Come on In: Living Room

Today I am participating in Andrea's Come On In linkup. Momfessionals has quickly become one of my favorite blogs to read - I like Andrea's spunky, cheerful attitude and she honestly has three of the cutest kids ever - and I know cute kids.

We just did the Home Tour last month but this gives me the opportunity to go behind the scenes and talk about how the living room came together. And share some lessons that I learned.

Okay, let's dish. We built our house almost exactly five years ago and one of the things that we liked about it is that the kitchen opened up into the living room. Our house is a custom/spec house hybrid. It had walls, brick and tile in the kitchen when we put a contract on it so from then on we were able to customize it. This is the second time that we have done this and for me, it is the way to go. I don't think I would have the patience to build a house from scratch!

With a 1-year-old and 4-year-old at the time, the open rooms came in very handy because I could cook while they played and watched TV. 


We sheet rocked over the mantle box because our TV was wider than the space. I was surprised that builders still did that.

So yellow, so bright. It is not really this bright in person.


I will say that if you do an open concept living room, put outlets in the floor unless you want your lighting to outline the wall. Lesson learned.

My house has no specific design aesthetic other than, "Stuff Katie Likes". The rug and owl print is modern; the leather recliner, trim and woven shades are traditional; the decorative metal wall art is shabby chic and the basset hound pillow is just awesome.

It is not a large room, more like a den, but it serves our purpose. I can see us probably outgrowing it when the kids get a little older but we also have a playroom upstairs which is where the kids chillax. I used very neutral colors because the kids' spaces are so colorful, this is our room to relax and watch television. I don't like ceiling fans so I went with a crackled glass light fixture in here that we never use.  It can be seen in this (rather blurry) Instagram picture -

Baxter says, "Yo."

We have a two story foyer that also opens into the living room. You know the bench, aka Time Out chair:

We have a lot of trim and wainscoting - and ended up adding more about six months after moving in. Another lesson learned: do not paint your staircase with flat paint. It only took a few months for it to become filthy. The trim guys came back and installed the wainscoting and The Engineer and I painted it white - a very durable, washable white.

In my ongoing commitment to top-notch photography, I snapped this picture with my phone.

One of these days I would like to do something interesting with the stairs. My friend Christy painted chevrons on her staircase and while hers is made of Win, can you imagine the horrors that would befall if I tried to paint stripes on the staircase? 

Let's talk about rope lighting. I love rope lighting in a tray ceiling - it gives off a very subtle light that is nice at night when I need to get to an upset child and I would rather not fall down the stairs doing so. But. Make sure you put in the long-lasting LED lights, not the cheapo rope lighting, otherwise you will find yourself a few years later hiring an electrician to replace the rope lighting. It is not a big deal if it is in a regular room but when you are talking about a two-story foyer, replacing the rope lighting is not easy and not cheap. You can see a bit of the tray ceiling that stretches across our foyer.

Thank you for stopping by and thanks to Andrea for hosting! 

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  1. I LOVE your rug!! Your family room looks so bright and cheerful!!

  2. Your house is beautiful. Hmm, I wonder if we could sheet rock our mantle box? My husband will thank you for putting another house project on the list. :)

  3. What a beautiful room!!
    I love the yellow walls with white trim!

  4. I like your design plan -- "stuff I like"! Lovely as expected! :-) I am also digging the Baxter "photo bombs". Yeap, why do builders automatically put a TV box / hole over the mantle?! I didn't want a TV in our great room (we don't even have cable anymore now that I've finally conviced H that he can survive without it) so we hired a guy to sheet rock over it 3 years after we moved in, but at least we finally got around to it. Prior to that I had a fake plant in a nice decorative vase in the TV hole as a place holder. Closing the hole worked out well because our fireplace mantle is against the wall shared with the master bedroom so I asked the guy to cover the TV box hole on the great room side and cut a new hole in the sheetrock on the bedroom side to make a built in bookshelf in our bedroom. The transformation was easy and a great way to make use of the builder created TV hole space. I have a wall over the mantle for decorating with pretty things (not a TV) in the great room and a "custom" built in 3 level bookcase all decked out with trim and such in our bedroom. Although it's a high bookshelf because it is the area above the fireplace I can reach the books on the bottom shelf (which are ones that I may actually read) and use a footstool to reach the old books and decorative items on the top two shelves. It's nicer than the empty wall that was previously there.

    1. I like the idea of using it as a bookshelf! Of course, all of Ms and my books are electronic now, so ours would probably be full of Dr. Seuss and Pete the Cat!

  5. Beautiful family room! I love the colors and the couch...very comfy!

    1. Thank you! It is a modular couch so it can be arranged in different ways which makes it fun. :D

  6. Your idea about the stairs made me think of this: http://www.casartcoverings.com/shop/casart-collaborators-artists-designers/chic-chevron-libby-langdon-collection/ I saw it in a magazine. Basically they are professional decals that are made for a variety of sizes- one of which is stair treads.

    1. Thank you! Now that is what I need. Surely I could not mess that up! :D

  7. Love the color!!! (and the basset ;)

  8. Are you kidding me? It's gorgeous. Our living room really needs to kick it up a notch or twelve to compete with yours. Now I'm going to look at the rest of your house tour and drool until the baby wakes up. So I probably have all of 3.8 minutes. ;)


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