Near the end of 2018, I started scheming how to make better use of our living room. Living in a small house is full of trial and error, and it’s always been a little tricky for me to figure out the absolute best layout/furniture for this room. But, I think I’ve figured it out. And it’s not what you might expect (nor what I expected!). This all started when I was searching for a credenza to go beneath our TV and everything I liked cost big bucks. And I thought, “we could build something for cheaper!” — which led me to this:


I had this idea in my head, and Ty drew it up for me (thanks baby!) & we made some tweaks along the way. This is a built-in that maximizes the wall the TV hangs on in the best way. It will include storage along the entire wall, which you can never have enough of, and also create a nice focal point on this wall. In a room that is small & difficult to fit a lot of furniture in, my first instinct was never to add something so big/permanent in a small house. But I’m finding that sometimes these additions feel the most natural in our small house and — while requiring less furniture — actually can make a small room feel more substantial.

This also makes use of a corner that often sits empty or feels out of place– to the right of the TV and the left side of the sofa:


I usually fill these corners fine (here with the floor lamp & round table) — but once in the room, I always felt like those corners could be utilized in a better way. The built-in took care of the one side of the room, and I thought, if the built-in works in here, what about a sectional that runs into the far wall, making use of every bit of floor space for seating on the opposite wall? I want to mirror the built-in with something equally as grounding and efficient. So you can get the gist from this floor plan design:

Screen Shot 2019-02-12 at 3.23.03 PM

This makes good use of the wall space to the right of the doorway on the left side of the room, space behind the sofa, the difficult corners, and actually frees up some floor space. It turns out that bigger-but-less may be the answer to this small room!

And here is the design I’m going with for the room:

Screen Shot 2019-02-12 at 2.25.50 PM

Sofa: Birch Lane // Rug: Loloi // Coffee table: Pier 1 // Side table: Wayfair // Floor lamp:   thrifted // Wall frames: Ikea // Pillows: McGee & Co // Drapery: Ikea // Lamp: HomeGoods find // Console table: Joss & Main

This sectional is the same brand as our last sofa; it’s plush with down wrapped cushions and is made to order in a great polyester/linen blend fabric that washes well. I love the relaxed slipcover design and the fact that we all will comfortably stretch out on it–  perfect for a family room.

I wanted something to set the room off, and when I recently saw this rug I knew that it would tie in so well with what we have going on in the rest of the house — and it’s a great price! (FYI: when I first opened this rug, I was like “oh no, it’s completely BROWN…” unroll the whole thing, because you will be surprised how the color changes through the rug. I almost sent it back without even unrolling it–I’m glad I didn’t!) The console table will sit perfectly over the radiator behind the sofa & make good use of that space. There won’t be much room for a side table, so I am going to use a lamp I thrifted for beside the sofa with a small concrete side table.

I am going to hang a grid gallery wall on the far wall; the print I had hanging there before is beautiful, but not quite big enough for the wall. I think I’m going to fill the frames with vintage photos of our families in black & white.


Ty got started on the built-in this week (yay!) and I will be posting more progress as we move along. It feels so good to have a project to work on during these slow, winter months. In the meantime, I will just be impatiently waiting for the sofa to arrive (sometime in March).





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