this before and after is of the beautiful living room of a very busy young family. they had been living in the house for five years when they called me-- long enough to settle in but not long enough to have figured out what to do with the pink marble fireplace surround and long blank wall of fairly narrow room.
but my clients have an amazing art collection-- unbelievably beautiful things from all over the world-- that made the direction to go in incredibly easy. feature the art, downplay the stuff. we built an enormous bookcase/ storage cabinet into the long wall-- it is 9 feet long by nearly 9 feet tall-- to hold many beautiful things AND hide many things that are useful but not so beautiful. the cabinet needed to act as structural support for a major load-bearing wall holding up the second floor-- but we turned this into a design opportunity by creating strong vertical columns within the bookcases.
the room is still a comfortable family space-- but it is restful to the eyes and to the heart.
a good thing.