The living room at the Evergreen house has come such a long way! When we first bought this flip house, the fireplace had been demoed and the flu was buried in the wall. There was an awkward small window in the corner and a strange door to a bedroom right smack dab in the middle of the main wall, a straight shot from the front door. The pass through to the kitchen was short and narrow. There were THREE types of flooring in one room. And the ceiling was basically falling down. NBD, right?
The first thing we did was frame in the doorways and windows we wanted to delete. We replaced the ceiling drywall and laid new floors since there was no wood to even salvage in half of the room. Everything under the linoleum was plywood, so there must have been some serious water damage at some point or something! I was bummed we couldn’t use original wood floors in this house, but I love the tones of the new flooring (Grand Pacific in the color Sea Lion).
We built out a new firebox and framed out shelves on either side.
On the other side of the room, we opened the pass through to the kitchen and added an arch detail that mimics the arch we designed for the fireplace surround. We installed some original built-ins we had salvaged from one of the bedrooms. It fits perfectly on this wall!
From day one, I had a vision of using a picture rail system in the front room for hanging art easily on the original plaster walls (which can be a BEAST to nail into!). I think the picture rail installed a few inches from the ceiling also compliments the coved ceiling detail in the sunroom! The french brass gallery rods were purchased from Swan Picture Hangers and I was super impressed with the look and quality.
The walls were painted Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore and the trim and builtins are Seapearl. I love the tonal warmth in the colors of this room and I think the brass accents from the gallery rods are the perfect final touch! (And they match the original door hardware too!)
If I’m starting from scratch with decorating a space, I almost always pick the rug first, because rugs are the hardest thing to find for me, and they are so, so important for a room! In fact, if you are stumped with your room, make sure you have the right rug for your room. It needs to be the first puzzle piece!
The size needs to be right for the space and for your furniture (our rug here is 9×12 – perfect for a larger layout and all the front legs are comfortably sitting on the rug). Beyond size though, the pattern and color tones of your rug will completely change the feel of your space! I love this particular rug for this room because it was tonal with the floors. I love all the warms colors and the movement. (Also it was super affordable and GORGEOUS!) BUT the pattern is definitely on the busy side, so that dictated the direction of my furniture upholstery and throw pillow choices. Even my art needed to go in a different direction to compliment the busier rug pattern.
We chose rust velvet arm chairs, a white slipcovered sofa and a black leather sofa to all fit together in the living room. It’s a big space and it could handle a lot of seating. I love how these pieces work together to create a balanced look in both tone and style!
Can you believe the legs on this sofa?! HEAVEN.
I originally tried a wood coffee table in here, but the pleated ottoman won over in the end! I love using a small dining table as a side table in a living room and it felt like we had too much wood in here with both tables. The soft, textural ottoman with trays works perfectly. And the large side table (which was a vintage find) allows us to display art and other pretty objects with still plenty of room for an oversized table lamp.
The faux fiddle leaf fig tree was a great affordable find. I love that it has many individual trunks rather than a single skinny one. I did end up removing about half of the leaves to thin out the top a lot before manipulating and fluffing the leaves. I think this helps the tree look more realistic! I “planted” the tree in an oversized white basket, propping up the tree with a few boxes underneath and supporting the sides with recycled packaging materials before covering the top in moss.
We placed a small bench (similar) behind the sofa to help fill in a little space and to add some layering and dimension.
Check out the sawtooth shelf supports! They just don’t make things like they used to! I’m so happy we were able to reuse these built ins with only a few minor adjustments!
We’ll be doing a separate post on our shelf styling tips (since this post is already monster sized!), but usually I like to start with larger storage pieces, art and art books, and then I fill in with smaller books and finally plants and small accessories. As a general rule, I tend to prefer more books on bookshelves. Too many accessories starts to feel like a store instead a home! Books are so homey and inviting to me. I think very, very loosely making small groupings of books by cover color looks a little more organized and helps give the eye a place to rest as it moves around your shelving. Each little grouping becomes its own object of sorts. Don’t get too literal about it though, or else it will feel stiff.
I followed the same styling rules for the shelving that flanks the fireplace. I tried to really focus on the books, but then fill in with pretty objects that feel collected and help the eye move around. And don’t forget the greenery! It’s SO important to have a lot of plants in a room in order for it to feel alive!
This antique copper urn is one of my most prized possessions – I love it. It was only $2 at an antique mall. I have kind of given up on most thrift stores and have doubled down on antique malls. In my area at least, the finds are still very reasonably priced and are infinitely better curated!
I’m so happy with this pretty space and wish it were my own living room! What questions can we answer for you? As always, the sources are all listed together here at the bottom of the post and I’d be happy to go over anything in the comments or on Insta! xo