I’ve been racking my brain as to how to start this reveal post for the living room. I thought about the one thing I wanted to tell you most: good things take time. When you’re renovating or decorating your home, be okay with that. It’s so worth it in the end. We live in a society where everything is fast and immediate. While part of me loves that immediacy, the other part of me knows we need to slow down and enjoy the process.
The living room is more than 6 months in the making, and probably more time before that correcting issues like the ceiling falling. Ya know, little stuff like that. Falling ceiling. By far the largest and most used room in the house, the living room needed the attention and time we gave it.
Let’s go through the journey, one step at a time.
First we had to fix the ceiling. It was falling in and might have been a safety issue at some point. Then we stripped two layers of wallpaper from the panels and prepped the room for paint. Let me tell you, the paint made a huge difference. It’s Farrow and Ball, Light Blue in estate emulsion. We went with a light color because the room is SO big, plus the adjoining dining room is painted a much darker color, Farrow and Ball Hague Blue. While both rooms are blue, the color is on the neutral side of blue, so it doesn’t feel too overwhelming. This was a tough decision to go with a color in the first place. Our last place, a loft in Manhattan, was mostly black and white. After some discussion, we decided to put the ceiling medallion back, however the room is so large we knew it couldn’t be a tiny postage stamp size of a medallion. We found the ceiling medallion at Hyde Park Moulding and installed it ourselves. Unless you are very handy, I’d recommend hiring a pro. It was tedious but worth the money we saved. It took us about 15 hours to paint, install, rehang the chandelier, and touch up the edges to make it look like to was built into the plaster ceiling.
Designing the Living Room
If you’ve been following along you’ve seen all the posts with our collaboration with West Elm and Rejuvenation. Collaborating with two companies who reflect how we design our home, could not have been more of a pleasure. We live in an old home and wanted to reflect that style with vintage and traditional pieces from Rejuvenation. The modern side of our style was drawn to West Elm, particularly the Collection line. I’m going to list all the items in the room, but first I wanted to talk about how much certain furniture pieces and areas of the room have impacted our life for the better. Something I’d highly recommend: work with a designer and see if you are using all the space you have and using it efficiently. Space planning makes a huge difference no matter how small or large your space.
Added a dining room table and chairs in the nook.
This is the biggest lifestyle change because we went from eating in our dining room at a table way too big for just two people, to enjoying breakfast and lunch in this sunny nook. The nook looks so much bigger because it’s being used efficiently. The chairs you see from the West Elm Collection combined with the classic table design from Rejuvenation is a shining example of how we love mixing styles.
Adding enough seating and seating areas.
Our former small-space-living-selves overlooked how many people would be in the house at once, especially during the holidays. Our first Thanksgiving in the house was great, but there was almost no place to sit. Or the two places to sit were so far apart from each other, you couldn’t have a conversation. We added two seating areas, one as the main focal point, and the second behind the couch. A few pieces of furniture are light weight enough they are easily moved around for conversations around the fire place or the main seating area.
Entertaining and quality of life.
We do three main things in the living room: enjoy a drink from the bar, watch TV or listen to music. Having an enjoyable experience with these areas of leisure is such a luxury. We added a record player and new TV and to make sure we could enjoy both those items, Sonos speakers were added. If you’d like to see how we added them, we detailed it in this post. If we haven’t professed our love for Sonos, let us do it here. Completely worth it. We can’t wait to add speakers to the rest of our home. If you have plaster walls, which can affect wireless performance, the Sonos speakers are amazing. Moving on to the bar cabinet. Let’s just say we knew we needed a larger cabinet to house Will’s growing speciality bourbon collection. Plus, we realized stores close early here and we can’t go to the store if we run out of something. Welcome to our country mega bar! This cabinet hold glasses, books, and all our barware and booze. Everyone who visits asks where the cabinet is from because it’s so impressive (West Elm Collection).
Seating and more seating.
We fell in love with the swivel chair. It felt a bit unknown adding four, but am I ever glad we did. I had a bit of a hesitation about them (don’t know why) but I’m glad we just went for it because they are so nice and fit the space really well. It seems to make the space more fluid. We traded in our lower couch (it was so low, it was only 10 inches off the ground!) for a new couch that we love, and the dogs love it too. You can tell the leather will look beautiful as it ages and patinas.
Here’s a list of all the products in the room. If I didn’t list it, it’s vintage. Sometimes products change – if the exact item isn’t available, I noted with ‘similar’ after the item. I also included comments! We get a lot of questions about pieces, so I consolidated the comments.
Sofa, Andes Leather Sofa (similar)
Marble and Brass Side Table, Hex Side Table
Leather Side Chairs, Origami Lounge Chair (similar, ours are leather)
Blue Velvet Swivel Chairs, Duffield Swivel Chair (similar) / I wasn’t sure about the swivel chair concept, and now I can’t live without them!
Side Table, Geo Hex Side Table
Swivel Chairs, Roar + Rabbit Swivel Chairs
Dining Chairs in Nook, Lloyd Leather Dining Chairs / We’ve never had ‘comfortable’ dining chairs, and these chairs have made us apperciate a comfortable dining chair. People who visit comment too – these chairs are a keeper.
Cabinet, Chelsea Display Cabinet (similar, ours is a larger, but you could side by side these for the same look)
Pillows, Patterns and Solids. I love the velvet because you can wash in cold water. We have dogs and our pillows need washing from time! If you have kids or dogs, check the tags because many of the pillow covers are washable.
Blue rug in nook, Distressed Arabesque Wool Rug
Chandelier, Glass Disc Chandelier, (similar) / We bought this chandelier from West Elm when we first moved in, about three years ago and love it. I linked to a similar style.
Table Lamp by Blue Sofa, Pillar Table Lamp / If you love tech as much as we do, stop in your tracks and read this. This lamp has two gracefully hidden USB ports in the base. We hide a cord in an antique container next to the lamp, and vavoom. This was life altering for us. Our friend was visiting and wanted to charge her phone, so I showed her where to plug in. She said, “I need this for my apartment, SOLD!” Tech nerds, it’s time to celebrate.
Small lamp on TV/record cabinet, Clint Task Lamp
Bookends in cabinet, Stone Bookend – Alabaster
Lamp by TV Stand, Bruno Double-Arm Floor Lamp
Wall Lamp Mounted to Wall in Nook, Cylinder Task Double Arm Lamp
Antique Sconces by Fireplace, Vintage Collection / If you want an old light fixture, look at this section of the site frequently. They restore each light with new wiring and refinishing. We had an issue with not having a switch and the team at Rejuvenation was able to add a switch. They are experts and do this work at their studios in Portland.
Settee, Belmont Tuxedo Settee/ We LOVE this sofa. The fabric is beautiful and it’s a sofa you can sink into. The way the cushion is made you can tell it will be like one of those cushions you see in British estates where it just gets better with age.
Dining Table in Nook, Bluestone Bistro Table (similar, ours is rectangle) / We love this table because it’s durable and the stone top ages gracefully with time. Rejuvenation carries a few other classic tables with stone tops. I love all of these and will keep this classic design for the rest of my life.
Large abstract painting between windows, Emily Furr
Circular plaster plant impressions, Ron Nicole
Cow photograph, Randal Ford