Client Project Case Study #1 | Small Room Design Challenge

How Lisa Jensen Interior Design Solved A Client’s Small Room With A Tall Order And Created A Perfect New Den For This North Shore Couple!

By Lisa Jensen Interior Design

My client called and needed help at her waterfront home in Salisbury MA with a few rooms, but the first room she wanted to tackle was a small space right off the front entry. Thankfully she was super patient and willing to wait several months before I could add another project to my schedule!

Here’s the room BEFORE I worked on it:

Before photograph of the Salisbury Massachusetts small room design challenge Lisa Jensen Interior Design solved for her clients. The designer started with developing a Floor Plan and Layout for New Furniture, the designer added ample Lighting, Window Treatments, an Area Rug, Artwork, and Home Decor to complete the new Den/Office Room Design.

Before photograph of the Salisbury Massachusetts small room design challenge Lisa Jensen Interior Design solved for her clients. The designer started with developing a Floor Plan and Layout for New Furniture, the designer added ample Lighting, Window Treatments, an Area Rug, Artwork, and Home Decor to complete the new Den/Office Room Design.

My clients had recently retired and needed the room to function as a Den where their two grandchildren could watch television, he could work at a desktop computer and sometimes nap on a couch, and she wanted a reading chair. That’s a tall order for a room not quite 10’ x 12’!

So, I started by planning out the space and drafted a scaled furniture floor plan:

A scaled floor plan was drafted to ensure proper sized furniture was selected and then arranged in order to leave proper pathways and provide all of the different functions the clients were looking for with their new Den design.

A scaled floor plan was drafted to ensure proper sized furniture was selected and then arranged in order to leave proper pathways and provide all of the different functions the clients were looking for with their new Den design.

After developing a new floor plan that would allow the space to meet all of the clients needs by finding the perfectly sized & scaled furnishings, including a corner desk with a corner tv installed above, I then used the floor plan to determine a rug size that would be appropriate for the room. I selected a nubby wool rug that would:

  • add warmth to the room during cold New England Winters

  • quiet the acoustics when the grandkids were watching TV

  • make the room feel bigger by going with a larger rug size in order to define a larger footprint

  • add texture to the overall decoration

So many factors go in to choosing the exact right pieces, for every single item, in each of my design projects I work on, including the client’s budget, possible allergies, product availability, everything bulleted above, and so much more!

Here’s the room AFTER I designed it:

After photograph of the new small Den Design and Decoration Lisa Jensen Interior Design created for her clients in their Salisbury MA waterfront home. The designer successfully incorporated all of the clients wishes to have a desktop work station, a sofa large enough to lay down on, a reading chair, and to make it comfortable for both adults and grandchildren.

After photograph of the new small Den Design and Decoration Lisa Jensen Interior Design created for her clients in their Salisbury MA waterfront home. The designer successfully incorporated all of the clients wishes to have a desktop work station, a sofa large enough to lay down on, a reading chair, and to make it comfortable for both adults and grandchildren.

After the rug was selected the next design decision I made was to add window treatments to the room which would:

  • offer light control when watching TV

  • provide some thermal control in the cold seaside New England Winter

  • help with those television acoustics

  • soften the space

  • provide a feeling of height and spaciousness in the small room by using one of my favorite designer tricks and installing the window treatments right up to the ceiling which draws the eye upward

Every inch is accounted for in a small room design, as seen below:

Lisa Jensen Interior Design selected the perfectly sized petite end tables for her client’s small den.

Lisa Jensen Interior Design selected the perfectly sized petite end tables for her client’s small den.

Each piece of furniture needed to fit perfectly in this small room as exemplified in the photo above. Because I take my own field measurements on every project, I knew I had exactly 117 inches to work with along that particular wall. I needed to do a full size sofa that would be 84 inches in length so my client could lay down on it. That left me with 33 inches for 2 end tables, not a lot since a true standard end table is 24 x 24 x 24. Regardless, I met the challenge head-on and sourced tables that were exactly 16.5 inches wide, leaving 0 room for anything else, including error, and they were perfect! 16.5” table + 16.5” table + 84” couch = 117” wall. That’s how to maximize a space!

I also purposely selected tables that were a little taller so the couch pillow my client rests his head on while laying down would be less likely to knock over a drink sitting on a table that’s a little more elevated than the standard 24” height. Also, like with the window treatments, going more vertical with anything in a small room is going to add the feeling of height and spaciousness.

Custom framed Salisbury MA map the designer found for her clients, shown below:

A copy of an old Salisbury Massachusetts map Lisa Jensen found for her clients hangs on the wall in their newly designed Den. The custom framed map is flanked by battery lit candles used with the new forged iron wall sconces.

A copy of an old Salisbury Massachusetts map Lisa Jensen found for her clients hangs on the wall in their newly designed Den. The custom framed map is flanked by battery lit candles used with the new forged iron wall sconces.

I especially love the part of the design process when I’m developing new ideas for my client’s rooms that will not only incorporate all of their needs and desires they expressed to me during their Intake Interview, but will also make the space personal for them. While I always enjoy sourcing products for my projects, it’s especially rewarding when I can find something truly unique like this cool map of my client’s hometown - they were so happy when I found that for them! It was also an intentional tactic to select that particular map that would carry a little bit of the turquoise and teal accent colors found throughout the space over to that wall.

My client also loves the ambiance of candles and these battery operated candles are a safe alternative for every home, especially ones with grandchildren and pets. The sconces were an easy, affordable, and creative way to add 3-Dimension to a wall that lacked any other architectural detail.

Interior design details closeup

A closeup of furnishings selected by Lisa Jensen Interior Design showcasing a balance between textures, materials, colors, shapes, masculinity and femininity.

A closeup of furnishings selected by Lisa Jensen Interior Design showcasing a balance between textures, materials, colors, shapes, masculinity and femininity.

I hope you enjoyed reading about this client’s project and how I solved their small room challenge and designed a new Den for their needs, lifestyle, and preferences! They loved the way this room turned out and we ended up working together on several other spaces in their home.

If you have a room that you’ve been putting off updating, I’m here to help you with that and we’re accepting new projects right now!

Let’s work together to transform your home!

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