Lauren Nicole Designs Featured as Houzz’s Room Of the Day

June 14, 2017

A North Carolina interior designer creates a light, bright, comfy space for her family and its 5 pets.

“The first time my family looked at this house, we breezed right through the first floor out to the backyard, which is a little slice of heaven,” interior designer Lauren Clement says. At the time of the tour, the interiors of the house were not so heavenly. The family room was darkened by paint, heavy furnishings and wood blinds — but the family snapped up the home anyway. “I knew it was an easy fix and all just cosmetic,” Clement says. She redecorated the room, which is now a light, bright family gathering space that looks out over the lovely backyard.
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Photos by Jim Schmid
Family Room at a Glance
What happens here: Interior designer Lauren Clement, her husband, Chris, and their daughters, Finley, 6, and Campbell, 5, enjoy playing games, showering their two rescue cats and three rescue dogs with attention, visiting, eating, drinking, watching TV and lounging.
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
Size: About 300 square feet (27.9 square meters)
Designer: Lauren Clement

The first step was choosing a wall color. Clement chose a very light gray that works with all sorts of color schemes, which was perfect for her, because she likes to change out pillows and accessories with the seasons. She also painted the fireplace bricks white and replaced the mantel. Next came the fabric for the spindle chair. “I knew it was a really fun pattern I could pull lots of colors from,” she says. She chose light neutral tones for the sectional sofa and the rug, then layered in bright, preppy color via artwork and pillows.Wall color: Wickham Gray, Benjamin Moore; sofa, rug, lighting, accessories, fabrics: available via Lauren Nicole Designs

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Tip: Rearrange the art in your home from time to time. The painting over the mantel was one the family had in its old house. “The painting is so vibrant against the white bricks. Its placement in our old house didn’t give it the appreciation it deserved,” Clement says. “Originally I didn’t plan on placing it here — it just sort of happened. It fits perfectly and works so well with the colors in here. It’s so much fun to repurpose something you have by using it in a different way.”

The mantel is a piece of a reclaimed beam. “I like preppy, but I’m also a farm girl,” Clement says. She incorporated both parts of her personality in the room.

The layout was a puzzle to solve. “I needed to figure out the best place for the TV so that we could still enjoy the fireplace and all have space to sit comfortably,” Clement says. While a sectional sofa isn’t usually her go-to, it was the best answer for defining the space while providing room for the whole family. “The light color might seem crazy with all the drinks, food and paws that get on it, but it’s treated and washable and has already stood up to red wine and red clay.”
A cloverleaf table brings in more of the raw wood feeling and keeps the area more open. “While our kids are not toddlers anymore, I wanted to avoid sharp corners,” she says. “And this table can stand up to a lot of abuse.” The family enjoys playing games around it. The rug is a soft wool that’s also durable and can take a lot of traffic from humans and the five critters. “It’s so forgiving and cleans up so well, you could drive a truck over it and it would probably be fine,” Clement says with a laugh.
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The idea for the shiplap wall hit Clement a few months after the room’s makeover was complete. She hung framed family photos in between the boards.

The credenza is another repurposed piece from their old house. “I love this piece — the mirrors make the room seem larger and lighter,” Clement says. “And it’s multifunctional — it holds all kinds of blankets, board games and other stuff the girls use.”

The chandelier also speaks to Clement’s love of farms and horses. The wood ring plays nicely off the mantel and some of the shapes resemble horse race horns. She also liked it because it’s wide, not too long as to impede watching TV or walking, and it leaves the views through the room open.

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Two large mercury glass lamps with burlap shades flank either side of the TV. “I’m a huge fan of larger lamps. They give out so much light and they are like big pieces of jewelry in a room,” Clement says. These accommodate three-way bulbs so the family can change up the mood with different levels of light.

Finally, just past the credenza is this bench, another piece the family already had. Above it is a French linen canvas. “The bench was a great way to anchor the art on a wall that was kind of awkward before, and we can pull it in to use as extra seating,” Clement says. “I love pieces that are multipurpose.”

A warm fireplace, happy colors, comfortable furniture and bright color have transformed the room.

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