We all have them…those awkward spaces that struggle to find their “name”…this was one of those projects.



When we first discussed this space with these favorite clients, they called it the “entry…but-not-really-because-it-is-too-big-to-just-walk-through-however-that-is-about-all-we-do-here-because-it-isn’t-big-enough-to-really-use…so we just pass thru”.

Now the AsterHouse Design team LOVES beautiful spaces…but it goes against every fiber in our beings to just create pretty spaces if there is not a deep sense of purpose.  And so we prodded…and pulled…and poked…and thru out ideas…and listened to what this family could envision using the space for if it could be re-imagined.  And it turns out, they had always wanted a “keeping room”…they just didn’t know it…actually, they just weren’t sure what a “keeping room” meant exactly…and when we reassured them it could mean whatever their family needed it to mean, we were golden!!

For this family, a “keeping room” -the original living space in this 100 year old farmhouse- needed to be a quiet space…away from the expanded family room and kitchen just around the corner.  A spot for the adults to slip out of the hubub and have a break from the joyful noise of the teenagers!

But this room had a couple of challenges…first of all…it was, as you recall, a “pass-thru”.  In this space the front door, the stairway, a door into a guest bedroom and the large cased opening into the afore-mentioned kitchen/living room combo all converged. So, furniture layout, traffic flow and the need to keep the upright piano were all “real-life” realitiesimg_3408 of this room!




So, here was what we did…


We laid a new floor…durable hardwood in a warm medium stain with grey undertones…I know, right?? Warm and grey??  It does exist!!

We updated the entry door, added some built-ins, some new lighting and pulled the seating area to the center of the room.


We tucked additional seating as well as layers of warmth and texture (and some additional storage!) into the window area…don’t you just love those sconces?!

We stretched the clients comfort zone by using a “reverse” color scheme…very rich and historic feeling…the lighter walls are accented by a deeper tone on the trim…the opposite of what is typically done.  It took several coaching calls to assure them that was the plan!! They were such good sports to “go with it”…trusting the process and in the end were very pleased with the results!

(The piano is just to the left of the entry door, just out of camera shot, but right where it needs to be for easy access!)


We then brought in the layers of art, woven shades, pillows, and added a few new accessories to the family’s existing  pieces.  We added the interest of these unique chairs that are almost sculptural in the room…but don’t tell anyone…they are high performance fabric work horses that just look gorgeous!!

We didn’t add a single square foot to this space…but it “lives” so much larger than before!!  We had clients who came to us eager to think outside the box…excited to see what the space could be…and willing to invest in “home”!  It was truly a fabulous project!!


labels: Furniture, Residential - Before & After, Residential Portfolio