Believe it or not, we’re still finishing up our home renovations, not to mention that we still have one bathroom renovation that we’ll likely being doing a little later. The renovations were so dramatic — when you see the before and afters you’ll understand what I mean — that I didn’t want to start decorating until the heavy duty stuff was done. It was too hard for me to visualize our living spaces when they were basically construction zones stripped down to the studs.
I also got a lot of advice to live in the space for a bit before investing too much in furniture and decor, which I think is smart. But, because I can’t commit to anything and have gone for totally different styles in every apartment we’ve lived in, I decided to sell almost all our old furniture before we moved. I wanted a fresh start, and our last apartment was more of a modern-industrial Restoration Hardware vibe, which fit with our space, but this time, I wanted to go more traditional to fit the vibe of the more classic, historic space. Dare I say, I’m leaning in a grandmillenial direction? I’ve always had classic roots, but I also like experimenting with different styles and looks, and I believe in matching the decor to the bones of the space, and ours is old and traditional. Plus, now we’re in the burbs, I am feeling my inner grandma come out, and I’m not mad about it.
I have to admit that deciding on decor, from light fixture to paint colors has been daunting. I have been paralyzed by indecision, which has led us to not have a place to sit since we’ve moved.(Side note: who knew couches could take MONTHS?) And I realized that it’s less about not knowing what I want, and more about being scared to make a mistake and to buy something I won’t like or that won’t work. Unlike clothes, it’s much harder to return say, a couch, and even rugs are a pain to return, ya know? But I’m also sick of living in boxes and having nowhere to sit, so I am forcing myself to commit to some decisions. I keep reminding myself that this isn’t our forever home, and even if it was, we can always redecorate. Plus, maybe some of the fun is making mistakes. Although perhaps it would be more fun if money were no object. Idk, but my husband and kids are getting impatient with our current living situation, so it’s time to commit to at least some pieces, mainly a couch.
We have a sunroom that we’re using as a playroom/family room, but our living room is really spacious with a cozy fireplace and great lighting, so it’s still the heart of the home. It also opens into the dining room and rest of the home, so while I want it to look more sophisticated than a family room, I don’t want to go too formal there either. With the age our kids are currently, a dog who refuses to stay off furniture, and our family’s current needs for the space (cuddling up for movie night, playdates, entertaining, scooting, crawling, chasing Dakota…), I don’t want to do anything to precious or fancy with the space.
As much as I love perfectly decorated rooms with gorgeous (but probably not comfy) settees and chairs, antique secretaries and chests, and all the beautiful accessories to compliment it, that will have to wait until the kids are a bit older or until our next move. The thing is, even if we had all the space in the world, I’m not really a fan of rooms where the children are not allowed. I am hoping to strike a balance between teaching my kids to not destroy their surroundings (I’ve given up on Dakota at this point) and making a home that is chic but also warm and inviting and our family loves using. For our current living room, my goal is to create a space that is family-friendly, that we can use all the time and aren’t afraid to live in but that we also feel good about entertaining in and isn’t just a dumping ground for toys and clutter.
I am really inspired by these living rooms from some of my favorite designers and Pinterest discoveries, but I want to find a marriage between some of these more formal looks and a more comfortable, family-friendly setting. For example, we decided to do two couches in our living room, as we have two very large walls, a corner fire place and multiple entrances to contend with (the room opens to our dining room and foyer), making the layout tricky. I’ll try to do some before pics and IG stories for you soon, so you can see what I mean, but basically, I didn’t want to block entrances, I wanted to leave plenty of room for the kiddos to run/scoot around, and I wanted to offer lots of seating for us to lounge in and watch a movie and for guests to sit in when entertaining. I went more comfortable with the seating and chose couches in a neutral custom fabric that is supposed to hold up to stains. I would have loved to do a fancier velvet couch or fancy arm chairs, but I think the couches fit the space better and our lifestyle. So I’m hoping I can bring formality and style through throw pillows, the side chairs and tables, rug and artwork etc.
One thing that’s been hard about this space is the layout is tricky, and all the inspiration I’ve found that I truly love, is in a space with a more classic living room layout. Corner fireplaces are TRICKY, and this room is almost more of a hexagon than a rectangle or square. It’s a good size, but a hard shape to furnish, so as much as this inspiration excited me, it’s hard to exactly copy and some of it, and hard to find inspo I actually like with layouts that face similar conundrums. So if any of you have decorated a similar space with a corner fireplace or found smart solutions for decorating with kids, please send me your tips and pics!
I wHEre’s the inspiration I’m currently loving for our living room, and I promise to share some shocking before/afters very soon.