Welcome! Portfolio: The Art of Compromise
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A F T E R:

The Challenge:
To find a middle ground between the husband's wish for a modern living room and the wife's more traditional style.
The Vision:
It all depends on how you define "modern" . . .

The Process:
Our previous remake of this room -- aimed at making it more inviting for everyday living -- had been so successful that the well-used sofa was showing its age. The husband had invested so much of his time here reading, napping, sipping single malt, or listening to music that he now wanted to put his stamp on the design. Instead of the current traditional look he envisioned its opposite: a slick ultra-modern interior.

From a budget standpoint, it was decided that they would not be starting totally from ground zero. They agreed to keep the relatively new wall colour if they could, the recently purchased drapery, their timeless lacquered buffet/bar, and a set of Chinese wall panels. And so began the give and take that evolved into the finished design.

As the largest pieces in the living room, we started with the hunt for suitable sofas. A visit to a furniture showroom revealed that his definition of a modern sofa meant simple, linear, and leather. She was fine with leather, as long as it was white. They were easily able to settle on a low profile model with square arms for him, and stitched details and bolsters for her. For chairs, she deferred to his selection of frame, as long as she got to pick the fabric, which he was okay with as long as it wasn't patterned. The rich teal of the velvet she chose was pulled from the iridescent blues and greens of shells collected on the family's travels. Teal and black became the unifying accents throughout the room.

Not so easily selected were the coffee table and the area rug. The couple had such diametrically opposite views of what an appropriate coffee table would be that a family member cast the deciding vote between his favorite and hers. The textured tone-on-tone rug was a compromise between a totally plain piece and a patterned one.

At this point, in order to avoid more difficult purchasing decisions, we turned to the couple's other belongings to search for pieces to fill the holes in the decor. A large painting was brought up from the basement to hang over the loveseat; its tones of green, teal, and black just happened to fit perfectly with our colour scheme. So to did the painting hanging above the fireplace, which we opted to keep along with the accessories on the mantle. A pair of carved Thai dancers was brought in from the master bedroom and placed in the corner between the sofas until we could find a suitable end table. Repainting their pedestals in black made them fit so perfectly that they still remain, and the hunt for an end table has been rendered unnecessary.

With the design theme having evolved into "contemporary with Asian accents", she was able to bring back some Asian pieces she loved: the rattan chair, elephant side table, and woven storage chest. And a recent trip to China resulted in a few more small Asian tchotchkes for display.

The Result:
Neither partner is 100% happy with all of the choices we made, but both love the end result.

We invite you to continue exploring our site for design inspiration, then contact us to find out how we can provide 'just the thing' for you!

 Also in this Portfolio:

Living & Dining Rooms:
VIEW | Entertaining Adults
VIEW | The Art of Compromise
VIEW | Pulling It Together
VIEW | Finishing Touches
VIEW | Living & Dining
VIEW | Artful Arrangement
Townhouses:
VIEW | Classic Modernism
VIEW | Executive Townhouse:
-------- Public Spaces | Private Spaces
Family Rooms/Great Rooms:
VIEW | To the Next Level
VIEW | Calm, Cool, and Collected
VIEW | A Collaborative Effort
VIEW | Social Family Room
Condos & Small Spaces:
VIEW | Home Sweet Home
VIEW | Going with the Flow
VIEW | Making it Work
VIEW | Room with a View
VIEW | Eclectic Downsizing
VIEW | Downtown Pied-a-Terre
VIEW | Bungalow Reinvented
VIEW | Cozy Condo
VIEW | Traded Spaces
VIEW | Taking Charge
VIEW | Elegant Condo

Bedrooms:
VIEW | Master Suite Makeover
VIEW | Student's Hideaway
Kitchens:
VIEW | Designed to Sell
VIEW | Condo Kitchen
VIEW | Maximum Function
VIEW | Collector's Kitchen

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