We are so excited to share our first Style File— this time, for Natalie and family’s living room! Check out this post for more details on our goals for this space. In short, we are aiming for more flare in this basic living room with family/toddler-friendly upgrades. First things first, after temporarily removing all the toys and the extra small bookshelf, we want to shift the furniture more towards the entertainment unit to define a cozy seating area…
…and separate the space behind the seating area from the banister. This small shift will impart a cozier feel, avoiding the perimeter-furniture effect. This extra nook behind the loveseat will then be available for more creativity and storage.
Here is our Style File design board to inspire Natalie’s new living room! Details corresponding to the numbered items are below…
1. The first inspiration for this room actually came from this fabric of limey green with white dandelions. Natalie was a fan and so the lime + teal combo was born! This fabric is for pleated valances to hang above the living room windows, which will also carry over to the kitchen to start tying things together on the main floor.
2. These pillows- found here (on clearance- Nat buy ’em quick!–sorry the link just busted because they sold out online! Better run to Pier 1, Nat!), here and here– really hit the teal-aqua-lime vibe right on. We love this combination of colors and pattern. These will bring our punchy colors to the chocolate brown sofas, breaking up the neutral furniture and cozy-ing up the seating area. We would use 3-4 pillows on the large sofa and another 2 on the loveseat.
3. We loooove this awesome tree stump inspired side table for this space. This is a conversation starter and an awesome way to add a lighter neutral color that contrasts the darker wood entertainment unit and chocolatey sofas. Plus it introduces lots of natural texture. It’s small size makes it perfect as a little side table in the smaller space to the right (while sitting on it) of the long sofa or to the left of the loveseat. Just enough space for a beverage and the remote.
4. One of our favorite ideas for this living room is a super functional storage ottoman in a bright punch of teal for the center of the space. This particular ottoman is small enough in size to avoid interfering with the sofa recliners, but adds much needed toy storage– that is completely hidden!– while providing a place for magazines, books, a tray for drinks, etc. in lieu of a more traditional coffee table. Also, this type of piece easily moves away for play time. Bonus- no sharp edges for toddlers to crash into!
5. We love the idea of creating a teal blue accent wall behind the entertainment center to contrast the open wood shelving and to create some drama in the large space. Ultimately, this will help tie the living and dining spaces together as well. One color we love is Plumage by Martha Stewart as used here. The trick will be to collect a few similar paint samples and compare them with the pillows and other teal items for the room. Choose the best coordinating 2 or 3 hues and stick ’em on the wall to evaluate in different light. Any company’s paint color can be mixed in your favorite base, so no worries there! We shared some examples of this look last week, and here is another one we quite enjoy…
6. Another layer of color and pattern for the foundation of this space comes from a chevron brown and cream rug like the one here. People have differences of opinion on putting rugs on carpet, but if it ties in and creates definition in a space, it can be a great addition, even if you do already have carpet. Here it will define the seating area in this large open-plan space, while incorporating a complementary pattern to the patterned valances and pillows.
7. A great lighting option for the right side of the long sofa (accompanied by the stump table) is this great floor lamp. Light from lamps creates a softer, more intimate atmosphere than overhead lighting and a great floor lamp like this one has flexibility in positioning the light for reading while sparing table space. Plus, it’s big soft white shade will accent the white in the dandelion fabric and create a homier feel than a torchiere style light.
8. One of the simpliest, yet most impactful, additions to this space will be strategically placed storage baskets to hide away kiddo toys. We like the idea of large lidded baskets in a contrasting light color for the bottom shelves of the entertainment unit, big enough to fill out the shelf space, while still being easy to slide out and dig into for playtime. A single large, open basket for those most-frequently-accessed toys that can hang out near the corner will help as well. Then most toys can be stored away and just rotated into the large basket when they are experiencing a spike in toddler popularity.
9. Another key addition to help wrangle the less eye-pleasing things and toys around the living room will be a large, tall storage cabinet like this one in a texture-rich black-brown combo finish, which will also create height to the right of the windows, next to the banister. The upper half with glass doors can hold books, magazine files and storage baskets while the drawers at the bottoms are handy for blankets, toys and other family necessities. After the sofas move about 1-2 feet farther towards the accent wall, this will fit nicely with easy access from the space at the banister behind the loveseat.
10. We couldn’t resist adding in this cute little accent table because of it’s perfect aqua/teal color. This could fit just about anywhere!
11. A larger, dimensional table like this one will suite the space where the two sofas corner together. Since this space will be just diagonal away from our tall storage cabinet, we like this contrasting metal white table to create separation between the two pieces. Another thing we like about this table is that it will last forever because it is metal and could be repainted several times (magic of spray paint!) to suit the whim of any new decor scheme or to live in a different room. Love a great investment. Bonus- metal furniture resists cat claws!
12. This great dimensional aqua lamp will pop on top of the white end table and bring some soft light to the opposite end of the living room from the floor lamp (Sorry, another semi-wonky link… Pier 1 just redid their website!).
13. And this piece of art is actually a simple DIY canvas shared on Bower Power that caught my eye because of its coordinating colors with this living room redo. This could be easily recreated for very little $ to hang between the windows in a large sized canvas. A larger piece of art will create more visual impact than smaller framed photos on a large wall.
And just because we love a good window treatment teaser, here’s the new valances from the original inspiration fabric that Natalie already had made! Can’t wait to see how all the rest comes together…
This space can get polished off with large accessories (pottery/ceramic pieces, baskets, etc.) in soft neutrals– and a few key pops of color– on top of the storage unit and entertainment center to create more dramatic height (especially against the accent wall where the ceiling vaults). Framed family photos and personal items will round it all off! Hope this helps, Nat! Can’t wait to visit your swanky new digs. Let us know what you think. Any other great tips out there for wrangling kiddo clutter? Favorite living space investment pieces or recent discount decor finds to share? Don’t keep them to yourself!
If you need some input on a design dilemma or just need some fresh inspiration, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about a Style File made just for you and your home.