Reader Design: Charmaine’s Couch

I have decided to name these sections Reader Designs rather than Reader Redesigns as not everything I do for these will be a redesign!

This time round we have my friend, Charmaine and a very orange couch. Charmaine moved into a fantastic, huge new house a while ago and this couch was living all on its lonesome in the upstairs rumpus room. The couch was her husband’s, from back in his bachelor days.  They didn’t want to get a new couch as this one was absolutely fine.  Just orange!  Which had Charm a bit stuck as to what to put with it.  Here is the couch:

Charmaine's Couch

As you can see it has very clean lines and is totally flexible for whatever style you wanted to go with for it.  The brief from Charmaine was that this room was on a tight budget – they had a lot of other furniture to purchase for the rest of the house and this room was just used by her husband to play video games, who didn’t really care what cushions are there. Which begs the question of why bother?!  But Charmaine has to walk past this area all the time to go to their bedroom and also to go out on the upper deck, that you can see off to the right of the photo above.  So people would see the room and most importantly, SHE has to see it!

A tight budget means being really careful about what you select and trying to get the most bang for your buck.  Admittedly, the couch was providing a lot of “bang” already as it’s such a strong colour but it needed to look like the colour of the couch was on purpose! We narrowed it down to a requirement for two or three cushions, maybe a rug, maybe a lamp and a couple of small decoration items.

When you have a piece of furniture that is a very strong, vibrant colour the safest option is to look to neutrals for the other items around it – to let that piece be the focal point of the room.  So the first board uses a good shot of black and white from a rug and cushions.  It also includes a few small items that bring in the other colours in the palette, which was based on the pillow second from left on the design board.

Charmaine's Couch 1

The rug, photo frame, ceramic owl and glass canister were all from Urban Outfitters (who ship free to Australia with a purchase of $50 or more) and the pillows were from Etsy.

This is the design board that Charmaine ultimately chose and the whole update only cost about $200!  I did present her with a few other options, but these are lost to mists of time… and my hotmail inbox!  I provided these boards about 18 months ago and it is really interesting to see how my designs have changed and evolved.  I like to think that practice is making me much better at them!  Originally, poor Charmaine had to use a bit more imagination as I just “cut and paste” product pics into an email for her.  These days I have at least got an app that does design boards 🙂  I do remember that I provided her with 4 options, with progressively more colour in them.

As a good exercise for myself (and to make this post a bit more interesting!) I did a few other design boards for the room.  I always try to give a few options to people so they can see the possibilities and it helps me to get a better idea of their style. That way, I can go with the boards they like and adjust according to which items they really like in them.  I never expect the first boards to have a ‘perfect fit’ – I expect that they will provide an idea of the style or look the person likes best and perhaps a few items they particularly like.

Here are the other boards for this room:

Charmaine's Couch 2

Charmaine's Couch 4

Charmaine's Couch 3

Which option would you have chosen?

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