Wellesley Living Room: An Elevated Entertaining Space

It’s such a delight to work with repeat clients! I helped this young family with the two most adorable little girls make their first house a home with styling and during the process, got a sense for their lifestyle and design aesthetic. When they purchased their forever home just a few blocks away, I was able to hit the ground running, already having a solid understanding of their style preferences. Over the past 2 years, I’ve touched almost every room in their home in some capacity, but their “more formal living room” was the first room I worked on as a completely blank slate. And to say I am over the moon with the results is an understatement.


So where to start? The room adjacent to this space is their family room which is open to the kitchen and primary eating area. Since moving, this room served as a play room where the kids toys could “hide” away from the open concept family space, but still be within reach as you can see in the picture below. Now that the girls are old enough to play without constant oversight, the finished basement was just waiting for them and their toys. That left this room an empty slate. With an already designated “family space” and a “kids space” now in the basement, the client wanted a space that, while still being family friendly, could be where the adults relax.


The challenge: With open living from their kitchen to more casual and relaxed family/TV room, the client wanted this more closed off space to be a place where she and her husband could relax with a glass of wine, entertain a group of friends, and host holidays. The mood: They wanted the room to feel special without being overly precious. They were drawn to more modern elements, but didn’t want a complete departure from some of the more traditional elements of their 1930s home. 

The end result is a blend of traditional and modern with a touch of glam.


The launching point for the room was the elegant emerald green velvet sofa. It reminds me of a stunner you’d find in a dimly lit speakeasy where one can enjoy quiet conversation and an old fashioned. This color choice was a risk for the client and took some convincing. She felt more comfortable with the navy version as blue is the dominant palette of her home. The compromise? To take a chance and be bold and introduce this new color, and weave blue in by updating the existing bookshelves with a moody blue paint, antique brass library lighting, and new hardware. 


The more modern aspects of the room include the acrylic and gold coffee table, the textured geometric neutral rug, and the 5-arm Jonathan Adler wall sconces that frame the fireplace and really bring in a touch of old Hollywood glam (and make me all heart eyes each time I see them). But the showstopper is the large custom-commissioned abstract painting above the sofa. Local artist Julianne Strom Brill from @mossandblue worked her magic to create a piece that tied together the palette of the room and gave it the final modern touch it needed to elevate the space. 


The client didn’t want a complete departure from some of the more traditional aspects of their home so we balanced the space with more traditional wood side tables, spindle chairs with a subtle texture, and cross stools with an organic pattern on either side of the fireplace for additional seating.

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And what made the room really sing? The gorgeous pink ombre drapes!! Custom drapes are an investment, but one well worth making as they added the perfect modern sophisticated touch to the space.  We had discussed modifying something off the shelf to save on budget, however I’m SO glad the client and I were on the same page with the draperies because I couldn’t image this room with anything less.


With the rest of the room styled to perfection, the room is just waiting for the next cocktail party!  We’ll bring the cheese platter! And please, leave your flats at the door. This room is worthy of a pair of heels.