It is DONE. Our living room is finally finished and I absolutely love it! Every day that I spend in here I am so glad we deconstructed what was a mostly “finished” room & did the work to make it into what it is now. Back in January, I had the idea to re-work this room (you can read the original design post here) — this is our main living room to relax in and play with the kids, but it has always lacked good function and I knew there was a better way to live in this space.
I have talked a bit about this recently on Instagram, but I have had a bad habit of putting Band-Aids on room designs that probably really just need an overhaul. I’m trying to get better at recognizing this early on and admitting my mistakes before I work an entire room around them! At the end of last year, the living room looked like this:
It was cute & cozy, but it had been pieced together because I was working around my first mistake in this space: the sofa. We had actually bought this couch for our front room, but it was way too big (a good lesson for me in learning furniture scale for a room) so we moved it into the TV room– it was never actually meant for this room. It fit, but because of the high, formal back, it blocked most of the windows behind it. I wasn’t thrilled with it, but I felt bad that we had bought it & I was now second guessing myself. So… I worked around it (spending more money & time) and only chose furniture pieces that fit into the room based on the sofa. It ended up working out fine, but I didn’t love this room the way I do now. In my gut, I knew that there was a better, more functional way to design this room and I really wanted to go for it and see if I could make it happen.
When we first moved the old sofa into the room, I had this thought that a sectional would actually fit the room really well. But because I was a little embarrassed that I had basically bought the wrong couch I didn’t run with that idea. Once I decided that my pride was for the birds, I drew up the room the way I thought would be best — which included utilizing the TV wall with a custom built in:
I wanted to maximize every inch of this room, which was in desperate need of storage and also needed something to balance out the small door & TV that hung on the wall.
I drew a rough sketch of the built-ins and Ty made a rendering in SketchUp. We made some edits, and Ty took it from there — making a cut list & building it from start to finish. It was so fun for me to watch him take an idea that was on paper and bring it to life. When we had the whole thing painted & put together I was one proud wife (I told him that this might get him into trouble with all the ideas that float around my brain! Build me all the things!!).
After he had the frame built, we brought it inside to install it. I really loved the raw oak, and it almost made me sad to paint it. Almost. #paintitwhite
Because our house is 100+ years old, our floors are very uneven, which meant lots of shimming & adjustments.
Ty cut out the back of the built-in to run TV components + an outlet for hidden media storage. We needed a small hand to pull the cords through and we had the perfect little helper!
At first, Lena was scared to do this, but we got her to do it by saying that “we could never watch TV again unless she helped.” Ha-she wasn’t so scared to do it then!
I love having all of these cords hidden and tucked away–it makes everything so clean & seamless.
We painted the built-in the same color as our trim throughout the house- Benjamin Moore Simply White, and I added the cutest tiny brass knobs I found on Etsy.
One of the best things about the built-in is all of the additional storage it adds to a small room. We have toys hidden away, and board games & blankets that are tucked nicely behind these cute white doors. I found these baskets from Target with a leather detail on the handle that I really love — plus, they’re kid proof.
When we designed the built-in I wanted to make the most use of vertical space; the depth of the built-in is only 12″, so it doesn’t leave a large footprint in the room, but it’s height draws your eye up, giving the idea that the room is bigger than what it is. Also… I love having these shelves to style! We spaced each shelf based on the average height of objects I like to use in a bookcase, so it really is built for styling.
Now, moving onto the next star of the room: the sofa. Oh my, this thing is amazing. I am so glad that we ended up going with this sectional. It has a deep seat with feather wrapped cushions, and is upholstered in a great linen-blend polyester that feels high-end while standing up to my little kids. I ordered it online from Birch Lane in Lizzy Linen — our previous sofa was the same brand, so I felt confident ordering another one from them.
This combination of colors is my favorite right now… I can’t get enough!
The Loloi rug really pulls the color palette together, so it was perfect for this room. I had never bought a Loloi rug before this one and I’m so glad we went for it! It has the feel & patina of a vintage rug without the price tag. Plus, it’s super soft.
Loloi Rug // Leather handle basket
We had 6 adults on this couch at one point, it’s that big! It fills the room perfectly and makes the room feel spacious yet cozy.
There is a radiator under the windows, so I set a console table over top of it & it really helps save some space that would otherwise go unused.
Overall, I am so thankful for this room & that we were able to put the time and resources into it. I really feel that through designing this room, I was able to refine my personal style and finally get a handle on how I want the rest of our house to be designed. It was a design “risk” that was really good for me and I gained some confidence through it. It has taken me lots of trial and error… but I think I am finally starting to hit my stride, and I’m so excited.
We spend most of our family time in this room and it has been my favorite room to gather our friends in. And to me, that’s the beauty of good home design: it creates an aesthetically beautiful & comfortable environment while providing the best possible space to spend time in with your favorite people.