what I do

what I do

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Disguising the Behemoths

 The project began with a couple of chairs. Large recliner chairs. "My husband is tall," she said when she contacted me, "and is no longer comfortable watching tv on a sofa." She called them behemoths (I had to laugh at that) and was hoping we could design the family room in a way to disguise them or the fact that "one of us (me, she said) is not old."  The idea of the recliners was causing her a lot of angst. 

It was the beginning of July 2020 and the pandemic had been running our lives for the last three months. I had been mostly staying at home and working on a few small jobs that could be done without leaving the house.  But now our family was under complete quarantine as Covid had hit us. 

This was un-chartered territory and so when I got the email asking if I could help with their family room remodel I was not sure if we could pull it off but I said I would try. I mean, I had been working on long-distance projects for 20 years but this just felt different. 

We started with the floor plan and discussed their general needs, dislikes and likes. A few phone calls. Lots of emails. They wanted to remove a window and build a fireplace. Storage was important and the room needed to seat family and friends for tv watching and get-togethers. It needed to be comfortable. 

The first time I saw the recliners I expected them to be horrible. As in the dad's recliner on Frasier horrible. Or like the one a client had once that had foot massagers built in. And so when I saw them I was relieved. They are about as nice as you can find for a comfortable recliner. I was also happy that they were black leather. I could work with these.

The room had to look amazing because you literally walk into the chairs when you first enter the room. 

The window was removed on the new fireplace wall and we flanked the fireplace stone with two matching cabinets with open shelving. 

On the right side we built a large custom cabinet to provide optimum closed storage. I wanted the cabinet to look like something they found and placed there. We built it all the way to the ceiling. 

I wanted to mix up the cabinet hardware ... a little modern with a little old world. 

Because the stores were all still closed everything needed to be purchased online. I specified the accessories and sent the client a detailed plan of what to purchase and a mock up of where it would go in the room. 



I saw the completed project last week went I went over to finish styling everything. I didn't need to do much... this client put everything right were it was supposed to go. 

This project was a perfect collaboration between client and designer and a talented cabinet maker. I love that the entire project began with a cry for help over two "behemoth" recliner chairs and now those chairs, front and center of this beautiful room provide the perfect comfortable seating for tv watching. This is a great example of how important it is to bring in comfort and function and that good design is not just about pretty spaces.