A Lived-In Living Room Update

Learn how designer Tony Stavish gave this Chicago living room a collected-over-time look, making it the perfect blend of old and new.
Elegant Living Room with Bar Area in Deep Warm Tones

Elegant Living Room with Bar Area in Deep Warm Tones

This elegant living room is the perfect place to meet guests or unwind after a stressful day. A cozy fireplace and bar area plus heavily padded furnishings make for a very welcoming space indeed.

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From: Tony Stavish

Photo by: Dave Burk © Hedrich Blessing

Dave Burk, Hedrich Blessing

After over a year of waiting for all the right accents, designer Tony Stavish was able to give his clients the classic living room with modern details that they all worked so hard to achieve.

Describe the homeowner's wish list.

The family wanted a comfortable living room that functioned for large entertaining as well as intimate family gatherings during the holidays. Second, it was important that the room look current and fresh, reflecting their taste. “No old lady stuff,” the husband said. That is how we settled on a collected look. I pulled from their collection of furniture, artwork and accessories, mixing it with a few new things to pull it together. When the art dealer delivered the abstract painting that hangs over the fireplace, the customer and I hugged. We knew we had the heart of the room then.

Classic Meets Modern in This Chicago Living Room

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Old and New

The neutral foyer in this Chicago home showcases interesting art and subdued colors and leads into the more modern living room, which mixes traditional furnishings with abstract art in a cohesive blend of old and new.

From: Tony Stavish

Design Miracles

The client didn't want anything "old lady" in the redesign of his classic living room. "When the art dealer delivered the abstract painting that hangs over the fireplace, the customer and I hugged," said designer Tony Stavish. "We knew we had the heart of the room then." The interesting rug plays with other patterns in the room and was the ideal piece to tie the space together. "We waited over a year for the custom silk and wool rug from Pakistan," explains Tony. "One day it arrived unannounced with the morning mail. Somewhere in transit it had lost its wrapping and had unrolled, so there it lay in a heap on the doorstep covered in dirt, looking like a hopeless design loss. We prayed to the all-powerful patron saint of lost decorating causes, St. Rita (a fabulous decorator), had the rug picked up, and a week later, it arrived like new. Amen."

From: Tony Stavish

A Spot by the Window

Entertaining was high on the list for these homeowners. The living room bay window seat offers a beautiful place to sit and read or enjoy a cup of coffee with friends and family.

From: Tony Stavish

Give Me a Hand

Purchased at an estate sale, the giant plaster hand on the window seat table is an amusing piece that assures this classic living room never feels too stuffy or out of date, a fact the homeowners wanted to be sure of.

From: Tony Stavish

Photo By: Dave Burk © Hedrich Blessing

What was the biggest issue the design addressed?

The biggest obstacle was the large scale of the two existing tufted sofas the customer wanted to keep. I let their scale lead me to selecting other scaled pieces that would work to balance the room, including the large bergère chairs and rectangular ottoman.

How did the end result match your original vision?

Not everything goes right. We waited over a year for the custom silk and wool rug from Pakistan. One day it arrived unannounced with the morning mail. Somewhere in transit it had lost its wrapping and had unrolled, so there it lay in a heap on the doorstep covered in dirt, looking like a hopeless design loss. We prayed to the all-powerful patron saint of lost decorating causes, St. Rita (a fabulous decorator), had the rug picked up, and a week later, it arrived like new. Amen. With positive thinking and good karma, all worked out in the end.

What lessons did you learn from this project?

This project reinforced my mantra of process, process, process. If you can work on things in a room, you can resolve challenges. The process will lead you to all the solutions. The two very large tufted sofas now give the room a very comfortable European-chic look.

What are the hidden gems that make a big difference?

There are so many things that came together to form the cohesive look. The stone capital was used as a console at the end of the room and actually was architectural salvage from a building torn down in Philadelphia. The vintage brass lanterns on either side of the bay add to the collected look. I think they came from a mod-1950s Italian restaurant. The custom-fitted seat in the bay window was a splurge but worthwhile. The giant plaster hand came from an estate sale.

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Tony Stavish

Contact Me
A.W. Stavish Designs
www.awstavishdesigns.com 2223 W. Shakespeare #1R Chicago, IL 60647 773-227-0117