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secrets of a stylist: my living room

Updated: Mar 22, 2022

It's cold and snowy again in Colorado this weekend. On days like this, I find myself curled up on the couch with the dogs or in the grey chair in the living room. This is my sanctuary. I have an office that I do like to work out of but on the weekends, there's no place like the living room to do a little writing, especially a snowy one.

Current many tabs do I have open?? OMG.

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This room has been transformed since the day I moved in (well, a few days before actually). I hired a painter to come in after closing but before the move in date. So happy we had the time to do that. I had the popcorn ceilings scraped, the brick painted, and the beams went from dark brown to white. I painted the walls grey to match the kitchen since it's one continuous wall going from room to room. A little later, my (ex) hubby painted all of the wood trim white. What a difference paint can make!

Here's some pictures from the listing on Zillow before I bought the house:

BEFORE: entry/living room

I couldn't decide what to do to with that opening between the entryway and living room. Weird, right? I thought about a half wall planter with tons of plants growing out of it, sticks going from floor to ceiling, skinny wood planks or just adding drywall and cutting out a cool opening. Then I found these "screens" (they're actually outdoor trellises) on Amazon and thought this could be a good solution- easy to install, light will still come through and it will create separation. My dad and husband at the time built this little half wall. They basically sandwiched plexi-glass in between two screens and framed them out to create it. Voila! I now have a wall that separates the entry from the living room and gives me an area to put my TV...and it still allows light into the space!

AFTER: living room in 2019 (I've made a few decor changes since this was taken- including new tile in the entryway)

I love the fireplace with nothing on it but a pair of antlers. Its simple yet has some style. The brass surround really pops and adds a little shine.

I created this little space on the hearth just for Zoe and she LOVES it! I find her here all the time! It adds texture and warmth to the brick too- so cozy!

living room 2021

The couch is from West Elm- it's super durable and the color brings warmth to the room. Isn't there just something magical about a leather sofa? When you find a timeless style, it just keeps getting better with age. I really wanted a sectional but felt I needed to have the ottoman separate from the couch so it could easily be moved for larger gatherings or for photoshoots.

Stella is one of those dogs that scratches when trying to get comfy and turns in a circle (or three) before lying down. I chose this leather so she could do all the scratching she wanted and it would just add character rather than a fabric couch that she cold possibly tear...

girl has some nails.

I added a round coffee table to soften all the hard edges in the room. The couch, the fireplace, the side tables, and the entertainment center are all rectangle so I thought a circle was in order here. Plus, the marble and brass combo is one of my favorites!

I topped it with a bamboo tray and continually change out what goes in it- books, vases, candles, plants, etc. It's a fun spot to mix up!

I've never had a living room this big before so it was a challenge to figure out how to divide the space but make everything look cohesive. I decided to create little lounging areas on each side of the record player. Both are great to curl up with a dog and take a nap on!

My mom loves both areas when they come to visit.

Even though she doesn't EVER take a nap, she always has a dog on her lap in these spots.

The egg chair I borrowed for a photoshoot and then begged the guy to let me buy it!

He had you really need two of these?

stylist tip: If you get bored with your space, take everything off of your shelves, tables, etc. and set them aside. Then redecorate the room using those items (or things from other rooms) but in a different place. It's amazing how new and fresh a space will feel just by rearranging YOUR stuff.

I continually want to update and change the living room but obviously can't afford to switch up the big furniture. So I find little vignettes to redecorate using what I already have. I love to change out the blankets on the ladder for the seasons, the books and knick knacks on the coffee table, and the faux flowers in the vases on the fireplace.

This was my ladder last Fall/Winter! I love adding all the wooly goodness and making this corner even cozier! I mix up the blankets every year too...I may have a blanket obsession. There are currently 10 in the living room right now. Seriously.

my secret: I have a love/hate relationship with my couch. I LOVE how it looks! I LOVE taking a nap on it! I LOVE the leather! I HATE how deep and high off the floor it is. At 5'2, my feet can't touch the floor. So I'm constantly sitting in the shape of a question mark, curled up on one hip. My chiropractor LOVES this. :) So, I'm in the market for a new couch...leather, comfy, and low to the ground. Any suggestions? Where do you like to shop for sofas?

Thanks for reading! Please leave a note in the comments of your favorite place to buy sofas or if you have a difficult area to style- let me know!

Until next time...cheers! xo tina

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