Here it is! Our living room design plan with links to all the goodies you’ll find in that room.
First came Jenna Lyons’ home tour…
Here’s the crazy thing. My 23-year-old self detailed in a post on Live Creating Yourself SEVEN YEARS AGO that this was my dream living room and sofa… I loved everything about it. The English roll arm, the high ceilings and floor to ceiling windows (ooobviously), the chandelier, mirror, fireplace, oversized coffee table, large art… you get the picture.
Then came Ali Cayne’s home tour…
Which of course I loved x100 but for a while, it actually confused me because I thought they were the same rooms… with the chandeliers, yellow statement sofas, and grand gilded mirrors above the fireplaces.
What’s crazy is that I used these rooms as the design inspiration for our last living room, so we already had a few of the key pieces when we moved into this place: an English roll arm sofa, a gold mirror, and large modern art. Which is also why we looked all moved in 24 hours after getting the keys.
Those two gorgeous rooms above are also the main reason I wanted this house to begin with.
Do you see what I saw?!
Brownstones and greystones from London to Boston to DC and Chicago all have a pretty standard layout… granted the Brooklyn brownstones school every other row home with their insane crown building. But I saw the huge windows, extra high ceilings, fireplace… and I knew what a fresh coat of paint and changing out the light fixture would do.
So I did what I always do–this was before any lease was even signed…–and drew up a Photoshop mock-up of what the living room could look like.
THE DESIGN PLAN
Yes. I created this design plan before we even moved in.
What’s crazy is that we pretty much ended up with a living room that looks almost exactly like my plan.
We already had the sofa, pillows, rug, mirror, oversized modern art, fiddle leaf fig, brass curtain rods. Needed to get Caitlin arm chairs, chandelier, 120″ curtains, and the larger coffee table.
Both the chair and sofa are part of The Everygirl Collection for Interior Define – so it’s really awesome that I co-designed two of the main pieces in our living room!
But why this room really came together is in large part due to two pieces:
- The giant gild mirror I purchased from Anthropologie. I reeeally struggled with whether or not to pull the trigger on this since we already had a gild mirror that was decently smaller but still large enough. I’ve loved this Anthro mirror for years and had a gut feeling it was what the room needed. It paid off in full – I get more compliments on it than on anything else in the house (surprisingly more so from men who see it for the first time! They’re always impressed!). And it completely transformed the space.
- The second wow factor is the chandelier. I was looking everywhere for a crystal beaded chandelier… from eBay to etsy, vintage stores around Chicago and online shops. Let me tell you, these babies can cost a fortune… we’re talking thousands and thousands, especially for a large-scale antique like Jenna Lyons’ home has. Ultimately, I had the fortune of partnering with one of my favorite online retailers Candelabra to get their gorgeous Noble chandelier which is the exact look I was going for, and I actually preferred it wasn’t gold to tone down the shmancy. This gorgeous light fixture arrived in a giant crate, and as soon as it did, I knew it would be magic. And it is.
I knew I wanted a gallery wall next to the fireplace, similar to how Ali Cayne has, and fortunately I already had an abundance of large art to create this.
I really struggled with what to do on the walls behind the Caitlin chairs, but eventually inspiration struck. I had been moving my vertical spine bookshelves around the room, and realized I’d flank them behind the entryway leading into the dining room, and top them off with long-arm brass sconces, similar to what I’d seen on libraries and built-in shelving on Pinterest. Of course, we were not hard-wiring anything into the walls, but Schoolhouse sells a plug-in version that came out perfect. Now the velvet Caitlin chairs, bookshelves and sconces give that half of the room a cozy library vibe.
Last but not least–the TV. Basically, I hate the TV and would be happy to get rid of it altogether. But we always have some sports game on in the background when our families come over so… for a while it was nestled on the gorgeous refinished buffet from MegMade. But it was blocking my favorite art piece and was just staring at you when you came in the room, so for now, I’ve moved it into the corner that happens to be the last one you look at when you walk into the room (it’s near the entryway). We angle it it when we need to watch. We’ll see how long it lasts.
GET THE LOOK: Our Living Room
chandelier | velvet lounge chair (in quartz) | patchwork hide rug (super durable and stain resistant!) | coffee table | floor lamp| mirror (size small and it’s still huge) | vertical bookshelf | english roll arm sofa | black and white pillows | oversized modern art | plug-in brass sconces | faux fiddle leaf fig
I am shooting our home tour NEXT WEEK, which means I spent this past weekend running around to stores sourcing some fun new accessories to make it picture perfect. I went to CB2, West Elm, Crate and Barrel, and Jayson Home (fortunately all located right by one another in Lincoln Park) and picked up a couple of decorative accents, coffee table books, and candles to give it a new vibe.
This faux peony arrangement also arrived from NDI–my faaaavorite faux floral brand. They’re 100% worth the investment and look so beautiful in person and in photos. When you consider how much you’d spend buying flowers time and time again, this purchase definitely pays off (just like the faux fiddle leaf fig tree).
GET THE LOOK: The Accessories
Living in Paris | Santalum candle | embroidered tassel pillow | Baies candle | gold mirrored tray | glass cloche | faux peonies | vintage silver tray | African bead necklace | bust | Life and Work
Our brass curtain rods are available here (I’ve had these for years and move them from apartment to apartment–well worth the investment!). I found 120″ silk curtain panels from RH Baby and Teen for a steal on final sale (still available)!
Let me know if you have any other questions!
I absolutely love Ali Cayne’s home, it is one of my all time favorites. However, your home has now taken the top spot as my favorite! I cannot wait to see everything finished!
Bah! You’re too kind!! 🙂 Hah thank you!
So pretty Alaina! I love that Caitlin armchair so much. I’d love to put two of them in my office. I’ve also been eyeing that bust from CB2 but I can’t decide if I have a place for it. It’s so regal.
I love it! Thank you for sharing your home and design style with us. Beautiful inspiration and you seem so down to earth that it makes me want to read all your blog posts.
I know you are always asking your readers for ideas and what we want you to write about…I would love love love if you would do a post on decorating shelves– kitchen, dining room, and/or living room. How you use color, texture, ect to style a shelf.
We are on the waiting list for a historic apartment and your home is my absolute inspiration. I’ve loved interior define for a long time (although the husband would not get on board with a roll arm, so we’d do a different style), what fabric is your sofa in?