written by:
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).

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

in the mix antwerp belgium warehouse renovation live work space lounge area cushions dining table kitchenette borge mogensen cabinets
An artist and an architect build their home, studios, and an exhibition space inside an Antwerp warehouse.
February 13, 2016
senses sight products kinetic wire sculpture alexander calder mobile
A phenomenon of light and visual perception, colors signal a language of their own.
February 13, 2016
beach weathered seaside retreat sagaponack new york pine walls aluminum furniture
Balancing texture, proportion, and found objects lends unexpected sophistication to a seaside retreat.
February 13, 2016
Concrete floor, white walls, Bend sectional sofa, Metropolitan chair by B&B Italia, and Arper pouf in living room of Rhode Island family vacation home by Bernheimer Architecture.
Create comfortable areas to lounge, sit, eat, and entertain with these designs.
February 12, 2016
São Paulo apartment dining room with local wood floors and HAY chairs
From concrete to wood, these South American homes enjoy nature inside and out.
February 12, 2016
Custom cabinetry and trim in Chicago apartment renovation.
The Second City is second to none when it comes to inventive modern architecture, from Louis Sullivan to the present day.
February 12, 2016
Kitchen of 1956 midcentury modern Palm Springs home.
Celebrate Palm Springs Modernism Week, which runs from February 11–21, with a look at some of our favorite modern desert oases.
February 12, 2016
Gustav bicycle by Coh&Co
Designmuseum Danmark unveils a permanent collection highlighting new developments in Danish design.
February 12, 2016
A Seattle studio's courtyard
Every week, we highlight one amazing Dwell home that went viral on Pinterest. Follow Dwell's Pinterest account for more daily design inspiration.
February 12, 2016
Chalet in the French alps
An innovative glass addition adds contrast to a timber mountain lodge in France.
February 11, 2016
Aumas' assorted collectables.
Bright colors and vintage furniture are abound in these French homes.
February 11, 2016
Kogan designed a number of the built-in furnishings, including the headboard and cupboard in the master bedroom.The cupboard is deliberately reminiscent of a mid-century stereo speaker. The vintage lounge chairs are by Percival Lafer.
Need to relax? Make your bedroom an oasis from the rest of the house.
February 11, 2016
Modern Florida seaside home with corian island, dornbracht faucet, cees braakman combex chairs and marble knoll table in the kitchen
Read more about Knoll's impressive career here, but in the meantime, explore just a few of her works in these contemporary homes.
February 11, 2016
Modern small box home in Mexico
Letting the warm climate indoors is a common thread through these diverse dwellings.
February 11, 2016
Modern white cabinets under the stairs with skylight above
What could be better than a modest-sized house in a quaintly historic city?
February 11, 2016
dining room lighting
These renovations connect rustic, classic, and modern design in Italy.
February 10, 2016
12362509 211441865858796 1743381178 n1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most viral design and architecture shots of the week.
February 10, 2016
modern outdoor garden room plastic polycarbonate
From colorful living rooms to a backyard retreat, Belgian designers reimagine vernacular forms and materials for the modern world.
February 10, 2016
Tel Aviv kitchen with custom dining table and Smeg fridge
Would you go for an out-of-the-box palette for your major appliances? See how these kitchens tackle the trend.
February 10, 2016
Exhibition view, of Klaus Wittkugel works at P! gallery, New York
On view through February 21 at New York's P! gallery, a new show explores the politics of Cold War-era graphic design with a presentation of works by Klaus Wittkugel—East Germany's most prolific graphic designer. Curator Prem Krishnamurthy walks us through the highlights.
February 10, 2016
Reclaimed cedar and gray-stucco home outside San Francisco.
The new kid on the block in a predominantly Eichler neighborhood, this Menlo Park home breaks the mold and divides into three pavilions connected by breezeways.
February 10, 2016
A third floor addition and whole-house renovation modernized a funky cottage on an unusual, triple-wide lot in San Francisco.
From modern interiors hidden within historic structures to unabashedly modern dwellings, these seven renovations take totally different approaches to San Francisco's historic building stock.
February 10, 2016
Delphi sofa from Erik Jørgensen and gyrofocus fireplace in living room of Villa Le Trident in the French Riviera, renovated by 4a Architekten.
The Aegean's all-white architecture famously helped inspire Le Corbusier; these five dwellings continue in that proud modern tradition (though not all are as minimalist).
February 10, 2016
San Francisco dining room with chandelier and Eames shell chairs
Brooklyn-based RBW's work—from diminutive sconces to large floor lamps—shape these five interiors.
February 09, 2016
Glass-fronted converted garage in Washington
These garages go behind parking cars and storing your drum sets.
February 09, 2016
Modern Texas home office with sliding walls, behr black chalkboard paint, concrete walls, and white oak flooring
From appropriated nooks to glass-encased rooms, each of these modern offices works a unique angle.
February 09, 2016
picnic-style table in renovated San Francisco house
From chandeliers to pendants, these designs make the dining room the most entertaining space in the house.
February 09, 2016
Midcentury house in Portland with iron colored facade and gold front door
From preserved masterworks to carefully updated time capsules, these homes have one thing in common (other than a healthy appreciation for everything Eames): the conviction that the '40s, '50s, and '60s were the most outstanding moments in American architecture.
February 09, 2016
Modern living room with furniture designed by Ludovica + Roberto Palomba
These oases by the sea, many done up in white, make stunning escapes.
February 08, 2016
A Philippe Starck standing lamp and an Eames chaise longue bracket the living room; two Lawrence Weiner prints hang behind a pair of Warren Platner chairs and a table purchased from a River Oaks estate sale; at far left of the room, a partial wall of new
Texas might have a big reputation, but these homes show the variety of shapes and sizes in the Lone Star State.
February 08, 2016