Before & After: Living Rooms

A longtime client recently asked me to redesign her home to reflect the more low-key lifestyle of her growing family. We’ve had a great time going over ideas for the living room, and it’s had me thinking about the evolution of this most public, and yet personal, space. Today’s living room could be an enclave for formal entertaining or a relaxed lounge – in either case, I get tremendous pleasure bringing the client’s vision to life.

Since we all enjoy seeing a design project as it looked before and after, I thought I’d share the unique challenge and inspiration behind some of my living room transformations:

For this London townhouse, we wanted to maintain the formality of the architecture while creating a comfortable family space. Working with a serene, monochromatic palette – crisp, creamy walls, and clean, tailored window treatments – I created a more polished showcase for the vintage molding and ornate chandelier. The sisal carpet and cool juxtaposition of modern art and antique furnishings brought texture and sophistication to this once-dated decor.

BEFORE

AFTER

The living room in this New York City townhouse was a dark, interior space – my client loved the traditional “clubby” feel but needed a lighter, fresher interpretation. I brought in pieces with bright, reflective surfaces – grasscloth walls, decorative mirrors, mercury glass and a lacquered linen finish on the coffee table – and furnished it with clean, classic pieces like the Jean Michel-style sofa and modern club chairs.

BEFORE

AFTER

This rustic Washington, CT farmhouse needed to reflect the urbane, cosmopolitan sensibility of its owners (me and my husband) who had recently purchased the home as a weekend retreat from Manhattan. I painted the walls a crisp white and replaced the railings and spindles with more modern, streamlined woodwork. The furnishings are a dynamic mix of modern and traditional, all unified by a neutral palette. I also underscored the loft of the 10′ ceilings by raising the curtain height and installing tailored raw silk draperies.

BEFORE

AFTER

You can see more recent before-and-after looks by S. B. Long Interiors, including this master bedroom suite and the Connecticut Governor’s residence living room featured in this blog. Enjoy!

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About

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by design and the subtle impact of our surroundings. Some of my earliest influences still resonate – I think of the dark woods and textured lodens of my father’s shooting club, the smell of fresh paint on a new canvas, and the bold symmetry of the Philip Johnson Glass house just down the street. For me, it was a natural path to become an Interior Designer. I love what I do. I’ve created this Journal to share my thoughts, finds and design inspirations. I hope you enjoy it!

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