When Nashville designer Chad James was asked to decorate a shotgun house for a dear friend in New Orleans, saying yes was easy. Though the project came with its own unique challenges, it allowed two people to combine households and begin a life together and, most of all, it fit Chad’s motto: work’s got to be fun!
Over drinks one afternoon when Chad’s friend was in Nashville, they talked about this quirky shotgun house that he and his partner recently bought. It was small — only 1200 square feet — and was a typical New Orleans shotgun configuration, a few narrow rooms opening one behind the other, all in a row. While the couple was thrilled to be setting up their first house together, they weren’t quite sure how to make it function to fit the tempo of their lives. In the span of an hour, though, Chad quickly sketched out an idea for a transformation on the back of a cocktail napkin and set to work helping his friend bring the vision to life.
When the homeowners bought the house, the layout was odd-seeming to them: the prior owners had set up the front room as the bedroom, which opened into a living room next, followed by a dining room. The kitchen and bath were at the rear of the house, which made sense, but the bedroom first concept didn’t work. Chad flipped the living spaces so that the living room was the first entry point beyond the door.
At Chad’s suggestion, the couple took full advantage of the opportunity to get rid of old furniture and begin to build a collection that spoke to both of their personalities. They truly started with a blank slate, and Chad coached them through smart purchases that made the most of their minimal space.
As you’ll see in the photos that follow, a warm neutral wash of color on the walls provides continuity that allows the space to feel larger, where dark colors, or using several different colors would have made the space feel smaller and less harmonious. The dark hardwood floors are a singular contrast against the wall color.
The end result is a seamless space that lives the way it was intended.
Thank you, Chad, and to your team at the Chad James Group group for sharing this wonderful project with us! Learn more about this fabulous design team and their gorgeous projects here: chadjam.es/group.
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