the single dad

This Readymade Decorating™ project was completed in record time: Jim needed to furnish his new four-bedroom rental from scratch before school started, and wanted to create a warm home for his three children. Therefore we worked almost entirely with stocked pieces, and used building staff to paint and change light fixtures. We couldn’t make structural changes, so one of the big goals was to distract from the visually busy parquet flooring.

Also see the before and after video.

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Above: To make furniture placement work in the large, oddly shaped living room, I wanted to float the television in the center of the alcove, without blocking the window when not in use. Below: To accomplish this, we created a custom walnut cabinet, with a hydraulic lift to raise and lower the TV. An angled niche maximizes the acoustic effect of the sound bar.

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Certain changes were done throughout the space: To banish the curse of “landlord” linen white, walls were changed to shades of grey, with accent walls in bold colors. White doors were repainted in the wall colors. Brass doorknobs were swapped for silver levers. The hardware store light fixtures were changed to simple track lights. Large inexpensive rugs cover as much of the parquet as possible. The furniture chosen is family friendly and flexible for future moves.


Left and below: Oversized picture frames were hung in place while Jim assembled prints to fill them later on. A rustic etagere serves a dual purpose: to display family photos and screen the view of the master bathroom from the entrance hall. The red womb chair became a favorite reading and nap spot. jim-8

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Left and below: The smallest bedroom was chosen as the master so that Jim’s daughters could share the largest room. The queen-sized bed fit best in front of the window. An up-down roman shade in a handsome fabric filters the light beautifully and offers privacy even when halfway down.  The persimmon shades and mercury glass lamps play off the espresso wood and blue-grey wall color. jim-11

jim-13Left and below: We were able to repurpose Jim’s old sofa for the dining room, which functions as a family room and homework center. A tomato red end wall is set off with a dark expansion table and striped rug. The metal-framed leather chairs are truly indestructible. Up-down pleated shades mitigate a not-so-great view and hide the child-proof window guards.


To view the children’s rooms, click here.