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July 11, 2011

When we moved into an Edwardian apartment in San Francisco's Mission District four years ago, we trucked in our furniture, set the pieces where we thought they made sense, and haven't changed much since then. So when BoConcept reached out to tell me about a new service they were offering—in-home design consultations—I jumped on the chance to gain some new perspective on my living space. One afternoon Caroline Krogh-Jensen, owner of two San Francisco stores, and Christopher Stanley, senior design consultant, met me in my apartment to discuss my style, desires for my living space, and to take a slew of measurements. Then they went off to their studio to concoct two fantasy proposals: what they'd do with my living room and adjacent parlor/dining room with an imaginary $12,000 (they called this option "Keeping it Real") and also what they'd do with $23,000 ("The Works"). This was a floor-to-ceiling overhaul, including rugs, light fixtures, and all furniture—working around an existing fireplace and large painting. The full experience costs $150—which is actually a credit toward a future BoConcept purchase. Here's what the team came up with.

At our in-store meeting, Caroline and Christopher presented a slideshow detailing their suggestions for how I might re-furnish two rooms in our apartment (if I actually had $12,000-$23,000 to spend on such things, which sadly I don't).
At our in-store meeting, Caroline and Christopher presented a slideshow detailing their suggestions for how I might re-furnish two rooms in our apartment (if I actually had $12,000-$23,000 to spend on such things, which sadly I don't).
1 / 17
Here's a picture of our living room as it currently stands. A bit haphazard but it works for us. That's Bond in the foreground, our sweet chow mix. Our couch is an Ikea model with a charcoal wool cover that has weathered the past 8 years remarkably well.
Here's a picture of our living room as it currently stands. A bit haphazard but it works for us. That's Bond in the foreground, our sweet chow mix. Our couch is an Ikea model with a charcoal wool cover that has weathered the past 8 years remarkably well.
2 / 17
This is the room adjacent to the living room, separated by sliding pocket doors. We use it as a project room and library, but it's typically used in Edwardian layouts as a dining room... so that's what Caroline and Christopher turned it into in their plan
This is the room adjacent to the living room, separated by sliding pocket doors. We use it as a project room and library, but it's typically used in Edwardian layouts as a dining room... so that's what Caroline and Christopher turned it into in their plan.
3 / 17
In the showroom, Caroline readied an array of fabrics and pillows and rug samples used in their "Keeping it Real" proposal. These helped me get a tactile and visual sense of how the actual textures and finishes would work together.
In the showroom, Caroline readied an array of fabrics and pillows and rug samples used in their "Keeping it Real" proposal. These helped me get a tactile and visual sense of how the actual textures and finishes would work together.
4 / 17
Here's the first image in the slideshow, showing a plan view of the $12,000 "Keeping it Real" transformation. Christoper worked up the floor plan in BoConcept's proprietary 'Furnish' software program. It's pretty rudimentary but it does give a sense of sp
Here's the first image in the slideshow, showing a plan view of the $12,000 "Keeping it Real" transformation. Christoper worked up the floor plan in BoConcept's proprietary 'Furnish' software program. It's pretty rudimentary but it does give a sense of spatial layout. Visible in the plan are the main things to work around, including our existing fireplace, doors, and windows (including our bay window alcove).
5 / 17
In both plans, they suggested moving the couch against the wall facing the fireplace. The couch they selected was the Indivi 2 3332 in light gray felt, which retails for $1,563. We liked the idea of staying with wool, but were curious to try a lighter sha
In both plans, they suggested moving the couch against the wall facing the fireplace. The couch they selected was the Indivi 2 3332 in light gray felt, which retails for $1,563. We liked the idea of staying with wool, but were curious to try a lighter shade of gray. The striped rug is the multicolored Cos rug ($849) and the pair of wide chairs in the window are the Zarra lounges in leather ($249). But I think I'll keep my vintage Eames chair and rocker there instead, thank you very much.
6 / 17
I was able to check out the sofa in person (in a sectional model), which was helpful. To be honest, I'm not sure I'd opt for this over my Ikea version, especially knowing how durable (and dryclean-able) the Ikea couch is. I do like the wide armrests, thou
I was able to check out the sofa in person (in a sectional model), which was helpful. To be honest, I'm not sure I'd opt for this over my Ikea version, especially knowing how durable (and dryclean-able) the Ikea couch is. I do like the wide armrests, though!
7 / 17
Back to the slideshow. Through the sliding doors is a proposed new dining room, with a lacquer dining table (Occa 684, $639) and upholstered dining chairs (Vega with brushed steel legs, $319) which are very comfortable.
Back to the slideshow. Through the sliding doors is a proposed new dining room, with a lacquer dining table (Occa 684, $639) and upholstered dining chairs (Vega with brushed steel legs, $319) which are very comfortable.
8 / 17
Another view of the dining room. They proposed I paint the walls in a steely blue and sage green. I still prefer white. BoConcept also sells various vases, accessories, and framed artwork; here's a selection of a few they thought fit the new space well.
Another view of the dining room. They proposed I paint the walls in a steely blue and sage green. I still prefer white. BoConcept also sells various vases, accessories, and framed artwork; here's a selection of a few they thought fit the new space well.
9 / 17
Christopher was quite proud of his custom rendering of our fireplace; not a standard drop-in design element in their program, apparently. I do like their proposed wall-mounted storage, a mix of Volani and Occa wall shelves and cabinets in matching walnut
Christopher was quite proud of his custom rendering of our fireplace; not a standard drop-in design element in their program, apparently. I do like their proposed wall-mounted storage, a mix of Volani and Occa wall shelves and cabinets in matching walnut veneer. I also appreciate their clever tucked-away ottomans, which can be pulled out to accommodate extra visitors. It's a good layout for a party. You could easily seat seven people around the coffee table; more if you pull over some dining chairs.
10 / 17
Moving on to a deeper-pocketed plan... "The Works" plays with $23,000. The layout is similar, but the component pieces are upgraded and a bit more involved and luxurious.
Moving on to a deeper-pocketed plan... "The Works" plays with $23,000. The layout is similar, but the component pieces are upgraded and a bit more involved and luxurious.
11 / 17
Here's Christopher laying out the fabrics for the pricier option... I'm smitten with the buttery camel-colored leather. The cowhide, shiny shag rug, and upholstered pillows less so.
Here's Christopher laying out the fabrics for the pricier option... I'm smitten with the buttery camel-colored leather. The cowhide, shiny shag rug, and upholstered pillows less so.
12 / 17
The couch is the Indivi 2 3332, and it's a relatively whopping $4,288 in leather. I'd prefer different legs, which is an option—BoConcept table and sofa legs are all swappable and customizable, so you can choose between different metals and woods to suit
The couch is the Indivi 2 3332, and it's a relatively whopping $4,288 in leather. I'd prefer different legs, which is an option—BoConcept table and sofa legs are all swappable and customizable, so you can choose between different metals and woods to suit your style.
13 / 17
The coolest aspect of this dining room is the versatile Occa 312121 dining table in walnut, with a brushed steel extension that pops out of the middle ($1,695).
The coolest aspect of this dining room is the versatile Occa 312121 dining table in walnut, with a brushed steel extension that pops out of the middle ($1,695).
14 / 17
Here it is in the showroom, atop the rug Christopher and Caroline specified for my "Keeping it Real" version of the living room.
Here it is in the showroom, atop the rug Christopher and Caroline specified for my "Keeping it Real" version of the living room.
15 / 17
Here Christopher demonstrates the table in action. The mechanism is pretty slick. I'd buy this piece if I didn't already have one I treasured (a Danish modern piece my parents found decades ago in a thrift shop).
Here Christopher demonstrates the table in action. The mechanism is pretty slick. I'd buy this piece if I didn't already have one I treasured (a Danish modern piece my parents found decades ago in a thrift shop).
16 / 17
Here's the chair Caroline and Christopher picked for our bay window: the Veneto with a swivel base. It's quite comfortable and usefully compact. Though a bit pricey at $1,095, at least for me. So! To wrap up... I'd say the consultation was interesting and
Here's the chair Caroline and Christopher picked for our bay window: the Veneto with a swivel base. It's quite comfortable and usefully compact. Though a bit pricey at $1,095, at least for me. So! To wrap up... I'd say the consultation was interesting and inspiring, but I must admit it made me appreciate the stuff we already have, which we've accumulated slowly over the years, from many places around the globe, and which have patinas and stories that are irreplaceable and unpurchasable. I don't think I'm much of a candidate for hiring someone to make over my apartment all at once. That said, I did get plenty of fresh perspective on our space and its possibilities—well worth the experience. And I've got my eye on a few BoConcept pieces for the future...
17 / 17
At our in-store meeting, Caroline and Christopher presented a slideshow detailing their suggestions for how I might re-furnish two rooms in our apartment (if I actually had $12,000-$23,000 to spend on such things, which sadly I don't).
At our in-store meeting, Caroline and Christopher presented a slideshow detailing their suggestions for how I might re-furnish two rooms in our apartment (if I actually had $12,000-$23,000 to spend on such things, which sadly I don't).

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