Welcome to our Living Room! This is the first room when you enter our small historic home and we really tried to fit as much seating and design interest into the space as possible while still maintaining traffic flow and not overwhelming the space. Rob and I HATE clutter. But I also LOVE warm spaces and for rooms to feel really cozy. It’s actually a hard balance to find, especiallyyy when your house is limited in square footage and every room has a distinct separation and no open concept. This floor plan can really make each space feel closed off and small if not executed correctly.
Obviously we weren’t about to change any of the interior structure of the rooms in our house because it’s historic and we didn’t want to sacrifice any of that original integrity (call us Nicole Curtis for our traditionalist approach here). So it came down to paint color and furniture layout. As you can recall from our Dining Room and Kitchen tours, we aren’t always great about nailing a paint color the first time. Well guess what? WE ACTUALLY GOT IT RIGHT FOR ONCE. From the moment we bought the house we knew we wanted a soft and airy green for the Living Room and we found it in Sage Tint. It is the perfect compliment to the era of the home (1939) while still being classic enough to stand the test of time and feel right for our aesthetic. While we nailed the paint color, we still didn’t realize that we needed to add trim just below the original cove ceilings in order to paint the ceiling white. This revelation came at the same time as the Dining Room so we lasted a couple of years living in a cave of Sage Tint.
The wood look tile floors that we had installed (after our sweet and wonderful dogs destroyed the engineered wood after only a year of living here) really lightened up the space since the existing floors were cherry colored. We ran the herringbone pattern perpendicular to the entry way so it runs straight ahead when you walk in and lengthens the space (anything we can do to try and trick the eye!). The tile has a rustic vibe with tan and gray tones that really compliment the sage walls.
While we got so lucky with three large paned windows providing great natural light, there wasn’t a single overhead light in the entire Living Room and ONE wall mounted sconce all the way to the left of the room on the driveway facing wall. So yeah, not enough light unless it’s between the hours of 9 and 5. We installed 6 can lights on a dimmer – because a dimmer is incredibly necessary and we’re fancy like that 😉 – and now we have light to spare. The wall sconce is still in place but we plan on replacing it with a higher end finish than the current one.
The layout of the Living Room was the single most difficult part of the room to figure out. We probably sorted through 14 different ways to setup the furniture and traffic flow before settling on the permanent layout. I always tell Rob that whenever we sell this house the new owners better feel like the luckiest people on Earth that we’ve gone through all of the growing pains for them and they will be able to plug in their own stuff with the best possible outcome. THEY BETTER.
As for the furniture, can you tell we love mid-century modern? But how do you integrate mid-century modern into a historic home that was built pre Mad Men? We took a page out of Emily Henderson’s book (very literally – I LOVE her book and display it proudly on our console table/record player for all to see) and made sure to incorporate a few traditional details with some of the artwork, pillow accents, and soft colors. We have a record player that serves as a media console, a coffee table to center the seating space, a secretary desk to house our dailies and mail, and two side chairs that are our pride and joy.
We purchased our Z Chairs for about $150 from an antique store without realizing what they were (and let’s be honest the sellers didn’t realize what they were either based on the price tag). When we happened upon the little red button under the seat pad we looked them up and we had found GOLD – Poul Jensen for Selig. After restoring them to their original glory and refitting them with new cushions they are worth a pretty penny and the perfect addition to our home. The couch on the other hand isn’t a long term fit for the space and was a quick and cheap purchase from IKEA when we finally needed to upgrade from our hand-me-down (zebra!) couch. I’m envisioning a sectional with a bumper in a slightly lighter color and higher off the ground which will help the room feel larger with a sight line under the couch (I’ve got my eye on one from Joybird that’s a real looker – just buttering Rob up currently).
Well there you have it! A small, cozy, well designed space that fits our style and needs, a couch large enough to fit two adult humans and three dogs, and a TV large enough to allow me to enjoy the Bravo channel to the fullest 😉
xoxo Ariel & Rob