First Time Home Buyers Seek Transitional Living Room Design

kate and lou design board living room

Kate & Lou purchased their first home in December 2011.  Now that things are beginning to settle, they are ready to tackle the design of their living room.  They’ve already made a few key improvements, like painting the walls in a shade of mocha, adding cream linen window treatments, and purchasing a light blue oriental rug.  They would like to keep their leather sofa and are willing to paint some of their existing furniture to stay within budget.

Lou prefers a darker color pallet and Kate would like to brighten up the room with lighter, brighter colors.  They both have somewhat of a traditional to transitional style, but it’s all about the compromise now!


Kate and Lou would like to keep the brown leather sofa and rug, they are willing to refinish the coffee table.




The owners would like to put a console table below the TV.

Here is the proposed design board.  The proposed design uses traditional, nuetral tones, while subtlety introducing brighter shades of red and yellow for a look that’s revived and refreshed.


  1. The Ballard Designs Exmoor Console Table, this shallow console will blend perfectly beneath the thin, wall mount television.  The cream color will pop against the mocha colored wall.
  2. Victoria Tufted Velvet Chair in Coffee, by World Market. Tufted chairs are super transitional and can work with almost any decor.  This muted tone will work perfectly against the chocolate brown sofa.
  3. This table is an example of a refinishing technique that can be done using the owners current coffee table.  The paint swatch above the table is a color that can be achieved by blending Annie Sloan Chalk Paints, one part Coco, three parts Old White.  Annie Sloan Chalk Paints work great on furniture that’s already been finished, since the chalk paint will bond to just about any surface.  Annie Sloan makes some amazing colors and wax finishes for a finished look that mirrors that of a Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware piece.
  4. Hand Blown Glass Vase, by Wisteria.  Since the base colors and furniture in this room are heavier, its best to introduce accessories that are lighter in scale, glass is always a perfect way to do that.
  5. Pottery Barn, Gold Chunky Stripped Pillows, these pillows are classic and traditional with just a hint of gold tone to lighten up the darkness in the room
  6. Diamond Links Pillow, by West Elm, this fun design introduces an uplifting shade of red to the room
  7. Bee Hive Vase, by West Elm, accessories like unique vases are a fun way to spice up a room, and the yellow/gold accent tone ties in with the rest of the room, add some Forsythia Branches from Pier 1, and you have yourself a fun and simple custom arrangement
  8. The Chateau Clock from Ballard Designs, a classic metal transparent clock allows the depth of the mocha walls to come through
  9. Simple Red Candles from World Market for a splash of the red accent color
  10. Ballard Designs Winslow Large Wood Mirror, a contrasting piece that enlarges the room and ties in the cream accents throughout the room.

*Update: Kate submitted a great vase that she created for her living room after reading the Painted Vases DIY.  She picked the perfect shade of red paint and wrapped a thistle rope around the top of the vase, here it is!

 jordan picklee signiture1

One response to “First Time Home Buyers Seek Transitional Living Room Design

  1. Love the colors and pieces in this design board. Did they end up purchasing any of the pieces? I like how they are all pretty reasonable 🙂

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