Hard Working Formal Spaces~Form and Function Unite

One of the most common decorating dilemmas I'm presented with is how to create a hard working, multi-functional space that looks great.  Using this recent online design project as an example, I'm going show how we gave a client's formal dining room/living room combination a split personality.      

Our goal in this two-room design plan was to create a space that was not only a beautiful, well appointed formal living room and dining room, but also a place for the homeowner, Karen, to run her home-based fashion merchandise business.   

Here is what we came up with:

{The Dining Room}

Karen often holds trunk shows in her formal dining room and living room (located in the front of her home, flanking the foyer). We gave her a design that functions well for everyday family life and also provides a stylish setting for fashion parties.   Instead of hiding Karen's business merchandise away we embraced it and found ways to showcase it. 
Like art.  

Karen has fabulous antique dining furniture including a glass front cabinet.  The image above shows how the cabinet could be used to display fashion accessories.  Purses, jewelry, and hats could be used in place of shoes which may not be the most appetising display for a dining room.  

In the adjacent living room, Karen's antique furniture is getting a new look with fresh upholstery and pretty pillows. 

{The Living Room}

Iron garment racks and a beautiful floor mirror from Potterybarn are functional for her business as well as interesting and unique accent pieces for everyday living.

By allowing Karen's fashion merchandise to function as art the space is beautiful, unique and most importantly, tells "her story". 

Here are the two spaces next to each other:

More to come this week, including suggestions for another common design dilemma and another hint about my upcoming announcement.

For information on my affordable online design service, please click here

© Copyright 2013 The Yellow Cape Cod

Sofa image found here


  1. Hi, can you please tell me what color the green is that you used in the Hard Working Formal Spaces~Form and Function Unite blog?
    Thank you

  2. What a great idea. Very beautiful colors and pieces!!! That old cupboard with the shoes is quite striking!

  3. This color combination is stunning! I am seeing striped curtains everywhere, and I'm LOVING them! Thanks so much for sharing this project with us!

    ~Abby =)

  4. I love the colors in these rooms and the design as well as everything else you do. Thank you for your constant source of inspiration!!


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