The living room... that funny place that we spend lots of time yet has just started to come along. Ha. Do you ever feel like you just can't figure a space out? Our living room has stumped me for the longest time. It's pretty large yet not quite large enough to have two separate spaces. Yet, still too large for having furniture (the furniture that we have anyways) to fill the space. Let's walk back through memory lane and then I'll share my thoughts as well as some new pictures of where we are at currently. And, if you have a longer living space... please share in the comments. I'd love to hear how you decorate it!
It's so interesting to look at old pictures!
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Metal Chair / Couch
We had painted the walls gray and arranged the furniture (arranged and rearranged some more), bought a cheap futon at Target and made a DIY light.
To say it looked empty would be an understatement. I knew I needed some large art but didn't have the budget to buy some. So, I covered a bulletin board with fabric and hung it on the wall.
I also upgraded the light with one that I loved and found some inexpensive pillows.
Then I shared my design plan for the space.
We painted all the trim bright white which got rid of the dingy cream-colored trim. Decor pieces and small extra furniture pieces were brought in and out.
We bought the blue loveseat from West Elm and rearranged the living room a few more times.
It was basically a hodgepodge of stuff. To add more to that feeling, I found a vintage chair at the Goodwill. It was so dang comfy and cool, that I had to have it. I had it recovered in some bright fabric (which, in hindsight, was a mistake).
Somewhere around that time, we had an anniversary and decided to buy ourselves that piece of art (in the picture above). It's by Caroline Wright and we just adore it.
The chair moved around a bit. I found that I really liked it by the window, but hated the view with the built-in corner shelf.
So, the built-in got a makeover.
Around that time, we settled on a layout that we kept for a while.
Then, I decided that although I really liked the gallery wall idea... I didn't like how I arranged it.
After much deliberation and some help from blogging friends... I arrived at this:
That brings me up to date with what I've shared on the blog. I think the gallery wall change happened early summer 2015. Since then, I've gotten the living room even closer to making it feel like us.
Ready to see?
In April, we had white oak hardwood floors put in. That set the tone for the space. We still haven't installed baseboards, but that will come eventually.
The gallery wall hasn't changed that much, but I did add DIY Wall Planters to it.
I'm currently working on the corner built-in; or contemplating doing more to it than just taking everything out of it (like it is right now).
The rug was a purchase that I made in May. We LOVE the rug. It adds so much softness to the room and bounces light like no other!
The corner gray chair is a chair we bought 4 years ago on a deep, deep discount at West Elm. We had it in our bedroom but never used it in there. We needed more seating in our living room and, although I'm not in love with it in there... it works and provides the seating that we need.
The railing is still an eye sore. I waver back and forth on what to do with it.
Overall though, I think the room is coming together. It has never felt more like us nor more welcoming.
Oh, and I've rounded up items that we have if you'd like to shop them:
cassie @ primitive & proper
so fun to see the evolution! what a difference those new floors make!
I really like how your living room turned out.
Thanks Laura! I don't feel like I've completely found my groove but it does feel like us so progress is great!
What great progress! I really like how it's coming together. I think long spaces are really hard to arrange.
I do love the gallery wall and that one big painting that you guys splurged on that is by the gray corner piece.
Living spaces are definitely something that evolves over time. I may suggest if you're still not a fan of the built in, maybe just cut it in half and remove the top part so it's "not there" but still keep the bottom half as it's possibly usable storage.
because if you take it out completely, it renders that corner useless?
as for the railing.. I feel you on that. we have black railing separating the entrance from the living room as it's 2 steps down.....but i wouldn't know what to do with it!
I like seeing the evolution of it. I'm stuck with our layout it until I buy new furniture or move. I did break up our three piece matching set by removing one chair (all three items are the large, oversized pieces....and green....ugh!) and replaced it with two vintage wood and blue velvet chairs I inherited from my grandmother. I love them. But other than those chairs and a few small pieces, the rest can go. I like when rooms can change with families.
The evolution of a room is so fun to see documented! I love the color you have spread around the room now. We have a very similar layout to our long living room, but found a different furniture arrangement worked for us. The TV across from the window just didn't work 🙁 Sooo, we put the it on the back wall (where your gallery wall is) flanked with a pair of floating shelves on either side, a console underneath and a couple of extra chairs that can be pulled out as needed...usually for video gaming. Under the window is our leather couch and across from it is our good ol' Ikea sectional. One length of it faces the TV and beyond it is the opening to the entryway. Throw in a light weight wood and metal round coffee table and we have a living room that can comfortably seat 10, more if we pull in additional chairs from the adjacent den. What I haven't figured out is art on the walls. The downside to the shelves around the tv, is that it can look really busy and cluttered FAST!
Monica @ MonicaWantsIt.com
Love the progress you've made, and it's interesting how changing the gallery made such a difference. Your home is bright and beautiful- good job! Love that blue sofa, too. <3
Thanks Monica! The gallery wall was a game changer for sure.
Could the corner chair work better if you nixed the giant grey pillows (perhaps move them to a bed in the house?) And used lighter color coordinating colors with the rest of the space pillows?
Our living room is almost twice as long as it is wide. I quite like your current layout!
ooooh, maybe! I hadn't thought of that.
your living room has gone through some changes. I like what is going on so far. It is nice to see the many different configurations you can do in one space. Curious to know, have you tried moving your media center on the wall that gallery wall is on and create 1.5 spaces with the couch sitting across facing it. Then creating a secondary "waiting" area behind the couch using a narrow sofa table and matching accent chairs. It is hard to explain, but I thought I would try. No matter what I still love your house and all that you have done to it.
It totally has! I've seen that idea around Pinterest a few times and really like it but I'm not sure it would work with this space (where our case openings are). BUT, I do really like that concept. I'm trying to convince the hubby that we just need bigger furniture. In hindsight, the blue velvet loveseat was not the smartest buy because it's small.
I also have a long living room. I have set up bookcases and 2 chairs at one end to create a reading nook. It doesn't require as much space as, say, a dining area, but if fits into the overall scheme of things. The bookcases flank a fireplace, and the chairs sit in front of each bookcase. Then there is enough space for a walk thru, about 3 feet. Then I have arranged my living room furniture as if the walk thru was the fourth wall. It worked out quite well for me.
looks great...try using wire cable to replace your dated railing...
Love what you have done in your living room, it is very hard to decorate a long living room, I made two separate sitting areas to break it up it was easier to decorate and when entertaining we had more seating.
I absolutely love the chair you had reupholstered the material, color and pattern are just the right pop of color and brightness needed in your living room, I thought it looked really good by the built in corner cabinet (I have that exact corner cabinet). I would have painted the cabinet the same color as the wall, and maybe lined inside with leftover material from chair since you don't like the cabinet that way it would have blended in, but would have pulled the chair in with it. I did just the opposite because I wanted mine to stand out so I painted it turquoise and it has been that color for several years now and she is getting ready for a makeover, she is going to be a really dark red.
You will find over the years your taste will evolve along with your living room, but just go with what you love and you can't go wrong, just like you have done so far. your floors and furniture are beautiful and I love your gallery wall, everything looks beautiful.
I have never been a "blue" person, but I am about to buy a denim slipcover for my couch, so I guess I am turning into one! (I usually have preferred greens and earth colors.) But I really, really love your living room especially the blue couch and the rug and floors. Didn't much care for the red and white chair -- it just didn't seem to work, but it seems to have disappeared from the last arrangement. If you put it back, may I suggest trying a bright color blanket or throw over it-- perhaps a lime green, bright pink or fuchsia or red or yellow.
Just stumbled upon this blog today. I love your floors. Do you remember what finish you used? From the pictures I’ve seen, they look fairly matte. That is the look I’m going for, but I haven’t figured out how to go about it. I LOVE your whole house, btw.
We had weathered oak put on them with an eggshell finish. =) Thank you!