the lower half.
I cannot thank Wanda and Kevin enough for envisioning this house in an entirely different way - they are both immensely talented. I'm not sure my photos capture how much better this arrangement looks and feels to me! There are some plans too for adding paneling and molding but I'm still amazed that everything so far was accomplished with what existed in my house that afternoon. My work for the week has been cancelled due to the snow so now I'm excited to start working on my dining room/library and begin an inspiration folder for my family room.

Wanda can be reached at Matthews House and Garden, 9160 John Mosby Highway, Upperville, VA 540.592.7147. Both she and Kevin have some exciting design projects coming up in the next few months. Again - a huge thanks to Wanda and Kevin for breathing new life into my house and for making me feel so included in the process!


Cramped entry with crooked, half-finished gallery wall in the distance. I'll post about the revised version of this entry wall once I reupholster the piano bench I found in my basement. Now the kids finally have a place to sit and put on/take off boots, etc.
Before - this picture doesn't give away how out of balance those two white chairs felt.
Before - dining room


Red Door Home said...

A great job using what you already had. Some times it just takes another perspective to change things around for the better. What a wonderful tarnsformation.

JeanetteS said...

Your home flows ever-so-nicely. And it looks like you are going to have a great wall cabinet when it is completed.

This post makes me want to get in my car now and head to Upperville!

Kathy said...

I really like the use of the former dining room as an extended "L" shaped living room--you're right, it definitely feels less choppy and flows better. I love re-purposing and rearranging existing pieces. Looks great--thanks for sharing!

Leah Moss said...

wow!!! What an inspiring redo Michele!
The layout looks so crisp and comfortable. And how lucky to have the very talented Wanda and Kevin envision it. I'm so taken with their creativity and incredible sense of style.

I can't wait to see how the rest of the project unfolds!


wow! I'm exhausted just seeing all the work you did--love the new living room flow and the furniture layout looks great-congratulations! best, barbara

pve design said...

Can I say - that I thought about a different layout - but not knowing if you had another room for the dining room.
Looking forward to seeing the evolution of your home.

Acanthus and Acorn said...

You must be thrilled! I too echo what PVE was thinking, but couldn't get a sense of your floor plan. I have flipped rooms for clients before. Cheers to you being so willing. Often it takes some time for a homeowner to get past what the room was intended for. And you lucky gal....I met Wanda once briefly when she was still in Leesburg, I shopped her store regularly and am ashamed to admit I have not made it to Upperville. Lots of talent and just beautiful, inspiring inventory. Plus, I can wait to check out Kevin's artwork!

Boxwood Terrace said...

What a treat that must have been to have such talented professionals lend you a hand! It's a great reminder that a fresh set of eyes can really help with a new approach. Your former dining area looks like such a cozy sitting/reading room.

Ragland Hill Social by Gwen Driscoll said...

It looks so good! I'm so fired up for you. What a great solution. Love to flip flop rooms if it works and I would say here it does. Hope you are well. I'm going to do your post this week. Can't wait.


ArchitectDesign™ said...

Great solution! Now you just need to have a new house warming party! ha!

Debra Phillips said...

isn't it fun to have such talented people in your life? their fresh eyes with your beautiful pieces made for a stunning combination. now you can stay home and play......enjoy your snow days!

EAC said...

How fun! Love, love, LOVE the little grey dresser with brass handles.

Dweller-Carly said...

Wow! Love all the changes, especially the yellow walls.

Scott Fazzini said...

Everything looks FANTASTIC!! What a brilliant idea! You've got a great house to begin with, but those changes has made it appear even more welcoming.

MzMannerz said...

I like everything about this plan!

DesignTies said...

I love it when people think outside the box and rearrange not only furniture, but rooms!! Whoever designed and built your house doesn't live in it, you do -- so if what they decided should be the dining room doesn't work for you, then why not move the dining room to the den?? :-)

I bet it feels like you're living in a whole new house now :-)


Thomas said...

Exciting changes.

Lauren said...

oh i love it Michele!!! What talent and you must be crazy over it!! It looks so great.

la vie de sooz said...

As part of your DC Designers series, check out DC designer Sara

Jeanne C. Holbrook said...

I do love what they did. the furniture arrangement is an interesting mix also.
If you ever want to invest money in changing walls it would be very easy to open the walls on either side of the fireplace ... then you would have a great open modern floorplan. it would be great for entertaining too. matching the floors could be tricky. Can the fireplace be two sided?

I am trying to figure out the entry wall?


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