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At the tail end of 2020, Sean and I made a big purchase that really transformed our living room—we got a new couch! I’ve been wanting a brown leather couch for years, and we finally made the investment to celebrate refinancing our house.
Since so much of the past year has been spent in our house, we’ve really worked on making it feel like a home (which was ironically my word of the year for 2020…), and I’m so excited to show off all that we’ve done in our living room since the last update.
When we moved to Kalamazoo in 2018, we quickly realized that our trusty IKEA couch was…. the exact same color as our living room walls. 😬
We love the grey walls, so we didn’t want to repaint them. We thought about getting a new slip cover for the couch, but after a while we realized it really wasn’t as comfortable as we’d like. So we picked out a tan leather couch and waited until we had the money to invest in it! (It was actually an item on my 101 in 1001 list!)
We had also gotten two arm chairs for the sunroom, and then realized we liked them better flanking the couch, so we moved them into the living room and got a different chair for the sunroom (more on that in a future post!).
We then moved the wide armchair from one side of the fireplace to the other, creating more of a conversation space. Now, up to six people could sit in the living room and have a conversation!
All of these changes have definitely transformed the room. The wood details and tan leather have warmed up the space, and it feels less like everything is positioned to face the TV. Plus, plants!
Most of our plants are from Home Depot and are going strong—we’ve got three pothos plants in the living room and sunroom, plus a Bird of Paradise plant in the corner next to the couch. But I really really love the umbrella tree plant by the window, because the product program team at work had it delivered to the house after my grandma died last spring. I think of my amazing coworkers and my grandma every time I see it. ♥️
We added some much-needed storage to the living room with this bookshelf in the corner! It showcases one of our pothos plants in a pot I made in my ceramics class (which I picked up at lunch on March 13, right before everything shut down!), our wedding photo album and guest book, some books, and a few souvenirs from our travels.
It was also the perfect place to display my giraffe and zebra masks that I got in Uganda in 2012! They’ve never really had a home, and it feels great to have them on display in such a main part of our house.
Now let’s talk about the sconces. Whoever built our house back in the 20s loved sconces, because we have found them all over the place. We could clearly see the outline of a sconce box in the wall near the thermostat, and since the living room has no built-in lights, we decided to dig them out. The problem was…. we couldn’t find the second one.
We looked in all of the logical places. The mirrored spot on the opposite side of the archway? Nope. (Though that did lead us to find matching sconces on either side of the archway in the dining room…) Opposite side of the wall behind the couch? Nope. At one point I left, and by the time I came home there were probably 20 holes in the wall from where Sean tried to find the sconce box. In the end, we realized it was next to the doorway into the entry, framing in the corner of the living room where all of the seating is.
We got sconces from a lighting collection we like at West Elm. Our dining room chandelier, stairwell light, office light, living room lamp, living room sconces, and bedroom sconces are all from the same collection, and they’re all interchangeable! So if we decide we want to swap out a light fixture, we can super easily.
They don’t have switches on them, so we got Philips Hue bulbs and have them on a timer / light switch that’s powered by Alexa.
Oh, and don’t worry—Stanley’s toys still have a home. We upgraded from a bulky IKEA bin to this nice seagrass basket. The only problem is he’s figured out how to take the lid off with his nose. 🤦🏼♀️
- Wooden armchairs (in Stone)
- Throw pillows no longer available
- Plant by couch: Bird of Paradise
- Bird of Paradise planter (in Tall)
- Coffee table was made by my dad
- Patterned chair (cover is no longer available)
- Curtain rods
- Marble table is old from Pottery Barn
- Seagrass basket
- Stanley print
- Val print
- Floor lamp (in Bronze with 6″ Shade)
- Plant by window: Umbrella Tree Plant
- Umbrella Tree planter (in Wide)
- Plant on bookshelf: Pothos
Things We’d Still Like to Do in the Living Room:
- Rehab the windows (on the list for this year!)
- Repaint the trim
- Convert the fireplace to gas (also on this list for this year!)
- Replace the Cincinnati photo above the couch with something else
- Get new frames for the artwork we have up
- Strip the paint off the registers and polish the metal