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ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT CONTEST WINNER

James Kish

Room & Board and Dwell magazine teamed up for a living room makeover contest that would transform the space of one lucky winner. Online voting narrowed the hundreds of entries to 20 finalists. James Kish of Hoboken, New Jersey quickly rose to the top. James had a great new condo, but no idea where to begin when it came to defining his style and choosing furnishings.
We began by clearing out the room and looking at James' existing space with a fresh eye. Gone was the sagging sofa and tiny media stand, but other pieces, including an end table and leaning mirror from the bedroom, would be repurposed. Hardwood floors, plenty of natural light and a neutral wall color gave us a great starting point.
Just as his old furniture was being hauled away, the Room & Board truck pulled up with the new pieces he selected. James worked with our Design Associates to choose furniture that would fit both his space and his style. The goal? "My dream living room would look like a cross between the Mad Men TV show and a modern hotel," says James. "It would have to look classic, but be a comfortable space to relax in."
As Carlos and Alexis from our delivery team unwrapped and placed the new furniture, the room started to come to life. A thick, cushy rug added warmth and texture, while the deep color of the sofa brought livable sophistication to the room.
Darrell, Nicole and Lynn from our SoHo store set to work, helping James bring his ideas to life. From adjusting the furniture to arranging books on the shelves, they worked to make each detail fit his image of a dream living room.
An underused room divider that James already owned was placed behind the sectional to give some much-needed storage to the space. The sectional defines the area as a living room while still keeping the traffic flow open to the dining room.
James had a wonderful collection of black-and-white photos of New York City that he had snapped on his iPhone. We printed out a series of these images of Washington Square Park. It's an affordable way to include artwork in a room and the images can be changed whenever James is ready for a new look.
The perfect place for keys and mail day-to-day or as an extra serving area when entertaining, two small-scale console tables take up almost no floor space, but add plenty of functionality to his entry hall.
A bookcase can hold so much more than books! Decorative items were tucked in among the titles for some visual variety. Golf tees from some of James' favorite courses become a sculptural scrapbook when amassed in a glass vase.
A newspaper clipping featuring a photo of James running with the bulls in Pamplona was rescued from collecting dust in a drawer and framed for the living room. Not just a conversation piece, it also adds a punch of color that balances the tones in the room.
As each piece is placed, the new and existing furniture combine to give a multifunctional living room plenty of personality. With areas for eating, relaxing and entertaining, James can make the most of every inch of the space.
With the room complete, James started planning for the big reveal to his family and friends. No longer embarrassed to have people over, he can now entertain in a space that is warm and welcoming. Congratulations James!
Room & Board and Dwell magazine teamed up for a living room makeover contest that would transform the space of one lucky winner. Online voting narrowed the hundreds of entries to 20 finalists. James Kish of Hoboken, New Jersey quickly rose to the top. James had a great new condo, but no idea where to begin when it came to defining his style and choosing furnishings.

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