Design Tips to Update and Elevate the Living Room

living-room-design-tipsWe’re excited to share a living room update in collaboration with Raymour & Flanigan who provided furniture and decor. Opinions, as always, are my own. 

Like many families, we spend the majority of our time in the living room.  It’s where we decompress, host friends and family, and enjoy simply being together – cocooned between our walls.  It’s arguably the most important room in our home, and we’ve always felt connected to the ways in which our interior space impacts our everyday.  With a goal of continuing to tell our collective family story with heirloom pieces, meaningful artwork, and some new furniture and decor to compliment our Tudor style space – we found a way to easily upgrade the communal area in our home – just in time for the holidays, and the fresh start of a new year.  See below for our simple design tips to instantly update and elevate the living room.

living-room-home-design-tips-raymour-flaniganMAXIMIZE AVAILABLE SPACE

Selecting a specific couch or sectional was perhaps the biggest design decision in our living room update.  While I initially went with a plush beige sectional, the Soto 4-piece Modular Sectional Sofa with Soto Ottoman suited the available space so much better. As opposed to something oversized, the low back, tapered feet and raised design (that my robotic vacuum can work under!) deliver the sort of warmth and comfort that we were looking to maintain.

home-design-decor-styling-tipsFOCUS ON MULTI-FUNCTIONAL PIECES THAT COMPLIMENT THE EXISTING SPACE

In addition to the dimensions and overall feel of the 5-piece sectional, we knew its functionality would work well for our lifestyle.  When guests are over, we just slide over the armless chair to cozy up in discussion and add the ottoman for those who want to catch a quick cat nap (hello husband!).  Being able to pull apart the pieces, with the option of latching it all together (while set up in sectional mode) made this key piece transform the space visually and functionally.

living-room-home-design-how-toUTILIZE ARTWORK AND PLANTS

Whether meaningful family heirlooms, new treasures or flea-market finds, we’re big believers in loving the art displayed on the walls every single day.  I adore having my husband’s work in clear view, and the way that our living room design allows treasured gifted pieces to take center stage. We also picked up this great Copper Flower Wall Decor to pull together the color palette while providing impact to an otherwise bare wall.  Also, every space can be perked up by natural elements like fresh plants – just don’t forget to water!

home-design-tips-statemen-pieceINCORPORATE STATEMENT PIECES

With a mirrored interior and lightly antiqued gold finish, this large Bevan Gold Oval Tray houses a rotation of decorative items, fresh flower, flameless candles and more, while making a statement in the overall space.  Go ahead and put curated stacks of books on display too, while mixing them up to keep your current reads interesting. 

raymour-flanigan-modular-sectional-sofaADD A RUG

Rugs always add an instant cozy vibe.  If we didn’t have a bold and colorful rug in the front area of the room, we would have selected a loud or patterned rug for this portion of the living room.  This Bella Sisal Hazelnut Area Rug complements the overall aesthetic while meshing well with the bright accents in the designated play area.

living-roomBRING IN TEXTURE

We found the texture-rich feel we craved in a few Bryant Cognac Shag Throw Pillows.
We’ll eventually add more color and patterns to the pillow collection, and adore the starting layer of texture in these great shag throw pillows.

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Lastly, we’re fans of mixing different designs with a bit of modern, mid-century, eclectic and antique along the way. The new pieces from our partner, Raymour & Flanigan helped to instantly upgrade our well-loved living room to a favorite place where more cherished memories will be made.

Looking for more design features?  View the kids shared bedroom upgrade here.

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Bunking Up: a Kids’ Shared Bedroom Design

kids-shared-bedroom-bunkbeds-RaymourFlaniganI have partnered with Raymour & Flanigan and received products in exchange for this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

Even though the kids are getting bigger, they are very much still adamant about room-sharing (and phew! because right now they don’t have a choice.). It’s all they’ve ever known and happens to be the norm among friends living in smallish spaces here in New York City. These two certainly squabble, but I do think that sharing a room has fostered a unique closeness, a penchant for creative play, and a desire to seek new discoveries and adventures together.

With a new school year approaching, we were determined to make their shared bedroom as functional as possible with a space saving and equitable design.  The room was previously overrun by big sister and had a feminine pull despite adding personalized touches for the little guy.  The kids have been keen on getting bunk beds for a while now, and we’re so pleased with the Jordan Bunk Beds we ultimately decided on from Raymour & Flanigan.

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With two built-in storage drawers (trundle or open options are available too), both kids quickly stuffed their prized possessions into their designated drawers (coined their, “collections”).  Although I envisioned tucking clothing options for the school week into the bunk bed drawers, their “collections” became the solution for housing those special (and random) nick-knacks in a centralized location.

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The additional single cubby stores their current reads and library books and other ever-changing methodically placed toys that make me appreciate my children’s inherent creativity; the sort of evidence of living a vibrant life with kids.

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After falling in love with an online exclusive item (a beautiful rug!) I almost placed the entire order online, but I’m glad we made our way into a Raymour & Flanigan showroom.  It stirred up incredible kiddo excitement and in hindsight, I had a lot to learn.  Who knew that bunk beds took smaller box springs than stand alone beds?  And the top bunk needed a thinner mattress to prevent the top bunker from going overboard. Raymour & Flanigan has it all, and one of the best parts is that they deliver it AND SET IT ALL UP FOR YOU!

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The spacious Glistening Night’s Area Rug is cozy and inviting and super soft on bare feet, and definitely adds warmth to the space.

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In addition to painting the walls a fresh coat of white, and undergoing massive purges throughout the summer, I learned that I had to let go of a few of my design ideas in order to create a functional space in a small home.  We love an eclectic mix of special family pieces in our furniture, and I had reservations about removing an ornate vintage chandelier from the kids’ room that didn’t make sense with bunk beds (or a boy/girl shared space).  Adding my father’s family rocking chair to the corner and leaving my husband’s grandmother’s large mirror in the room (previously sprayed white) fulfilled the meaning that I was craving in the children’s room, reminding us of loved ones no longer with us.

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The room continues to feel incredibly bright and light and positive, and easy to clean up and organize.  And although we were tempted to add one of Raymour & Flanigan’s options for matching dressers or night stands – the open space is utilized so well. Since changing things up, we’ve found the kids naturally separating when needing a break from each other, with one in the playroom in the front of our home – and the other carrying about, on their own in the bedroom.

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Organizationally set to approach a new school year, I can’t believe it took me this long to make much-needed changes to the children’s bedroom.  Even just a few pieces can create a massive impact with lasting effects on the entire family.  We’re all so happy with the outcome and motivated to continue to make smart design changes throughout our home.

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