Before and After: A Family’s Serene Bohemian Space
Designer Kate Strickland Driver, founder of firm West Haddon Hall, was given a tall order when asked to transform the living room of a 1929 Spanish-style home in Los Angeles. The existing space was a combination of mismatched furniture, outdated lighting, and purely utilitarian pieces, all arranged in a floor plan that didn’t make the most of the charming, character-filled space. Driver’s clients, one of them a fashion lawyer for a global brand, needed a chic yet family-friendly home for their two children under five, so Driver got to work transforming their living room into a bright, cheery place ideal for relaxing and entertaining. With bold pops of colour, intriguing light fixtures, and a thoughtful mix of textures and styles, the resulting design is comfortable and stylish, with an underlying relaxed bohemian vibe.
Keep scrolling to see the entire dramatic transformation.
Driver set off with a goal of creating a comfortable space that honored the home’s architecture, while injecting a sense of casual California appeal. “Our clients wanted a home that mixes midcentury furnishings with bright bohemian patterns,” the designer tells us. “All while remaining true to the Spanish architecture of their home.”
Utilising a technique some designers swear by, Driver opted to start from the bottom up when it came to selecting pieces for the room. “We grounded the room with a bright pink over-dyed rug from Cisco Home,” the designer says. “Then took cues from the Spanish architecture to select furnishings and finishes.”
“We pulled colour and pattern inspiration from a beloved bright Suzani throw that our client had purchased while travelling,” Driver tells us of the neutral palette peppered with bold accents. “That led us to a combination of rich crimsons, bright pinks, and muted grey-blues”
Driver essentially started with a blank slate, save for a framed Picasso drawing which the clients had received as a wedding gift, a few pillows, and the Suzani throw that inspired the room’s design.
A thoughtful combination of a wide variety of textures makes the large space feel cozier and more intimate. A pair of leather lounge chairs with airy frames contrast with the considerable heft of the sofa and coffee table.
Replacing the existing gothic-inspired sconces with a more streamlined, classic alternative brings some modern appeal to the traditional space.
A pair of bookcases houses the client’s extensive collection, while a large coffee table and cosy sectional sofa make entertaining a breeze.
When it comes to combining patterns and colours in a defined space, Driver recommends mixing prints in a variety of scales to create depth and interest. “There should be a couple of patterns that are intended to fade into the background a bit, while more dominant patterns step forward,” the designer says. “When laying out samples, squinting your eyes helps you see the overall depth equilibrium you’re creating.”