My girlfriend Larissa told me last Spring that she was in dire need of a more “designed” living room. Her living room woes were like I have heard from other friends – you move into a house with your university items, and slowly things change. You have kids, you move houses, you suddenly are with a hodge podge of furniture and a room doesn’t feel put together.
Larissa’s wishes weren’t crazy – and likely if you have kids, you can relate. She wanted a living room that was first and foremost – family friendly. She needed a space where the kids could play – but at the end of the day – a room that reflected her own style. Both she and her husband work in creative fields – they are artsy, creative, and expert entertainers. So they needed / wanted a space that at the end of the day was theirs, and reflected their style, but also took into consideration their adorable 2 kids. Always up for a good makeover story, I threw myself at her (I may have jumped up and down) asking if I could make over her space. When she gave in, I reached out to Leon’s immediately. Leon’s has such a HUGE assortment of furniture styles that I knew that we could make over this room with some amazing pieces that would fit a small, semi-detached home’s living room, appeal to the design sensibilities of the parents and be child friendly for the two kids.
Welcome to the “before” pictures. My girlfriend had a big comfy sectional which was totally comfy and awesome but if we wanted to achieve a look of making the room feel bigger, brighter and to be more functional – the couch had to move. It belonged in a comfy TV room in the basement, not as the main couch in a small semi detached home. Thankfully she was willing to part with it and, was open to other seating ideas. The other things we needed to address were the coffee table situation, carpet and, lighting. The room got little natural light and yet the only light source for the room was the single ball hanging light at the top. That had to go, and I needed to find an alternative to your normal, traditional ceiling mounted lighting.
To start off, the first thing that we did was give the walls some fresh coats of paint. The living room was a light taupe, and the hallway was a darker grey. Together, my girlfriend and I painted out all the dark walls with the gorgeous Para Paints Chrysler Hall White ( P2118-00 ) and it was perfect. It’s the perfect white for her home. We then headed to the Leon’s Roundhouse to look at styles together so I could get a sense of what she liked / disliked. With an idea of what she liked, I was given the go ahead to pick what I thought worked, and work my magic. So after a fresh coat of paint, getting rid of her existing furniture, bringing in Leon’s and adding in some affordable accessories, this is our “After”…
The result of the makeover is that it’s family friendly, appeals to the parents, is hip enough to host parties in but also still durable enough for kids to play around too. It’s light (new paint), bright (new chandelier), uber cool (the furniture) and trendy (throw in some cool accessories to finish it off.) First of all – That couch. OMG. The Astin Sofa is gorgeous and, ridiculously comfortable. The straight clean lines makes it timeless and plays into the mid century look I adore. For the flooring, we brought in a custom cut rug from a local carpet remnant store and cost the homeowners under $200. The result is, if a kid spills grape juice, or, tracks dirt through it – it’s not the end of the world. I made sure to pick a rug that was slightly darker than the new sofa from Leon’s, grounding the room.
To get the most light for the room that we could, we got rid of the ball light that didn’t do much for lighting or style and my friends we’re so AWESOME when they agreed to buy this Sputnik chandelier I found on eBay. It’s perfect because it’s stays close to the ceiling, but has lights going in all directions – so that the room gets awesome light but also, has ridiculous Mid Century style.
The Blue Passerina Chairs from Leon’s are ridiculously comfy as well, gorgeous lines, and a stunning blue. They add a hit of colour that the room needs. The chairs are perfect as they pull up close to the ottoman for when adults are sitting around at night with a glass of wine chatting, but during the day are pushed back against the wall (not shown) for more room for the kids to play around. The Palermo Ottoman which is a white leather was a bit of a hard sell for my friend, but is exactly what the room needed – it’s a relief from the fabric and from a durability standpoint is AMAZING with kids. Different textures are good to have. And something that is wipeable is a plus. And, should a child practice writting their name with a sharpie on it – get a custom cover sewn to put over top. Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.
The Karen End Tables are a gorgeous pop of natural wood tones to the room so it’s not to overly “white”. I chose the side tables for their sturdy construction (if a kid bangs a toy on it, it won’t show wear) and because it has drawers. You can put TV remotes away, or colouring books / crayons etc. It’s all about being organized and having spaces to put things away.
I layered the room with bright pops of colour in things that are easily changed out down the line if the parents change their decorating taste.
The artwork is modern, and all things that I made – with the exception of the square mirror (shown above) which is positioned perfectly to reflect the Sputnik chandelier. An original painting I did that Larissa liked, hangs to the right. Will, Larissa’s husband – is from New Zealand, so I found this cool vintage stamp on eBay of a New Zealand stamp and enlarged it up and framed it. It has the coolest island artwork, which also works with the rest of the art.
And there you have it! A living room that appeals to the parents, but is family friendly so the whole family can enjoy the space.
Paint Colour c/o Para Paints / Para Paints Chryster Hall White