Thursday, March 6, 2014

A Classic + Cozy Sitting Room | Design Consultation

Every so often, I get email requests from readers seeking decorating help.  While very flattered, I typically decline the work, mostly because I feel a unqualified, given my lack of design training.  However, on a few occasions, when the timing or scope of work has felt right, I've lent a hand.  While I do not have any current plans to start my own business, I do enjoy the process of envisioning a room and providing a fresh perspective on a space.

I recently pulled together ideas for a reader's sitting room and I had the best time doing it, so I thought I would share "my vision" with all of you. Ha. :)  I'm not including all the sources out of respect to the reader, but I will share my favorite decorating essentials that you can also find in every room in my home.

The inspiration board above is for a sitting room/library.  A small, cozy space that is used mostly by the two parents in this family.  It is currently a blank slate, except for a couple armchairs and a cute bamboo chair and desk.  The family plans to add one solid wall of built ins, like the image I chose above, with closed storage on the bottom.  I love built-ins and think they add so much charm to any room.  My suggestions was to break up a long bank of built-ins with sconces mounted in between the middle and end units.  Like on this..

I also loved the idea of painting the shelving a gorgeous green.  Like Farrow and Ball Olive, or Ben Moore Providence Olive.

^^ front door/shutters in FB Olive ^^

^^ love the green on these bookshelves, wall color is too dark though ^^

^ a green/gray would also be gorgeous ^

^ Ben Moore, Providence Olive ^^

I suggested adding a collection of pewter (or white ironstone) to the bookcases in one or two spots but otherwise keeping them pretty streamlined with books.  I think shelves can start to look a bit cluttered very quickly with too many small scaled knick-knacks.

As for walls and trim, I'm recommended Ben Moore, Acadia White...


I kept the fabric recommendations pretty timeless with a floral for the drapes, and a mix of a stripe, a small print and a slightly modern medallion print for accent pillows.  I gave her some additional options beyond what is shown above too.  Throw in some fabulous lighting, a little blue and white pottery, a collection of vintage bird prints, some large baskets for texture, and it all starts to feel cozy without being cluttered, classic yet still fresh.

^ groupings of vintage bird prints + basket + creamy white walls ^^

I think the room will also need one terrific antique piece, maybe a chest of drawers, to round it out, but that can be acquired over time.  If the reader is kind enough to share after pictures, I will post them in the future.  For now, it is just fun to day dream what it will be like one day.  And for the record, I want the room for myself!  
^ antique dresser ^


  1. Tessa
    I am so impressed! What a beautiful room, & a great design board. Lucky reader! Too bad we don't live closer, I'd love to partner with you!

  2. Professional or not, you are pretty darn talented and have a wonderful eye for interior design, Tessa. The design board is warm, inviting and timeless that can evolve with a family over time. Hope we see the updates from your reader at some point!

  3. Hello,
    Beautiful and inspirational design much fun! We are moving and I'm sad to leave our cozy home but at the same time can't wait to make our new home just as cozy! Love all of your posts!
    Thank you for the inspiration!

  4. Hello,
    Thank you for this post....we are going to be moving and leaving our cozy home. Makes me sad but at the same time it will be fun to decorate and make our new home just as cozy. Thank you for your inspiration! I look forward to all of your posts. One of the room's to decorate is my husband's study. So, the timing of this post is perfect and thank you for the inspiration. It has one whole wall of bookshelves. I was thinking of adding seagrass wall paper for the background of the bookshelves but adding color to the bookshelves could be fun too. Lots to think about. Take care and have a good weekend!

  5. I think you have an amazing eye and a talent, 'training' or not. I love your plan and I hope they are able to really run with it.

  6. Tessa
    I love this post. We are a young family of four and just bought a new home. We actually live in Columbus, which isn't to far from you I believe. I love your style and ability to put things together so well. I have been referencing all your post and pinterest pages for inspiration for our house. I wish you the best with whatever you decide to do with your talent. If you ever do decide to start your own business I would love to work with you on our home. Best wishes

  7. Your style is impeccable. I definitely don't think you should feel unqualified. Some people require trainings, others like yourself are lucky to be naturals.

  8. Everything is so lovely, Tessa. You have a natural talent! I loved the board you posted on IG of your ideas for your friend's cottage and I am using a lot from that as inspiration in my family room. I would love to see a blog post on that (hint... hint...) Thank you for sharing your creativity!

  9. You're classic in every way. And no need for official training. The best training comes from doing what you're doing. xoxo

  10. What a beautiful plan! You truly are a natural at designing!

  11. Oh this is lovely Tessa! I love it all, you have such good taste. I just got Instagram and have been following all my favorite blogs on there...I hope you accept my request, my username is KRoot12...your recipes are always my favorite to make!

  12. Oh this is just lovely Tessa! You have great taste. I just got instagram and was hoping to follow you, my Username is KRoot12. I'm always inspired by what you've got cooking in your kitchen!

  13. Tessa - I have been following your instagram but now I have an error with the widget - not sure if it is on my end or if others have reported something similar.

  14. Tessa - beautiful room design - so warm and comforting. Just what a home should be! I also haven't been able to see your instagram - widget trouble as Julie mentioned above.

  15. Tessa - beautiful room design - warm and comforting. Just what home should be! I am also having trouble with instagram/widget as Julie mentioned above.

  16. Hi Tessa! I love these ideas...I've pinned them for future use when we upgrade our dining room into a library/dining room so I can use the room more than a few times a year. :) Just a small question...not exactly related to this post, but...I am a Cincinnati girl (Madeira!) and have not been able to find any local fabric stores that thrill me. I usually head to Calico Corners and Banasch's but didn't know if you'd ever heard of anywhere else? Or do you mostly look online? I love the fabric in this post! :) Thank you!

  17. LOVE every single thing on your collage! You have such a great eye at putting pretty things together and making them feel so classic, cozy and timeless. Just beautiful. Love the recent posts about your sweet sons too...the movie clip and the treasure hunt. You're such a fun mom! xoxo, M