Oak Park Living Room Transformation

December 10, 2014

Woohoo! I have my first before and after project to share, and this room was a dream to decorate. This living room was a total blank slate, and my clients were very trusting of my recommendations once we talked through the color scheme and styles. Below are some before photos (old furniture was all donated, there was not much but a rug and couch).

Sarah and Steve had moved into a gorgeous prairie style Oak Park residence (designed by E.E. Roberts) about two years ago. They have two young girls, so decorating the formal living room was not really a priority upon moving in, but with the holidays quickly approaching they were ready to get the space updated and ready for family and friends!



The room had great bones. Lots of symmetry and beautiful wood to work with. The fireplace and radiator covers were looking a tad tired, but after some debate we decide to leave the historic elements of the home untouched. Main considerations for the decor included the following:

  • family friendly space for playing games and reading
  • contemporary/modern feel that still blends with more traditional aspects of the house
  • nod to the industrial history of Chicago
  • rustic wood and steel elements
  • leaving the wall opposite the fireplace empty for a future piano!

With these creative considerations in mind here are some of the design decisions I made:

  • darker walls to ground the room and create a masculine/modern feel
  • accents of pecan colored wood and ivory velvet drapery help balance the dark wall color
  • steel/industrial accents in the lighting and furniture
  • coffee table with ample storage for game night
  • comfortable and affordable furniture for the growing family
  • we used a pop of color in the chairs, which the easiest item to re-cover if you grow bored with the fabric over time
  • black metal picture wall/gallery to showcase family photos in a contemporary way (black and white photography adds to the modern feel)

Here are a few after shots. You can see the full portfolio here.

Claire Interior Shoot-Web-JTP_3171Claire Interior Shoot-Web-JTP_3184modern living roomClaire Interior Shoot-Web-JTP_3174 modern living room

Here’s the lovely review Sarah and Steve wrote about working with Centered By Design. I think we are going to do their family room next!

“Claire was amazing to work with. She has a great sense of style and took us through the entire process of turning a living room that had sat empty for two years to a space that we now use all the time. We were initially struggling to balance the character of our century-old home and our more modern tastes. Claire helped us to first clarify our overall design aesthetic and vision for the project, before working with us on turning that vision into a reality. Her work encompassed all aspects of the project; from setting a budget to picking fabrics and colors, as well as styling the finished project. Claire is very easy to work with. She balanced keeping us focused on the project, while respecting our need for time to reflect on certain key decisions. Claire was also very respectful of our busy schedules and, just as importantly, our budget. The final result is a space that reflects our personal style and that we love to spend time in with our family and friends.” Sarah & Steve – Oak Park

XO, Claire

  1. Holly Higgins-Staudacher says:

    Hi Claire! This looks wonderful! So happy to see you enjoying your creative passions. Some day I would love to hire you to do our bedroom suite… Talk about a blank canvas! I plan to visit your website often and I’m sure I will get great inspiration!

  2. Renee says:

    I love the look of this room! I saw this on pintrest as I’m looking for inspiration and colors for our family room. I was wondering what paint color you used? Wish you lived closer to Denver:)

    • c_staszak says:

      Hi Renee! Thanks so much. The paint is BEHR and called Wet Cement. It’s a grey with some green in it. My brother actually lives in Denver, and I visit often – it’s such a fun and outdoorsy place!

  3. Alyson says:

    I love the two floor lamps as well as the picture frames. Any chance you can share where I can find them?

    • c_staszak says:

      Hi Alyson!
      Of course, the lamps I actually ordered online from Lamps Plus. I was nervous about the quality because I had not seen them in person, but they had excellent reviews and came in great shape. They are very substantial and look expensive too! I would search industrial cage lamp and they should come up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Meet Claire

Claire’s creative energy comes from her unique perspective on the world as both a trained interior designer and a passionate yoga teacher. Her affinity for kitchen design, timeless style and eclectic decorating are shared here, along with lots of interior design education and tips. Thanks for being here, please enjoy!

learn more