Tara’s Space Lift – A Farmhouse Den Makeover!

Tara's Space liftA Farmhouse den makeover!

“Home is a long, bear hug with someone

you love”


Recently Tara came to me with a design dilemma for her den.



She is in the process of re-designing her home and she decided to start with the den first.



It is a great idea to start with one room at a time to avoid overwhelm and stress.



She’s been living in the family farmhouse for the past 18 years with her husband and two kids  and  she recently decided that it was time to start making it her own since they will be living there forever.



She started by ripping up the carpet in the house and put down new floors, which is a great start!


She also recently painted the walls in the den a light blue which looks really pretty and fits with her design style and how she wants to feel.



And she is not afraid of color!


Here are some before pictures of the den:


Farmhouse den makeover_living room Interior design Ideas

tara's den_farmhouse den makeover_living room interior design ideas_e-decorating_Christine tse Interiors


tara's den_farmhouse den makeover_living room interior design ideas_e-decorating_Christine tse Interiors


tara's den_farmhouse den makeover_living room interior design ideas_e-decorating_Christine tse Interiors



So my first question to her was – what is the one thing or change in the den that you want to see immediately that would make you really happy?



“The perfect layout. I have lived in this house my entire married life (nearly 18 years!) and have never been completely happy with it. I think the layout of doorways and windows is ridiculous, however, I am design challenged, so that could be my mental block. It’s a rather small room also approx 14×16 (slightly less), and our main living area, as the house itself is pretty small. ”



My next question was – How do you want to feel in your den and what is it’s purpose? How do you normally use your den? Do you host parties, get together with friends?

“It is our main “gathering” room. We are not big TV watchers, but there is a TV in there. My kids also use it. So all family time. which with 2 growing boys and my husband and I, it’s not the most comfortable place. We do have friends over quite a bit, and it’s also not the most comfortable… we often gather in my way too small kitchen, but I can’t imagine sitting down to watch a movie with other adults in here.”



Since the furniture layout in her Den is her first priority and is the one thing that will make all the difference I am going to start with the layout first and then continue on to furniture selection, colors, etc.

Here’s Tara’s current furniture layout:

Tara's Space Lift_Furniture Layout for Den_Living Room_Christine Tse Interiors

Her current layout did not serve the purpose of a family gathering space well. There is a lot of waisted space and not enough seating area for the family of 4 to enjoy their family time.  Nor was there enough space for friends gathering where they can pull up some chairs for extra seating. 


The current floor plan cuts the space in two which  is a big no no if you have a small space! Tara was trying to create a walkway for when people walk in through the door, but for a small space like this it actually make the space look smaller.


Sometimes it’s a good idea to create a proper entryway when you have a space that is large enough and you want to make it more intimate and cozy.  But in Tara’s case it did not work because she already has a small space to work with and by sectioning it off with a sofa to create a walk way just made the space feel cramped.



The current furniture layout does not promote conversation and it looks and feels awkward.



So I rearrange the furniture placement for Tara which gives her a lot more seating space and opened up the living room so that it feels more expansive and comfortable at the same time. 


The non negotiables were the t.v. console and the secretary – these are family heirlooms that had to stay and had to be incorporated into the layout of the den. 


Tara also wanted to add a desk in the space and by opening up the space I  was able to add a desk by a window as you will see in the floor plan below. 


Tara’s proposed furniture layout:


Furniture layout A


Tara's Space lift_Den_Living Room Interior Design Ideas_Christine Tse Interiors_ e-decorating


Floor plan A –  I removed the sofa and console by that was cutting the room up and placed the sofa by the window to the left.  And notice that I did not push the  against the wall.  The sofa is off the wall which creates space that gives it an illusion of spaciousness.


I relocated the t.v. to the other side of the room by the corner in which the lounge chair once stood.


By removing the sofa and storage behind the sofa we created a space that is more spacious and inviting.



Than I added a coffee table, a side table next to the sofa which give the space more surface space to add a pretty table lamp and to set a drink on when they have guest over.


There is even enough space for a nice swivel chair.


I added a storage console underneath the window by the door, the secretary stayed in place and I’ve added a side chair next to it.   The side chair can be pulled up to the seating area whenever there is a guest.


Side chairs are one of the most flexible furniture pieces that  you can have in a room because they can be easily picked up and moved to different areas of the room for added seating.


And of course we had to add an area rug to pull the seating area together.  An area rug is the one indispensable item in a room that you can’t skip because it defines the space and adds visual interest to the space and comfort!


Think of an area rug as a box of delicious Vosges Haute Chocolate!  Imagine the beautiful purple box that holds all the exquisitely mouth watering chocolate in as the rug, and the mouth watering chocolate as your furniture pieces!


The chocolate would not have the same impact if you did not see them beautifully arranged together in the box, compared to having the chocolate dumped haphazardly in a little brown bag.



Furniture layout B


Tara's space lift_Den_Living Room Interior Design Ideas_Living Room_Furniture Layout for normal homes_Christine Tse Interiors_e-decorating


Which is very similar to A but with a sectional instead of a 3 seater sofa.


In this furniture layout – we were able to add a desk for Tara, and add more seating in the room.   The space is open enough that she can pull  extra chairs up when there are guests.


The sectional in the space makes the space look more casual and ready for some good fun family time anytime!


Tara is also in desperate need of a new sofa, and we are going add some nice window treatment, and colors to tie it in with the other colors that are around the house!


Stay tuned for Tara’s space lift – Farmhouse den makeover part 2 where I will be selecting the furniture, window treatment, and accessories to reflect Tara’s personal taste and style preferences! 



Let me know in the comment section what you think about both floor plans above.  Which one would you choose A or B?



Happy Designing!


P.S.  If you want me to answer one of you design dilemma’s like I did for Tara send me an email at Christine@Christinetse.com to unlock the flow of advice!


Happiness comes from inside — so let’s start with your home!

2 Responses to Tara’s Space Lift – A Farmhouse Den Makeover!

  1. Tara
    - January 30, 2016 Reply

    Christine!!! You are so great!! 🙂 I think you’ve obviously spent way more than the 30 free minutes on this consultation! I can’t wait to see part 2 and to get started on the transformation. In all the years that I’ve lived here, I’ve had lots of furniture and arranged it many different ways: none that ever felt truly “right” and never in this way. Thank you so much!

    • Christine
      - February 1, 2016 Reply

      Hey Tara!

      I am so happy that you like the layout! I can’t wait to see your den transformed!

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