Living Room Progress
Last Updated on December 8, 2022
Oh sweet Emily, you recently wrote about the kind of disaster that is your family room. And I gotta tell ya, I really needed to read this. Yes, you might have been sitting on the most perfect vintage blue Persian rug that you bought for $12 that alludes me and wearing the most perfect plaid shirt with the most perfect brown boots not tucked into straight-leg jeans that I can never seem to pull off without feeling like I’m stomping around like a tyrannosaurus rex cowgirl…sorry, rambling, I digress, focus…but you taught me that it’s ok to have a room that’s not completely perfect and still showcase it on House Of Hipsters…even if it makes you cry a tiny bit.
Many of you have asked for a house tour. A wider look at the nook of disaster in the living room. I’ve had some emails asking which coffee table I wound up purchasing. Did I add curtains to the living room? Well, this living room makeover even if not quite perfected will answer a few of those unanswered questions.
Dear Emily, I worried my choice of sectional might make you fall to the floor in sheer and utter disappointment, especially after your post about buying a generic sofa. I still find myself scratching my head, but I think I came close to nailing it? Are the back cushions too poufy? Too slouchy? Too oversized? Oh, I don’t know; however, I looked at your sectional in your family room and breath a small sigh of relief. There’s a similarity there. Kind of? Sort of? Yes? Sometimes I wish just a tiny, little version of you could live in my head. Not in a creepy way. Just when I’m making major room decisions. Then you can be on your merry way; off playing with little Charlie Hendo in your perfectly redesigned slice of MCM heaven.
I’ve come to realize that no matter how many times I think I’ve completely styled a room, it’s still not quite right. Sometimes I haven’t a clue as to how to fix it no matter how many brass miniatures are added. Yes, I might have just made you lock yourself in the bathroom of your beautiful new office space and you have since wrapped yourself in Rifle wallpaper just to uplift your spirit, but that’s okay. (Besides, Rifle wallpaper is beautiful. It would cheer up anyone’s day really.)
After I posted my reading nook of disaster, everyone resounded in unison, “Add curtains!” For which I need to make happen, but as you can see, my magic money tree has yet to deliver. Yes, you and Charlie might have to binge on strawberries and toast to be able to even function and make it through the day. Trust me, the window treatments will happen. I promise. Just know, I would never want for you to eat your feelings because of my lack of drapes.
No, I might not have nailed the pillows…yet…but that’s another story for another time. Yes, I’ll admit, I have 99 problems, and mixing pillows and patterns might be number 1. And I still want to take a sledgehammer to my mantle, but I haven’t the budget with the Mid-Century Modern bedroom makeover in progress. Nor do I think we can survive another reno after the patio. Not now anyway. I’m sorry sweet kitten. You’re probably blaming these feelings of sadness on a world decorating with rugs that are way too small. For which I have to thank you for this advice. Virtual hug.
Had it not been for you, that West Elm Souk rug might have just made you clutch your chest and gasp for air. Alas, my love, that crisis was averted thanks to you. I heard your voice loud and clear. 9′ X 12′ was procured much to my credit card’s dismay. Tough love was necessary, and ever since its arrival, my living room feels much more put together, cozy, grounded, and proportioned. Holy bananas, it’s a beautiful thing when I listen to you!
That lamp makes me cry sweet tears of sadness as well. I know it’s just all sorts of wrong. No matter how many polka dot shirts I could possibly buy you, it just will not make up for this lamp. A brass task lamp is in the works. I promise. It really is. I’m going to make it happen one of these next paychecks. This one is uninspiring and stale. It just doesn’t work. Wait a second, was that a tiny smile I just saw? Are you finally realizing that I’m learning? I promise I am. Slowly, but surely, for realzies I am. But these things take time…and money. Yes, I know, you could do this makeover in 2 days with your eyes closed and Brady just standing there lookin’ all pretty, and I know this makeover hasn’t gone from OK to OMG quite yet, but it’s on its way. I can promise you that.
You might remember I was shopping for a coffee table. Did you notice I finally decided on the ABC Carpet and Home little number? It’s more proportionate to the room and doesn’t completely cover the rug as the last one did. However, this credenza might have to go.
I’ve got most of the big pieces in place, but it’s the styling that gets me every time. You make it look so easy while I fidget around with vessels and frames. Moving miniatures from here to there; driving my poor Type-A husband to a level of insanity you cannot even imagine. Playing with pillow patterns until I’m blue in the face. It’s in the details my love, the details that trip me up.
Like the mantle styling that I thought I saved, but possibly used too many pretty things. It was a bit overkill. As you can see I’ve since pared it down, but I do have a couple more vases awaiting arrival. Damn you backorder! But I swear to you, I’m trying. Just know it’s me, not you, or the fact that you might have missed out on the most perfect wall art from the Rose Bowl Flea. And it wasn’t because you forgot the booth number to where you purchased that white vessel for your oh-so-perfect floral arrangement. It’s me sweetness, but slowly, but surely, this WILL come together. You can make bet on that. Just know, I don’t mean to bring you down.
And just so you all know where I started from about 6 months ago, it looked like this. And even though I might sound a bit harsh on myself in this post, I really do like where it’s at right now. Is it still a work in progress? Ya sure. But for now, it’s good enough.
Omg. so funny! I love the rug and coffee table! You are much further in your living room than I am in mine. I’m jealous! Oh, and I HATE (LIKE Despise) styling. I agree with the mantle looking a bit off but everything else looks FABULOUS! Would love to see a house tour soon! Get on it. =)
I just don’t know what to do with that mantle. It’s perplexing.
I love it! nothing worth crying over here!
LOL! Thanks Alice! Hope you’re doing well my dear!
LOL!! This perfect! I love Emily Henderson. But seriously, the mantle does not need to be ripped out. The details are nice – just paint it! white would be great or you could go grey but it’s that dated 90s stain that makes it feel lame, not the actual mantle. 🙂
I think you’re doing a great job! It’s totally coming together!
I hate that stain so much. It;s just awful. I swear the woman who used to live here had some crazy taste in color palette. Would you believe the whole house was different shades of pink, rose, salmon with some splashes of sea foam green? We almost didn’t look at it because of what it looked like online.
Overall, I think your room is super cute! A thought, if you don’t like your lamp…have you thought of spray painting with metallic paint? I’ve done that with an old lamp & a boring bed end & it really transformed both! I agree your mantle isn’t quite there. Are you set on the wood finish? I would paint the mantle a lighter color & the items will pop more. Right now the wall is light & the tile is light, but the mantle is darker and it’s stopping the flow of your eye.
OOOH! I’ll have to look at doing that! Thanks!
What is the disaster that you are alluding to? It looked like
a room that has been perfectly cleaned and staged for s photo shoot.
Thank you MaryBeth! I’m happy with how it’s finally coming together. Much better then the hot pink mess it use to be.
Thanks Natasha! Ya, I’m pretty happy where it’s at right now. It’s little things that are bugging me, but nothing major.
Robin // Robin + Rose Design
I’ve never visited your blog before and I was a bit worried at first, I thought you were knocking my girl Emily Henderson! I’m glad to see that is not the case. I think the nook looks great and you’re well on the way with the rest of it. I had to chuckle at the oh-so-Emily vase of arrows. I agree with the others, I think painting the mantle white would do the trick, at least for the immediate future. I think some better styling on the mantle (maybe check out one of Emily’s videos) would go a long way. Looking great and thanks for an enjoyable read!
kylaRobin // Robin + Rose Design
LOL. I love that girl. Could never hate on her. I gotta tell ya, I’ve watched that mantle video so many times. My biggest problem is that that ledge is only 6″ deep. So finding books and vases that fit has been a bit frustrating. It’s tough to layer anything or give it depth. Does that make sense? Glad to hear you liked the room. It’s come a long way since the red monstrosity that was there when we moved in. Still tweaking it, but happy with where it’s at…finally =) Thanks so much for stopping by and check ing out my blog.
Robin // Robin + Rose Designkyla
Makes total sense! Good luck figuring it out! (Is it possible to build the mantle out a little bit to make it wider?) Emily Henderson makes everything look way more attainable than it actually is for us mere mortals. I definitely felt a little better about myself when she posted about her family room!
OMG i loved this post. And lets not even begin with living room disasters. Mine is a mess dot com, but one day itll be awesome….one day. Love so much about your room lady.
I love it! It feels so cozy. I just want to curl up in that dark blue chair and read a book. I love your ‘make Emily Henderson’ cry jokes. So funny.
I’m so glad you like it! It’s just one of those silly posts that has always made me laugh so I just keep rolling with it =) Thanks for stopping by Theresa and have a great weekend! Also if you participate in Linky Parties for your blog, I host one every Saturday night at 8PM CST called Found & Foraged.
You are doing a great job! So nice to see what a ‘normal’ person like myself might be able to do. While I love Emily and all those other fabulous stylists….it’s refreshing to see someone who has to work by trial and error and when that paycheck allows 😉 I love your little reading nook….that chair is fabulous. I think the new pillow is better than the previous one, but I find that side of the room and the couch side of the room kind of competing. The reading nook is warm and cozy while the couch is light and colourful. Maybe switch the pillows…..that way there would be more balance to the light and dark. As for the mantle….I love the art and the arrows. I would maybe simplify it even more. Nix the tall blue vase and some of the little items. Keep the arrows where they are and move the flowers slightly to the other size and put one or two of those little items around it to fill it out. I have such a HARD time with syling. Not one of my surfaces looks good….just a hodge podge 🙁 Keep up the good work cause it looks great!
Thanks Krystal! Yes, I’m a normal person with a normal budget who has a busy schedule and sometimes it’s good enough. I’m really quite happy with it now, and I’m sure it will keep evolving as time goes on. That’s how things seem to go around here =) I switched the pillows and I like it, but I think I have to find a smaller one maybe? I’m also going to take your suggestion of simplifying even more over the mantle. Someone suggested a hanging plant too. Might try that out. Thanks so much for stopping by!
Love it!! It feels so comfortable and not over-styled! Is your couch West Elm as well? It looks similar to a couple I have been eyeing. Love the blog…thanks for the inspiration!
Hi Beth! Thanks for stopping by. The sofa is actually from Room & Board. It was one piece I put some money into since I figure I’ll be sitting on it for the next 20 years =) It’s called the Orsen.
Oh man, you’re much too hard on yourself! I love that you posted anyway- I have a hard time with that… you’re encouraging me to do a ‘good enough’ post!
Don’t get me wrong. I’m really happy with it =) But yes, it’s still evolving and will continue to get better. I’ve had the rug and the coffee table for a couple months though and I’ve been wanting to post the room so “good enough” was a-okay with me for now. I’m sure I’ll post it again in a few moths to show the changes though! LOL!
Just like Emily made you feel better, YOU are making ME feel better! My whole house is very much in progress. I’ve got 10,000 great ideas for how to fix it but not enough time or money to execute them all at once, it’s soooo nice to know that I’m not the only one 🙂
You’re definitely NOT the only one. Some times good enough is just plain old perfection. I figured if I don’t share it now, by the time is really is perfect, if that ever happens, it’ll be 5 years from now and I’ll be sick of it =) LOL! So glad I made you feel better.
I love the picture above you mantel. I keep seeing it or something similar and I’m obsessed. Is is a famous piece? Or sold from somewhere particular?
Also just found your site (through an Emily hendo Pinterest search) and I love seeing a non-stylist getting it done. I know that “next paycheck…” feeling
I love that basket type side table. I wonder if there is a way you could possibly turn that mantle into some type of adobe clay centerpiece. Just a thought:) or in the meantime you could always just paint it with chalk paint..to tone it down. Anyway I love the feel of the room. I just discovered your site. Absolutely loving it!
A C L
Hi! I think the room looks wonderful 🙂 What is the paint color called?
gah!!! I actually had that same mantle/fireplace in my old place!!!! I mean – exact same, wood, tile, etc. I could NEVER figure it out for the life of me – and I rented, so I had to live with it and try to work around it. And then on Christmas day, we had a fire going in our fireplace. I took the dogs for a hike and came back to find two fire trucks outside our place. Apparently a gust of wind had blown an ember in between the wall and the mantle and it started a fire. Luckily, the ONLY thing that burned before my husband noticed and put it out with a fire extinguisher was the mantle (and a tiny bit of the wall and hardwood floor). I was secretly so happy that we would be getting a new/updated mantle even though I had no idea what it would be and no input. I was sure it couldn’t be any worse. After a month of anticipation, I came home from work one day to find our new mantle/fireplace – and it was hella worse! Awful, just awful. We moved three months later.
Hi! I MUST own that pink/blue/white pillow on your couch (in photo with side table and white lamp)!! Can you please tell me where you got it?!
I loved reading this! As… I love Emily Henderson, too – And often think about what Emily would say about this or that. SO funny! I think you did a great job, and I love the colorful arrows on the mantle.
LOL, thanks Liz! You’re reminding me it’s been awhile since I’ve written one of these. And I think it needs to make a comeback.