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2020 Bucks County Designer House Living Room

Take a peek at the behind-the-scenes of a Designer House

This year the Covid-19 Virus caused the Designer House to be canceled.  We were 90% finished with the design when the cancellation was announced.  I think we all shed tears for the loss of funds this event raises every year for the VIA, but also a few tears were shed for the loss of the dreams we all had for our spaces.  This year I was designing the living room and entry.  It was a great space, and I felt I really had drawn the lucky straw.  


Even though we can't show you After shots of what might have become my all-time favorite room, we can share with you some of the fun along the way and give you a hint of what might have been.

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Preview Day

In October designers are invited to preview the upcoming Designer House, and we have the opportunity to submit a brief proposal of what we might do in each of our top 3 choice rooms.  This room was my first choice because I immediately had a vision of what I would love to do if I got the opportunity.  Some rooms just speak to you, and this one really did.


The next step is to create a mood board/design board within approximately 2 weeks to refine the plan and visually illustrate what's in our heads.  

A Great Collaboration!

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 Oskar Huber Furniture is a major sponsor of this event every year, helping contribute to a successful major fundraiser for the VIA.  This year I was fortunate to collaborate with Oskar Huber Furniture on the living room. I created the design plan, and they provided all the pieces to make that vision a reality, including chandeliers, art, accessories, area rugs and custom furniture.  It was a wonderful collaboration!

Mood Boards and Design Boards Submitted

Mood Board

Design Board

Design Board

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This board shows most of the proposed items so the selection committee can get a sense of what we have planned.  The committee reviews the proposals from all the designers, then they decide which designer will be assigned each space.

Design Board

Design Board

Design Board

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This board shows how I hoped the room would look when finished.  

3-D software really helps the committee envision the end result better than simply submitting material samples and a floor plan.  The committee has a really tough job deciding who gets which room, because all the designs submitted are so beautiful.  I don't know how they do it!

Fun Window Treatments and Art

Fun Window Treatments and Art

Fun Window Treatments and Art

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There were a lot of windows that provided a great opportunity to bring in some softness and color against all the hard stone and wood surfaces.

Right Side Wall

Fun Window Treatments and Art

Fun Window Treatments and Art

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This cabinet was drool-worthy!  Such beautiful quality, and the olive leather chairs were yummy.  The art pulled all the strong colors together.

Sofa View

Fun Window Treatments and Art

Sofa View

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Here's how it looks from the fireplace looking to the entry.  I was entranced when I saw the zebra ottoman.

I Got the Contract for the Living Room/Entry!

Time to Get Busy

It's around Thanksgiving week.  I get the good news that I got assigned my first choice room-- the living room!  Hurray!  Celebration time!


Many of the pieces I plan to use are custom orders, and those take time.  I need to order now to ensure they arrive on time.  The next couple of weeks are a scramble to place orders.  We won't have access to the house until February, but the next couple of months will be busy acquiring all the necessary pieces and crystallizing ideas so we will be ready to go when the house opens for work.


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Empty House Party

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The Official Kick-Off

Tickets are sold to the Empty House Party.  The rooms have all been cleared and are ready for work to begin immediately following the Party.  Each designer stands in their assigned space with their design boards, and people come to tour the house, see it in its "before" condition, and speak with each designer to learn about their plans for their spaces.  Food and drink is served in the barn.  Everyone has a great time!

Work Begins

"Dirty Work" Begins

Living Room Chandelier Installed

"Dirty Work" Begins

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We have 2 weeks to replace floor in foyer, paint, replicate some missing molding pieces, and do any other "dirty" work before furniture comes in.  We have to build a cover to hide a bulky mass of stereo and satellite wires coming out the wall in a prominent spot.

Fresh Paint

Living Room Chandelier Installed

"Dirty Work" Begins

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Walls and ceiling are painted a very warm, rich cream.  The color is Palace White by Benjamin Moore.  It really makes the wood colors glow.

Living Room Chandelier Installed

Living Room Chandelier Installed

Living Room Chandelier Installed

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I fell in love with this metal wire chandelier.  It felt so right next to the textures of the stone and wood.  The Edison bulbs are a cool touch.

Foyer Lighting Installed

Floors Scrubbed and Wires Hidden

Living Room Chandelier Installed

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The crystal chandelier and dome light come down, and elegant farmhouse style lighting goes up in its place.

Floors Scrubbed and Wires Hidden

Floors Scrubbed and Wires Hidden

Floors Scrubbed and Wires Hidden

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I spend 3 days on my hands and knees cleaning and polishing the floors and removing any tiny paint splatter.  The cover goes up over the stereo and satellite wires.

Furniture Starts Arriving

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The rug goes down and my excitement goes up!  Those orange leather chairs are exquisite in person!  Love them with the fireplace.

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The sofa is blue velvet and really inviting.  It looks very blue right now, but don't worry.  When the pillows are there, it will all calm down and pull together.

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I love these olive leather and plaid flannel club chairs.  I picture my grandpa sitting there with his pipe.

Vignette Photo Day

Fireplace Scene

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In order to have the Tour Books printed in time, designers mush have a little area ready for a photo shoot.  Some furniture and accessory pieces hadn't arrived yet, so this is what I was able to arrange in time for the shoot.

Photograph What We Can- Showhouse is Cancelled

90% Completed

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I was so close to being done.  We were only waiting for the zebra ottoman, the console chest behind the sofa, the art, and a couple of custom pillows.  I couldn't waste the opportunity to capture how nicely it was all pulling together, so on move-out day I brought some pieces from my warehouse to fill the gaps and got some cell phone photos to show you what might have been.  Just imagine that incredible zebra ottoman instead of the coffee table.  As soon as I took the photos, the furniture was pulled out.

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The art hadn't arrived yet, so I substituted a piece from my warehouse.  I sure wish I'd been able to see the one I ordered because it would have been so perfect with the fireplace.

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The art that was ordered was very similar to this one, only much larger for even more drama.

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The custom large monogrammed yellow pillows hadn't come in yet, so I brought some small yellow ones I had in the warehouse to stand in. The yellow helps calm all the intense colors and pulls it all together.

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All in all, I was pleased with the room at this stage, even though we were missing the star pieces.    I'm glad I was able to capture some photos so it wasn't all lost.