Elegant, Transitional Living Room

Designer Susan Jamieson mixes natural handmade furnishings with modern pieces for a sophisticated living area in a 1900s row house.
Transitional Living Room With Comfy Chairs

Transitional Living Room With Comfy Chairs

This sitting room, with living room behind it, features two upholstered arm chairs. It's the perfect place for a good book or enjoying morning coffee.

By: Chelsey Bowen

For this Richmond project, designer Susan Jamieson of Bridget Beari Designs, Inc., uses a neutral palette and combination of organic and contemporary furniture to create two separate seating areas in the row house's parlor.

We caught up with Susan to find out about the goals and challenges she faced during the remodel.

Sophisticated Row House Parlor

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Before: Outdated Living

The homeowners wanted to modernize the living room of their 1900s row house, while highlighting the room's beautiful architectural details. However, one architectural element, the columns that were added in the '80s, needed to go.

After: Soft Gray Living Room

A minimalist color scheme brings a light and airy quality to the living room, while a grouping of four cozy chairs creates an intimate seating area for conversations. Sheer gray draperies are hung right below the molding to heighten the room and add softness to the windows.

Open and Sophisticated

Susan opens up the parlor by removing the columns between the two spaces. Each seating area features a different color palette, but the neutral nature of both allows the spaces to flow seamlessly together.

Before: Bland Fireplace

The barren parlor was in need of an update. The homeowners wanted to accentuate the architectural details of the room.

After: Stunning Centerpiece

To make the fireplace a focal point of the room, Susan uses a faux bois finish on the mantel, which created the look of natural wood she wanted while saving money.

Simple and Elegant

A combination of warm browns and soft creams allows the unique lines of the furnishings to stand out. With the neutral palette, Susan is able to mix organic and modern pieces to create this eclectic yet natural living room.

Bookcase Beauties

Custom-made bookcases, designed by Susan's firm, are copies of antique 1800s French bookcases.

Describe the homeowners' wish list.

They wanted to open up the space, as well as simplify and modernize it.

What were the homeowners' design problems?

How to modernize this early-1900s row house by accentuating the positives: high ceilings with tall draperies and a subtle color scheme to highlight moldings.

What was your biggest obstacle in this space?

We needed to remove the '80s columns to open up the space, but the floors had to be patched. It needed to look seamless so it took time and effort to patch and stain it correctly.

How does the end result match up with your original vision?

It went accordingly to plan until we got to the art. The client was very particular. I wanted more color, but the black-and-white pieces ended up working well in the space.

What lessons did you learn?

The client loved mixing organic elements like the log coffee table with the 1950s end tables and custom bookcases. I loved the way the mixing turned out.

What are the "hidden gems"?

We did a faux finish on the mantel to look like wood, which created the look we wanted while saving money. The custom-made bookcases, designed by my firm, are copies of antique 1800s French bookcases.

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Susan Jamieson

Contact Me
Bridget Beari Designs
www.bridgetbearidesigns.com 3210 Hawthorne Avenue Richmond, VA 23222 804.321.4747|