There’s nothing quite like a fresh coat of paint to freshen up the interior space of a home. Couple that with a furniture plan that allows for multiple conversation areas and an eclectic mix of furnishings and appointments that feel collected over time, rather than assembled all at once, and you have the recipe for the perfect living room. That’s precisely how the homeowners whose living space is featured today feel about their recent renovation project. With the expert guidance of Roger Higgins, principal of the eponymous firm R. Higgins Interiors, and Meredith Mills, his assistant designer, this living room has been dramatically transformed to suit the aesthetic and lifestyle of the current residents.

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When the homeowners purchased this West Meade home in 2003, they were fortunate to buy from the original owners who built the home in the 1950’s. It had been lovingly maintained, but as you can see from the photos below, the decor, while appropriate for an earlier era, felt out of step with the new homeowner’s furnishings.

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Here’s how the original living room looked when my friend bought her current house.

Here's the same room in its original state from another angle.

Here’s the same room in its original state from another angle.

I’ve had the enjoyable opportunity of seeing this home morph through several design iterations, as the family are dear friends of mine. And over the last few years, they’ve slowly made big changes to the flow and design of their home that have made their space not only current, but immensely livable and beautiful, to boot. This is a credit to Roger and his talented team, who make it their priority to truly understand their clients’ personalities and predilections. When asking my friend what she likes most about Roger and company she said, “I feel like Roger and Meredith have taken what they know about my family and have created a plan that is as functional as it is beautiful. We’ve worked together for many years now, and I like this latest living room project best, probably because I’ve learned to trust Roger’s judgement. He respects our priorities and goals, and I can see that as I stepped completely out of the way this time and put my trust in his ability to translate our needs into a great design, the end result is exactly what I wanted.”

Here's a photo prior to Roger's complete re-do. My friends made some modest updates with their existing furniture when they purchased the home.

Here’s a photo prior to Roger’s complete re-do. My friends made some modest updates with their existing furniture when they purchased the home. Removing the existing wall-to-wall carpeting made a dramatic change in the feel of the room.

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The homeowners have a great collection of books, and that element will figure more prominently in the design scheme, as you’ll see in the next photos.

Roger notes that the couple had several goals in mind: They enjoy entertaining and wanted to create a space where many people could gather for the evening. Adding extra seating was key. They also wanted to recreate the feeling of a library. They liked the single set of bookcases they added to the room when they purchased the home and wanted to build on that feeling. Knowing this, Roger drew plans for a second bookcase that would add symmetry, an element that is central in all of his designs. See how the room was transformed in the next photos:

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This is my favorite part of the room. A lovely settee (in a brown and cream herringbone pattern, which I wish you could see up close!) is positioned right next to all the books. Can’t you imagine curling up with a great read? That’s precisely what Roger wanted the homeowners to be able to enjoy in this corner. Also, the footstool, incidentally, was an item the couple already had that Roger recovered with a neutral hide. It’s one of the homeowners’ favorite elements in the new space.

Adjacent to the settee is this fabulous Eames chair, which Roger discovered at Scott Antique Market in Atlanta and recovered.

Adjacent to the settee is this fabulous Eames chair, which Roger discovered at Scott Antique Market in Atlanta and recovered.

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Another shot of this lovely corner, which highlights the gorgeous Oushak rug that was the point of departure for the room’s color scheme.

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Another element that adds symmetry and balance to the room are the wool drapes. The heaviness of the fabric and rich, earthy tone enhance the library feel, as well. The coffee table is a custom iron piece that was layered with multiple paint colors–orange, red, gold and silver–and lightly distressed to provide an aged patina, before it was topped with marble. And notice the clever hiding spot for extra seating: warm grey leather bongo ottomans are tucked under the table and can easily slide out in front of the fireplace when needed.

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The white sofa provides an inviting focal point and was on the wife’s wish list at the project’s outset. And she tells me she’s over the moon with the throw pillows on the sofa–she can’t imagine ever tiring of them, but she also says that if she does, a simple change in those accessories could take the room in a fresh color direction, without necessitating another wholesale re-do.

The addition of a modern lucite chair was also on the wife's wish list and she was thrilled to see it paired with an antique writing desk the couple already had in their collection. Notably, the painting of the riding boots, along with several other canvases in the room, were painted by a brother-in-law artist.

The addition of a modern lucite chair was also on the wife’s wish list and she was thrilled to see it paired with an antique writing desk the couple already had in their collection. Notably, the painting of the riding boots, along with several other canvases in the room, were painted by a brother-in-law artist.

This wingback chair, another key focal point in the room, is a treasured memento from the wife's aunt. The couple wanted to keep it as part of the design plan, and it lives on here reupholstered in an incredible Kelly Wearstler fabric. Divine!

This wingback chair, another key focal point in the room, is a treasured memento from the wife’s aunt. The couple wanted to keep it as part of the design plan, and it lives on here reupholstered in an incredible Kelly Wearstler fabric. Divine!

What the homeowners love most about this space is that it’s turned the old joke about living rooms being the least used room of the house on end. And, it’s so inviting, comfortable and functional, all the members of this family find themselves gravitating here more than any other room of their home. I think that’s what I’d call a good design.

Many thanks to R. Higgins Interiors and the homeowners for sharing this beautiful project with StyleBlueprint. And thanks, also, to Jammie Preston for today’s photographs.

Learn more about R. Higgins Interiors here: rhigginsinteriors.com. And see more of Jammie’s work here: photographybyjammie.com

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