The Rivera Project
Have you ever felt blessed by simply being in someone’s presence? That’s exactly how I felt working with the Rivera family on the styling of their home this past winter. After our initial meeting I walked away feeling both encouraged and challenged in my faith, as I reflected on what they had shared with me. In our Consultation, they explained how their hope for their home was that it would be an embassy for Jesus Christ; that people would walk through their doors and immediately feel His presence.
It was also important to the Rivera’s that their space be warm and hospitable, as they often had neighbors, friends and family over for movie nights, fellowship, and counseling. While they had some substantial pieces of furniture (i.e. their sectional which we ended up keeping) they were quite open to bringing new things in as needed. At the end of the day they wanted their home to be beautiful as well as functional, while honoring their core values.
Our focus for the project was the family’s downstairs living area: the living room, kitchen and a small room right off the entrance of the house. These were the rooms where the Rivera’s spent the majority of their time, hanging out with friends, sharing meals, and homeschooling their five children. The overall bones of the home were good - the living room was large and had several windows affording a lot of natural light; and at the far end was a painted brick fire place. The main challenges for this project was the length of living room and the function of the small room right off of the entry. The Rivera’s were quite eager to get going on the project as the husband was off of work for a couple of weeks and free to tackle whatever needed to get done. So while usually, we take about two weeks to come up with a Design Plan for our clients, in the case of the Rivera project we took a matter of days!
However instead of feeling rushed we felt inspired, as the Rivera’s gave use full reign, trusting our expertise. We quickly got to work, coming up with two Design Plans for the living room and bonus room (which we ended up calling the study). In the end we choose the Design Plan which centered their current sectional with the fireplace; while also adding in a sisal area rug, coffee table, throw pillows, and greenery. To bring some additional color and pattern to the room we installed some beautiful blue curtains. This side of the living room is all about entertaining so it was important to make sure that there was ample seating.
On the other side of the living room, our focus was on the kids and creating a space for them to be able to play in. When moving into their home a few years back, the Rivera’s had inherited this beautiful piano (see below). For a long time the instrument sat untouched in the study however we decided to bring it out in the living room where it could be better appreciated and played.
Across from the piano we had a major color moment with the addition of these blue chairs from World Market. Not only are they gorgeous but they are comfortable too! This textured floor pouf provided additional seating, as well as source of fun for the kids (they immediately started playing with it when we were doing our installation). Since we got rid of the family’s old bookshelves (see “the before photos” below) we needed to make sure that we incorporated in some storage for the kid’s books and toys, so we ended up using this wood and metal shelf positioned behind the sectional, to act as a sort of divider between the two spaces. Next to it we incorporated in some table lamps resting on these accent tables, to bring in some additional lighting.
Right off the Rivera’s entry is a room which upon our first seeing it, I immediately envisioned being the study. While the family homeschools around the kitchen table I thought it might be nice to have an additional area where the kids could go off to focus and study in. Storage for books and supplies was also needed by the family, so I figured this was the perfect room to do that! While we played around with the layout of the space in the end we landed on having a small desk sit in between two wood and metal bookshelves. On the desk we positioned the family computer which the kids could have access to while also being under adult supervision.
To add some playfulness to the room we threw in this round woven jute area rug, a caddy for holding art supplies, and pops of greenery. Making sure we were honoring the family’s core values, we used art work that they already owned and which brought the focus back on Christ. Whenever designing the main living area of a home, it’s important to give uniqueness to each space while also maintaining a sense of cohesion. We were able to do this in the Rivera home through our use of finishes, color, texture, and use of greenery. The end result is a home that is beautiful and functional, while honoring our clients.