AFTER: Kingston living room

Moving into a new space often equates to a fresh start. It’s an opportunity to give your life a reasonable face-lift while reflecting who you are in the moment. At the same time, you want to maintain comfort and your life style.

What I love most about my visit last week in Kingston, Ontario, was seeing this precise thing happen. Irene (my mother-in-law)has moved from her three storied home of 20+ years into a two bedroom apartment. She asked me for some design advise on her space. You can read about her profile and living needs here.

The main things I wanted to do was maintain her style sense while making the most of the space. As well, Irene was not keen on purchasing too many new decor items. We assessed the pieces she kept and decided if they suited her new space.

Here are the before/after results:


-furniture and decor items did not allow for a natural flow
-tall plant obscured view of living room as one entered
-chairs were not in ideal position for TV viewing


  • moving TV to other side of room reduces afternoon sun glare
  • separating large plants spreads the nature love
  • armchairs are positioned for view of TV and kitchen


-saturation of materials, particularly wood
-room lacks focal point
-side table is hidden


  • patterned rug represents one of Irene’s passions-flora; warm color tones work well with other furniture
  • wooden tables are no longer the focus; glass and iron table + iron wall sculpture add variation in materials
  • symmetry offers a clean look, yet, difference in tables and lamps make it interesting


-expanse of windows not utilized
-natural light could be useful
-current construction is unsightly; change in furniture layout can ease this


  • wall of windows allows for natural light and warmth enjoyed in armchairs
  • lamps contribute to cozy ambiance
  • varied sources of lighting (floor lamps + table lamps) add interest


-perfect place for bookcase; does not “fit” in other areas
-obstruction of view from kitchen to guests on sofa
-can watch TV from this spot but not engage with whole room


  • location of shelf could not be altered, so furniture layout was modified enhance conversation
  • new layout allows for flow of movement
  • all decor pieces compliment each other in placement, color, and design

These small modifications show how a few key pieces and attention to space make all the difference in the feel of a room without having to invest too much time and money.

It is great knowing Irene’s new space feels comfortable and like home.

{What do you think? What would you have added or altered?}

4 thoughts on “AFTER: Kingston living room

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