Living Room Reveal and Styling Tips

Living Room Reveal + Styling Tips | Classy Glam Living

Being in a townhouse, there usually isn't a separate living room so to speak.  Since we had the builder finished the basement as a family room, it freed up space on the main floor (and no TV!).  We also didn't need the builder-designated breakfast area, which is in close proximity to the breakfast bar and dining room (c'mon we're only a family of 3).  That gave rise to the idea of a seating area in place of the breakfast area.

After months of anticipation, we finally (!!!) received the end tables we ordered back in October for the living room/ seating area.  I had decor items lined up for its arrival since our purchase, and we can now focus on beautifying our living room.  

It's been more than a year since I wrote about our living room design board, and this was what I had in mind for our living room in that post:

New House Living Room Design Board Christmas Decor | Classy Glam Living

Deals come and go, and so our furniture choices differ from our design board.  We incorporated pieces that we love, while still staying true to our decorating style.  Here is how our living room actually turned out:

Living room reveal + styling tips | Actual design | Classy Glam Living

First to set the stage is of course an elegant and comfy sofa.  We've scoured through stores, but none other than the Nicole sofa by Sarah Richardson was our one true love.  The curvy sides and arms add the touch of uniqueness that distinguishes it from traditional sofas.  Plus, I love its large fluffy seat cushion, so nobody would be sitting on cushion gaps.  

Natalie Hodgins, who managed our furniture order seamlessly at Sarah Richardson Design, suggested we also include the back cushions.  We're so glad we went with her suggestion, the back cushions up the comfy factor of a tight back sofa.

With the statement art piece above the sofa as the focal point, we decided to go with a pair of end tables with acrylic legs.  The tables almost seem to disappear into the surrounding, but the chrome accents and mirror bottom shelf bring out the gleam in them.  

Furniture placement | Living room reveal + styling tips | Classy Glam Living

Its hard lines are a nice contrast to the curvy marble coffee table and delicate arms on the sofa.  We also love how the mirrored bottom shelf reflects the light from the table lamps and creates depth for whatever decor placed on it. 

Living room reveal + styling tips | Classy Glam Living
Acrylic end tables | Living room reveal + styling tips | Classy Glam Living

Instead of using large armchairs on either side of the sofa, as in my original design board, we opted to use a pair of cane back dining armchairs from Restoration Hardware.  It was one of those decisions that was prompted by a deal, and worked out great in the end.   We already had one from our old house's home office, and saw the second one at the RH Outlet while it was running a 30% off lowest ticket price campaign.  It was a no brainer to grab it!  

Their narrow footprint streamlined the seating area, so that the living room appears less crowded than if we had used chunky armchairs. 

Furniture placement | Living room reveal + styling tips | Classy Glam Living

With our living and dining areas being next to each other, we used a silvery blue as a transition colour between the two areas.  The silvery blue tone can be found in the animal print rug, the kitchen stools, and the dining room console.  

Furniture placement | Transitional colour | Living room reveal + styling tips | Classy Glam Living

It's All in the Details

Now that we have our essential pieces down, it's time to beautify and liven up the seating area with accessories!  This is a stark contrast to the year at our rental, which I never bothered to decorate.  It was a boring place to stay at, lacking in character without something beautiful to look at.  

Since moving in at our new house, I've purged through our old home decor accessories and curated items that we love.  I don't really work with a theme, other than a seasonal one.  However, the objects still look coherent, because they all represent us.

With a prominent piece of artwork above the sofa, we picked out neutral tones for the throw pillows.  Pulling a darker tone from the art, in this case the navy, for a contrasting pillow colour helps to ground the space that would otherwise appear washed out.

Furniture placement | Living room reveal + styling tips | Classy Glam Living

We didn't want too many accessories to crowd up the small seating area.  Afterall, if I didn't exercise control, I could easily pile up the coffee and end tables with everything I love ;-)  

In keeping with the spirit of less-is-more for this small space, instead of filling up the coffee table with books, I decided to give it some breathing space by corralling simple accessories on a tray.

Coffee table styling with mirror tray | Living room reveal + styling tips | Classy Glam Living

I used metallics throughout to balance the strong copperish gold tone of the frame.  It helps to avoid washing out the rest of the seating area against the strong piece of art.  

Here on the pale marble coffee table, I used a mirror tray with bronze frame and an antiqued gold lantern:

Coffee table styling acrylic end tables | Living room reveal + styling tips | Classy Glam Living

And at the end table here, with the gold resin shell bowl and beige-gold toned capiz shells tray.  I love how the gold Jonathan Adler Carnaby Zebra dish echoes the animal print rug to subtly tie in the accessories.  

Acrylic end tables styling | Living room reveal + styling tips | Classy Glam Living
Jonathan Adler Zebra Carnaby dish | Living room reveal + styling tips | Classy Glam Living

Just in case you're wondering, no, the seating area is not considered done until the Mr. installs the full-panel wainscoting as in my design board.  He gave me the "I've got a lot on my plate" look when I reminded him about it the other night.  I brought it up, just because...  I'll leave him alone for now, as he's still finishing up with our dressing room.   =)

It was exciting to envision this builder-designated breakfast area to be a seating area when I first saw the floor plan.  Even more fun was the design process, and now furnishing and personalizing it to suit our living style.  

We love how it is neutral enough to not fight with the artwork, and yet everything works in harmony.  This is the first room that we see when we walk into the living area, and it should naturally feel welcoming.  We wanted it to be a focal point without being too formal (ie. realistically livable with a kid).  

I think with the speed the little man dashes to the couch after coming home, we've at least managed the livable part =)

P.S.:  The wainscoting should be a piece of cake for the Mr., since he's done the wainscoting with the chair rail for our old house's living/ dining room.


New House Living Room - Design Board


I just love hanging out at the mall these days!  All the stores are looking so festive with their Holiday decorations, that sometimes I'm not sure if I'm looking at the products or checking out how they decked the stores.  I love decorating for the holidays, but I guess I'll have to skip it this year and save the hassle of going through boxes to find the Holiday accessories.

For now, I'll just have to satisfy my craving to decorate for the Holidays by putting together some design boards for our new house.  Earlier this week, I shared some inspirations on our living room's furniture placement.  We've done some virtual shopping to come up with a design board for it.

Remember how my Mr. LOVES trims and mouldings projects at our previous house?  One of the first projects that the Mr. is longing to start is the wainscoting for our ground floor.  This project will be different from our previous dining room trims, as he'll be building out on the wall instead of just adding trims.  We'll also ditch the chair rail and have a single pane from floor to ceiling, similar to this but without the gap midway:

image via

image via

The wainscoting will create depth along the walls of the living and dining areas, and the single pane will help to emphasize the height of the space.  I will make sure I take more in-progress photos this time around!  

I mentioned in the previous inspiration post that we want the living area to be an elegant, yet somewhat casual sitting area where we can plop down on the couch.  PLOP DOWN is the key, so I went in search for a couch with nice lines that looks comfy enough to sleep in!  I kept coming back to this one...



It looks very ordinary, but the indented curve at the arms makes this casual-looking couch more refined.  I love a couch with a single seat cushion - it takes the ordinary out of a couch, and nobody has to sit on a crack between seats.  The grey piping is also a nice pickup of our grey kitchen cabinet (whichever grey that may happen to be) from just across the living room.  Tell me this couch doesn't look comfy enough to nap in!

For our narrow living area, adding a pair of armchairs on either side of the couch will provide more seating when we have guests over.  The tufting on this chair exudes a sophisticated air that enhances the elegance of the couch above, and the open arms make it oh-so-welcoming!  The grey brings out the grey piping of the cream couch and gives the room some contrasting colours.

Cardiff Tufted Upholstered Armchair |  POTTERY BARN

Cardiff Tufted Upholstered Armchair | POTTERY BARN

With the living area right off of the pathway next to the kitchen, we decided to go with a coffee table with an open bottom.  The wiry legs of this coffee table helps to give an illusion of a wider pathway.  The bronze metal colour provides a nice contrast against the cream couch and grey armchair, while the mirror top adds the sparkly element to this otherwise rustic looking piece.

Bliss Studio Arbolo Cocktail Table | LAYLA GRACE

Bliss Studio Arbolo Cocktail Table | LAYLA GRACE

To complete the look of symmetry, we would have a pair of side tables on each side of the couch.  It would be a great spot for some knick-knacks and a pair of table lamps for ambiance lighting.  A pair of round side tables would lessen the stiffness of the straight edges of the coffee table,  We also prefer a more airy piece to balance the chunky armchairs, and this side table below fits the bill..  The deep antiqued gold frame of this side table works well with the dark iron frame of the coffee table.

Clairemont Side Table |  CRATE & BARREL

Clairemont Side Table | CRATE & BARREL

If we have enough space in the living area, these stools would be some nice-to-have extra seating...  you know, in case we throw a huge party.  The wooden legs add some warm tones to the coolness of cream and grey seating, and are a nice contrast to the metal legs of the tables.  The carved detailing on the legs also adds an elegant feel to complete the living area.

Karline Ottoman |  JOSS AND MAIN

Karline Ottoman | JOSS AND MAIN

Here's is a glimpse of the basic pieces mentioned above put together in our living room to-be, in perfect symmetry.

New House Living Room Basic Pieces | Classy Glam Living

You didn't think I would leave it at this, did you?  Well, it's the holiday season, I can't leave the room bare!  Let's shop for some accessories!

The floor looks like it can use an area rug.  A light coloured rug would liven up this living area against our dark floors..  I especially love this rug, with its silvery blue zebra pattern.  It's my subtle take on a daring pattern =)



Let's continue filling up some empty spots.  Artwork on the wall would be a great addition of some much needed patterns.  The architectural photographs of Lisa Russo have a neutral hue that works as a nice backdrop for the living area.  The stone detailing on this print will accentuate the panelling and mouldings of the space.

We can't miss ambiance lighting to enhance all the details of the living area.  This pair of elephant lamps add a bit of whimsy, while playing on the bluish-grey tones found throughout.

Hathi Table Lamp |  JOSS AND MAIN

Hathi Table Lamp | JOSS AND MAIN

And there, we've covered a set of basic accessories to dress up our bare living room.  Now we can take that up a notch by winterizing the accessories, and jazzing up the space with some simple Holiday decor.

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Sources:  water colour cushion - Craftberrybush; all other cushions - Indigo; fur throw - Restoration Hardware; faux Holiday arrangement - One Kings Lane; antique brass reindeers - Etsy.

This is the look we hope to achieve for our living area - an inviting tranquil space that will be an elegant focal point through the entryway.  By pulling the kitchen cabinet colour to add contrast in the living room, it creates a nice transition between the two spaces that are just across from each other (see layout in previous post).  The Mr. said he can be see himself being a happy Chef Honey looking into this space from the kitchen.

For me, I'll just be on the couch, taking a little nap while he's enjoying his new kitchen.  Just call me over to do the dishes after you're done cooking up a feast, dear.  

New House - Inspirations for Transitional Living Room

The myriad halloween activities are finally over, and it certainly felt like a marathon with pre-Halloween parties and preps for class treat bags.  Friends are now starting to schedule their holiday parties.  For us, we'll skip hosting parties this year, since the rental isn't the best space to hold gatherings.  All this party planning reminded me of how the Mr. and I have designated areas at the new house that will make an entertainment hub.  One such area will be our living area opposite to the kitchen. 

The builder's floorplan has an eating area parallel to the kitchen, with an adjacent living and dining area at the back of the house.  We decided to do things our way...  

Forget about that eating area.  Who needs 2 tables that are practically in the same area?  In place of the eating area, we will have a sitting area/ living room there.  The builder's living/ dining area would become one large dining area (we'll talk about the dining room in a future post and leave it spare for now).

Living Room Layouts Comparison | Classy Glam Living

One of the advantages of having an open floorplan with the same flooring material throughout is the option to designate areas without worrying about them spilling over each other.  Without a typical builder's tiled eating area, we were able to take advantage of the new trend of an open living kitchen area, such as these:

image via  Style at Home

image via Style at Home

image via

image via

Back at our old house, guests would spread themselves around our open ground floor, snacking at the dining room or chit-chatting in the family room.  I think the open space floorplan at the new house would make another great entertainment hub.  The living room becomes the focal point through the entrance from the hallway, while the kitchen is tucked away on the right side.  Hence our design plan to keep the kitchen muted and let the living room take the glory.  

We had planned for a more formal living room at our old house, since we had a more casual family room for us to put up our feet.  However, there wouldn't be a family room on the ground floor at the new house.  That means, while we still want the living room to be an elegant focal point, we'll keep it a bit more transitional so that it's also a comfy spot for plopping down.  Here are some photo sampling of my vision:

image via  Joss and Main

image via Joss and Main

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image via

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image via

Our living room space is narrow, so the furniture placement such as those above would be ideal to maximize seating.  Large art piece above the couch, pair of side tables flanking each side, and some extra seating on either side of the couch create a simple symmetry suitable for a small space.  It would also be a nice setup for us to participate in our guests' conversations while working in the kitchen.

Open Living Kitchen Area | Classy Glam Living

I've been doing some virtual window shopping for the living room.  Can't wait to finally be able to "check out" my carts when it's closer to move-in time!  I'll be sharing some of my finds for the living area soon.  Remember to check back to get a glimpse of our living room in transitional style!

We're not usually rule breakers, but when it comes to design, it's ok to set our own rules that work better for us. Which room in your house is not done in a layout as suggested by the builder's floor plan?