A tour of my living room

I've lived in my San Francisco apartment for nine years, making it the longest I've ever lived anywhere as an adult. While I've definitely experienced some life changes here—my ex moved out, I lived here alone for several years, then Sean moved in almost five years ago—I hadn't done much to update the d├ęcor that entire time. We kind of absorbed much of Sean's furniture and bought some new things over the years, but what really set things in motion was the Jenni Kayne rug I bought myself for my birthday earlier this year. (And yes, you know you're in your 40s when your birthday present to yourself is a rug.) While I had been obsessed with this rug for months, I hadn't considered how it would make everything else in the room look...not quite right. In other words, instead of pulling the room together, it kind of tore it apart. But that turned out to be a good thing. I decided to completely overhaul my living room design and make it the cozy, cohesive, intentional space I've always wanted. Here's a tour of my new and improved living room.




Before 

When I was first decorating this apartment nine years ago, I was inspired by Claiborne Swanson Frank's NYC living room, originally seen in Elle Decor. I leaned a little more heavily into shades of blue but tried to stick to ivory with ikat-patterned textiles and a Moroccan-inspired rug. The room evolved over the years—we added Sean's Room & Board loveseat for extra seating and the tufted ottoman was a pandemic purchase—but there were always things that bothered me. One, the room felt kind of heavy with two sofas (we initially had the loveseat in the bay window, however once the fabric started to fade, we decided to put my ivory couch there instead). Two, I wanted to kill whoever decided to put curtain rods in the wooden window trim (it was someone who lived here long before I did, and I had never gotten around to fixing it). Three, the rug was really cheap and looked it. (It was polypropylene, aka plastic, and I bought it before I knew better.) The rug was the first thing to go, but once the new one came in, all of a sudden I was aware of how many different colors and tones we had. It was too jumbled and chaotic, plus we were constantly moving the ottoman around (while incredibly comfortable, it was unfortunately too big for the space), so that was the next thing to go. Sean requested a coffee table with storage, and once we found that, the vision started to come together. 


P

I loved this couch, but the shape never quite worked in the space. We sold it on Facebook Marketplace. 


After 

I love antiques—my grandmother was a dealer, and she instilled in both me and my mom an appreciation of their character and craftsmanship. After going down a Pinterest rabbit hole, I decided that I really wanted a Golden Girls–style vintage rattan or wicker coffee table but couldn't find one in solid enough condition (they tend to be used in indoor-outdoor spaces, making them susceptible to mold). I got lucky, however, and found this one on Facebook Marketplace; it was originally from Wayfair and a woman was selling it because it ended up being too big for her space. We love it, but it's definitely super-sized—to the point that it started to dwarf our Jasper loveseat. So we decided to move that to the office and replace it with...an even bigger sofa. This was also a Wayfair–via–Facebook Marketplace find, barely used, and I I got it for a song (thanks to a young woman who was moving back in with her parents). It is down-filled, you can remove and wash the slipcovers, and most importantly, Sean and I can both lie down on it lengthwise at the same time. It's so comfy, I often have to convince Sean to get up and come to bed at night. I replaced two of the stock white pillow covers with custom ones from Schumacher, and full disclosure: I spent more on pillow covers than on the couch itself. But I love the pop of pattern, which helps to break up all of the shades of white and ivory. 



DETAILS: Tree Line Furniture coffee table | Wayfair Kian 84" slipcover sofa | Schumacher zebra pillow covers | Schumacher Queen of Spain pillow cover | Mongolian lamb pillow coversJenni Kayne x Lulu and Georgia Cabin rug | Areaware piggy bank | antique round table, lamps, and bar cart 


While I love our couch, this is my favorite part of the room. I had also wanted to buy vintage chairs but I have champagne taste and couldn't find anything that I wanted for less than $8k. We went to CB2 to check out the very popular Gwyneth chairs but fell in love with these instead; in the month or so that it took me to make up my mind, CB2 ended up changing this color to a custom order (and increased the price by $200) and the salesperson quoted me a 6-month wait, at which point I almost lost my ish. BUT through a series of fortunate events, they agreed to sell us the floor models for such a good price, I almost started crying in the middle of the store. We sit in these chairs every day (in fact, I'm typing from one right now). I think they are the perfect size—they're elegant but comfortable and supportive—and they (almost) look like the midcentury Danish style I was going for initially. Most importantly, since they're already white, they won't get bleached by the incredibly strong sunlight from my south-facing windows. Which is why I also elected to get white curtains (and white curtain rods, which are now raised to the perfect height and blend into my walls much better). I love that these have tassels on them—they tie into the throw pillows and just give them more personality. And not that the room was dark before, but it looks so much brighter now. 



DETAILS: CB2 Amber chairs | Brunschwig et Fils Les Touches pillow covers | EQ3 Strand magazine table | Ballard Designs curtain rods | Peri Home tassel curtains | Jenni Kayne x Lulu and Georgia Cabin rug


I am lucky enough to have a wood-burning fireplace (yes, we actually use it, and yes, it's incredibly romantic) so it's obviously one of the focal points of the room. The built-ins are all original (my home is a Victorian from the early 1900s), and in case you couldn't tell from this photo, my pandemic hobby was becoming a Plant Mom. I love how jungle-y this area has become, although some of my babies are due for a repotting and might need to move elsewhere. Still, whether we're burning a fire or not, I love looking at this entire wall—I find it so peaceful and calming. I highly recommend making space for a plant sanctuary in your home. 



DETAILS: Umbra Hub mirror | Lulu and Georgia Amanda chair | EQ3 log holderTarget raffia basket | Amazon plant stand



Thanks for taking a tour of my living room! Let me know in the comments if you're interested in seeing more of my home ;) 

7 comments

Laura B said...

Major upgrade! I love the warm, coastal vibe. Those built-ins are so amazing! It all really came together well!

The Style Fanatic said...

The after look is modern and functional.

Bernie,
The Style Fanatic

Ashh Goel said...

Wow what an upgrade! I really like the look of those tassel curtains. Saving your post for inspiration.

That September Muse

Gail Is This Mutton? said...

You've done an amazing job, it looks like a professional makeover! Very chic and relaxed. I love so many of the pieces. Definitely the rug and also the coffee table and the drapey white curtains. Thanks for linking

Doused In Pink said...

What a beautiful space! You did an amazing job with your overhaul! It looks so cozy and relaxing! I love all of the vintage details!

Jill - Doused in Pink

Ashley said...

Oh my goodness, you have a stunning living room!! I love those beautiful chairs and the rug. That's so neat that you were looking for a coffee table like the Golden Girls', that's my favorite show!

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead! :)

Make Life Marvelous

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