What do I do with my living room?

What do I do with my living room…this is the question that Anne (my right hand gal) & I are asked the most.

Formal living…is out of style. I do have a great appreciation for a beautifully decorated home that has a formal living room, dining room, library and parlor. In general we do not live that way anymore.

More often than not I hear my clients say that there is no living going on in their living rooms. I think we can change that!

I removed all the walls on the first floor of my house to open things up, and allow us to live in every space. I have pillars to hold up the steel beam that allows this open concept to work, and I use those pillars to create different living spaces in the room. We have a TV area, Living space, dining space and kitchen all in one room!

If you do not want to make a major change like I did, I understand.You can still make changes to your home to make it reflect your lifestyle.

  • Add a TV to your living room…I know you do not want to but…you can hide it!
  • Look at the seating in the room; is it comfortable and adequate to seat the family and friends? If you love your furniture consider recovering it, this is usually about half the cost of replacing items. I love rooms that have two sofas!
  • How do the walls look? Are they tired looking? Fresh paint will fix this! You can also add trim, wainscoting or wallpaper.
  • Do you have a coffee table that anchors the space? Make this piece large enough to hold books, magazines, flowers and hors d’oeuvres. This is a family and entertaining space!
  • Do you have an area rug? Is it the right size? A good sized rug should allow you to set your furniture at least halfway on the rug.
  • Make the room cozy and comfortable. In the Northeast we use drapes and throw blankets to cozy up our homes.
  • Do not forget lighting, sconces, recessed lights and lamps are a must.

Here are some of my favorite rooms and must haves:

  • I love this room layout, it is very balanced but not boring…note the TV above the fireplace.

These curtain panels are fabulous:

Seating is the single most important feature of a living room:

Lee Industries Swivel…my favorite swivel!

Proper lighting is crucial!

Great lighting at http://www.fogglighting.com
Classic lamp styles can work in almost any room

Coffee tables…anchor the room

I love this French Coffee table http://www.celiabedilia.com
Storage style coffee tables are great too! Celia Bedilia Design

Side tables are also a must

Clean and simple side tables work best in most living rooms

Do not overlook dressing your walls…paint, wallpaper, trim, mirrors and art finish the look.

Feature one wall with wallpaper
Do not forget trim can really finish a space
I love this Wisteria mirror

Floors cannot be forgotten hardwood, tile, carpet are all great options. Go with a rug that matches the style you are trying to achieve, do not try to make the wrong rug work!

This floor was painted by my decorative painter to look like inlaid wood.

Finally the finishing touches are so important

Get cozy…invest in a cashmere blanket
I love these vases…on sale now http://www.potterybarn.com
Plants are great things to use to finish a room!


Fire: What Are The Options For Firepits, Pots and Torches

HGTV DIY Firepit

Tools and Materials:cast concrete wall stones cap stones sand shovel tape measure level tamper steel rake

Steps: Before building a fire pit, check the building codes in your area to get the proper specs and regulations. Choose a spot that is away from your house and away from any low-hanging trees or other structures. Take precautions when digging holes, so that you don’t hit utility lines.

1. Lay out your pavers in a circle in the approximate size and shape of your fire pit. Fire pits should be about 36 to 44 inches in diameter. Our surrounding patio is made from recycled rubber pavers. We laid the fire pit stones out to the correct dimension then pulled the pavers out of and away from the pit.

2. When you have your circle roughed out, dig a 12-inch-deep hole in that location.

3. Pour sand into the bottom of the hole and tamp the sand level.

4. Begin to lay your wall stones around the perimeter of the hole. Continue stacking the stones so that they are 12 inches above the surrounding ground.

5. Pour a layer of sand into the ring of stones so that it covers the first layer, approximately 4 inches deep.

Or you can buy one…like most people

Restoration Hardware Fire Table $2000
Frontgate Firepit $400
Webber Fire Pit

Look at the amazing Fire pit areas from Houzz.com

Wow this is lovely
Great use of a fire pit so inviting

Tiki Torches: There are loads of different options here, I was surprised at how expensive they can be. You can go to Walmart and buy tiki torches for under $10 or you can buy one of the options below.

Hammered Copper Tiki Hayneedle $60
Frontgate Copper Tiki $179
Black tiki form Hayneedle $60

Fire-pots make the outdoors cool! I love the idea of fire-pots, what a great addition to your outdoor space. Below are a couple of options you might like.

Fire Pot from Hayneedle $139
Fire Pot $59 at Hayneedle
Napa Home & Garden Rock Fire Pot $18


I hope you enjoyed this post please let me know if you have any advice on summer fire decor to share! Thank you for your support.

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