Inspired by the 1940’s

Getting a design concept across to a client can be tricky sometimes. So lately I’ve been trying to sketch more. It is not award-winning stuff, but when I have a vision in my head for transforming a client’s space, pictures are way better than a verbal description with lots of pointing and gesturing. (And no, I cannot talk while sitting on my hands)

This sketch is for a client who would like a 1940’s inspired living room and foyer and I am showing it to her today. She and her husband love swing dancing, vintage lamps and clothing and all things 1940’s. AND, the husband is an ARTIST. Can you imagine showing a professional artist this sketch? Eeekkk!

Though I know the basic look and characteristics of Edwardian style, a refresher was in order. Taking inspiration from any bygone era can be tricky. It is important to capture the essence of the period, but then it needs to be interpreted in a contemporary way.

Here is how the foyer looks now. (I’m not sharing the ‘before’ pic of the living room because my client hated the pictures when she saw them in her file and I don’t want her hating me!)

♦ SIDE NOTE:  If you want to see your home the way others do, take a picture. It’s a whole new perspective! ♦

The family has two adorable young children and a dog, so the rooms are hard working. The foyer needs to store shoes and seasonal coats and provide a place for little ones to sit down as they put on shoes.  You can see the green front door in the picture above. When you step in, the living room is immediately on your right and even though there is a cased opening to separate the two spaces, it needs something more.

So back to the sketch….The plan addresses these needs with a built-in storage bench under the window and a shallow closet with coat hooks near the front door.  To give it a hefty dose of 1940’s style,  I want to install tall faux paneling. Above the paneling is not what you think; it is fabric! The same fabric used for the window treatments to be exact. There are companies who back fabric with paper, and voila! Fabric as wallpaper!

Moving to the adjoining living room, here is the rest of the plan:

The yummy floral is for the window treatments and 2 fab stools, or poufs as they are called by The Charles Stewart Company.  The golden chenille is going on the Sherrill sofa, and the super soft velvet on the amazing tufted Charles Stewart chairs. The puckered silk is for the soft roman shades layered under all 3 windows for privacy. The sweet stylized stripe will go on pillows.

The living room window treatments:

Floral print fabric with the solid red linen on the button detail at the top and the banding of the leading edge and bottom hem.

In the foyer, this valance will also be in the floral and the solid red linen lining will show in the folds.

Puckered ivory silk for the roman shades.

The Sherrill sofa, done in golden chenille.

Two Charles Stewart Chairs in green velvet.

Two poufs, covered in floral with solid red contrasting welts and buttons and also peeking out from the pleats.

Stay tuned for more updates as this project progresses. The first pieces of furniture are due in just a couple of weeks and then we can add occasional tables, lighting, accessories……

♦ UPDATE:  My client LOVED the foyer proposal! Looks like this will be added to the job list! Sketching pays off!


If you want to see one of my brilliant (riiiight) sketches for your home, just shout!