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by ParadisGuitars
Ehd ParadisGuitars Living Room Update 3

It’s been a while since you’ve seen this room, and boy are there changes. Why? Simply because it brings me so much joy to rearrange my house and tweak styling in an attempt to have my house reflect the personality, style and comfort needs of my family. It’s a hobby that was turned into a career and like all accidental creative business owners, there tends to be way less time to do the stuff you love (i.e. styling my own house). So In my ‘spare’ time I’ve been playing around and with no deadlines (on this room, at least)…it’s VERY fun.

This room has such great bones and beautiful light, but it’s never felt done done. And maybe nothing ever totally is, because your style and needs shift, sure, but I never felt the reaction to this room that I do to the living room in the mountain house when I walk in. There is a reason why I haven’t thrown any parties or events here, but couldn’t wait to have a reader event up there—I wanted to show it off!

So here is where we started, as you know, almost 3 years ago.

ParadisGuitars Modern English Cottage Tudor Living Room Reveal10

It’s warm and inviting and yes, full of life, but ultimately too much stuff for us and too traditional for me, mostly because of the rug and sofa combo. I do think it’s interesting and layered and full of personality, though.

ParadisGuitars Modern English Cottage Tudor Living Room Reveal11

Yes, there are times when I wish I had kept that rug, and just replaced the sofa with something more modern. Like maybe the rug got blamed too strongly for it feeling busy. A neutral, more modern sofa on this rug is perhaps all I needed to shift it. But I sold it years ago and someone else is loving it for who it is.

The Target chairs helped modernize everything, for sure, but one of them now lives in the mountain house living room and the other went to our last Feel Good Flash Makeover.

The coffee table now lives in the mountain house and is actually so perfect up there.

ParadisGuitars Modern English Cottage Tudor Living Room Reveal6

I’m still hoarding that chaise because the shape and scale are just so pretty and I have dreams of reupholstering it in a deep color, with the same color fringe. It’s probably 150 years old with original fabric so it’s absolutely falling apart and needs total restoration, but I’m willing to invest in it because it’s special. The blue demilune table now lives in my best friend’s entry and looks SUPER cute.

Eh Livingroom 4969

In this iteration, I brought in more color (some brighter teals in the shelves and art) in an attempt to make it more interesting.

Bright English Tudor Modern Living Room Brick Fireplace

The rug, sadly was pretty destroyed by my cats and we had to “mow” it every time we shot as it was unraveling. It’s now in my garage with a good chunk of it intact and I might cut it down into a smaller rug or have it bound in the exact shape of the kids play nook in the bay window…dunno.

Most recently, this is the version I tried out and showed you:

The green sofa I pulled from our TV room (it’s custom from Clad Home) and paired it with a BLUE antique rug (from Blue Parakeet), so similar in vibe to the red one but less “loud.” You can’t really see it in this photo, but in general, that sofa was just too small for this room and looked out of scale IRL. Plus, this room just didn’t make my heart pound and I wanted it to feel “cooler” and less heavy handed…once I figured out what that meant.

ParadisGuitars Waverly Living Room 2018 Fall Update 2 1670x2087

When I look at my past work, past living rooms, I always see this one and think, ah, that room was so pretty.

ParadisGuitars Living Room Staged To Sell Boho Mid Century Eclectic Blue White Styled Couch Sectional Staged2

It was simple and light and still layered and interesting.

ParadisGuitars Living Room Staged To Sell Boho Mid Century Eclectic Blue White Styled Couch Sectional Staged4

I kept that Article sectional up at the mountain house and when we replaced it with the vintage one, I was like, well maybe I should try that back in LA. Maybe THAT’s the answer…a more modern, simple sectional. So I did…

Ehd ParadisGuitars Living Room Update 1

I’ve been living with the room like this for a month or so, and last week, I found this rug at HD Buttercup and it was incredibly soft, and just so simple and pretty. I took it out on “memo” (which means borrowing to see it in your space before fully committing) and well, we all couldn’t give it up. It’s not a shag, it’s just thick and so soft. I know you are all going to want to know about it and I’ll try to find a purchasable link (HD Buttercup only has a few rugs on their website and wasn’t too into working with us on getting a link for it…and I tried to tell them about the blog. 🙂 This one is similar though, I think.)

Now, I REALLY like everything here: I have my coffee table back and it works so well with the sectional, but the sectional on the rug could have more contrast…

The black lamps are from Target (the task one is from the Leanne Ford collection that’s been sold out for a while, the standing is still available here).

Ehd ParadisGuitars Living Room Update 6

It’s certainly soothing and quiet, light and airy, and I can add color so easily. The pillows right now (from Target here, here and here) are neutral, but again, SO simple to swap. You guys might be wondering how the sectional is holding up with two kids and it’s pretty great, honestly. It cleans up pretty easily and a 4- and 6-year-old are just less disgusting than they used to be. Sometimes, when we are feeling like we really want to kill it in the parenting game, we put down a big towel so they can watch cartoons while they eat waffles with jam on Saturday mornings.

The rug has a lot of variation in tones and we got it treated by Fiber Care, but only time will tell if that works (it’s like a silicon treatment that repels stains). It was expensive, $280 for a 10×14, but hopefully worth it. It won’t do much about everyday wear and tear and dirt, so we are trying our hardest to do what most normal people in the world do (take off our shoes)…

Ehd ParadisGuitars Living Room Update 7

Okay. Here are the vintage chairs that we’ve had for 6 months from MidcenturyLA. David, who owns our favorite vintage store, texted me photos of them with an “I could have a delivery guy bring them over right now to memo” and I was weak on a Saturday morning and said yes. We were having friends over that day and as we tried them all out, they are JUST SO COMFORTABLE and simple and everyone wants to sit in them.

Ehd ParadisGuitars Living Room Update 4

You can see a lot of old favorites here: the vintage trunk, my wood magazine holder from the flea market, my wooden hand chair and most of the art has stayed the same. (That double-shaded lamp, though, is a new favorite, from CB2.)

Ehd ParadisGuitars Living Room Update 5

I moved the Article credenza to Brian’s office (coming soon…I HOPE) and brought in this new one from Serena & Lily mostly because I believe the tone of the wood worked better in here and the mixed materials. We used the nightstand version of this piece in our last surprise makeover in Utah and LOVED it. The leather pulls, the woven drawers…it feels modern but classic.

Most of the rest of that vignette has stayed the same—art by Kirill Bergart, lamp from Lostine, and sculpture by Melinda Forster  (from the flea market). I’m liking it, guys, I am.

Ehd ParadisGuitars Living Room Update 9

Over here we have a lot of changes: a flea market dresser just felt more modern, the thrifted black chair (that I got for $20 and we DIY’d) and the oil portrait of a lady from the 1700s that I got at the Pasadena Antique Mall. We also switched out the sconces above the built-ins for these from Circa Lighting. We put the sconces that were there in the playroom, but if you look closely, you might notice a metal plate underneath it and that’s because the hole for the junction box was much bigger than the new sconce so we still need to hire a plaster dude to come patch the hole and make it much smaller.

The shag rug is from Article that tends to move around the house, and the pouf is from Lulu & Georgia that I’ve had forever.

Ehd ParadisGuitars Living Room Update 8

I still love that piece of art by Colin Glasgow above my fireplace, and I styled out the shelves to be more neutral but still full. Somedays, I want less stuff and color and some days, more. 🙂

Looking at that room, both in person and in photos, it’s insanely hard to be objective. I know I like everything and there are some things I would run back in and save from a fire. I love having a chaise sectional but haven’t stopped looking for my dream sofa for here and have pinned SO MANY. I want it to be a sofa that takes your breath away and yet it HAS to be comfortable, and that combination is extremely hard to come by. I also don’t need to do anything, but I like to fantasize.

So tomorrow (if I can write it in time, eek), you’ll see what sofas I almost bought, what I’m leaning towards with general “what is happening inside my head” musings (and perhaps bringing in the color red).

But I’d honestly, HONESTLY, love to know your thoughts. Should I push this room further, stylistically? It’s pretty close, I can feel it and I really, really like it. I have barely touched my bedroom since we finished it three years ago, so why is this room so much more of a challenge?? Oh, right…it has to serve as our living and family room, it has to be family-friendly but super comfortable and inviting…and I’m still struggling with mixing old-world with midcentury with contemporary, but it’s a combo that I still love and want to pursue.

Let ‘er rip.

***”after” photos by Sara Ligorria-Tramp

  1. Lovely to see that amazing coffee table back in action. I would encourage you to try out less *stuff* in the back corners to let the fireplace and built-in shelves breathe a bit. The background of those shots taken from the entry/piano just look really full. It’s fun to see all the iterations of this room – appreciate your sharing.

    1. Agreed. The corners by the fireplace seem too ‘busy.’ There’s a lot going on there.

      1. I second! ☝️

        1. Exactly what I was thinking looking at that last picture.

      2. In agreement here. I absolutely love all of the individual pieces, the way you put them together, etc. Killing it. However the shallow bookshelves have always seemed busy, simply because they’re so close to another focal feature like the special fireplace, and also the corner spaces which totally need the dresser/credenza. I know long ago you mused about plastering over them, but that you also like the storage. Any new thoughts on the shelves?

        1. ha. i know. i dream of plastering them over, i do! but in person everyone gets SO SAD when i even think about it. They look at me horrified. yes, they are original but does that mean they should stay????

          1. YES!!!!!!!

          2. They should stay, but they should be filled with books. No knick knacks unless it’s a very simple, like a plain pot and the scale should be the same as the books. Even then, just a few…it should be mostly books. It will register as both “library”, which suits the architecture and as a neutral. That will lighten up the busyness on that end of the room.

          3. What about taking out every other shelf that way there is less stuff back there?

          4. That’s it. The architecture doesn’t get the focus it deserves because there are too many little things all around the room. Especially the shelves. Scale back on the little stuff.

          5. Have you thought about making the bookshelves a bit taller? Whenever I see them, I always wish they had just a bit more height. It seems like you have the room too. You could even have them be arched at the top, which would compliment the shape of the fireplace. Just my two cents. Love all the updates you’ve made — especially love the circa lighting, they look A+

          6. No – please see the comment I posted but which never appears on your blog.

          7. I would get rid of the bookcase to the right of the fireplace…..way too much competition with the credenza…makes me dizzy looking at the corner from the other end of the room. I would argue compromise.

          8. Hi em! My hubby and I purchased a beautiful 1916 two story and have been renovating it (really just bringing it back to its original glory since last December). BUT…I DID remove the bookshelves on either side of our fireplace because they seemed both cramped and busy. I don’t regret it but still haven’t decided want to replace it with…plants? Built in benches? Drawers? Drawers might win out because we have 2 dogs and a 6 month old. 🙂

            On another note, could you create a round-up of the best places for oversized rugs? All of my rooms are uniquely sized and it’s been a bugger finding affordable and quality rugs that fit the space (too small rugs are my ultimate pet peeve). Thanks much!

      3. Yes I agree – otherwise this room is really coming together. Every past iteration until this one has felt “off”.
        But fireplace wall – here’s what I might try: paint the brick the same color as the walls; eliminate the sconces; add vintage unfinished panel wood doors to each of the bookcases, maybe 2 doors on each bookcase opening. Seems that it might work to add vintage notes – and simplify and modernize at the same time.

    2. I was thinking the exact same thing!

      1. Yes! Bookshelves that are more than 75% non-books make me sad.

    3. What have you people got against stuff? This room would be bland and too styled without it. It’s the stuff that makes it feel like a HOME with personality!

      Go stuff! Keep rocking the stuff, Emily!

      1. ha. in person it doesn’t feel like so much mostly because its all in a quiet color palette. but i go back and forth like EVERY DAY.

        1. I’m sorry to pile on, but I also feel like the back corners are too busy. I don’t have a problem with the built-ins but the built-ins the two dresser/credenzas the additional chairs the mini gallery wall just feels like A LOT. Maybe I’m biased in that I live w/ my two kids in a two bedroom apartment in Brooklyn and therefore by necessity, everything is crammed in, but despite what my husband thinks, I really wish our space had more breathing room in it. I’m also excited to see what you are thinking of doing with the sofa!

          1. I’m with Lauren. It’s not the built-ins that bother me, it’s more the two dresser/credenzas. It feels like there needs to be more negative space back there, at least in the whole room looking at the fireplace shot. The gorgeous new chairs didn’t even register until I saw the shot looking specifically at them. And the lamp on the dresser near the sectional partially blocks the new sconces, and not in a good way.

            What if you had a few big plants instead of one or both of the dresser/credenzas? In the first shot of the room with the red carpet, that tree helps give the chairs a bit more breathing room, visually. And though I know styling’s your thing and the dresser/credenzas look great head on, if there were at least one fewer vignettes then it would make a for a much calmer backdrop for the sectional/chairs/coffee table part of the room.

            Overall I’m not big on neutral and I loved that red rug, but I actually really like the direction you’re going in. All the hits of black are nice and I love those new chairs.

          2. AGREE! The built-ins are interesting and I like them, but when you add everything else into the corners it seems like a little much. I love the credenza but it looks really dominant in that corner (maybe just the angle of the pictures?). I like the idea of maybe trading out the credenza for a large plant.

        2. Ah that’s the worst when you finally love something then take a picture and think … “ahh it doesn’t really look like that in person” haha been there, the back and forth will keep you up at night… I say since you don’t have the gut feelings it’s it, just keep reworking!! You’ll get there!!

        3. I actually think what everyone might be feeling from the “busy-ness” of the back room might be solved by a smaller scale credenza than that Serena and Lily. That way there would be the breakup of a bit of breathing wall space even from this angle, as there is on the left with the smaller credenza. And I second the idea of arching the top of the book shelves/possibly extending them. That would be drool worthy, but not necessary at all, just pretty!

    4. I would love to see what the shelves look like just filled with books – no tchotchkes at all. There is enough styled stuff on the credenza and dresser back there – let the shelves go full library.

      1. 100% Agree!

        1. Yes, this!

        2. A relatively simple and non-permanent solution would be to install doors over them. That way you could keep the storage and the original feature but have them blend into the background. Sleek white doors would just read as white wall, or you could try some sort of wood paneling (painted white?) Otherwise I second the library wall idea – gorgeous and classy and would go so well with the style of the house and the fireplace. Books instantly make a room feel cozier.

    5. Yeah, I agree. I think that back part of the room is far too busy and it’s making the room read cluttered, rather than styled. I’d remove both the mid-century credenza and the Serena & Lily piece, pop the black refurbished chair where the S&L currently sits against the wall, and then fill the shelves with books. I also LOVE the vintage 18th-century portrait but it gets lost with so much stuff, including the gallery wall opposite. So yeah, I’d nix pretty much everything from the back section near the fireplace except the chair/vintage portrait.

      It is a gorgeous room though! I’m glad you’ve gone for a quieter rug; even the patterned blue one was too much for this space, I thought. I’m in love with that little (vintage?) side table that the black Target task lamp sits on, and I’m SO FREAKING GLAD that vintage blue cabinet (flanked by the black chair at the room’s front) still appears to be there; it’s my favourite thing like, ever, and I’ve scoured the internet for something close to it. If you ever get sick of it and want to send it to Sydney, please let me know! I’d be more than happy to take it off your hands 😉

    6. I wonder if there was more “busyness” closer to the living room entry, it might balance out the back? Or divide all the objet between the entry and the back?

    7. I agree, the back of the room is a but busy in contrast to how calm and easy the front area is. Still a lovely room though and I love seeing how you’ve tweaked things over time and how different the room looks from the various changes.

    8. Agree! Having the bookshelves full and the 2 credenzas visually looks so busy. I think either plastering over the bookshelves or removing the credenzas would help tremendously. I do love this new iteration though! Those vintage chairs look ah-mazing and love the sofa/rug combo.

    9. Agreed. The credenza and the dresser are fighting the built-ins for attention. As an architectural detail, I would let the built-ins win. Is the fireplace working? If so a bench or some cozy seating around it would be nice. I have the moroccan wedding blanket bench from anthropologie and it would look great there. https://www.anthropologie.com/shop/moroccan-wedding-ottoman?category=bences-poufs-ottomans&color=011

      I love the Colin Glasglow piece but I think it is too strong above the fireplace.

      Also, the first thing that drew my eye was your projector. It distracts me from the peace of your space–but then I hate TVs in living rooms unless there is no other option (constant bone of contention between my husband and myself).

  2. ” It was expensive, $280 for a 10×14″

    This has to be a typo right? Maybe $2800?

    The coffee table appears that no one could reach it from any of the seating to put down, you know, their cup of coffee. I love it and its sculptural shape adds a lot, but functionally it seem a tad lacking. Maybe the camera angles are misleading.

    1. I think $280 was just for the stain treatment.

    2. I think she means the price to apply the protective coating, not the price of the rug.

    3. LOL I read that sentence a few times too. I was thinking, “wait, have I been getting ripped off on rugs?!” But like others said below, I think she’s referring to the treatment. If it works though I think $280 for a 10×14 to protect it and get years out of its life is not too expensive either!

    4. ha. yes thats just the stain treatment. the rug was $2500 with a designer discount so I think i paid like $2000. which is a good price for a 10×14, IMHO. And yes, the coffee table is kinda far away from the sofa, but the side tables aren’t so its fine – for now 🙂

  3. Emily, love the living room! What a dream to play with!
    My one suggestion is that you close off the built in shelving by the fireplace. It adds visual clutter. You have a lovely, neutral front of the room and then what seems to be a busy, stuffed-full back of the room. All the vignettes are beautifully styled but pulled back there is too much.
    Just my non-professional $0.02 ❤️

    1. I agree – or I would put rows of books there so it’s just straight lines and not so busy.

    2. I think this room is lovely and perfect as is. Now, because you asked, I agree with Mara as the fire place side feels over-weighted with things. If the storage of the two credenza/dressers at that end of the room is what you need, then it’s what you need. But if not, I wonder if getting ride of the left one for a small side table to go with a the black chair (which I LOVE) and a larger piece of art than what is there might lift it a touch. I don’t think you’d necessarily want to close ALL the shelves off but wonder if a sparser styling and/or closing the bottom 3 shelves with doors (I know there isn’t depth here so it may not make financial or logical sense to go to the trouble to do this, I can only really comment visually as that is all I have experienced with this space) would start to give that side of the room some air to breathe. As mentioned, each vignette feels and looks lovely, it’s just the over all shot when you walk in that gives me a bit of the “clutter bug”. Given how you let us into your brain, it’s highly likely you’ve already experimented with things along these lines so disregard as needed. Thanks, by the way, for letting us into your head. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one that “over thinks” things.

      1. Interesting idea to close off the lower half of the shelves (either permanently or by adding doors). I would take that a step further and also suggest maybe then taking the actual wooden shelves out of the niche so it’s just an empty nook up top on each side. Then you could lean some larger art in there or you’d have room for larger vases etc.

        1. thats an interesting idea – just have doors/cabinets on the bottom and then one – two shelves on top for larger things? HMMMM….

          1. I did exactly that with my built ins. They were full shelves on either side of my fireplace and it looked overwhelming with all the knick knacks, even though a lot of it was books … and I found myself just putting stuff there, not stuff I loved, just to take up space. The cabinets on the bottom are nice added storage and the top shelves are not too overwhelming to style … or too overwhelming to look at.

        2. Yes! This. What a great idea to still retain some storage and have display space. Love this.

          I also think the two credenzas/ dressers that are currently styled at that end are fighting with each other a bit. I loved the demilune table you had there before because it was such a different shape than the credenza it was opposite.

          1. I agree with Lynn. I would consider creating some closed storage on the bottom half of the built-ins with none or fewer shelves above, then remove the dresser and the credenza, and keep a chair on one side and just a large plant on the other side. That area needs to breathe more and be more about the architecture than the furniture.

    3. Hmm. I totally disagree. The shelves add depth and interest to the room. IMO, it would look antiseptic without the “visual clutter.”

      1. I love the bookshelves, I think it’s the big credenza that should go!

        1. I agree – Shelves are fine, I think the credenza and dresser moments are too much. I would ditch the sconces on the sides. Lighting is good, but visually there is so much here!

  4. Well I think this version might be my favorite yet. It’s not sparsely decorated yet it feels spacious and serene — not too busy. I think that’s the color palette. I like all the black lamps. I LIKE the “noncontrast” between the sofa and the rug. It adds to the serenity. The whole room looks really comfortable with places that you’d want to sit and relax, yet it also looks modern (I’ve sat in enough modern furniture to know that modern and comfort don’t always go hand in hand!).

    Just gorgeous. I want to move in. OK?

    1. Yup! My favorite too for all the reasons stated!

    2. Agree. this is definitely the best version.

    3. I agree.

  5. Yes!! I’ve always missed that red rug but somehow still agree that this is the best yet. I think it’s all the strong contrast between light and black elements— something I could use more if in my own space…

  6. Uffff, I really like this iteration. 🖤 Wondering about the shelves: have you ever tried just books? Perhaps books and books alone would create a more uniform look/decrease the clutter-y feel and allow the tables, art, and accents on either side of the shelving to really shine. Of course you’ve considered this! But I’d love to see it sometime. Again, LOVE this look. Thank you!

    1. I could and think i have tried just books … but maybe i should again,. But i have SO MANY PRETTY THINGS. So many.

      1. I started rotating my objects and art as having them all out was overwhelming my space and I appreciate them more when they’ve been stored away for awhile. Kinda like an old friend that you are so happy to see again and have been missing terribly!

  7. Interesting and eclectic, as all the recent iterations have been. Still can’t help but feel the mid-century wood dresser and credenza are wrong. A bow-front dresser by the fireplace. A sideboard or long dresser that picks up that shape to replace the credenza. Then the chairs would feel more unexpected. This house has an old soul and it feels like everything fights with it. Or maybe I just have an old soul : )

  8. I think the ceiling beams make it a little tricky to go light and airy in this room—I think that’s why the colorful red rug worked so well. When you go light, my eye is drawn up, and the bottom falls a little flat. I hate to say it, but I think the look you have going here (which I love!) would look better if you painted the beams white 🙈

    1. I agree with Carrie. White beams would be beautiful – still visible and decorative, but airy.

    2. I love the ceiling beams, but I was coming here to say something similar – I think they’re driving you crazy and making the room too busy.

      1. I was afraid to comment on the beams but since you and others brought them up I think they look like they are coming down on the room like spider legs. I would remove them altogether but I understand this may be a very unpopular opinion!

    3. Agree my eye is drawn upwards to the beams; however, the wood coffee table is nice to pull my eyes back down.

      1. INTERESTING. You guys – remember when we spent like 2 months trying to find the perfect stain after bleaching the orange/green stain out for weeks and weeks and weeks???? but if I came home from work one day and they were white I don’t know how sad I would be. But I also have to be careful of those quick decisions -same with plastering over the shelves. Will I one day regret it???

        1. Have you thought about adding doors to cover the bookshelves? Then if you ever change your mind, you could take the doors off.

        2. Ok I don’t normally comment here but…I think the ceiling beams are adding something to the room, but I don’t think painting them is the right answer, not yet. I would encourage taking photos of your most favorite rooms and having them done in black and white. Because in this case I think value contrast is the biggest problem. You have a long skinny room and the back end does have a lot going on. I would pick up a few pieces of foam board and tape them over the shelves and see what I thought. Maybe you don’t need anything in the shelves but one thing, but I am guessing it will need to be something with the same value or close to, the paint color. The red area rug felt more natural in this room. Maybe due to era of the room, but also because it’s closer in value to the ceiling beams.

          When learning to oil paint, we were taught that as long as you get the value contrast right you could pretty much use the wrong color and it wouldn’t matter. I suspect going with a darker sofa (red would work as it reads as a dark value) would help, but you may need a darker area rug then, maybe a little lighter in value than the sofa.
          I think to be happy with this room, you will need to stop trying to make it be the old house. But…maybe not. I would start by clearing out those back corners and add stuff in one piece at a time.

          1. Your comment is so helpful! I agree about the foamboard! Very versatile and you can paint it, prop it up in large sheets and cut it down easy. Understanding balance and value is so important. I just moved and I am still figuring out the rooms. I am going to take some black and white pics of my struggling spaces.

        3. DO NOT PAINT THE BEAMS!!!! Lol 5 years from now you would regret aaannnnndddd if you want to change back to stain, it would be soooooo hard…

          1. AHHHHH those beams make the entire room, they’re gorgeous- swoon worthy- the bee’s knees!!!! Leave them be!

        4. Don’t paint the beams. They are part of what give the room that California bungalow vibe. I would also not plaster over the bookshelves. Simplify the furnishings and they won’t stick out so much.

  9. A great update. All the pops of black really make the hardware on the windows stand out. It feels masculine and pretty at the same time.

    1. Pops of black are so key. In fact, paint the fireplace plaster (just the part that extends out) a dark charcoal and ground that entire side of the room.

      1. I agree that the fireplace bump out gets lost and by making it more of a focal point it might help balance all the other small vignettes on that side of the room. It seems like something needs to take center stage because everything is calling for attention. I really appreciate you sharing your process and encouraging feedback! I have my own difficult room and wish I had an audience to help me sort it out!

  10. I like this iteration the most of all of them!! Have you ever thought about painting the walls a dark, moody color, maybe up to the flat part of the ceiling? I think that could really make this big room feel cozy and could be a fun change, and I think the dark beams against the white are a bit reason why this room tends to feel a little busy. I love the way you’ve styled the shelves now!

    Maya

  11. I love it! The whole room seems much more you. I have a question – does the coffee table tend to tip over?

    1. you know, it didn’t before when on a flatter rug but this rug is dense so we have to be more careful, which is kinda annoying. We’ve only had it for a couple months and it hasn’t been a huge problem, but it got worse a couple weeks ago when we brought in the new rug.

  12. It looks great, I love your coffee table in that space and the new Serena and Lily credenza is absolutely gorgeous. So so pretty. I can’t help but wonder how something almost “out of place” would look in the corner at the fireplace like a high top table and chairs. Just a very small simple round table to modernize it and add a quirk

  13. I really really love this version too. It feels very “family” x

  14. I do love this but I think it’s missing the warmth that the camel leather furniture brought to the living room in your last house. I think you initially had a sofa and then two chairs. Thank you for always being so open about your creative process! It’s both fascinating and inspiring!

    1. I was JUST thinking this. This room is begging for some camel leather warmth. It’s very 50 shades of gray (with black hits – which I love but there might be too many?). Needs a little warmth. Maybe swap out the gray and black pillows also with some color? Add more greenery?

      1. OOH .. you know I love some camel leather ….

        1. What about two lovely old leather armchairs instead of the midcentury armchairs that I think are trying a little too hard in the context of the architecture of your house, and a custom sectional in the style and colour of your wonderful light turquoise one, with the reupholstered chaise in the opposite corner? The chaise would create a welcoming fireplace grouping with the perpendicular part of the sectional, and nixing the credenza in that corner would make the area so much lighter… The coffee table would work well with this, but it may be best to replace the beautiful trunk with something visually lighter, probably reasonably modern. It may take a different style of credenza or storage piece to really work in the corner near the sectional. Basically trying to make the room a little warmer and relaxed…

      2. I agree with the 50 shades of gray characterization! I miss more color. I have to say that the photo of the version with the red rug pulled at my heartstrings! This version is…thoughtful…but lacks a warmth that some of the other versions had. Also- this is probably silly, but I think the trunk needs to be placed horizontally between the chairs! Might not make sense with the space, but that 90-degree turn feels strange to me.

  15. #nailedit I’ve been on a Workin’ Moms binge. 😉 The room looks great. Love that you brought back that sectional +coffee table, new sconces for the bookshelves, and all the black lamps and elements- that slinky sculpture is pretty cool! 😎

    Definitely, didn’t think those Target chairs would last in your posh space. The new ones have enough bulk and to balance that side of the room.

    1. While I really like it, i deep that there is just too much going on. I would remove the article credenza as a whole as well as the black chair and make the built ins more substantial. I also think that the old Trunk doesn’t really work in here anymore.

      1. I agree with this comment that the trunk needs to go and I also think the magazine bowl looks out of place. I love the new rug and the couch. Also, I agree with the other comments that the areas surrounding the fireplace feel heavy.

        1. Also, how is the lamp on the trunk plugged in? Do you have a receptacle in the floor there?

    2. Omg! I just finished a Workin’ Moms binge! Freaking hilarious.

  16. I like the sectional- it really works, and who would have thought a sectional would work…..
    Buttttttttt…. it seems to me that a furniture manufacturer would LOVE having you design a GOOD LOOKING, COMFORTABLE sectional that would work for all of us! I think whatever is in your head should be translated to real life and then all of us could buy it. Just a thought…..

  17. I love this! I recently purchased the Burrard Sofa from Article after seeing it on your blog and I’m loving it!

    This room reminds me of my Great Aunt’s house which I always loved visiting because she mixed modern and traditional in such a beautiful way. This room looks cozy and inviting and I love all the fun pieces of furniture and art.

    1. oh good! yah, its a good one for sure. and I want to visit her house 🙂

  18. It’s nice. The important thing is that it works for you.

  19. This is so gorgeous!

    It would be fun to see a version with the same furniture, art, etc, but with a change in the fabrics (throws and pillows) to see their impact.

  20. I’m a neutral lover. And I love mid century and modern and antiques together. I love it!

  21. Hands down this is my favorite iteration of this room! I love the sectional, the Serena and lily credenza, and the club chairs especially. The more natural/neutral tones really let the gorgeous wood beams shine. I also love the more neutral styling of the shelves because (unpopular opinion?) I prefer a less “busy” look. However I always feel like that art above the fireplace always seems out of place with the rest of the room, no matter where it has been placed, but especially it’s current location.

    1. I agree about the fireplace art. It just doesn’t have the pull that that space deserves. Wonder how it would look to paint just the back wall and bookshelves there? Feels like it could add some warmth and depth.

      One of the problems I’d have styling this room comfortably is that it feels big. Bringing it down to “cozy” takes so many pieces. The sectional and those bigger chairs are more to scale for the room and look super comfy. I’d be interested in having maybe a cool chair and a half over by the fireplace for a super cozy reading nook. Feels like softness over there would be nice.

      I love seeing all of the iterations and hearing your process, em!

      1. I’d love to see a big chair and a half back there, too…. maybe I should play around with nixing the little dresser (I have so many places that can go) and that black chair that no one sits in and get a big cozy chair and ottoman instead.

        1. To me, the above is the perfect solution to edit some of the casegoods out and bring in a softer lined chair in lieu of the black chair. Those spaces never get used, but they help soften spaces.

        2. Yes! That would lighten up and simplify that corner!

        3. Yes, Emily, I was going to say a bigger comfier chair instead of that little black one, along with no dresser, will improve that corner, similar to how it was with the chaise but more flexible.

    2. Also, I notice now that the large pieces of furniture all have legs. I’m glad you gave the trunk and coffee table to ground the space but I’m wondering if you might want a piece of fabric furniture for grounding as well? Helps up the cozy factor.

      1. I remember reading in an old Domino (maybe) a designer saying everything can’t have legs or it makes the room look nervous as if a piece of furniture is trying to run out of the room. You always need something that sits on the floor!

  22. I really like the new charcoal and black elements. I think they add contrast that stands up to the significant architectural details in the room.

    They also add a masculine element that feels tailored in a way that works with the Tudor style even though the pieces are more modern.

    I think adding a pop of red would work well, but I would make it an accent and not the couch. I think you need a little more contrast between the rug and the couch but not a lot. Maybe a cognac leather would work? I think a smooth texture would be nice in here and be family friendly.

    Oh! Almost forgot. Those piano lights over the bookshelves look GREAT!

    1. I’ve been staring at the back wall to try to understand why people always seem to take issue with the bookshelves.

      I think the issue is that you can really tell how long the room is in the end shots, so everything at the end of the room seems bunched together.

      I’ve always thought the widths were a little quirky — the bookshelves want a bigger piece of art in the center, but that doesn’t work with the chimney. But those kinds of quirks prevent the room from looking too perfect.

      It also looks like the credenza covers up the bookshelves in the back. It looks fine in the together shots, which is why I think it might be a depth perception issue. But maybe lighter weight or less furniture in those corners would relieve the “clutter” people see.

      1. I think you are right re the shots. in person it doesn’t feel like a lot back there, but in the shots everything is on top of each other. but agree that a more solid chair in a lighter fabric might reduce the visual clutter. I’ll try it – you know it 🙂

  23. I love the black accents in the room.. what I found the most distracting from the beautiful decor was the modern art piece. ( In all rooms )..

  24. I love that it is less traditional than your first design. It looks so much more you! I agree that the sofa doesn’t contrast with the rug enough. The chairs are perfect! It would be cool to do a post where you show how you could bring more color into the space with styling. It looks great neutral but I’m sure it would also look lovely with some more signature blue.

  25. What about just white things on the shelves? ….reduces the visual clutter. I love the room in all its configurations especially the red rug because I plays beautifully with the ceiling details. Fun to see your process!

  26. Obviously this new look is gorgeous but I think perhaps the trunk is too heavy so close to the gorgeous coffee table which i am so glad is back! Perhaps you can take away the mid century dresser and put it there? I feel there is less of the bright pops of your favorite blue and pink in here?

  27. love the organic wooden elements & dark modern lamps you have added in – always fun to see you play with different elements and styles!

  28. This is the best iteration yet! I was a HUGE fan of the Glendale living room; it’s still one of my favorites designed by you. The difference as you very well articulated is the more traditional style of this home and trying to find the right balance of mid century modern in here.

    My two cents similar to several on this thread is that the vignettes, while beautiful add to the clutter. In my opinion, you don’t need the beautiful black chair either in that corner of the room. Without them, the shelves really get to shine.

    I also love this artwork but I am not convinced it’s the best fit for this room. I loved the large abstract piece you had there for a previous iteration.

    The rug, sofa and the old favorites are lovely though!

  29. I think your furniture looks too spaced apart for the size of that room. Maybe pull the sofa away from the wall & put a console table behind it? Other than that, I love the colors and those beams…oh my!! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Yeah, I feel the same! Is this because of a wide angle or are the chairs actually so far from the coffee table and couch? It seems less cozy to me if I think about having a conversation with someone across the room and needing to shout.

      Love the new credenza, always missing the red rug 🙂

      1. they are pretty close together, actually! they aren’t too far apart at all! So funny.

  30. I’m so in love with that credenza. It is a PERFECT balance of age and modern.
    I love everything else about this space— although I must confess I really loved that green sofa in here…

  31. Hi Emily –
    This is such a beautiful room. The light and the windows, the fireplace and the lovely ceiling…
    I have to agree with the commenters who have said the back of the room is just too busy, though. It’s almost like two different rooms (front and back) and maybe that’s why the red rug worked but didn’t work? Did it work with the feel of a busier room? It’s what I feel every time I see photos of this room. especially in this iteration. The front of the room has large scale, simple pieces – few patterns and more texture – and feels serene. Breathing room.

    The back is so many little dots and dashes in a condensed area – the background.
    There are the lines from the fireplace brick, all the lines in between the books, the lines of the edges of the art on the side walls, the sconces, the lines from the drawer edges and even the lines from the leaves on branches in the vases – even though one is not really in the back of the room. There are the dots in the art the drawer pulls and the black and white photographs and book lettering. Lack of breathing room.

    I feel like if you dropped a tarp over those (oh so architecturally cool and likely Spanish Revival appropriate) built-in shelves, it would all come together as *your* design style. Calmer, quieter and more
    MCM/California/modern. What a dilemma. Hanging onto the character of the home but making it work for ParadisGuitars’s Recognisable Look.

    But, hey, don’t a lot of regular folks struggle with that too? 🙂

  32. While there are so many parts of this that I LOVE (rug, coffee table of my dreams) I think it’s too cluttered from a pulled back view. Like others have asked, why so much stuff by the fireplace? I love the idea of one credenza but I don’t think you necessarily need to fill up the space just because it’s there.
    Also, I really love the lamps but they are all black and it’s maybe too repetitive. The CB2 lamp is great, but I would love to see something softer there, like the round wood base lamp from Rejuvenation with a white shade.
    I also think of blue when I think of ParadisGuitars, and I’m missing that here!

  33. This version might be my favorite so far. I love how calming and pulled together it feels. (And I just bought 4 new pillows and a lamp from Target, thank you!) Since you did ask, the weight on the right side of the room feels heavy with the trunk and the large dresser vs. the lefts side with the much smaller dresser. Could they be swapped so there’s a better visual balance between the two sides? It’s hard to tell in the photos. I love the movement and organic feel both the coffee table and hand chair are providing in here.

  34. I like the piece over the fireplace but maybe it is not the right spot for it. I wonder if a round or oval mirror would compliment the soft lines of the fireplace more? I agree with some other comments regarding the ‘busyness’ of fireplace end of the room, perhaps pairing it down even slightly would lighten it up some. All that to say, this room is very beautiful and I am far from an expert. I love these posts showing small tweaks to the design.

    1. ha, everyone wants that piece to move!!! ok we’ll try it!

      1. Emily—-i am thrilled—yes thrilled at this latest design as it “looks like you”! I am a huge fan of the fireplace artwork-to me it is your signature-the ability to mix traditional with modern. Really looking forward to seeing the POP of color. Can envision a cozy, reading chair where the black one now sits. Excellent work!

  35. Hi Emily,
    Thank you for the opportunity to comment. All of the iterations of the room look great and I think this latest version is my favorite of all. All of your work is lovely. I am a constant re-arranger in my own home and so I love seeing how you move things around. This room is great as is but just for fun what if you covered up the bookshelves on the fireplace wall and add them back in where the credenzas are. This way you still have bookshelves… just off to the sides. Move your beautiful artwork that is over the credenzas to the fireplace wall. Have two chairs angled by the fireplace with a small a
    table for drinks. I think this will have the visual effect of making that end of room more light and airy, in keeping with the front of the room. Having the bookshelves on the sides will minimize the visual “clutter” yet still give you space to display all of your books and special things. Cant wait to see what you do next, I’m quite sure it will be wonderful. Thank you for asking for our thoughts!

  36. I love this. Fave iteration so far. Quiet and modern. Love the neutrals with pops of black throughout. I’m gonna echo others asking if you should simplify the shelves just a teensy bit; maybe just books and some speckled pottery and wood pieces. Then add that one weird pop of red or a giant weird piece of art that has a bit of color. Maybe somewhere instead of a grouping of pieces of art? Not sure.

  37. I have to agree with those who said that the back seems a little heavy. The combination of the shelves, dresser, and credenza etc makes for a lot of busyness at the back. It takes away from the light/airy feel. The middle focal point of the room is pretty neutral while the back seems a bit distracting. Lovely vignettes, but it pulls too much attention.

  38. I love all the new pieces! It looks so much more like you. I still miss the original rug. I agree with you that the rug and sofa could contrast a bit more. Love it!

  39. It’s looking good! I live the rug and have long admired that Serena and Lily credenza! It’s hard to tell in photos, but I wonder if the scale of the room begs for two distinct seating areas. There has also been one with little vignettes elsewhere but what if there were two fully styled separate areas?

    1. Yeah – I know I would want a place to flop on the floor in front of the fireplace – that would be my second seating area. It can go along with all the “simplify” comments in that it doesn’t really matter what you do with the space above, as long as there was a nice pool of light and a soft rug. It could take the chaise back or something else soft to one side.

  40. So fun to watch this progression, I’m loving the most recent changes (I also snatched up that CB2 lamp the second I saw it!) I was cracking up over your having to mow the last rug before you shot it; love when people are open about the issues behind the scenes, it makes us feel less alone when we’ve also chosen something that isn’t holding up its side of the bargain.

    I think the big change needs to be the sofa — this space screams out for a big weird statement piece (but then again, I’m a hospitality designer so I love me some chunky curvy alien-looking pieces, which might turn off a chunk of your audience.) I would put a low squashy Mario Bellini Camaleonda, or a Cassini Sesann or Soriana piece in there, something that is cozy but strongly curvaceous, an immediately less traditional eye-catcher to contrast the bones of the space and the existing other pieces….don’t know that I’d go contrast with the color, probably stick with a putty or beige, maybe burnished camel. Hand chair is great in tableau but lost in the larger image, I think it’s what’s contributing to what others are reading as cluttered (for me it’s just the symmetry of half-blocking both bookshelves with chairs that bothers me.)
    Also: Don’t feel bullied by the ceiling, lean weird and it will fall in line.

  41. The color is a bit lacking in photos… but photos v. real life, who knows right? I think punchy pillows would knock it out of the park. Like maybe.. strategic, bright red!!

  42. This is my favorite version of this living room so far. It’s light, airy and inviting. Love it!

  43. I think you need some sort of pattern and/or color in here. Since your furniture is so neutral, and your curtains are beautiful, I would do it in the rug. The current rug/sofa combo doesn’t work for me color wise. I also agree with bringing in some camel colored leather somewhere to warm things up a little. Red might be too much in here. I don’t think your shelves or fireplace area are too cluttered. I agree that it’s a beautiful room—you are so close! 🙂

  44. Hi Em, looking great! I agree with the comment about missing a little blue, but that’s what the freedom of accessories can work out for you.

    On a different topic, have you told us about your projector setup?

  45. Wow! So lovely. I enjoy tweeting and redoing and changing up our main living space often as well. I may be absolutely crazy, but, if you are leaning in on a more calm and airy space I would suggest walling in the bookshelves. I have never said that sentence in my whole life! But, if I squint and cover those shelves up with my thumbs (does anyone else do this?) then it all of a sudden calms way down. There is so much to see and enjoy with that fireplace and your delightfully curated furnishings. A cleaner, simpler wall at the end may be the ticket? Best wishes!

    1. I think either closing them up or perhaps making them go to the ceiling. They seem an unusual in-between size as is. What if you closed them up, put a big leaning mirror on one side and cool large art on the other side?

      I agree with others that the back half of the room feels pretty busy, especially compared with the front half. I think a second separate seating area at the back could really help. Less credenzas, more cozy seating. I think this would look more intentional rather than like you are just trying to fill the space.

      Love love love the coffee table and really like the new simpler sconces over bookshelves. These are great edits.

      I think the room is VERY pretty and it works, but where is the Emily combo of neutrals, white and COLOR (aka blue)? Seems a little too neutral to me.

      But it is difficult to feel like I’m criticizing because it is lovely and you are so talented! Just offering since you asked for our opinions.

  46. The red rug was still my favorite but I like this version second best. Have you thought about the layout at all? The grey chairs are awesome but can you really talk to anyone else while you are sitting in one? Also, did you ever think about putting more windows there the bookshelves are. You have a lot of light already but I think it would frame the fireplace so well. I agree with the others that the bookshelves are too busy 🙁

  47. The red rug was still my favorite but I like this version second best. Have you thought about the layout at all? The grey chairs are awesome but can you really talk to anyone else while you are sitting in one? Also, did you ever think about putting more windows there the bookshelves are. You have a lot of light already but I think it would frame the fireplace so well. I agree with the others that the bookshelves are too busy 🙁

  48. I love that coffee table and sectional, but I do not love them in this room. They were a much better fit for the style of your Glendale house. All the pieces are truly beautiful I just feel like thIs house, and this room in particular needs to lean a bit more traditional. The original sofa was a better fit for the space, but I think you’ll know it when you find the perfect sofa and I know it will be wonderful!

  49. My suggestion is to use those shelves as a statement – fill them with just one thing; plants, a fun collection of very curated pottery, oil portraits, hats…idk. but you need to fill those multiple shelves with something fun and layered but that still reads as one thing, if that makes sense.

  50. I love the new update. I have to admit i loved the red rug but i just don’t think it was your style! I think you, Emily are amazing and every iteration of this room has blown my mind in one way or the other. I’d LOVE this room in my home!! But If i had to be really super nit picky: In my opinion the front half of the room with the sectional is looking perfect and i agree with others that the back half is looking heavy. It’s obviously a LONG shape that makes it more challenging to furnish!

  51. I love all your different stylings of this room but especially love this coffee table. My only suggestion is that I feel you need to edit things on the walls beside the book shelves- i really think the big credenza could just go and it would feel so much less stuffy and bring in the airiness you feel you want. Edit the artwork a bit in that corner as well, maybe try moving the black chair to that corner. Or put an airy hanging chair!! I think you are on the way to the feeling you want to evoke!

  52. I liked the iteration with the red carpet most, so, I’m clearly not your style touchstone for this;). I did want to say that I much prefer the new sconces, nice modern touch.

    And, since you asked;), what I keep thinking now (in addition to my discomfort with so much gray on the floor) is that the furniture seems too far apart! Like, if I sit on the sofa I have to yell at the people in the chairs for them to hear me. Especially given the neutral floor I would functionally like a tighter grouping of sofa, coffee table, chairs to make it feel like a “done” room, to anchor. Trying to think about how to say this nicely, but in the photos, this room always makes me feel a little like I’m in a warehouse of stuff? I imagine it’s much cozier in person.

  53. I love this latest version. I think a little pop of red would feel really good in there. I am glad I am not alone in feeling stumped on a space. My livingroom took forever to get it to where we are, and I still am not quite there. Thanks for inspiring me to keep tweaking.

  54. Somehow this room feels more you. Even though we don’t know you in person! The other rooms were beautiful too, but felt like you were styling to fit the house and maybe not your personality as much. I do think it lacks a tiny bit of color (where is your iconic navy blue?!) and a pop of red could be awesome. So fun to design and redesign!

  55. I really love the sofa and the rug… but I don’t at all like the painting over the fire place. It looks harsh to me. I think it would make a huge difference in the room to have something else there!

  56. Bolder window treatments! More color in the art above the fireplace!

  57. The iterations are all lovely but I really miss the warmth of the first one. Not saying go back to that design, but maybe bring some warmer tones in somewhere. That’s the only thing I would want if I lived there.

  58. For me personally it feels a little boring. And because of the stuff on the shelves etc it still photographs kind of busy (although I expect it doesn’t feel that way IRL.) I still really feel like this long room would work so well with the sofa oriented across the other direction, which would break it up into 2 zones visually and functionally.

  59. Certain parts of it I really like (the vignette with the Serena & Lily Piece and hand chair, and the vintage grey chairs with the cool black double lamp thingie), but I don’t think the opposite side of the room works as well or feels as fun and playful as the inspiration photo early in the post. Maybe it’s as simple as some pops of color and more plant life, but I think the couch/rug/drapes combo is just too much of the same tone. Also agree with the others readers that there’s just too much stuff around the fireplace built ins. two chairs and two storage pieces seem like overkill to me.

  60. The new Serena and Lily credenza is beautiful, but I don’t think you need it. Perhaps less is more in that part of the room? Is it a bit crowded over there IRL?

    Have you considered putting a plant in your awesome wooden magazine holder?

    I love that sofa and coffee table combination. I loved it in your former home and I love it in this one too.

  61. Another vote that this is my favorite iteration. The other versions were trying too hard to be like the house and not be like the family who lives there. I especially disliked the blue couch/red rug combo. However, I disagree that the couch needs to be a big statement piece. I think the beams and the bookcases are where the statements are being made along with some other of your “weird” stuff in the various corners. Like the piano (that I covet with every ounce of my being) or the chaise. Adding some kind of statement sofa is just going to make too many big moments and distract from the very cool architecture of the room.

  62. I want to preface this by saying that this is only what I’d do if it were my room, which it’s not, and if I had an unlimited ability to play in the room, which no one does (money is a thing, and so is time… ugh, IRL limits). That being said, the first thing I’d do is move the sofa and chairs closer together, because it looks like people trying to have a chat in this room would be seated too far away from each other.

    The next thing I’d do is establish my “keep” items: the sectional, the coffee table, that cool new black CB2 double lamp, the curtains, that antique trunk – not going to change those, nope, naw, they’re perfect!

    I like the current rug, but I also really liked the blue rug from Blue Parakeet.

    The next thing I’d do is address the bookcases, which with the exception of the Halloween post where all the books were turned backwards, has never worked for me (I know some people hated that look but I personally loved it). Disclaimer: I’m a minimalist. What I don’t like about the bookcases in this room is that they’re too tentative – they’re not deep or really tall and impactful either. If it were me, I would probably cover them up. I’d drywall over them, or put up some folding screens to hide them, or have some custom folding or sliding doors built to hide them. Assuming money is no object, I’d do the door thing. I guess if I were on a tight budget, then I’d just get a ton of matching identical baskets and put all the things in baskets on the shelves. Or, if on a tight budget, maybe I’d remove one shelf in each bookcase and then evenly space the remaining shelves, so that there’s a bit more breathing room.

    The next thing I’d do is to make that fireplace more of a focal point. How? Maybe by installing a light over the fireplace art instead of over the built-in bookcases. Also, maybe by using a bigger, thicker frame on the fireplace art, or better yet, replacing the painting there now with a larger piece of art that is also perhaps more colorful. I think abstract art would actually be very nice here, but I want it to be bolder or louder with more organic shapes (there are enough lines and rectangles and such in this room without the art also having lots of rigid straight lines). I might paint just the fireplace a light muted coral, or I might leave it white and paint just the bookcases wall (but not the fireplace) a dark muted color, like a soft matte off-black, to make the bookcases recede.

    The next thing I’d do is to move the hand-shaped chair into a different room, because it’s a piece of beautiful sculpture, but feels more like clutter in this particular room (I can picture it more in a sunny corner somewhere with a handmade leather shoulder bag casually plopped on it).

    The second to last thing I’d do is tone down the art in the bar area. There’s art on the walls, a face sculpture on the credenza, a very sculptural lamp, an empty pretty bowl… It just seems like art overload for that particular area. I think I’d do a couple of paintings leaning against the wall and keep the face sculpture and call it a day. No books as trays. No large black sculptural lamp (it’s right next to a wall sconce and not near a chair so I don’t think it’s needed for light). Again, they are all beautiful things, but they are competing against each other for king-of-the-art-nook to my eye.

    The final thing I’d do is to perhaps put in an overhead light fixture, but I’m not certain I’d actually do this. I’m 50/50 on the idea.

    Forgot, one more thing I’d do is refresh the bricks on the hearth. They look dirty. Maybe it’s just how it’s photographing but they seem like they are dull (is brick conditioner a thing?).

    Oneee more thing I’d do is swap out the pillows on the new accent chairs with pillows that are a bit taller and less shout-y. Maybe some soft large square-shaped blush-colored pillows.

    Oh, and because apparently I cannot stop playing fantasy decorator (sorry), I might do a less serious frame on the old portrait of a lady. The frame is very serious and the painting is very serious – I kind of want one of these things to crack a smile, so maybe a modern black frame would lighten up the mood.

    1. I would love to see a refresh of the brick as well!

    2. I also wondered about painting the bricks on fireplace to match the wall color so they don’t stand out so much and grab the attention. I’m sure some would be upset by the idea of painting brick, but I think it would help the busy-ness SO much.

    3. If it were my space, I’m right there with all your suggestions! And I like how you described the bookshelves as “tentative”. If I kept the shelves, I was thinking that I might face the edges with wider millwork to give them more “heft”. I would also consider adding vertical struts of the same heft or even wider to divide the shelves into squarish nooks that would frame one group of books, or one “pretty thing.” This grid pattern would also tie into the window panes. That look would work for me – but everyone has different tolerance for “things.”

    4. Or maybe a bit of whitewash/limewash on the bricks, it would still leave a lot of character but refresh it ( and it is removable if you change your mind) love the direction the room is going, and all the inspiration xo

  63. Love this one the best! I would just pull the coffee table closer to the sectional. And maybe ditch one of the two credenzas in the back near the fireplace. But the sectional and rug and chairs and coffee table and lamps are spot on! And the art over the fireplace is so great!! IMO

  64. I don’t think the bookshelves are bad necessarily, but I don’t like how they almost completely visually obliterate the fireplace, which is supposed to be the focal point of the room. I think if the shelves were significantly scaled back or eliminated OR the fireplace was accentuated more, your eye would finally be able to rest where it’s supposed to and the whole room would come together.

  65. I really love how interesting yet not too busy it looks with the more neutral colors, the only things I would lose are the branches in the vase on the coffee table and the vintage dresser next to the black chair! Excited for tomorrow’s post, though!

  66. Love that coffee table and this direction so much. And, I am also puzzled by the placement of the coffee table — it seems too far away from any seating, like it is floating all by itself?

  67. So. Much. Better! Favorite iteration of this room by FAR!
    I’ve always loved the art above the fireplace but am not sold on it here. I liked the abstract piece you had when you were adding more blue/teal. Not sure if it would go here but the flow of it worked better for my eye balls.

  68. I love this iteration of the room SO much!!! I love that you swapped out the sconces on the back wall, perfect choice! I was wondering if you’d considered some kind of a leather sectional. That might be a nice contrast. We have a warm leather sofa from Article and a neutral rug which means I can constantly play with my textiles and change up the look accordingly. I’d love to see how you’d add red to the space!

  69. I agree that the bookshelves ad a LOT of busy.. would love to see that beautiful fireplace to be the Star in this room. Happy to see the chaise gone -so grandma ;-( and the ‘guacamole bowl’ in there. Yeah! It’s a beautiful room and it looks very cozy and comfortable. Definitely my favorite so far.

  70. I love seeing all the various iterations of this room. When you described the rug, I thought, perfect, this is just what I am looking for in our master bedroom – something soft, neutral but still interesting. I really hope you can find a link for us.

  71. I love the way you styled the credenza, love the swapped-in sconces over the built-ins. The color palette is calming, which I like, too! I feel the back of the room has too much stuff in it when viewing the entire room. Each vignette looks good, but somehow seems to have too much stuff overall and loses visual impact. Too many moments? The room also seems slightly lopsided because it’s mostly white but then the chairs are blue. I think maybe the sofa or the rug should have a little blue or black in it. Maybe it’s not enough texture difference between the sofa and rug. Not sure about red- I’m sure you’ll find a way to bring it in very skillfully! I’m only offering a critique because you asked- it’s really a very nice room as is!

  72. I like this version a lot. If you could only go to Ian Brennan’s living room and steal that portrait of William Henry Harrison…it would be perfect. (yes I’m a long time reader) I know art is subjective but the art that is currently over the fire place is kind of blah for such a prominent position – move it to the spot where you currently have the smaller vintage portrait and go get the large WHH portrait and wowza!

  73. he I’ve loved all iterations of this room and this is no different. Changes I would make, I think some of the cluttered feeling in the back of the room comes from the picture. Id move the coffee table closer to the sofa so its a clear visual line to the fire place. and the storage piece is the back left corner comes off as a too red wood/cherry for the space. the wood tone clashes. perhaps replacing it with a red piece or neutralizing the wood tone with your pop of red back there would work.

  74. I love this iteration of your living room!

  75. I love the rug/sofa/coffee table/chairs! Agree with what others have said that I’d love to see changes to the fireplace wall to make it less busy. The fireplace itself is so pretty — what if you made it feel like more of a focal point and swapped out the art with something less rectangular and heavy — something softer with a more organic shape?

  76. I love all your changes and that you continue to play with the space to create something you love. Thanks for showing us all the versions! My one thought is that for such a big space there does not seem to be enough seating pulled in for actual conversation/hosting folks in this beautiful room. It is a bit hard to see the scale without the floor plan measurements, but I would love to see the black DIY chair pulled up to the sofa on the other side of the room, so you see the back of it when you walk in. I would think you would still have plenty of space on either side to walk to the sofa. I also would love to see seating in front of the fireplace instead of back in the corners. I think it would be cozy to have two chairs at angles right in front of the fireplace and it would also pull that end of the room into the actual seating area.
    The last thought is that I really like the new S&L console, but I like the scale of the vintage piece better because it doesn’t block the shelves as much. But sometimes storage /function is more important. Thanks again for sharing your process as always and letting us contemplate and work through design challenges with you.
    P.S. I LOVE that you switched out the sconces over the bookshelves!!!

  77. So. Much. Calmer. 🙂

    I can see how the Mountain House influenced you here…and it’s good.

    You once said that you thought this house “bullied” you into doing things too historically. I thought that the green chaise and dark blue sofa were lovely but totally weighed the room down.

    I personally would love the red rug with the current sectional….choose another red rug!! There’s your red!!

    Everything feels lighter AND cozier both at the same time now! Also so glad you got YOUR coffee table back. Ya never should’ve given that away…so that’s a great Indian Chief move right there! 😉

    Now….I’ve always….always!….thought those shelves in the bookshelves should be WOOD. Recycled wood! I even thought it would’ve been so great to have recycled some of your old floor boards…but you were under so much pressure. The house was busy bullying you….and…..

    Now, things are calmer. The lovely room is calmer.
    You’re calmer….so…..how about some recycled wooden shelves in those beauties, to balance the whiteness of the end of the room and connect it to the floors and ceiling beams?!
    Huh?? How ’bout dat?!? 🙂

  78. Can you link the coffee table in your new living room design? I have been looking for a natural raw looking table like that? Or a console like that as well. Do you know of any?
    Thank you

  79. I’m liking this iteration!

    My opinion would be to edit even more. Current setup makes for great vignettes, but looks like there’s too much in the room when pulled back. I know you talked about the things that you stored in the large credenza, but I would take that out if possible. Put the chair in that corner. Remove the tripod lamp.

    I obviously don’t know the spacing in person, and you’ve probably tried this, but would the chairs work being parallel to the piano wall? Then all the seating could be used for TV watching. Again, this seems like the layout for photography, but wonder if it’s the best for “real life.” Those are gorgeous chairs that it doesn’t seem you’d mind seeing the backs of when you walk in the room. (Or, if there’s not enough clearance with the piano, maybe put the piano where the credenza is??)

    And the shelves…I know you’ve talked about them being problematic, especially depthwise. Perhaps paint the backs or wallpaper them? Replace the shelves with a slightly thicker stained wood? (Or wrap them?) Perhaps door off the bottom shelves? Don’t know how practical any of this is. 🙂

    Love seeing this space evolve!

  80. This room feels…boring. Maybe when you get a new sofa with more pop on the rug that would be better? Doesn’t feel like it would flow well with the prettiness is your kitchen. I thought you were trying to be slightly more traditional in a Tudor home? Overall, not very impressed .

  81. I think the styling of this space works great as a set of vignettes but doesn’t come together as one room. May be go full Marie Kondo, take everything out and start from scratch?

  82. I keep thinking this room needs a big, square, tufted ottoman style coffee table.

  83. I would never paint the beams in a Tudor-style home – those wood details add to the character and style of the home. I would add a mantel and change your art to a piece with more depth and color. (Of course it would have to be a piece that means something to you.) The bookshelves should be wood and filled with books. I really don’t like styled bookshelves. It just looks too contrived. I love the chaise, but most of the pieces are too Scandi for this type of home. If this is a Tudor – I haven’t seen the outside – I would have to add leather and more traditional furniture and a warm, rich rug.
    I really do appreciate you sharing your home and allowing us to give our own opinions. Reading your blog and the comments has really made me better in styling my own home. I’ve learned a lot from reading it – I’m very grateful for every learning opportunity.

  84. I agree with all the comments saying that the back half of the room is too busy. Everything is beautiful, but there is so much that it looks cluttered. I have always wanted you to just get rid of all the sconces in this room. I actually like the new picture lights , but maybe try removing the double-shaded sconces. They seem so unnecessary given all your lamps. I also think the gallery wall above the credenza on the right is a little too busy. Maybe just two pieces of art would be enough in that spot.

  85. I LOVE the picture lights on the back wall (I’ve been looking for one!) and would be so sad to see the bookshelves removed- I think they add so much character and warmth to a space. As always, it’s fun to see the evolution of this space.

  86. Didn’t you give that table to your best friend as a birthday present?

  87. I love that you continue to play around (and you don’t take things too seriously!). So fun to watch this process. My thought is that the room is so long that the whole back wall with the fireplace and shelves gets a bit muddled. Could you create more focus on the fireplace by adding a treatment (Richer paint? Plaster?) to draw your eye there? Then pull focus away from the shelves by adding doors or keeping objects minimal? You can’t go wrong, you’ve selected such beautiful pieces.

  88. Favorite iteration thus far! I too suffer from living room design frustration. LOVE my bedroom and office and HATE my living room, just like the most used room. Lame. Would love to see less in back corners and I’m digging the red potential!
    Thanks for sharing!!!

  89. I absolutely love this new version – all the pieces in it are right up my alley. I can see where all the comments are coming from, though. The red rug and paired with that original portrait felt so true to the architecture that it is pretty tough to beat. And, I’ll admit, in pictures, it stops me in my tracks more than others.

    However, since you are the one living in the space day to day, choosing furniture that feels more you (rather than conforming to the space) makes more sense. I wonder if finding a more faded, neutral vintage rug would help bring back more of that old world feel (although, I think it was the warmth of the red that really made the wood in the beams shine).

    Also, regarding the comments about how busy the room as a whole feels (although the individual vignettes are lovely). Have you considered doing two couches? Or maybe that sectional paired with another couch and then putting a more substantial chair where the credenza is and getting rid of the black chair? I also can’t help but notice how you’ve got such a large room and no floor plant. Maybe that is something worth playing around with, too?

    Anyway, while you may have played around with different pieces, you haven’t played around too much with the type of pieces you’ve placed in the room – so move the credenza out, move one of those awesome vintage chairs in its place and drag that smaller green sofa back opposite the sectional just to get a feel for how that arrangement might look.

    All I can say is you have the perfect job being able to play around with so much gorgeous furniture. You do beautiful work and I wish I could be there to help you move around pieces and play, too!

  90. What about matching credenzas by the fireplace, in a wood style that you like and brings interest but not too much busy-ness, since they’d match? Is there too much fabric happening on the furniture? This room always looks beautiful, but also know you are looking for that wow moment. Streamlined items on your bookcase like your last home? More plants, less decor on the tabletops? Too many lamps? Interested to hear what you do next and thank you for always sharing the process. It’s so educational.

  91. I love this room the most. This one lets the architecture sing and be the star but still feels wonderfully layered and soo inviting.
    I want to try out every sitting option in that room, they all welcome you and say „come and unwind and spend some time with me…“

  92. By far my favorite iteration yet! It seems so much more you, love the individual pieces, it seems elevated and yet so much more comfortable psychically as well as actually. The fireplace art is cool but does not seem to go, but if you love it…! The back part of the room in the last pic is super full of stuff, but it’s a real room, not a showcase. In any case, by far my favorite living room in this house! The comfy chairs by the window are 100% better as well.

  93. I love eclectic but I just think that coffee table is just too much at odds with the rest of this room. It might work for me if the beams were white and the other furniture were more minimal in style, so the coffee table could be the statement piece.

    But a bigger issue is that the main seating area feels too spread out. The coffee table and chairs are too far away from sofa. I’m not sure what the answer is—maybe the sofa/table chairs should move down closer to the fireplace, and then something else happen in the front part of the room?

  94. I was just thinking that the bookshelves look souch less busy that the original room had. It is a very calm yet interesting space. Lots of interesting pieces to talk about when you have company over. But more importantly the company and your family can be the star of the show as it should be. It really is such a large room to work with that makes the challenge. I applaud all your efforts though. So much better than the large sectional that takes up my whole living space. As always thanks for the inspiration. Oh and those vintage chairs are amazing!

  95. I’m torn between the original one and this one but both are lovely. Also, there is nothing more beautiful to me than a bookcase full of books and books alone (some people think a bookcase full of book looks cluttered though). I sure would like to see how that would change the look of your living room.

    Now I want the deets on how you got the coffee table back. I remember you gave it to your friend and you had a reveal of her living room with this coffee table. Did you win it back through a bet? Did you grovel to get it back? Please tell

  96. have you played around with the furniture layout lately?? i LOVE the sectional where it is, i feel like it’s perfect for the room. But could you create a little club chair moment cozy’d up around the fireplace? Create two focal points in the room??

  97. I love that sofa in there. It’s the best sofa so far. Love the grey chairs too.
    When I view the last photo w a critical eye, I’d say that the corner with Handy looks very busy. If the built-in shelves were styled very simply (w fewer objects) I’d like it more.
    And I’m sorry, but I have to say it. I’m glad the chaise is gone. I never liked it AT ALL.
    I do think this is the best version of this room so far.

  98. Love the coffee table and new chairs.

    I like how the chaise penetrates the space so the sofa and chairs don’t seem so separate.

  99. LOVE THIS!!!

  100. Few things to consider to simplify the back corners of the room: on the left delete the vignette with the dresser, black chair and puff; instead hang one horizontal fabric art and sculptural swivel chair or move the hand chair; on the right remove the black lamp and the hand chair.

    The sofa, new rug, vintage chairs and the return of the coffee table are a hit!!!

  101. i’m laughing at myself, reading others’ comments and feeling defensive and territorial about your living room! “don’t touch the beams, they AGONIZED over the stain on those and they are perfect!” “don’t take away the stuff, she must have SO MUCH to choose from!” i just want to say i think this is my favorite iteration ever. those chairs are so good and so interesting- i love that they add more than the other target chairs. and the coffee table will always be a favorite of mine. if you do take away some of the “stuff” from the shelves i’d love to see it. otherwise i just think it’s so close to perfect.

  102. Maybe I’m naive but couldn’t you have a piece of drywall cut to fit into the bookshelves and then plaster over that? That way, it could easily be removed in the future if necessary. I think the room would look 100% better without the shelves to distract from the fireplace! Also, the sectional seems to thin, drab and a bit “skimpy”. Can’t wait to see what sofas you are thinking of- hopefully some color!

    1. I am right with Mary on X-ing out those bookshelves… and I love love love bookshelves but they don’t work in this room with everything else. The scale goes from oversized and simple with that sectional (which I SO adore) and that monster coffee table to itty bitty and crowded and all jammed together. IMHO, of course. I’ve always LOVED that credenza you styled when it is shown as a front view stand alone in a picture, but not so much looking long and side view with everything already going on down at the end. I like that Marie K idea, just take it all out of the end for a day, cover up the bookshelves w/ two sheets and then start playing again, slowly adding back in to see the feel. Just my opinion of course but hey – feel FREE Emily to come critique MY house! Anytime!
      Please ? : )

  103. I love it, but really miss more color! The blues and reds from the very first style will always be my favorite. Ultimately, it needs to be what brings YOU joy though! Not us! 🙂

  104. I LOVEEE this version! Thank you for taking us through your creative process; it’s so much fun to follow along.

  105. Right now everything is pointing towards the middle of the room and that poor coffee table is just floating around. You need to commit to a focal point. Everything is either too crammed or too far away, way too many table surfaces. .You need a waaaaayyyyyyyy bigger L shaped couch that faces the fireplace with chairs on either side of the fireplace. A dark brown leather sofa would anchor the room and add some much needed sophistication, bring the weight down to the floor where it belongs, instead of the ceiling where it currently is. Big square coffee table and long sofa table. Everything in that room has been haphazardly acquired, pulled from other projects or borrowed. It shows.

  106. I am team keep shelves. I like the idea of all white on them (which someone posted below), with just bursts of color here and there. But t could be just an issue in photos…? Those built ins are amazing….and for resale I would keep them. You could hang neutral tapestries over them though? I am not a fan of the new credenza…something about the color and texture…nope. Whatever you do, don’t change the amazing vignette with the grey blue antique chest not pictured here….its amazing!!! How is the piano going? Do the kids play? Any tips with that? I really like the rug with sofa combo, its great.

  107. Every iteration of this room has worked in so many ways. The back of the room currently looks a little crowded with lighting. I know layered lighting is good but is it ideal to have the sconces a table lamp and floor lamp all kind of in the same space? Maybe it could work if the table lamp and floor lamp had smaller shades or a different type of shade, like glass or metal, so they didn’t compete with the fabric shades of the sconces. That could help that area breathe. Maybe an opportunity for one of those red statement floor lamps. I love the library lights over the shelves. The Serena and Lily credenza has great texture and tone but it seems to crowd that corner a bit, maybe a slimmer profile console table would be more balanced? But again, the room is beautiful and each piece is so great, it will be fun to see the next step.

  108. I really like this version better than any of the others, but it sounds weird to say that — almost as if I’m slamming the other versions. This is less traditional, calmer — which I think allows those individual pieces to shine, and textural. I totally get the whole “couch is too close in color to the rug” thing, but a different throw could solve that (at least short term). (Also, I recognize that these things are always swayed by our personal preferences — oddly, I usually like floral rugs in theory and not in practice.)

    Always enjoy seeing Handy and the table — beautiful pieces.

  109. Hi! Looong time reader, occasional commenter — just wanted to say how happy this post made me! Something about this room in all previous iterations has felt ‘off’. Completely beautiful and timeless for the house, but not really signature EHD. This new version is AMAZING!! It feels like the perfect marriage of old and new, and high end/accessible, and fun.

    Well done!

  110. I really like this iteration…it feels the most “Emily” of all, i think because its less of a traditional vibe amd cleaner. Maybe swap out the end table to the left of the sectional for something round and smaller, and them bring in more pops of color through textiles and you’re good!

  111. Love the couch, love the rug, love the vibe, love the style.

    since you asked – i would move the magazine bowl under the side table (love the side table), remove the black chair and paint the chimney an ever so slightly different color (or leave it white) and leave it art-free. Let the chimney be it’s own artsy shape./piece of art.

    I like the bookshelves and PRETTY THINGS ( I HEAR YOU ON THAT!) and i love the new sconces over top the bookshelves.

    rearranging is the best.

  112. Very pretty and I love the coffee table. Could I get your opinion on the shape of it with kids? I’ve been looking at one with a middle base and a bigger top. Are they pretty sturdy or could they possible tip over with climbing kids?

  113. Gorgeous room! I do agree it could be paired down a little. I think especially the right side feels a little cluttered and heavy. (Looking toward the fireplace.) I know many will disagree but I would actually try removing the antique trunk. It is big and heavy with a big and heavy side table behind it. Maybe try out something more minimal like a round table with a single base there?

  114. I love this room! The new rug looks so comfy. Have you ever thought about painting the walls and ceiling? I love white walls, but this room is begging to be cozy and a little paint might do it.

  115. I think is the best version yet. I would do different art over the fireplace to tie things together a bit more and I think you’re there.

  116. I say less stuff, but more color. The color on color sofa and rug are screaming for some color in here. Easy color- pillows, shelves, etc. Love seeing the process.

  117. I think this is my favorite layout so far of the living room!!!
    It looks so cozy and lived in, but not overly busy or try -hard

    I think my only issue is maybe the back wall, and it’s not even a true issue. I just feel like the back wall needs something. Maybe painting the fireplace slightly darker?? Or the backs of the bookshelves? They’re such beautiful architectural elements that really bring your eye up but since its all white it kind of flattens that out a bit.

    All in all i think the room is like 98% there… it just needs a little extra something somewhere.

  118. Love everything about it. Each picture better than the last.

    Where is the slinky decor on bookshelf from? I saw it in another blog of yours and can’t find anything even remotely similar online! Thank you!

  119. I actually like the built ins next to the fireplace, and I love how you have them styled. But I would try removing the side table, black chair, and credenza completely. Let there be some space back there. Unless you ABSOLUTELY need the storage, it just looks so cluttered (even though both vignettes are fabulous on their own).

    1. I agree. Maybe Emily could remove everything that’s by the bookshelves just to show us what that looks like? 🙂

  120. Yes! It’s a fine line with a traditional house when you love a more modern esthetic. I too am trying to embrace a more minimal decor. It is unsettling to the mind and eye all the busy-ness.

    I really like this version, it’s a 9.5. I too think the shelves/fireplace area is a little too busy. Dying over the new credenza. It’s really good. I’m a little jealous 🥴

    Let me know when you find that sofa……I have been looking for years. Recently a little focused on the RH ‘Cloud’ What does everyone think? I have slobby adult people and slobby dogs to contend with.

  121. Love the new look. Others have mentioned the bookcase wall feeling a bit too busy. When there are a lot of shelves in a bookcase and there’s a lot going on in the room or on the same wall I like to remove a couple of shelves and add bigger pieces. It helps reduce the visual noise. I also agree with others in that it feels like there’s too much furniture on that side. I would remove the two chairs (black and wood hand) to open it up.

  122. Current is by far my favorite evolution of this room. It’s very Emily. At first, I think it was a hard left to incorporate the traditional style of the house, but lost Emily. It lost me as well because it was no longer the fun MCM that I’ve grown to love about your designs. I’m happy to see the return of the art on the fireplace because it’s perfect for that space and the room in general: It doesn’t scream for attention. It’s like salt or pepper in a recipe…they don’t steal the show, but they add flavor. The lighter couch is welcoming too. It doesn’t demand attention and it’s a huge piece. If there were more contrast to the rug, the couch would become a focus due to it’s size. If you find another sofa, stick with the same color. It’s visually balanced currently. Can’t wait to see updates to the rest of the house. I love seeing styles evolve. Mine do all the time and I don’t think that most people get that… If it’s a good design, they think they should never be changed. In reality, it should always evolve to be better.

  123. Hello, Emily! I admire your fearlessness! I could never let strangers dissect my living room! 😬

    I think the only thing you need to do is make the bookshelves simpler, a la Mark D. Sikes. Like the bookshelves he has in his sitting area off of his kitchen. They are simple, smallish shelves like these. He puts in books stacked horizontally, then vertically, then horizontally, etc. The point is that the shelves read like a solid, but more like a checked solid, if you get what I mean. Occasionally, he throws in a small ginger jar or two, but mostly it is just books, and it is visually calming.

    Do NOT get rid of the original shelves. They add charm and whimsy, and books are THE BEST accessory. And the stain on the beams is perfect and adds warmth. Do not paint them white. They are perfect in your Tudor home.

    I love that you added the Library sconces. Now just “horizontal – vertical – horizontal etc” your tightly stacked hardcover books (simplify!) and I think it will look so good.

    Peace and love, Lauren

  124. Have you ever tried a sofa running parallel with the piano and fireplace with a sofa table behind it? That would open the bay window up for chairs across from the others. I also agree with covering the bookshelves and maybe accenting the plaster of the fireplace jut out with a paint color? I was so inspired by your post on your take of the accent wall come back.

  125. The Serena and Lily credenza seems too crowded in there. I feel like there are a lot of furniture pieces that are competing. I love the trunk but it feels a bit out of place there. I love the MCM dresser there. That couch seems nice but the room doesn’t feel grounded. I miss the red rug – I feel like it anchored the space. With so much light furniture/rug/walls I don’t feel anything connecting, really.
    I love those darker chairs! And that CB2 lamp.
    You’re probably going to have some red in decorations in December, so I’d think about how you add red at this time of year. I really like red in the summer.
    Please don’t ever take away that coffee table again. It’s too good.

  126. Such a cool room!
    Love those beams & that fireplace (you have such a great jumping off point before even putting your personal stamp on it!). In response to comments above, please don’t paint those beams out white! The darker color is gorgeous and defines the style of your home.
    Great move on your part, to relocate your modern art over the fireplace. I also love the new, streamlined light fixtures over bookshelf. The other sconces w/ shades are super cute but it was overkill.
    Love the more modern sofa & chairs too!
    But I don’t love the coffee table with it (I see a more traditional table here).
    Suggestion: Lose the black table lamp & giant hand by bookshelf (too busy in that right corner).

  127. If you think the shelves look busy, maybe you could have simple doors made for them?

  128. Ooooh I love how it’s coming along. It feels so much more cohesive now! I agree with some of the other commenters on that the corners are too busy – compared with the rest of the room especially. Personally I would switch out the painting over the fireplace, too. I don’t think the scale is right and it feels to “cold” for the room (which has such high ceilings and brick). I think a textural wall hanging there would tie everything in! But overall this is the first time I’ve seen this room and thought, Yes : )

  129. I love it! It’s my favorite version so far!

  130. Looking so good. What I’m most curious about is how the room flows if/when you guys throw open those gorgeous French doors. If I lived here you can bet I’d make it so that life could sort of spill out onto the patio in the year round lovely weather. I’d move those credenzas next to the shelves out of there and angle those incredible new chairs in on either side of the fireplace, inbetween them maybe layer over a smaller rug (or keep the sheepskin) for kids to cuddle, read, play legos or whatever. A few baskets on the lower shelves would be great streamlined storage for whatever you use those drawers for, or just catchall kid toys
    I think this would really open it up and create a more useful slighly less fussy space (it’s not really fussy). Also if you wanted to get really fun and unique, I’d look hard for one of those beautiful curved sofas, reupholster in some shade of Emily blue, and slide it gently back into that bay window where your sectional currently is. Gosh it’s so fun to dream up spaces ❤

  131. Hard to make edit and style suggestions when we’re not actually in the room. I pretty much loved the room with the red rug. Now it looks a bit too neutral (can’t believe I said that!) It’s a big room and sometimes they’re a challenge. But you want your heart to go “Ahhh” when you walk in the room. I do like the sectional. Maybe bring more color accents into the room with throws and pillows and collectibles?

    You live in the space. And you need to love it … almost as much as you need to tinker and tweak.

  132. I love the new rug, the new chairs, the sectional, the move away from the more traditional aesthetic. Strangely enough, the architecture of the room shines more now, I can see what you always said, that it’s a big airy room full of light. But. This room now has a dominant style, it is updated mid-century, not a mix of styles. All the items that clash with this style create the idea of busy-ness. The Serena Lily credenza has to go, not because it makes the corner busy, but because it’s too granny-chic and cute for this room. Same with the luggage coffee table – too much ornamentation. The corners should be reincorporated into the room. The sectional’s orientation is, I think, wrong, the chaise should be on the other side, closing on the room rather than on the fireplace. The director’s leather chair is too dingy – you need a large sculptural armchair to end all armchairs to dominate the corner. On the other side, you can’t have a chair, but may be a big round table with lamps and coffee table books? And I was team “plaster over the shelves” from the start. They look wrong in every iteration, what will it take for you to plaster over them? Plus, they force you to put art on top of the fireplace, which makes the fireplace lines look weird, not in a good way. Sorry to sound so direct, but I’ve been looking at this room for so long, I had to get it out of me:)

  133. I have this problem too, but do you think this room just always a bit of a miss because it’s really for the tv? If there was no tv, and the room was for parties, would it be set up more like a cool hotel lobby with people gathered around the fireplace? I feel like the fireplace end is just stuck on there or maybe I am completely wrong.

  134. I feel like this iteration of the living room is perfect. I love the touches of black and the sofa looks inviting. It looks like a room that you want to spend time in 😊. I did not feel that when looking at the pictures from the past.

  135. I think the room is tricky since it has so many amazing architectural features (good problem to have!). I vote for addition by subtraction here: smaller or no credenzas, less wall art, less items on the shelves with more room to breathe, maybe an airier side table. I would also bring in more of those plummy tones like you have in the pillows and more of the slate from the chairs. But overall I think the more you calm and simplify in here the better it gets! Also, thanks for sharing this evolution, I think every home has an area it’s hard to find the sweet spot with. I endlessly tweak things and nice to know you do too! Also, useful to see how different pieces are used in different spaces. One of my new criteria when buying home furnishings is: can I potentially use it in 2-3 different places.

  136. A bit too neutral for me. Overall, I like it, though.

    That new credenza is just too big for the space it’s in. It looks like a bedroom dresser.

    Love the grey chairs. Like the new sconces over the bookshelves.

  137. Test

  138. A little too neutral for me, overall. But I still like it!

    Love the grey chairs, and I really like the new sconces over the bookcases.

  139. I have an amazingly comfortable family friendly modern wine colored velvet sofa that’s like 15 years old from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams it’s my dream sofa. Bought it on Craigslist and it’s possibly the best home purchase ever. It gets abused by the kids and the giant dog and all I do is strip the covers and wash them, the body could use a deep cleaning and some touch up on the wood. It will need recovering at some point but heck it will be worth it. Wish I could post a pic! I would however switch out the pillows on the chairs something. Isn’t working there.

  140. This is my favourite iteration of this room so far – I LOVE the sofa/rug combo, it’s really quiet and tonal and for me it definitely works. It’s like a breath of fresh air compared with the busier rug/darker sofa mixes. For me the only thing I really don’t like here is the black and white graphic print over the fireplace (I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I know you love it!!). It just clashes with the tone of the room, to me it belongs in a really minimalist setting and that’s just not this room.

  141. This is the best yet! I really love it.

  142. i agree with the ‘too busy corners’. I’d get rid of the credenzas and the art work above the fireplace and move the rest of the furniture closer to the fireplace. Wondering why you always seem to float the coffee table so far from the sofa? Otherwise, love the calm, simple direction!!!

  143. This is my favorite iteration so far. I’m really liking the modern but warm with hits of black vibe. And I especially like the new sconces above the bookshelves. Looks more modern compared to the previous, while still keeping with the architecture. Thanks for sharing!

  144. This room has so much going on architecturally that I think it craves symmetry and quiet (less noise in the corners as other have stated).

    I think the scale is also a little off; the furniture seems small in both length and height for the space. What about two extra long custom sofas across from each other? Maybe some ottomans to create that U-shape opposite the fireplace?

  145. Love your work, but I really miss your red rug here. Without it, it all looks so trendy. All your newer trendier things would work so much better with your traditional rug (my favorite spaces are eclectic). Without it, it leans toward…well, trendy.

  146. I’ve always felt that the book shelves are a bit mean – not thick enough or too close together or something. Why not remove everything in the niches (virtually) and rethink what you would do there if it were a blank space.

  147. Yes! This is my favorite iteration of this room. Maybe because I usually prefer a more modern look… I agree with the back corners being very busy, I think the small black chair in the back left of the room is what is throwing me off.

  148. Yo Em! I love this version of your living room. (Mine was a challenge too- what is it with these living rooms??) I think you are SO CLOSE to perfection here. Love the shelves. Have to remember it feels different IRL than in the photo. Ya done good!

    I think that the vingette on the right, the dresser etc. are what makes that end of the room feel busy. (Which is a shame because in isolation it looks marvelous!) I would remove the black lamp to open it back up visually, and also because you have a sconce right there! I would also just have the “bar tray” on that surface. The other bric-a-brac on the dresser is fighting with the things on the shelves, which you see in the same sightline. Having some negative space on the dresser surface would resolve that. And simplify the art, maybe just a single piece over the dresser as you have done on the opposite side.

    I prefer comfy seating by the fireplace, would consider trading out the little black chair with something compact but upholstered to ground that area. Maybe in navy? Neutral but still color, ya know?

    I think in the larger seating area, you just need some contrast with the rug and the sectional, I would reupholster the sectional in cobalt velvet *can ya dig it?* YUM. And hides all the dirts. 🙂

    Lastly, I vote no on red in that room. I think it would be garish and just argue with everything else. I just don’t think this is the room for it.

    Can’t wait to see it evolve!!
    Best luck!! xx

  149. OK while you nice people go back and forth over that back corner real estate, why hasn’t any eagle eyed West Coaster made a land grab for those cute tan armchairs Emily threw out of the mix?

  150. I think this is my favorite iteration so far of the living room! Wondering though if you’ve tried different furniture placement, like facing the couch towards the sofa? It’s such a big room it almost feels like there could be another seating/gathering area or table. But love this version 💕

  151. I think your updates are lovely! If there was one thing I would change it would be to bring back a vintage rug to make make it warmer. I think your edits have made the room look more sophisticated and modern but not as interesting. Plus my rugs make it so I don’t worry about those kid stains! A simply patterned old rug, not busy would make your room even more beautiful. Just my opinion. 🙂

  152. Would be curious to see the bookshelves painted in the back – maybe a dark navy.

  153. I love it now! Leave as is!

  154. agree on the doors for shelves and converting top shelves to larger nook. BUT the thing that feels off is your sofa, so looking forward to your options when you share them. The Article sofa lacks personality and feels to #basic. Think that will be the big unlock xx

  155. Emily, thank you so much for sharing and allowing us inside your mind. I really like this iteration of the room. One thing I’d love to see you experiment with is the fireplace art. I love the Colin Glasglow print more than anything else that has hung there (clean colors, fresh), but I’ve always felt that the hard corners are competing with the curves on the fireplace. I know visual tension can be positive, so maybe this isn’t a good idea, but I’d love to see you try something more organic in the space – just out of curiosity.

  156. Just wondering if the chairs and sofa are a good distance apart for conversation. They seem kinda far, but maybe that’s just the photos. I love the way the room looks now! And both those patterned rugs were gorgeous. Maybe rotate them in and out with the current one?

  157. If this were my room I would flip-flop the two chairs with the couch. The two chairs would be on a slight angle in the bay window with the side table (that you currently have next to the couch) in between them. I think the trunk is too heavy. I would definitely put some plants on the shelves to make them pop a bit and bring in some color. I also agree that the credenzas by the fireplace is too much. I also think something round or horizontal (more weight) over the fireplace would look better.

  158. My completely honest opinion…I think there is too much stuff in this entire room. Perhaps it’s just not my style or I don’t understand the more traditional type of decorating/styling but I’m not sure what to look at here? I love the sofa, the two chairs and the coffee table (and rug)…but just one vignette in a room is one too many for me, and I think there are three in this room?

  159. You have lovely individual pieces but there’s not a lot of interesting contrast and nothing that brings all the pieces together. White walls, beige rug, with beige sofa is lacking personality. Perhaps a black or dark wood coffee table and some colorful, dark throw pillows and blanket with pattern will help. One of the things I’ve loved about your work is your use of blue. This room is missing your trademark! Also, while I love the vintage trunk it seems out of scale as an end table. Perhaps use the trunk where the dresser or the credenza live and style less stuff on top of it to address what some others have said. And lastly, the artwork above the fireplace doesn’t draw the eye. It’s just not the right piece for the location. I’d love to see one of your vintage portraits there.

  160. I am all about a neutral room, but when I look at this I see a lot of dark brown. I know brown is making a comeback, but personally I don’t love it. Actually, I do think the darker browns would look great with the original red rug and blue sofa – kind of the English gentleman’s library look. With the more neutral room the browns just stand out too much to me.

  161. I think you need to remove the credenza and the dresser. It’s just way too busy back there with the bookshelves – too many surfaces and too much stuff! The bookshelves are a great architectural feature – let them shine!

  162. I think you need to remove the credenza and the dresser. It’s just way too busy back there with the bookshelves – too many surfaces and too much stuff! The bookshelves are a great architectural feature – let them shine! Also I hate to say it but I don’t think the coffee table works in this space. It looks like it would be a better fit for the Mountain House.

  163. What if you changed the floor plan! I LOVE YOUR STUFF 😊 But because the room is long, and the big furniture is along the long walls, it’s a bit hallway-ish. Is that maybe why you’ve never loved it? I know lots of people don’t like walking into the back of a couch when entering a room, but if anyone could find the right couch bootie to walk into, it would be you! It just might feel warmer and rounder and more complete that way? Or at least totally different!

    1. I would REALLY LOVE just to see this option tried even with the current furniture. I think it could be amazing or totally wrong … but I just really want to see it!

      Em, please?

      And a BIG floor plant or two would be fantastic in here.

  164. I think you need to remove the credenza and the dresser. It’s just way too busy back there with the bookshelves – too many surfaces and too much stuff! The bookshelves are a great architectural feature – let them shine! Also I hate to say it but I don’t think the coffee table works in this space. It looks like it would be a better fit for the Mountain House. Also this might be unpopular but I do not like the art over the fireplace, too masculine and modern for the space IMO. I preferred the vintage portrait.

  165. I love it! So calm and soothing, which is just what one needs after a long day of hard work 🙂

  166. For me, I’ve liked each couch. The only thing that always feels off to me is the coffee table. I didn’t like the old one in this room, and I don’t think this one hits the mark either. I don’t really think the couch has to be a “moment” in a room like this. I think comfort, durability, and aesthetics are more important in a couch than making a statement in a family room. I LOVE the credenza vignet. And I really like the side chairs. I think they work in the old world midcentury contemporary room you are working toward. I think the trunk looks great between them. I also really like the art on the fireplace. Another great juxtaposition of your styles!

  167. This is my favorite version of this room! It lets the architecture of room shine while still being interesting, light, and inviting. Also it is refreshing to watch the the “struggle” of getting a room to feel right from an expert. With so many beautiful images of rooms available it feels like we should all be getting this right on the first try and it just isn’t the case a lot of times. Thanks for the realness EHD! Keep up the lovely and real work 🙂

  168. I also like the new library lights above the built in shelves. Now there is a more continuous line with all the lighting rather than the shelf lighting looking so much higher than the lighting on the side walls.

  169. I love the direction you’re going in this room. I think the calmness of the rug and sofa are really needed here as there is so much furniture and lighting in this room. I agree with the others that thought the fireplace area is too busy. Do you really need wall sconces here with all the other lighting? I’d also get a visually softer table. I like the Hay Around table or something similar that is lighter and easier to move around. I’d also swap out that admittedly gorgeous trunk for something smaller and more modern. Room and Boards metal side tables are gorgeous and would work well here,(and they come in red)! I think the black lighting and vase are really working. Maybe on the fireplace you could do something more subtle and organic like a small wall hanging or an organic sculptural object. Or you could leave it alone as it is really lovely as it is too!

  170. I know others have said this in above comments but just wanted to add my version. 😉 I just looked back at the styling to sell post from your Glendale house and your mountain house living room reveal to try figure out what was speaking to you about those rooms but not this one. Your Glendale house had lots of comfy seating (sectional, chairs, fireplace benches) and basically one surface for styling. Art was two big pieces and the collection of bells. In the mountain house, you again have lots of cozy but interesting seating and no surfaces to style (excepting the mantle) and very minimalist art. Obviously this was done for particular reasons-selling a home and having a minimalist vacation retreat- but perhaps that will give you some clues about what you gives you the most peace in your living spaces: comfy seating and less visual clutter. Love!!

  171. Thank you for sharing these photos and your process! Your Glendale living room as styled to sell has been my all-time favorite and an inspiration I’ve called on many times when designing my own living room. So I love that you brought so much of that vibe into this living room. I also love the way you are bringing your love of mid-century modern into your traditional home and embracing an eclectic look – such a great reminder to all of us that you don’t have to be married to any one style and that you don’t have to “match” your home. Pretty looks good next to pretty, right? 🙂

    Regarding the fireplace area, I’ve always thought that the Article credenza blocked the shelving beside the fireplace a little in photos and wondered how it looked/felt IRL. I honestly take this more as inspiration, though, and it makes me look at my own home and try to realize the potential of unused areas.

  172. This is my favorite iteration of this room so far. It so calm and relaxing now. That antique chaise you had in the left corner for a while, though a beautiful piece, never quite worked for me in here. I like this setup so much more. The one thing I think I’d change here is to take the Colin Glasgow piece down and leave the fireplace bare. I think there’s enough going on with the book shelves flanking it that the it would be a nice rest for the eye to leave it blank, it would show off those gorgeous curved lines more. I’d move the Glasgow piece to the entryway. It’s so amazing. I think it deserves a wall of it’s own.

    Your work is lovely as always! Thanks for sharing the process with us. It’s so informative.

  173. Well, I gotta day, I absolutely adore this room. It is my favorite iteration yet. Love love the layered look. And pretty please do NOT plaster over the bookshelves! I really feel that you would regret it. I personally love the combination of pretty things and books in book shelves. It’s tricky to make it work but you’ve succeeded. And leave the beams alone. They’re beautiful and bring in more lovely wood color. The only thing I would change is the black chair. I have a similar one in a guest room so I love it. But I would put a larger, more comfy one for you to snuggle with your punkins. Great job, as usual, Emily!

  174. Personally I hate the sectional with the rug, snoozefest. Plus the lack of contrast makes the back of the room look overly busy in comparison. I liked the pattern rugs you had in the room soooo much better. Even with treatment that new rug looks like a giant stain waiting to happen. I wouldn’t let dogs or kids anywhere near that thing without having a coronary!

  175. I have a question: is there a reason my comments never post?

  176. I’m digging the neutral but there’s a lack of contrast from the coffee table to couch side of the room. I think because the coffee table is so light next to the rug, that feels like something is missing. Could you layer another rug under the coffee table? Or a heavier darker tray on it? Or put darker pillows or throws on the couch. Hmmmmm…
    Also the piece over the fireplace isn’t really helping the room, if it was a darker frame maybe to set it off…but probably something else is better.

  177. I liked the original Room the best with the red rug!

  178. I feel like the pillows on sofa and chairs are off as well as blankets. Less of them and feel like they are just wrong. Maybe looks different in person. I would do a tone on tone with pillows on the chairs. Stripes to intense and preppy. Totally love the idea of orangey red in a table lamp or bits in a pillow. I feel like the cb2 lamp on trunk could totally look fun in that red. Love the foundational pieces. You’re almost there! Get rid of the pouf. Good luck! Favorite version yet. I think the shelves are looking great. Could pair back a bit but not too much. Says the gal who loves Knick knacks.

  179. This is by far my favourite change to this room. It’s more calming, inviting, and definitely more pleasing on the eye. On the whole the balance is pretty good too, but very busy down the far end. There’s a lot going on there. The credenza is fighting for space with the shelving and should possibly be moved to the wider wall opposite. I feel the white floor lamp is obscuring the visuals in that corner and clashing with the simplicity and beauty of the wall lamp. Less, as they say, is more. Adore those mid-century armchairs and the coffee table!

  180. I agree with allowing space around the fireplace!
    Keep symmetry. Have the bookshelves shown and a similar lamp on either side.
    I also think you should have two sofas facing each other instead of a sofa and two armchairs. I just love symmetry, can you tell 🙂 if you have two sofas in this big room you will fill it better and the coffee table will not so lonely. And maybe change the coffee table for a rectangular one. Oh and some pieces of furniture need to be grounded and not everything showing too much leg!
    I love this blog!

  181. I have a house of this era….it is a hard one. Stuff that’s too modern looks out of place…traditional stuff goes ‘granny’ really easily. Architectural details are a little fussy, a little busy, a little small scale somehow. And windows are nice but they make furniture placement difficult and also make it hard to make things feel cozy and relaxed. This room is long and narrow with so many windows…..mine is similar, but smaller scale (and also is the first room you walk in to when you enter the house, which is a huge PITA – especially in the PNW). I have really struggled to make my living room work. And I knew as soon as you bought this house that the living room would be a huge challenge.

  182. I love that coffee table- so glad to see it in this room. I agree with everyone on the fireplace wall. Every time I’ve seen this room, I’ve felt like the back corners look too cluttered. Maybe it’s the credenzas? Also, I feel like you need some patterns in the room. I liked the red rug best… Having a pattern on the floor brought the room to life in my opinion. Maybe a similar rug, paired with your more modern pieces?

  183. I absolutely love the way it’s styled now. The simplicity of the palette is letting the architecture of the room be the star.

    Ok, deep breath…do you really honestly want opinions? Because I think I know why this room never works for you 100%. It’s the same reason that I have never pinned any pictures of it. This room has always been way too busy, and I think I know the reason why. It’s the beams. They draw the eye up and break up the space in a slightly jarring way. Would you consider painting them white? Or would you consider simplifying them, by removing the finials? Or sanding them down and staining them a lighter color?
    You are an amazing designer so I’m sure you can find an awesome solution.

  184. Re shelves. I would say put books in your bookshelves. limit what else is in there. arrange by color. stack in different ways. it allows for design but not business.

  185. – Taller bookshelves.
    – Remove the hand chair and the kava bowl. Both cool, but they can’t really be appreciated in here. They need space to shine.
    – Add a coloured – and bigger – painting over the fire. I feel the geometric gets lost.

    That’s my 10 cents worth… nice room tho!

  186. I’m liking your current sofa best, but feel like the room would look more finished and cozy if the 2 chairs were replaced by another sofa. It looks like a big space and sometimes big spaces need big pieces to match the scale. Also, less furniture by the fireplace would free up some visual space. Right now it comes off as extra furniture. And lastly, perhaps the curtains could be a bolder color to provide contrast and keep the eye in the center of the room?

  187. Have you thought about painting the sides of the fireplace a darker
    color to emphasize the shape? Is such a beautiful architectural detail that come across a little flat (at least in pictures).

  188. I have been scouring EBTH, LetGo, eNay, Facebook marketplace )you name it) for almost two years now looking for that coffee table. Any way you could work with Anthropologie and have them bring it back for reader purchases?

  189. I love everything you do! But…I think it’s the built in shelves that are giving you fits. I think they overbalance the room & make it seem jumbled. That’s the reason the photos that don’t show them are so gorgeous. Thanks so much for sharing your homes!

  190. I moved last November and the living room has never felt ‘right.’ It’s probably a design agony situation, but I just don’t have the energy to address it right now. Anyways, it’s encouraging to see even professionals have to continuously adjust to arrive at right. Loving this room btw. I remember commenting that the scones looked a little busy, and love the new ones you chose!

  191. I love the new rug and all of those dark accents! My cats make it impossible to maintain just about anything more than wood furniture 😀

    Dee ~ Vanilla Papers

  192. I’m glad I’m not the only one who constantly tweaks! I love those bookcases! They add so much character but they need to be filled with BOOKS, not stuff! And I pine for that very first colorful rug. It somehow grounded the room and warmed it up!

  193. I agree that adding more height to the book shelves and nixing one of the credenzas (the smaller one?) might do the trick. Maybe a large fig tree in a cool pot where the small credenza now Iives….?

  194. I personally love your changes! I am all for a more relaxed casual vibe. It looks like a happier, less stuffy place to live. To each their own though!

  195. I like these kind of posts!! They are fun to read.
    I miss your old credenza, and the Target chairs. I also don’t love the black chair. And could the fireplace just not have any art? How would that look?

  196. I see what folks are saying about to much in the back of the room simply because the front of the room is more minimalistic (but the coffee table looks fantastic in this space and you have very interesting pieces, but you know that- you’re a stylist!). Gawd that magazine wrack is gorgeous too! The pieces like that are perfect for this room because they are simple enough to live well with midcentury but they are interesting in their shape and look aged/soulful enough to be in a space with historical references. It’s not that you shouldn’t have “stuff” it’s just that the background its not balanced to the foreground.

  197. love the couch and current composition/arrangement. regarding the back: there are 8 light fixtures in the back alone.

  198. Any customer feedback on Article sofas? I am about to order the Gaba (and a leather ottoman) and have read SUCH mixed reviews, and would love to hear from anyone who has taken Emily’s recommendation and pulled the trigger one one – how does it hold up? How is their customer service, really?

  199. My eye always went immediately to the oval white coffee table you had before. I couldn’t see the rest of the room because of it. Now I see the whole room which is lovely, soothing and relaxing.

  200. I absolutely love how calm and warm this room is! I don’t know that I would change a thing!

  201. The tree branch in the black vase in your coffe table where do I find one I’ve been looking everywhere please please tell me

  202. Ok, my 1st suggestion is expensive so sorry if I’m not respecting your limits. But looking at the cost of things you end up not loving, what if you orient the entire room by investing in a SERIOUS couch moment like a Mario Bellini Camelonda? Yes, that’s a spendy idea; but you won’t have to wonder if you love it. Your investment opens the room and sets a certain unmistakably smart & modern tone, elevating and tonifying all the other objects you invite. Your eclectic “beloveds” of various eras will have something appropriately strong, neutral, warm, soft and modern to play against; the more edited array of objects that you finally choose will truly shine. Emily, even ancestor paintings don’t go granny next to a Mario Bellini….

    Second, even in LA, I feel a fireplace deserves to be a focal point. So I’d concentrate my choices on supporting the fireplace as a point of convergence. I’d refresh the bricks and would aggressively curate that part of the room to invite comfortable “gathering.” I do not understand all that credenza action around the fireplace AT ALL. In my opinion, stop that. The art you put over the fireplace should be a surprise and something that makes you literally swoon you love it so much. IMAO, that’s nonnegotiable. As much as I enjoy the geometric, it doesn’t live up to that criteria. I know you already know it belongs in another spot where it can be appreciated for what is terrific about it.

    Third, save the bookcases. They are original architecture and offer a major source of charm once you get the focus points and values contrast straightened out. But use them mostly for books, IMAO, tightly stacked. I agree with the other comment that Mark D Sikes is a fruitful reference for how to style the books (even though his rooms are otherwise too One Kings Lane for me.) But tightly stacked and ruthlessly edited objects as he inclines will help you here.

    Likewise, after you’ve calmed the room in a foundational but dramatic way (still advocating for my couch moment) a few elements that speak to the beam color story will help them work with and not against you. I’d never advocate for slavish fealty to original architecture. But I really do think you’ve got other fish to fry; like the book shelves, these beams can work f they have something worthy to talk to. But they need a stronger, calmer, more confidently quirky room.

    Clearing up those elements, I KNOW you can make this room sing in way that is both idiosyncratic and soothing.

    Good luck, Emily!

    P.S. Five years from now, I won’t be able to stomach mauve. Begging you to resist investing in a durable statement piece upholstered in mauve. I think you already know this.

  203. I’m LOVING this!

  204. I agree with others, I would cover the nook-shelves with some really great large carved/painted vintage doors or remove them completely and either replace them with windows or plaster them over for more wall pace. They don’t seem substantial enough to anchor that side of the room and take away from the fireplace.

  205. – I like the idea that others have expressed of bringing more warmth to the space. It seems as though having wood pieces that more closely resemble the beams might help. In the first iteration of the room, the two chairs helped to add a lot of warmth and so did the rug.
    – I also agree with those who suggested removing several of the pieces next to the bookshelf. It would be nice if we could see a picture with everything from this area removed.
    – The sofa and rug combination is nice although I think the rooms looks more open without the chaise.
    – I would like to see the room with many fewer black elements. The painting above the mantel, the three-legged lamp, and the other black lamps don’t add warmth to the space.
    – The double shaded scones seem like there are from a very different era and design universe.
    – Neither coffee table seems just right for the space. Something in a warmer wood tone, with more medium-sized dimensions – not too thin and not too think seems worth trying.
    – The trunk seems too large where it is – I wonder how it would look in another location.
    – Because of the debates about the fireplace in the mountain house, I am now wondering how the room would look if the brickwork on this fireplace were to be modified in some way.
    – I agree with the first comment – it is fun to see lots of different editions of this room. I love this room and don’t think I will ever get tired of looking at new posts about it! I look forward to the next post to see which ideas you find compelling and where you might take the room in the future.

  206. There are a lot of votes here for elimination of the built in shelves. That’s a definite commitment. Try covering them with white paper for a month. That way you can see what it would look like if they were gone, and you would functionally have to live without the storage. Then you can have more information to make the decision. Having doors made for the lowers half might work too, as others have suggested. Possible option is to have custom freestanding screens made that would cover the shelves. You could store them away if desired, without having any permanent alterations made. You could also try taking the jackets off the books. Often the fabric or linen covers are prettier and less busy. I set the jackets aside in a box in case I give the book away or donate later.

    I agree that it still feels a bit heavy on that end of the room, but I think the new lights above the shelves help tremendously. I would also consider removing the tall floor tripod lamp on the left. My eye just stops on that huge shade. Maybe a floor lamp that has a slimmer profile, like a really nice natural brass modern pharmacy style reading lamp? Would play off the new lamps above the shelves. I certain agree with many comments here, this is the best version yet. I love those new chairs! Please keep them and stop looking at those shiny black leather chairs.

  207. Love the rug! I hope you can find the actual purchasable link to share, as it looks perfect!

  208. LOVE! I agree that this room feels so much more you now! Love the couch, coffee table, chairs and black accessories. I think that rug needs more color/depth to help ground it all. I liked the suggestions of adding cabinet doors on the shelves and incorporating a touch of camel leather. Overall – dreamsville!

  209. Emily, going by your comfort and enjoyment of your mountain home and the living room you refer to above, this living room is too busy. You like calm and order. You have plenty of style and your home has enough architecture, to pull a peaceful home together without filling every space. All of the pieces are gorgeous. They are staged well. Separately they are spot-on. However, there are many lamps disturbing the site lines, causing congestion. The Serena & Lily chest is large and the art gallery above might be too much. I think it would be fun for you to clear the back of the room and live with it empty for a bit. Remove pillows and throws. Consider doors or only books on the shelves. Your Colin Glasgow received its full attention on the wall behind the sofa. Enjoy making your living space cozy and inviting 🙂

  210. The hand and the pouffe has to go in my opinion. They don’t add anything to this otherwise very elegant room

  211. I would love to see the sofa facing the fireplace, and maybe a small round table and chairs near the window where the sofa is now…more “seating zones” to break up the room and fewer bookcase/credenza “zones” along the walls. BUT, I can’t wait to see whatever you do!

  212. I love the antique chase lounge and I believe it would work so well in the place of the blue/navy chair by the fireplace next to the 1700 art piece. The white rug would be perfect with it and remove the poof. Maybe keep the two shelves both a solid white color theme. I am no expert by any means and I love your work! Truly I do…I believe the elegant sconces don’t work with the super modern black lamps. I love your mixtures you have done in your house but maybe too much mixture is the problem in this super large room…?

  213. I think if you got a fab couch your eye would be drawn more to the center of the room. As is, it is so neutral it disappears. Without the drama at the center, everyone focuses on the back fireplace area which needs editing but it’s minor.

  214. This is such a lovely large space. with such beautiful height. But I think it must be tricky to fill such a large canvas. It just feels like something needs to bring cohesion to the space. Have you thought about wallpapering the walls and ceiling? Okay hold up, before you say thats crazy. Something in the vein of Porter Teleo wallpaper, would work so well and seems very much your style. And might help mix the modern with traditional.

  215. With the age of your kids, I think this (and the family room) is a space that will change often over the years based on your family’s aspirations for the room, as they will change quickly with the changing needs of your kids. That being said, that really frees you up from a practical side of things to play around with what feels right for the space. Fun times! A house is never done as they say and it’s so fun to tweak.

  216. Have you thought about creating a conversation area in front of the fireplace? Two chairs facing each other in front of the fireplace? It would give more breathing room by the bookcases and shorten the room a bit.

  217. Have you thought about creating a conversation area in front of the fireplace? Two chairs facing each other? It would give more breathing room by the bookcases and shorten the room a bit. It would also draw the eye to the fireplace.

  218. I don’t mean to be negative but I just really am not a fan of that trunk…I love those chairs and the trunk is just really bringing that area down…

  219. Agree with all the “clutter” comments but they did not factor in the OTHER end of the room (with yet another chest with knick knacks on it, and another black chair, a piano). My head is spinning! Move the Serena and Lily credenza to the front of the room where you need your bar anyhow (in place of the gray hutch which has no purpose except to add to the confusion). I’d also remove: the black tri-pod floor lamp, both black chairs, the tall black table lamp (leave the credenza as a bar near the piano), the pouf, and the furry rug. Put a short potted plant under your wall vignette – it will ground the wall art but not take up space that furniture does. It’s like when I go out at night and want to wear all of my jewelry at the same time and know it’s a bad look but can’t help myself because I don’t go out enough to let each piece have it’s night on the town…just saying…

  220. Can you please share more about your TV setup, which appears to be projection style in a very bright lit space? I abhor TVs and the fact that our modern day lives and living rooms revolve (and are designed) around them. But husband will not live without one, so am looking for practical tips, tricks and suggestions that won’t the bank, preferably not just hidden inside a media cabinet either. Perhaps the TV that doubles as art when not in use (although kind of eck).

    1. Emily wrote a post about the projector set up in her living room here: http://paradis-guitars.info/blog/how-we-watch-tv-our-living-room-projector
      Hope that helps to answer some of your questions!

  221. I love the new room styling. Have been wondering about whether or not to have a chaise lounge and this makes your room look more cozy. Also love the coffee table and vintage chair combo. For sofas that are really interesting and comfy, check out Arthur G in Melbourne, Australia. My latest obsession is Kimon sofa. They have this beautiful matte evergreen leather from Italy which is stunning. (And if you ever want to style a new compact flat in Melbourne, would love your help).

  222. I am loving the transition of your living room the busy, vibrantly-beautiful space to something still full of life, yet a little more grown up. I found this beautiful vintage rug at an estate sell and it reminds me of the one you sold and I was so heartbroken when my puppy had an accident on it! Luckily, it was able to be saved thanks to the help of professional carpet cleaner. Anyway, I do love the simplicity you went with and I might be doing a little rearranging here soon 🙂

  223. This room is a dream! Perfect down to the last detail.

    If you’re ever looking for landscape design help, check out http://www.tilly-design.com!

  224. Hi Emily! I love all your work and hope to become an interior designer myself one day- where do you find all your branches? I can never seem to just get them at the supermarkets and don’t have much luck at farmers markets, flea markets, or anywhere for that matter! Thank you!

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