Well, not exactly. This historic home on Monte Vista in the Phoenix Willo Historic Neighborhood used to be part business, part home, before the new owner and I took over to restore it.
In fact, the home’s living room was an office waiting room. So during the redesign of the home, we had to make that space more welcoming to attract buyers who wanted the house to live in, not conduct business in.
From softening lines and encouraging more natural light with a neutral color palette, here are four techniques we used to transform the old waiting room office space into a warm and inviting living room.
1. Said Goodbye to Glass Doors
The old glass doors in the waiting room area separated the office space from the rest of the house. To create continuity and flow, we removed the glass doors and added archways. These archways were in the same original curved design that was found in other parts of the home. The design unified the space while respecting the historic home design.
Removing the glass doors also brought a whole lot more natural light into the room and throughout the space. Today, the living room looks cohesive with the rest of the house.
2. Created Continuity with Museum Baseboards
Museum baseboards, sometimes called flush recessed baseboards, create a minimalist and elegant effect. They’re a flooring style that’s flush with the wall, which prevents dirt and debris from accumulating on the floor.
For these baseboards, we used the stone tile from the rest of the house. Again, this technique created continuity into the living room from the rest of the home. Using these museum baseboards also blended a sleek modern style with the historic home design.
3. Kept Original Windows
As I learned during my first historic home renovation, it’s so important to keep what gives a historic home its charm. In this case, the original windows provided character and were just as functional after the restoration.
Keeping them also saved money during the home restoration while adding value because of the historic touch. Some updated window treatments elevated the windows and let more light in.
We also painted the windows dark to add contrast. This technique frames out the view better and enhances the natural light.
4. Appealed to Buyers with Staging
Finally, staging the space to feel like a living room really helped sell the space to buyers. To make the living room more of a place to gather and get rid of the waiting room vibe, we added a plush couch with lots of throw pillows and draped a blanket over the end chair. We deliberately used large furniture to fill the room, so that buyers would understand how much space the room offered.
I also love incorporating nature into my designs. We added a calming plant and natural wood centerpiece to make the living room more relaxing and serene – not at all like a stressful office waiting room.
To encourage congregation and create a more inviting space, we aligned all the furniture to face each other and the fireplace. Lastly, to give purpose to the original track lighting, we created a gallery art wall.
See More Transformations
I really love the challenge of taking an old space and transforming it into something totally new and more functional for today’s homebuyers.
You can see more of my Phoenix home renovation projects here. Click through the images to see how they changed. Shop the same products I used for each project to create your own transformation.