our living room

Welcome to our living room {beware : I went a little crazy with the photos}

from stairs 2

You may have noticed that the link to this room on the our house page is inactive. That’s because I’ve never done a post about it.

tall from stairs

While it is the main room in our house and the one we hang out in the most, it is not yet ‘finished’. And so I’ve been waiting and waiting until it is done before taking photos and sharing it with you all. But truth be told, I’m not sure if the room will ever be completely done, so I might as well show you how it looks in its mid-finished state.

from corner

When we first moved in, the walls were all the same relaxed khaki color – which is a nice color, but we wanted a bit of definition. And because the room is one of those with walls that never end, we weren’t sure how to paint just the living room without having to continue the color up the second story, into the hallway and around the corners. Plus we are a teensy bit lazy and painting two stories sounded like way too much work.

from bar

So Ryan installed trim at about ceiling height and we painted the bottom half Slate by Restoration Hardware. He also trimmed out the doorways so that we didn’t have to deal with rounded corners and how to paint a straight line on those terrible things.

from kitchen 2

When I say the room is unfinished, I’m mostly referring to the fireplace.  It is a perfectly fine fireplace {I like the white mantle and love that I just have to turn on a light switch to start a fire} but I’ve never been a fan of niches and we have a large irregular one on that massive chimney.

from sofa

On Christmas Eve this past year we decided Santa should buy us a ginormous tv. What a nice Santa to oblige. So we installed it overtop the cut-out with a plan to cover it somehow, but as you can see, we haven’t covered it yet. Or hid the cord.


So our thought is to clad the fireplace chimney {is that what it’s called?} with old barnwood, or maybe horizontal siding painted white. We’re not sure. And we’re not very good at making decisions like this, so we’ve left it alone. I need Layla to do one of her fancy presto-chango things for me so that I can visualize what it would look like.  But I’m pretty sure either would be better than the hole-behind-the-tv look.

from stairs

This is the view of the room from the front of the house. Ryan’s great idea is to install a roll up garage door where the windows are which would open to our back yard. I LOVE roll up garage doors and would totally go for it if not for our itsy bitsy backyard that backs up to another house directly behind us. We’ll save that one for our someday house where we have an expansive yard with a pool to look at.

from stairs 3

The hanging thing is from Potterybarn and used to hold hanging star votive holders. I am waiting for inspiration to strike to figure out what to hang next – something sort of Anthropologie-ish, I’m thinking.  I wrapped the wrought iron with jute rope to add texture a few months back and I like the change.




When we moved in, there were cabinets on either side of the fireplace that were terrible, horrible, no good, very bad ones. So my dear husband built me some new ones which I love.

left bookshelf right bookshelf

I am not sure how to style these shelves, so we currently have a random assortment of things I like: books, photos, plants, silver things.




See that computer tower hidden back there? That is hooked up to the tv so that it can also be used as a big computer screen. My husband is cool like that.

On the shelves live a few baskets to hide the everyday essentials that I prefer to keep out of sight.


Like dvds, diapers and wipes, toys

toys in bins

and more toys.

toy baskets

As you well know, I am a neutral girl. I try to add some color with throw pillows, most of which I sew myself. There are currently blue and yellow ones on the couch, but just a few weeks ago I had a funky print with some green in it and the month before that I went with simple white. I don’t think I’ll ever live in a house that remains untouched for years and years. I just can’t commit.


We have splurged on a few basic pieces for the room. A linen sofa has forever been on my wishlist and when we found this one, I was sold. It is Lee Industries {I think} purchased at Crate & Barrel.  For us it was a splurge {but worth every penny} but then when I see that some sofas sell for thousands and thousands of dollars, I don’t feel so bad about ours.


Our tufted chairs are from #1 Allen upholstered in a durable mohair-like fabric. I’m a bit protective of the furniture in here and I fully realize that it is silly to have a linen sofa and fancy chairs when this is the living room and you have four kids.  Not practical, but oh so pretty!


The curtains are from IKEA {what a shock}. I recently visited a new friend while in Texas and she had her curtains done with gathers at the top and I fell in love. I came home, sewed on strips of gathering tape {who knew there was such a thing!} and gathered them until I liked their ruffliness.


When taking photos I noticed a paper airplane that has probably been stuck up there for weeks.

So there it is : our living room.

Curious about sources? Here they are:

paint: Slate by Restoration Hardware

sofa: Crate & Barrel

chairs: #1 Allen

rug and curtains: IKEA

ottoman: a hand-me-down from my mom

pillow with yellow flowers: Dwell Studio for Target

pillows on sofa: made by me. Assorted fabrics I’ve been collecting.

pillows on tufted chair: made by me. Chipper fabric in back, flower tutorial coming soon

Anything else?

oh, the silver lamps. They are great and are from Restoration Hardware.

I’ll keep you update when changes are made to that fireplace. It may be months from now, but it sure will look nice!

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116 Responses to our living room

  1. Leigh January 20, 2012 at 8:05 am #

    I LOVE your style!!!! I could use your fresh take on my home :) Love the colors of the sofa and the chair. do you recall the colors?? Thanks so much!! LOVE, LOVE your home!!!!

  2. kristen September 11, 2012 at 10:14 am #

    i was just curious how you did your book page wall?i LOVE the idea and i was thinking of trying it and have no idea where to begin or what to use to put the pages up and protect them.

  3. Esther Betzinger October 24, 2012 at 9:38 am #

    We are in process of building and will have a fireplace similar to yours. We love the idea of slate going all the way up, but can possibly be too expensive. Another idea i thought of, and was wondering if you thought of this for yours (since you said you wanted to change it), is to trim out in molding. Can place large piece of sheet rock over front,(or some other inexpensive paint grade plywood), and trim out sides, and maybe even area around t.v, in chunky molding. Could even trim out tv to look like it’s framed, like with another chunky molding in white. Just a thought. I’ve has quite some time to think about this ;)

  4. Brigitte July 6, 2013 at 11:22 pm #

    Love the paint color and the furniture! Thanks for the inspiration! Those shelves would look great styled Novogratz-fashion, books grouped by color. I love when they do that!

  5. Meghan August 10, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

    Hi Emily, I love this room! Would you mind sharing where the navy/black and white rectangular geometric pillow is from? I don’t believe that one was listed in the sources. Ty a million!!!


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