From Cinderella to Chanel Interior Design Transformation

Posted on September 26, 2011 in Blog

From Cinderella to Chanel Interior Design Transformation

I love the story behind this interior design transformation – it really is a Cinderella to Chanel story. At one time this room had been the main living room but after stealing 6 feet from one end of the room to expand the kitchen it became an awkward wallflower in need of a decorating facelift.

First things first. We needed to develop a design concept that would bring this room up to snuff with the rest of the home and it had to make sense for the homeowners who had just created the most amazing great room space across the entire rear of their home. The outside flowed into the inside and the entire space was very inviting. So, where did that leave our little wallflower with the fireplace tucked in one end and less than desireable proportions?


Note the wall to the left of the fireplace – 6 feet of this room was taken to expand the kitchen renovation on the other side.

Before as the main living room – a dated formal space not often occupied by family members. 

The dated decor and colour scheme didn’t help.

Becoming Chanel is more than paint and decor. It requires a total concept plan and in my experience this is where the design process really shines. We had a detailed conversation about lifestyle, wants/needs, cherished personal items and from a spark a concept developed. I call it my Cinderella to Chanel transformation …a fabulous little decorating gem.

The family piano needed a home. And, wouldn’t it be great to have an intimate space for morning coffee and smaller group conversations. A room to escape from the big game day noise. A special place to display a cherished Lladro collection. And a few design elements should stay too ….the area rug which had a very specific era and style statement and the curio cabinet that housed the Lladro.

Balancing the clients wish list, and the stuff list with my envisioned design concept is like baking a souffle – everything must be done exactly or it will all collapse. Of course that is why I feel their is magic in creativity, in design, in life. Out of our conversations we create beaufitul spaces, homes that our clients love and this is a great example of taking a cast off and making it a little jewel of a room.

I clearly felt this room should bely it’s new tiny proportions, feel light, airy and intimately inviting. I wanted Grace Kelly and Coco Chanel to be expressed but in a modern version so I chose a more feminine twist and used a modern twist on a classic suit as my design muse.

Starting with the area rug as representative of a cream silk blouse with a hint of asian detail – very au currant yet classic when re-purposed with crisp small scale furnishings. The black laquered piano represented the patent leather Kelly Bag. By locating it on the side wall we were able to maintain a scaled seating plan that allowed for easy conversations. The smaller scale sofa sits large and comfy as do the chairs despite their lack of puffy seating – it’s all in designing quality well made custom furnishings. The sofa and chairs emulate the famously clean lined Chanel suit fabrics in a teal blue shade right off the runway while the shimmery plaid custom draperies wrap themselves around like a fine silk scarf. Our mirror and peacock toss cushions are the jewelry in this scenario while the fabulous ‘X’ inspired tables would make a modern day Jimmy Choo fan joyful. The simple clean accessories and artwork add a sophisticated nuance. The lighting is new but looks old.



By creating the juxtoposition of the various elements we have been able to add an unexpected vibe – interesting for day and evening. Glowing with morning light for a private escape yet intriguing enough as an intimate club by candlelight.

“Balancing the clients wish list, and the stuff list with my envisioned design concept is like baking a souffle – everything must be done exactly or it will all collapse”.

All in all this little gem has transformed from leftovers to a yummy dessert, from Cinderella to Chanel.


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