Anatomy of a Room: Lisa’s Living Room

I get asked to help with a lot of living rooms. They all have tricky layouts, need to serve multiple functions, have plenty of storage and be both adult spaces and kid friendly. No wonder everyone finds them challenging. Lisa’s living room is no exception. While she has a bit more space than the previous rooms I’ve gotten to play with, she needs a complete revamp. They’ve spent their time focusing on their young family, but now its time to replace the furniture that they bought in grad school and make their space functional. Lisa’s living room flows into her dining room, which I’ll also be doing a mood board for and much of what is in both rooms will soon be relegated to a basement playroom.

The living room is good-sized, 16 x 20, but has a lovely but awkward bay window at the front and two large entries. Lisa would like the space to comfortably seat their family of five, as well as guests, store their ever-growing library, have plenty of open space for her two-year old to play where she can keep an eye on her and feel grown-up enough to relax with a glass of wine at the end of the day. That’s a lot, but an efficient floor plan with multi-purpose furniture should make it possible.

I used the Pottery Barn floor planner this time. Preloaded with their furniture, with a few completed room plans to look at as well, it was easier than the tool I’ve used previously, but with significantly fewer options if your room has obstructions or is not rectangular.

A large sectional provides plenty of seating. There are no overhead lights in this room, so I’ve included plenty of table and floor lamps. Corner bookshelves balance the weight of the sectional and provide plenty of storage. As always, I’d add some doors, even if the shelves are a little messy the doors make everything look cleaner and keep little hands from pulling everything off the shelves. The TV sits on the wall above a small shelving unit, likely with an art cover similar to mine. Lisa has a fabulous steamer trunk already, which will make a great coffee table for the sectional. Small chairs by the bookcases offer additional seating and can easily be moved out of the way when kids are playing. All of the tables have shelves for baskets, offering additional toy storage and easy clean-up.

Lisa wanted the comfiest sofa ever and the York sectional by Room and Board is cushy and deep and comes in kid friendly fabrics. A neutral paint color, like Benjamin Moore’s Gray Thunder, keeps the space feeling calm even when bright toys are everywhere. A soft wool rug deadens noise and is comfortable for floor play. Some yellow and blue accents to liven things up and a fun pillow with the house rules. Links for everything shown can be found on Pinterest.

I’ll be sharing Lisa’s dining room next and have a bedroom planned for next week. Also up soon, my tips for taking these mood boards and making them work on a budget.



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