Now that my home tour is live on The Everygirl, I am hoping to walk you through the design process of our house! Show you how we went from move-in to what it looks like today. First up the living room.
I walked you through the design plan for the living room here. But this will give you a better sense of the timeline and thought process behind it all!
This room was gorgeous to begin with and needed very little work. I recognized the layout as being similar to a traditional Brooklyn Brownstone and knew exactly how I wanted to lay it out the moment I saw it.
Things I wanted to change? The light fixture, the paint color. That’s pretty much it!
ONE DAY POST MOVE-IN
The landlord hired someone to paint the walls before we moved in – I got to choose the paint color and went with Ultra Bright White by Behr for every room in the house. Yes, that was my desk being used as a temporary dining table.
I realize the room already looks pretty good to go, and that’s because I designed our last living room around Ali Cayne’s living room, which has this kind of layout. So I already had most of the key pieces: a gold mirror, an English roll arm sofa, large art. We technically could have left it as this. If only I didn’t have biiiig plans for the space. Muhaha.
2 DAYS POST MOVE-IN: HANG ART
Art gets hung. I remember walking down the stairs in the morning, looking into the living room, and not believing we lived here because it reminded me SO much of Jenna Lyons’ home (even though hers is all updated and a bit nicer). I had a good sense I wanted the large modern art piece from Minted hanging to the right of the fireplace like in Lyons’ home but we tested it on the other side of the room, as well. And it was easy to hang the gallery wall to the left like in Ali Cayne’s home because it was exactly how we had it in our last apartment.
ONE MONTH IN: PAINT THE SHUTTERS
Had to happen. Made such a big difference! Just a Saturday DIY w/ Dan.
WOOD-BURNING FIRES ALL WINTER LONG
This is how we lived through March. We lit fires almost every night. We’d tilt the TV toward the couch to watch movies and shows. It was very cozy. (Note: the ceiling fixture was edited out of this photo.)
NEW MIRROR ARRIVES
After living in the space for a month or so, it became apparent to me that the gild mirror we had was not working in the room. Don’t get me wrong – I love our Wisteria mirror – it now resides in our office – but I knew I wanted something larger and with a less saturated gold frame. But mainly larger. Anthropologie’s Primrose mirror was perfect–and can you believe this is the size SMALL of the Primrose mirror?! Look at the size difference. The new mirror is hands down the most complimented piece we own.
Hah speaking of that damn ceiling fixture. I hated it so much I would edit it out of photos like I mentioned above… it had to go.
Enter the chandelier. The cherry on top. The showpiece of the room and the item I knew the room needed before we even moved in. I was searching everywhere from various websites to thrift stores, eBay and Craigslist looking for a new or vintage chandelier to hang in here. It was so so tough to find one the right size and price. Fortunately, I was able to partner with the amazing team at Candelabra and they had the perfect piece.
or as I like to call it: a lesson in measuring
Needed to rearrange.
The sofa is the Rose English roll arm and is part of The Everygirl collection with Interior Define (yes–Danielle and I designed both these pieces! Makes it extra special to have in the room!). I knew I really wanted to incorporate our other collaboration design – the Caitlin collection – into the room as well so I ordered two Caitlin chairs to sit across from the sofa. I surprisingly went with a brown velvet (quartz) because I wanted a warmer hue for the room and a darker color I didn’t have to worry about.
What I didn’t think about what the size. I didn’t realize what a large scale chair the Caitlin is, so when both chairs arrived, they didn’t exactly fit where they were meant to go. You see, that half of the room is actually a bit more narrow due to duct work that was added and takes away about a foot of space. So the news chairs meant some rearranging. I moved the TV stand over by the sofa which worked and offered enough space for the Caitlin chairs. Voila!
Keep in mind anyone who sits in these chairs falls in love immediately – you can lounge sideways in them, or take off the side pillows and even fit two people for game night! They’re a fan favorite.
NEW, LARGER COFFEE TABLE
Even though the new chairs fit in the space, the scale of them still felt large. I wanted to maximize the area of the room but that meant both the sofa and chairs were too far back from the coffee table for it to function properly (setting a drink on, eating off of, resting feet on, what have you). The solution was that we needed a larger coffee table – something to scale in the space.
I fell in love with this oversized coffee table from Candelabra–no coasters needed!–measured it and knew it would work perfectly.
The last thing I decided to do – and it was entirely based on this photo – was to hang curtains. The windows are so tall and lovely and there’s a lot going on in the space, I wasn’t sure it needed it. But when I found 120″ silk curtains on clearance at RH Baby, I bit the bullet. I already had the brass curtain rods from 4 years ago. Dan grabbed the ladder and up they went.
AND IT’S DONE
photography by Aimee Mazzenga
SHOP OUR LIVING ROOM
Brava! You did such an amazing job on your home. I really admire how you picked a neutral color palette and stuck to it. I get design ADD and start to drift away from my original plan. Anyway, congrats on designing such a beautiful space. Just out of curiosity, has your landlord ever expressed interest in selling? I can’t imagine leaving there!
LOVE LOVE LOVE! One question: now where is your TV?
I was wondering the same thing. Must have removed it for the home tour.
You can see that she moved the tv in between pictures. You can see it in the first shot, the one that looks all the way back toward the windows. But it’s been removed & the buffet has been re-styled in all of the other shots so that it’s not obvious that something else is usually there.
I love your work Alaina & I admire you greatly, but it drives me crazy when designers & bloggers do things like that. So many people are striving to have houses as nice as yours, and it presents an inaccurate and unattainable image of perfection to see shots like this all the time that don’t reflect the functional, lived reality of the space.
Sorry to hear it’s so bothersome! I do post photos all the time – on my blog and in social – that show that’s where the TV lives. It was a professional shoot so yes, assume that in magazines and on blogs things always get restyled, furniture gets moved, things are angled differently to get the best possible shot!
Yes! Just pulled it out of the shot for when we shot directly at the fireplace! It was too distracting to have a large black rectangle there.
Wowzers! This is soooo nice! And I couldn’t figure exactly how long the entire process took, but even at month one I was impressed. I’ve been in my new home four months and I’m no where near “this” kind of progress. Such a slacker, I’ve gotta get moving! Thanks for the very lovely and detailed post.
So where is the TV? Granted, I am thrilled you never put it above the fireplace, because I HATE TVs above the fireplace. However, I am looking for real life design like what you do with the TV, dog bed, magazines, mail, etc… in your living/great room area. Otherwise, it is so pretty!
Love it! I have a similar set up and need a bit of privacy in my front room that faces the street – did you keep the shutters there (can’t tell from the final picture) and do you use them for additional privacy?
I recently found your blog while looking for paint color inspiration ideas. My husband and I will be moving soon and painting will be a must. I love your choice of Behr’s Ultra Bright White, and I was wondering if you by any chance remember what sheen you chose for the paint? I know it’s a long shot but I figured I could at least try and ask.
Your home is absolutely beautiful, all of the hard work you’ve put in for it is truly inspiring. Thank you for sharing your journey!
Wow, what a fantastic home.
Stunning! ❤️ That black and white painting.
Beautiful!! Couple qustions: How many inches is your sofa or is it a loveseat?? And where did you get the rug?
I found your links thank you. But what fabric did you select for the sofa?
I found your links thank you. But what fabric did you select for the sofa?
But where or where did you pick up your disco ball? Disco balls are not all created equal and yours really looks sparkly!
That’s a beautiful room and I could move right in without changing a thing. I really enjoyed seeing its evolution from beginning to finished room. I want to emulate the almost-no-color color scheme, and I’m working on it!