Welcome to our living room. Or family room, if you prefer – I go back and forth, mainly because it’s both! This really is where we spend most of our time hanging out together as a family. We have a family room in our basement where the kids play and hang out with their friends, but this is our true, living, family space. Being an extension of the kitchen, it gets a LOT of use.We have an open concept home and naturally, this is the focus of the main living area as it’s central to everything. We decided to raise the ceiling height when we built this house, and this room, as well as the transitional hallway space are 11 feet high, where the rest of the house is 9 feet. Not only does it add visual height, but it really opens and expands the entire living area.
Our living room has a collected, layered look, like most of our home. There are many elements happening in the design of this space through all of the different textiles and layered objects. This look was created over time and was most definitely an evolution – I think much of our home is as well. One thing I did know I wanted in here, was a symmetrical plan. Clearly, I like pairs of things. It’s a classic design element and it brings order to a space and it also helps temper all of the different visual cues going on in here.One of the touches I’ve added over the past couple of years is the color blue. I love my blue and white chinoiserie pieces, another classic design element. I’ve been building this collection for a couple of years now – yes, it’s somewhat trendy, but always timeless. I grew up with it all over our home, my mother collects it as well and there’s no doubt her taste and style has influenced me.Speaking of symmetry and pairs – a great way to create this look is with lamps. These blue lamps were a HomeSense purchase and I love their unique, sophisticated shape.
Our buffet, which holds china and stemware, faces the dining room, which is quite a small space. Here, we have it behind the sofa and it helps define our living room, and gives it a sense of ‘place’. Having an open concept home is tricky when it comes to defining different areas sometimes – I wanted to create that feeling here, and also that of an entrance to the space.I’ve been strongly debating painting this piece. We’ve had it for about 15 years and although I love the color, and the element of wood it brings, I think it’s time to do it. I’m thinking a light grey or a cream color will really help elevate this piece and make it more elegant rather than rustic. What do you think?
GET THE LOOK :
We chose these high back sofas from Decor-Rest to emphasize the height of the room. I wanted white originally, but settled for dark grey instead, which I love. One day I’ll have my white sofas! To create a sophisticated and tailored look, I chose a contrast welt against the grey. I love how it defines the beautiful lines of these pieces.The sofas came with three large, matching pillows, but they were too bulky and not conducive to sinking in and relaxing! So I added a mix of different pillows over the years. I can’t say I planned the way they came together at all. But I do know that through trial and error – which is how I like to decorate for myself – this collected look is something that I absolutely love.These black and white pillows have a hand blocked look to them and are also a nod chinoiserie. They’ve also been all over the house, but right now they’re here and I love them. Having down-filled pillows is very important when it comes to comfort and lounging as well. I always like to make sure the larger pillows are just that.
Pillows on the facing sofa are different from the others but they have the same color scheme going on – grey and white on the outside pillows, a graphic, back and white pattern next to those, and then they’re both tied together visually by the blue center pillow from Bouclair. There’s that element of symmetry again.
SHOP PILLOW COMBOS TO GET THIS LOOK :
We have a lot of layered accessories in this room. From the bookshelves to the upholstered stools to the ottoman. One way to help it all make sense is to repeat motifs for a cohesive look and it helps to reinforce the design choices we’ve made. Can you spot the repetition around the room? Lots of graphic black and white, lots of blue and some global touches throughout. Notice how those repeated elements bring some order, and keep it all from being too busy and chaotic.My daughter picked out these mini garden stools – she thought they were perfect for our space and she couldn’t be more right! Aren’t they adorable? This piece of art that my son made in first grade is a favorite – I love the blues and the texture – it adds the perfect layer in here and hides the TV receiver when we’re not watching.Here’s a shot from an older post – I wanted to talk about these upholstered stools that are another favorite element in the space. They’re a perfect addition to any room – and they work fabulously in pairs. You can set them anywhere for instant style. I like to layer them with my books and objects. I love my decorating books and I love to use them around the room for propping and layering. The unfortunate part is many of my favorite books have seen better days – we got the kids a bunny for christmas (his name is Oscar – he is the cutest thing ever!) and he also loves my decorating books! If you look closely, you can see there’s a few chunks missing! Little bugger.
Here are a few different views of our living room from the kitchen. I LOVE graphic printed, flat weave rugs. They’re so easy and can go in any space. I’m all about pattern as you know, and I love to use it in many different ways. For me, using it on the floor grounds the space and pulls your eye right in. This one is about 10 x 13′, it’s hand woven wool. I love the neutral base it provides for this space – especially being so open and large.We built our bookshelves ourselves (we actually finished the interior of our home all on our own when we built it) and the accessories change around often. I’m always moving one or two pieces around our home to refresh the look. It’s always fun to keep it moving. I bought this pair of mirrors from HomeSense and have them leaning rather than hanging, which I was planning to do, but then decided to leave them like this for a more casual feel. We plan to take these bookshelves right up to the ceiling, or close to it, to emphasize the height of the room even more. We’ll probably add mouldings around the TV and paint it all white. In my mind, this project is happening in the near future – I’m not not sure about my hubby though, haha. I better prepare him! We recently added a built-in shelf in our kitchen (check it out HERE), that has added so much character and depth – I’m ready to finally make it happen here as well – which was always my plan from day one, but I lost that battle in the beginning when we were building…time to make it happen!
You may know the story of this ottoman by now. If you don’t, you can read all about it HERE. This is another piece we’ve had for about 10 years or more and it was a dark brown leather with very chunky feet. After a couple of years of searching for fabric to recover it, I finally decided to experiment and use a tablecloth I’d found on clearance. I wasn’t sure about it at first, and although mixing unexpected prints is one of my favorite decorating tricks, I was unsure about it. Now I’m in love with it. I don’t know if it will stay this way, but for now, it makes me happy. We added the turned feet as well, and I’m still debating whether or not to paint them a glossy black. We have many black touches throughout our home and black always adds a chic and sophisticated element. The chandeliers, a Restoration Hardware knockoff, were a steal from HomeSense and when we found them I was so excited, I can’t tell you! I like the juxtaposition they provide within the room and that they add another rustic layer to the space. I haven’t told my husband yet, but I may paint them eventually too – I think they’d be fabulous in white or maybe even black…the wheels in my head are always turning! Sometimes I’m only dreaming…
GET THE LOOK :
OTHER LIGHT OPTIONS :
I hope you enjoyed this tour and I’d love to hear from you! As always, I love to know what you think. You can also sign up for my newsletter, if you haven’t already – you’ll get all of the latest news straight to your inbox! Have a fabulous weekend! xo
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Wall color : Benjamin Moore Collingwood OC-28
All trim and Mouldings : Behr Ultra Pure White 1850
Floors : Mixed Grade Oak with Walnut Stain, refinished (manufacaturer unknown)
Sofas : Decor-Rest