Before & After
Transformation: Tempered and Tonal Great Room
Lifestyle updates, such as this family home on Chicago’s North Shore, are earning Susan Brunstrum and her team at Sweet Peas Design rave reviews from her clients. For empty nesters staying put in their homes, Susan relies on the “RE principle.” She RE-purposes, RE-finishes and RE-uses. In this great room, Susan blended elements of the client’s existing, traditional décor – the Habersham cocktail table, black media unit and the sofa table – with transitional colors and furnishings to create a quieter, more moderated look. Susan and her team chose a color palette of taupe, gray and ivory and they selected clean-lined furnishings juxtaposed with the clients’ heavier pieces. Specialty painting (RE-finishing) the fireplace wall paneling in a soft, mushroom gray, made a dramatic impact. It blends beautifully with the existing wall color and river stone surround, while still drawing attention to the handsome millwork. The new gray sectional has more seating than the previous sofa and loveseat and is slightly elevated off the floor on ivory legs. The pair of swivel chairs is a Sweet Peas Design hallmark – they can turn to face the fireplace or the sofa. An art enthusiast, Susan encourages her clients to choose original artwork for their homes, such as the muted painting above the fireplace by Donna Hughes.
The graceful glass column lamps flanking the clients’ weathered and treasured sofa table is a marriage of vintage and chic, warm and cool. The same contrast is echoed in the new table accessories and the ornate fireplace screen beyond which we RE-used. In place of the clients’ traditional rug (which was RE-purposed in the dining room), a chunky gray, tone-on-tone striped rug anchors the space.
This cushioned bench, where Rocky contemplates a morning snooze, is one of a pair flanking the media unit, which was RE-used. The geometric fabric of the bolster pillows brings a touch of pattern to the room. This same fabric was used in the adjacent breakfast room on the window treatment panels.
Says, Susan, “We kept the existing paint color (Benjamin Moore HC-39) yet changed the room temperature from warm to cool. Not easy to accomplish! And, the home still has traces of traditional elegance, but it is more RE-laxed.”
Great Room Selections
Area Rug Stark
Floor lamps Arteriors
Two benches Pearson
Bench fabric Coraggio
Two swivel chairs Jessica Charles via Baker
Chair fabric Lee Jofa via Kravet
Nesting tables Oly
Ottoman Custom, via Nelson Upholstery Studio
Fabric Opuzen via Anthony Inc.
Sectional sofa Pearson
Sectional fabric Opuzen
Specialty painting fireplace Fairy Dust Creations
Artwork, fireplace Donna Hughes via Bradley showroom