Designing a Living Room

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  • If you recall from the tour of our home, the living room is currently our least favorite space.  When we moved in, we planned on purchasing new living room furniture immediately, but as I became overwhelmed in anticipation of Aniston and with other home projects, we developed a timeline in which we wanted to accomplish our home projects.  I’m glad we did!  We spent the past 9 months discovering what we really want in a living room and what we currently do not like.  Last October, I created a color palette and inspiration board for our design.  While some of it is still true, we now know that our priorities are:
    lots of lighting
    plenty of seating for entertaining {8-10}
    dark pieces, preferably slipcovered for easy cleaning
    large rug
    a couch long enough that Chris can stretch out on it for movie nights with the girls
    Here is our previous inspiration board:
    Here are my tips for you:
    Utilize free resources!  
    Pottery Barn offers complimentary in home design.  They’ll even help you select paint colors.  They, along with Bassett Furniture offer room planner software on their website.  You choose your floor plan, including your dimensions and can add in elements like your doors and doorways, fireplace, built in’s and windows.  Then you add in furniture, rugs, etc to scale!  It really helps you see how the room will flow, if you have enough furniture, too much, etc.  Below, is one of the arrangement styles I’m considering for maximum seating.
    There are plenty of blogs that offer inspiration.  Sign up for catalogs from stores like Wisteria, Ballard Designs, Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware.  They’re free and will help you determine what pieces you like and dislike, furniture arrangement, etc.
    Consider your needs:
    Consider fabrics that work for you.  Do you anticipate spills, do you have pets that will be on the furniture?  If so, consider slipcovers or durable fabrics that will spot clean easily.  If not, or not on certain pieces, a structured linen could be suitable for you.
    Ask yourself these questions to further consider your needs:  How many people do you want to seat?  Do you need a lot of storage?  A reading nook?  
    Live in the space:
    Even if it’s just for a month, see how you feel in it, what you use it for.  Our living room is rarely used until the evening when we’re winding down, snuggling the girls and feeding Aniston.  It’s not the main play area of the house.  For this reason, I want a larger couch where we can all snuggle up.  It’s also used for entertaining, which is why I added a table in the far area of the room-easy for a beverage bar or snacks.
    Think outside of the box:
    Blogger Jenny Steffens Hobick purchased 2 wingback dining chairs which will serve dual purposes – inexpensive additional seating in the living room, but when needed, can be easily added to the dining room.  I opted for the Hudson Parsons Camelback Slipcovered chairs for comfort, which also fit Chris better.
    Consider the seasons when selecting your colors:
    If you like to decorate with the change of each season, you may want to stay neutral in color for easy transformation.  I stayed with my original design of neutral greys and sands.  The throw and pillows can be updated to infuse color into the space.
    Try it out:
    I selected a much more relaxed couch than I had originally planned.  I loved the singular cushion and how we just melted into it.  To balance it, I kept with structured chairs.  As you see, this is quite different than the original couch on my inspiration board.
    Ask questions:

    I really wanted our couch in fog linen.  Can you believe that the difference in cost was $1,300 over the same fabric in the sand color?  Instead, I’m bringing in color in the side chairs which only cost an additional $150 for the set.
    Decide where to spend and where to save:
    We chose to upgrade our couch and love seat with down {which will easily fluff and extend durability}, but are saving on side tables and lamps by purchasing mimicked styles at inexpensive stores.  Rather than purchasing an expensive rug which will inevitably be subjected to spills from the girls, we are having one bound at a carpet store or purchasing from a discount site {I keep going back and forth on what I want and therefore am waiting until our furniture arrives.}
    I can’t wait until our furniture arrives and see it all come to fruition!  Do you have any tips for designing a living room?

    To see more of our living room design, visit my Pinterest board.

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