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Publication Date: 2018-01-18

Behind the Design

Designer to the Rescue: Mia Rao Design

Chicago-based designer Mia Rao explores the challenge of creating an entertaining space in an old Victorian home for a family of four. From navy walls to a custom sectional, see how the inviting room came together.

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Photo: Tyler Mallory

Any family of four requires a comfortable room for entertaining, but this wasn't an easy task if you're working with a space in a Victorian home that's more than 100 years old. Victorian homes are known to have a traditional large parlor and a side room for serving tea, which was the intended purpose of the room featured in this image. The concept of a space for viewing television, a traditional family room as we know it today, was unheard of during that time. The space was more formal. We had to figure out how to deal with a long room adjacent to the old tea room and still get the television to work. The concept of wrapping a sectional within the space, and even in front of the bookshelves for gathering as a family, was unique and a challenge.

The television is on the outside of this room and pivots in on an articulating arm for viewing. The other challenge was simply making this a family room that could accommodate four people who wanted to entertain frequently. The wraparound custom sectional did the trick. The navy walls, shelving, Romans, upholstery and wallpaper ceiling were all designed to define the space and make it a true nook. It's also right next to the larger parlor/living room and we wanted it to feel like a separate room.

Featured Products: 

Custom Sectional – Covers Unlimited; Knoll fabric

Wallpaper – Area International, Candice Olson

Ceiling Fixture – Lightology Hampton chandelier in brushed bronze

Area Rug –  Reza Rugs

Paint – Benjamin Moore HC-154 Hale Navy

Window Treatment – Basia

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