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Archive | Living Room

Mother-Daughter Living and Playroom

The client for this beautiful transformation is a single mom who wanted to claim her space for herself and her daughter. It was so special to be a part of this process, and completely indulgent to focus on designing a completely feminine, luxurious space for these fine ladies.

Like most homes that house small children, let’s go ahead and own it: the dining room is the playroom. If you’ve got small kids that need a playroom, you probably aren’t spending your days entertaining in a formal dining room – so it’s the first space to be sacrificed. My client wanted a space for her daughter to play that seamlessly transitioned into the living room.

We coated the walls with a beautiful, neutral gray that served as the perfect launching point for the brilliantly feminine pink rug which inspired the color palette in the room. Swapping the ceiling fan for a chandelier, we set a very girly, fancy tone for the room without being too stuffy. The lux tone is carried through with the brass and copper metallic finishes and accessories dotting the room. We incorporated the TV into a gallery wall by hanging some feminine art, and filled the room with fake plants as my client has a black thumb (don’t we all?). A small console table was added in the entry to provide a place to drop keys, purses, and other items as you enter the house.

The magic of the playroom space is the clever storage we used to replace the plastic storage bins previously used in the space. The credenza not only stores the toys attractively, it transitions into a functional dining room piece when the playroom is no longer needed and she’s ready to start throwing those formal dinner parties again. The bench provides additional seating, and the storage baskets provide easy access to toys and add natural texture to the play area. The table and kid-sized ghost chairs are a wink and a nod to the dining room space, and provides a space for her daughter to play and draw. Messes are not an issue here; the rug is inexpensive and the pattern hides spills.

Her daughter’s pink play kitchen blends seamlessly into the space, and we used family pictures to further personalize the area. Are you in need of incorporating your play area into your living area with some flare? Is it time for you to redesign your space to tell the story of the people who live in your home? Contact Gina Sims Designs today. Let’s get started.




Fresh Living Room in Atlanta

Happy New Year! What resolutions did you make for your space this year? Have you said to yourself, “You know, I’ll get a new sofa and the room will be done.” New sofas are great. New beds are great. New furniture is fun and when you’re starting with an empty room. Foundational pieces are essential for a great design. The problem is: the life of the room doesn’t come from those large pieces. The life, the movement, the feel of the room comes from accessories. These accessories: the pillows, the framed prints and photos, your books, your art, the rugs all contribute to the dynamic story of your space.

My clients already had some great furniture in their living room – we did not need to start from scratch like we did in their office. They’re quirky, they were open to anything: the more fun, the better. They had spacious shelving filled with interesting books and perfectly stylish, comfortable seating. What they needed was a room that functioned for their lifestyle (no centrally located television, thank you very much) and fit the overall open feel of their fantastic home in Atlanta. Even in an open concept first floor, their furniture arrangement made the room feel closed off.  Here’s how we found the space:

The furniture stayed. We moved a rug in from the sunroom, layering it onto a large, natural woven rug to anchor the seating area. The rug also served as the inspiration for the colors in the room. The navy and pink served as the perfect, funky combination that fit the personality of my clients and BONUS, it came from an item they already owned.

We reimagined the space with new overhead lighting and a new fan (it gets HOT in Atlanta, ya’ll). To solve the TV issue, we purchased a small media center on wheels that allows the family to access the television when they want to, but keeps it from being the star of the space.

The reveal!

Moving the TV to the corner allowed for the living space to be reframed by the two sofas. Moving the sofa in front of the main front windows opened up the space, welcoming any person entering the front door to sit down rather than enter a room blocked by the back of a sofa. The leather ottomans provide additional seating that was lost by the removal of the side chair and adds texture and warmth to this bright room. We removed the mirror and replaced it with a bright print that gave an unexpected pop of color as the focal point of the space.

The life of the room is in the accessories. The colors of the pillows play perfectly off the hues in the rug, and we chose quirky accessories (doesn’t everyone need a hot pink spotted brass cheetah on their mantel? Methinks so.) to reflect the personal style of the clients.

Do you have a room that has great foundational pieces but it simply does not feel like YOU? Give me a call. Let’s give that room some life together.




Urban Cabin

Decatur is known for its distinct, historic neighborhoods, eclectic food, and vibrant downtown: it is not known for log cabins. My clients are the owners of this unlikely urban retreat, and wanted to design a space that provided a TV-free zone to read, relax, eat, and play games as a family.

Here is how I found the space:

While the living, dining, and kitchen spaces were wide open, the furniture placement prevented those in the kitchen and dining area from seeing those gathered in the seating area in the living room. To take full advantage of the open space, my design plan included a reading nook in the area of the room that could not easily be seen from the kitchen and to move the seating area to the middle of the living area, anchored by the huge fireplace.

The inspiration for the space originated on a House Beautiful cover, designs by a favorite of mine: Thom Filicia. My clients loved the combination of a striped throw and kilim pouf, so we started with those pieces.

The clearest expression of our inspiration can be found in the reading nook, which now occupies the space that most of the furniture used to be in the room. The space is cozy because it’s rich with texture: the leather chair, the wool throw, the patterned pouf, and the industrial shelves create a feeling that this space has been used and carefully curated for years.

Cati Teague Photography

The new seating area shares the spotlight with the grand fireplace, providing a place by the fire for hosting company and playing games.

Cati Teague Photography

Cati Teague Photography

The dining area joins these living space with the kitchen. Even though it’s a small space, the custom, expandable table leaves plenty of room for entertaining. We sourced the fabric for the shades from West Elm and gave the entire area a pop of color with the red dining chairs.

Cati Teague Photography


Fresh in the Highlands

My clients have a gorgeous tudor home in the Virginia Highlands suburb of Atlanta. It needed to be fresh and rescue dog friendly! Before I work with a client, I have them do homework to determine their style preferences. For this client, her boards were full of shades of aqua, teal and gray. That became our starting place and we had a blast unifying the space with color, his father’s photography and lots of plants for fresh air and an airy feel.

Let’s start with the entry!

When a living space does not have a formal foyer or separate entry area, it’s very easy to create a sense of that space with a console table, a great piece of art, and some seating. Mirrors and plants add light and freshness, welcoming you into the larger living room space.

In the dining room, our design plan called for the addition of a grand, industrial display and storage unit. This is not your mother’s china cabinet. We softened the room with some upholstered accent-turned-dining chairs, soft teal curtains, and the aqua-toned rug.

By adding a large sectional sofa, we separated the living area from the living room area from the entry to give the feel of two separate spaces. The round coffee table is a great contrast to the lines of the sofa; the art and throw pillows continue the color scheme into this space. The plants add the fresh element that connects this space with the sun room.

And last, but absolutely not least, is the sun room. Since we’re allowed to have favorites, obviously, this is my favorite. We started with great seating. Our objective was to use the aqua and teal accents to make the plants the real star of this comfortable room.


Beach Inspired Living in Atlanta

My clients were married on the beach. The ocean inspires their lifestyle – casual, dynamic and full of life. They love to entertain and with little children and a big, sweet dog, the design needed to be functional and open. We looked at photos of their wedding – the skyline, the bridesmaid dresses and the water itself, and found our color scheme and design inspiration. Natural elements like the jute rug, raw wood coffee table, the feather juju hat, leather chairs and flokati rug, and let the texture and colors take over.

Let’s begin with the seating areas around the fireplace:

Living Room: AFTER!

Now, I’d like to mosey on over to the reading nook:

Reading Nook: Before

Reading Nook: AFTER

Reading Nook: AFTER

And now, the entry:


Entry: AFTER

Oh, did you see the media center?


Media Center: AFTER

And finally, the dining room.

Dining Room: AFTER

In the end, we had a beach inspired lounge fit for Atlanta hangouts.


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