I mentioned last week that I’m unhappy with my living room because it doesn’t reflect my style and frankly, it’s not really functional with its overstuffed and uncomfortable sofas, and wobbly coffee table.  {Note: Our living room is the space adjacent to our dining room and is different than our family room, which houses the TV}.  I would love to spruce it up just a bit with some new accessories, but I don’t want to do anything without having a plan in mind.  Since I was stuck at home monitoring the water leak that is slowly ruining the wall and ceiling of our newly finished guest bedroom, I figured it was the perfect opportunity to sit and come up with a plan for the living room.  So today I’m sharing with you my thought process as I start to redesign my living room.




Step 1: Inspiration Piece

I typically start with an inspiration piece.  For my living room, my inspiration piece is Restoration Hardware’s Lorraine Chair, which I am completely in love with.  To me, this is a classic style that is a bit bold with its winged back, but yet still feminine with its curved back and legs.  It’s also super comfortable!



Step 2: Function

I’d like to incorporate seating for at least four adults in the room.  I also need to ensure that there is space for our piano without having it infringe on the seating area.  The flow will be important as I don’t want anything to block our only window and I don’t want the room to feel too closed off from the entryway.  The living room also needs to tie in with the adjacent dining room since we have an open floorplan.  Storage isn’t really necessary in the room, but I would like to be able to display some of my favorite decorative items, so a few flat surfaces will be necessary.  I also need a bit more lighting as the room tends to be quite dark.  Lastly, I want to ensure that there are places to put snacks and drinks for entertaining, including a place for me to put my coffee cup so that I can sit and relax on weekend mornings.  {Wait, I have kids so that will never happen!}


Step 3: Feel

Using the Lorraine chair as my starting point, I thought about what words I might use to describe the space I envision.

  • Timeless
  • Classic
  • Collected/Curated
  • European-inspired
  • Comfortable
  • Open (airy and bright)
  • Calm


Step 4: Find

I’m not ready to redo this room just yet so instead of shopping, I turned to Olioboard to help visualize the room.  I love Olioboard because it’s free, web-based, and super easy to use!  I set about browsing their library of products and searching Google for other images that I could use to put together a design board for my living. room.

Given that I often change my mind about my favorite color, I’ve learned that for me, it’s best to keep the walls, furniture and floor neutral and use my accessories to bring in color.  On Olioboard, I started with the Lorraine chair that is my inspiration piece.  I found another chair that I thought would complement the Lorraine and add a bit of subtle color to the room.

{Petite Salon Chair via Soft Surroundings}


I’d like to incorporate more seating than just the chairs though, and so am also looking at a small sofa or loveseat.  We only have one window in our living room that starts close to the floor and our layout dictates that the sofa will need to sit in front of the window.  As such, I’m looking for something that has a lower back so that it doesn’t block the view or the light.  Maybe something similar to the Kensingston sofa below.



We do have a fireplace in the living room but a mirror doesn’t work well above it because it reflects nothing but wall and angled ceilings.  I’d also like to be able to mix and match whatever is used above the mantel, depending on the season. So instead of one, large piece of art, I’m considering using a gold-framed chalkboard given my love of mixing textures and styles.  I think the black of the chalkboard will help tie in with our existing piano and the gold frame will complement the gold mirror that is in the adjacent dining room.  I can then layer in other gold frames, including our wedding photo. {To read more about leaning and layering, you can read this post.}



I already have gray/blue curtains in the room and those will be staying, so I thought I’d bring in a bit more of the color through accessories.  I also want to incorporate more white to help brighten the room and tie in with the dining room.  And although it’s not likely to happen, I’d really love to bring in a pair of shabby chandeliers for additional lighting!


Once I’d found all of these items, I set about creating a design board (collage) in Olioboard.  Here’s how it turned out!

TIDBITS & TWINE Living Room Olioboard


This isn’t an exact representation of my room, but rather a general design direction.  From here, I can begin to look for items that fit the function and feel that I’ve outlined, but also that work within my budget.  And truthfully, this project is a long way away, but I love redesigning my spaces so for me, it’s never too soon to start!

Tidbits&Twine - Signature




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  1. Your “designed” room looks beautiful!! I am ready for a big change too but we still have a lot of work to do in the great room before I get settled on a couch. AND, our new rescue seems to think it’s okay to slide our couches around by his teeth. AND, the boys will be starting school in the Fall (quiet YAY!) so they won’t be jumping all over the new furniture all day, if I wait. Our furniture now is about 3.5 years old and it is horrid! It looks like I’ve had it for 20 years. It’s clean, just tattered. Oh well. It’s replaceable. :)

    1. User Avatar Tidbits&Twine says:

      Amber – Thank you so much! Your comments made me laugh, mostly because I can relate! I don’t have a dog that pulls on the couch, but I do have a cat that thinks it’s a scratching post. :) And well…kids and cushions seem to go hand in hand, don’t they?!

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