Breathing Room: Long Living Room ….

Kelly is back with another edition of Breathing Room, where she tackles furniture and space planning solutions.  This week, she tackles the dreaded “long living room”.  So many clients contact designers to ensure they avoid the “ballroom effect or border effect” where everything is pushed up against the walls and you are left with a massive space in the center of the room — perfect for impromptu dance parties but not really for living.  Check out Kelly’s tips and examples on how to battle this scenario…..

Now that we’ve discussed the basics to drawing up a floor plan, I thought it would be interesting to discuss individual space issues.  First up, long living rooms that require more than the typical sofa and chairs seating arrangement.

The key to making a long living room feel comfortable and cozy (as opposed to sparsely furnished and cold) is creating a space plan that incorporates multiple seating areas.  The seating areas can have a variety of functions and should be customized to work for the owner of the space.

For example, I’m designing the space plan for a living room that is very long and open to the entry and kitchen (so a few restrictions on where furniture can be placed).  The most important function for this room is to take advantage of the great city views.   Unfortunately, the entire room doesn’t have access to the city views so I will incorporate another seating area that is great for conversations.

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In the alternative, a long living room that has the focal point of a fireplace would have a completely different space plan.   You would want to create a seating area that focuses on the fireplace and additional seating areas could incorporate other interests – conversations, gaming, etc.

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How about a long living room without a focal point?  You can create different seating arrangements completely based on the interests of the owners.  It could be focused on creating great conversation, watching television, or playing games.

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A long living room is a great opportunity to create multiple functional spaces in one area.  It is important to plan out the space prior to purchasing furniture to ensure that your furniture proportions allow multiple seating areas.   A little pre-planning with result in a space that is inviting and well-designed.

Thank you Kelly!  I will leave you all to start rearranging your living rooms now that you are inspired.  I, on the other hand, will be cleaning my kitchen as we embark on yet another weekend styling for a photo shoot…story of my life now (and I love it!) ……

[picture credit: New York Magazine//House Beautiful//Traditional Home//Nuevo Estillo/Architectural Digest]

Check me out on PinterestTwitter and Insta.gram for more musings on design, food and just plain randomness. You can also find me at my online shop for Joy & Revelry.

Play Date with Trophy Cupcakes ….

So there once was a woman named Jennifer……..

Jennifer Shea

Jennifer had a passion for baking.  She also had a passion for rock and roll.  And a passion for pony tails.  Through a series of events, she was able to combine your passions to launch what is arguably one of the most awesome cupcake stores on the West Coast, Trophy Cupcakes.

I had the opportunity to meet Jennifer and her husband while in Seattle last month and instantly fell under her spell.  Warm, down to earth and funny, Jennifer doesn’t strike you immediately as a successful business woman but simply someone you want to get to know better.  I actually think that laid back personality is one of the core reasons why Trophy Cupcakes has become such the success it is — while never fussy, there is a level of easy sophistication that seems to exude from the Jennifer and the brand.  The editors over at Sasquatch Books also noticed because they offered Jennifer the opportunity to create her own recipe and party planning book, Trophy Cupcakes & Parties.  The book is chalked full of amazing tips and tricks for throwing the perfect fete but honestly, it’s the recipes you are after.

The book contains some of Trophy’s standard recipes but also interesting twists including this recipe for a Margarita flavored cupcake with a tequila lime buttercream – hello lover!!!  Beautifully shot and well-written, the book is not intimidating.  Recipes, party ideas and decorating tips are laid out in separate chapters and then reintroduced under party themes to make it easy to throw the perfect bash…..

trophy cupcakes margarita cupcake

However, what I am most excited about is that Jennifer is making a trip down to San Francisco on October 17 for a book signing and cupcake decorating seminar at Makeshift Society.  It’s an evening of hands on cupcake decorating tips and tricks straight from the pages of the book as well as Jennifer will be sharing her “5 Must Do’s for Great Parties.”


In addition, 10% of all proceeds will be going to Makeshift’s Kickstarter program to bring the same type of awesomeness to Brooklyn.  So let’s recap — following your dreams can lead to success, a book deal and perfecting a flawless high pony?  Sounds like a win all the way around which is why you need to either buy Trophy Cupcakes & Parties or attend DIY, Bubbly & Buttercream next week!

Now if you excuse me, I have some cupcakes I need to start baking…..

[pictures courtesy Belathée Photography & moi]

Check me out on PinterestTwitter and Insta.gram for more musings on design, food and just plain randomness. You can also find me at my online shop for Joy & Revelry.

Designer Crush Q&A with California Home + Design …..

Typically when I mention California Home + Design, it’s because I am writing a piece for them.  However, this time it’s a bit different since the editors saw fit to profile me as part of their Designer Crush Q&A Series …….

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I am completely humbled, honored and horrified to be profiled.  Three years ago, I never thought I would be in the position I am in and it still blows my mind to see my path.  I know I am lucky but also that I put in sleepless nights, more than a few crying fits and have kept my local Bev Mo in the black.  This profile touches me because it’s the first time a publication has shined the spotlight on me as a designer.  In the same vein it’s scary because it the first time a publication has shined the spotlight on my work.  But it’s such sweet validation and I will admit, I hesitated to share this on the blog because I wasn’t sure if it was too much “me” on the blog as of late.  Then I remember that the blog has my name, so I felt okay then.  But seriously, I worried it was too much but then I realized I had to share because you all have been with me when I am in my lows and I want you with me in my highs……

All I have to say is THANK YOU to the California Home + Design editors thinking highly enough of me and my work to include me as part of this series.  If you are so interested, check out the fill profile on me here……

Today I am off to cram as much work into 12 hours as a boy can before I have to turn my attention on packing because I leave for London next week!  Eek!  Have a great weekend and should you need a laugh, check out my Instagram feed for how my hair has morphed over the last three days…..

Check me out on Pinterest & Twitter for more musings on design, food and just plain randomness.  You can also find me at my online shop for Joy & Revelry.