Design Prescription: Lauren’s Tucson Living Room

updated May 4, 2019
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(Image credit: Tara Bellucci)

Name: Lauren
Location: Tucson, AZ
Room: Living Room
Size: about 300 square feet
Own or Rent: Rent

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Complete + Happy Home, and while we’re at it, we’re saving the country, one room at a time! Design Prescriptions are hour-long visits where Maxwell offers advice on what readers can do to improve their homes. Though we don’t have “after” photos, we do encourage the homeowners to share their updates with all of us when they make them!

In Tucson, we visited with Lauren, who recently moved to Tucson and needed some help opening up her living room, which was full of her personality but lacked a chicness she was looking for.

(Image credit: Tara Bellucci)

“The home I live in is a classic 1920s bungalow in one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Tucson, the Sam Hughes area,” says Lauren, a professor. “I was beyond lucky to find it when I moved here a year ago. My wonderful landlady (and colleague) has kept the historical integrity of the home intact: the stove is an original 1920s stove, the sinks and tubs are original, and so are the lighting fixtures and concrete floors.”

We definitely felt the warmth, history, and personality in Lauren’s living room, which had a lot of white, textiles, plants, and books. As she transitions out of a “post-graduate-student style,” she says, “I would welcome the professional eyes of you guys to help me make the space more open and minimalist and chic.”

(Image credit: Tara Bellucci)

The Problem:

Despite being an older home, the bones of Lauren’s bungalow are good, so no problems there.

We hit a road block when we come to breath, or flow. The front door opens nearly into the back of Lauren’s sofa, so greeting guests is an an awkward dance around the door. Entering into the middle of the living space, there’s no current place set up as a landing strip, save the hook that gets hidden behind the door when it’s open.

In terms of heart, the space’s furnishings are either too big (the sofa) or too small (the rug). Not surprising, since Lauren moved here recently and brought much of her stuff from former homes.

The head, or spirit, of Lauren’s home is spot on, with her many books, plants, her beloved piano, and nods to her parents’ style.

(Image credit: Tara Bellucci)

The Prescription:

While the current focal point of the fireplace is a natural choice, putting the sofa facing it is closing off the living room and creating a blocked entry point. Maxwell suggests a more streamlined sofa that faces the piano, with two chairs opposite it and a rug that contains the entire seating area.

(Image credit: Tara Bellucci)

Lauren’s many books overflow from her shelves, so Maxwell suggests a low bookshelf for under the front window. With the additional storage, the bookcase to the left of the door could be half as tall, and its surface could be used as a landing strip with a mirror hung above.

Here is Maxwell’s proposed floor plan:

(Image credit: Tara Bellucci)
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We visited Lauren in Tucson, where she wanted help streamlining her living room. (Image credit: Tara Bellucci)
(Image credit: Tara Bellucci)

We left Lauren with a copy of Complete + Happy Home so she can continue her refresh. Thanks for letting us into your home!

Stay tuned for our last design prescription with Amy in San Diego!