May 21, 2012

the power of an hour: formal living room

a few months ago, i was contacted by a client in arizona who needed some help with her formal living room. 

i suggested she opt for a phone consultation + pinterest board

here is what her living room looked like 
she wanted some simple updates for the space, wanted to keep her original furnishings, and needed to keep the paint color the same, since the living room is open to a large portion of the house. 
she had recently purchased some pillows from pottery barn with a robins egg blue and red and wanted to keep the color scheme established by the pillows.

here a a few of the things we discussed during our phone call:
 **add a neutral rug to tone down the formality of the armoire and other furniture.
**add new lamps
**move the round table to the other side of the sofa to create balance and bring the side chair more in front of the console table
**change the upholstery on the side chairs to a simple, classic stripe
**paint the small console table blue to break up all of the brown
**add items to the side of the large painting, and some shelves to the side of the armoire for
balance and 
**add a simple fabric to the back of the armoire for some contrast
**change the small side table near the armoire to a metal one with classic lines and top with a live plant
** add some additional pillows in blue 

i pinned my ideas and suggestions to the pinterest board that i created for her, and we talked through the ideas during our phone call.


as you can see, the changes are rather minor, but make a big impact.
my favorite change (and hers!) are the chairs she has reupholstered in a wide taupe and ivory stripe.
the textured rug and the accents of glass (lamps), metal (side table), and color (console table and pillows) really help to update the room.

do you have a room that needs some simple updates? have questions about a space and
are not sure what to do? need advice on color? fabrics? floor plan layout?
contact me and schedule a time for us to chat! i am currently accepting clients for full room designs
for august and september, but i can fit a phone consultation or a pinterest board + phone consultation ANY time!
feel free to email me at:


  1. What a change! Adding the mirrors to the side of the painting was a great way to make that wall more of a feature, but the new upholstery and the rug really bring a casual, elegant look to the room. She must be thrilled with the result.

  2. wow! I had to keep scrolling up and down to be sure it was the same room. HUGE difference!

  3. This room looks so happy!! Wow! I love that such small changes made big difference. Everything seems brighter...including the back of the armoire. Great job!!

  4. Love the changes! The room looks so fresh. The rug really helped to lighten up the whole room!

  5. HOLY COW!! I think this has to be one of your most dramatic room changes ever! While the "before" room is formal and really very nice (I love her furniture choices) it didn't have a "come on in and let's have some coffee" feeling. maintains the formal look, yet feels so friendly. I, too, had to keep scrolling up and down to check out each change. Little changes CAN make a big impact.

    tinab158 at hotmail dot com

  6. What a great change! Amazing what a rug and some light striped fabric can do - it totally brightened up the space. Love the blue table :)

  7. I love the title of this post! It is so true. I have lots of clients that are stunned what they can achieve with an hour of time! Amazing results with your project. M.

  8. I LOVE how your touches completely updated a formal space and made all those pieces work. It's really amazing what rethinking your furniture and fabrics can do.

  9. WHat a difference your advice has made, its really softened up a dark & heavy space, I imagine your cliet loves it!!!

  10. I love that you help people transform rooms with pieces they already have. For anyone thinking of signing up with Autumn for a consultation I have to say that my power hour with her literally saved me thousands on some design choices for our new home. I can't thank her enough! She helped me build a framework for the direction of the house and I can't wait to do a Pinterest board and more power hours as we continue to work on the home. They are worth every penny! :)

    1. thank you kayla!! i am officially blushing.
      it was a pleasure to work with you!

  11. Wow, love the new look!