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Brady’s Living Room Reveal

Hey Folks, it’s me, Brady – and today we are back with another edition of Makeover Takeover. This time it is my turn. I’ve already taken you through the process of picking out my sofa, finding just the right credenza, choosing living room sconces, selecting the perfect grey (which actually wasn’t so perfect after all – thank goodness for Farrow and Ball’s Pavilion Grey for saving the day), swapping out my kitchen flooring for under $50 bucks, and refreshing my vintage bathroom . . . exhausted yet? Ya, so am I – but I did promise you folks a big living room reveal and have been teasing it for months, so today is the day, and the full reveal is finally here, MyDomaine also graciously wrote up a little feature on it which I am pinching myself over – so head over there if you are craving more. I cannot tell you how excited I am to finally have a finished living room (yep, that’s right. It is JUST the living room. I still have lots more content coming your way so don’t push the back button on your browser, or fall asleep on me yet). The fun is just beginning. Speaking of the beginning, let me take you back to what it used to look like.


I know, I know. It really wasn’t that bad and in fact, the space, the light, the old character, and all the little charm of this place is really what made me so desperate to call this apartment mine. Previously I was living in a 3 bed/3 bath new-build in Brentwood with two of my best friends. When they moved on with their lives (marriage/new jobs) it was time for my single, lonely self to move on with mine. I spent months and months looking for the “perfect place” and saw over 20 apartments before I finally landed on this one. I made the appointment to see the apartment without even seeing any pics of the interior, but the cryptic landlord description and slightly sketchy craigslist ad had me at “original hardwoods” and “beamed ceilings.” It was love at first sight, and in my exact words to the landlord, “I am not leaving this apartment tonight until you let me sign the lease.” He thought I was crazy, I thought (and aggressively persuaded him) that I was the perfect tenant, and well it worked out, so once the place was mine it was time to get to work.


I wanted the space to be a place I really wanted to live in. I wanted it to be casual, comfy, refined, masculine, and also an eclectic collection of what I already had been hoarding through my previous moves, mixed with some new pieces. I spend quite a bit of time in the space as it has so much light and is the main hub of the apartment, so it also needed to serve as a place where I could read through late night edits of Emily’s blog (don’t worry I am not writing this the night before it is scheduled to go up), hang with friends, and lounge around without having it feel too stuffy or uninviting like a formal living room. Basically, a place where I could kick my shoes off and eat my Cheesecake Factory leftovers in peace, whilst watching garbage reality TV to my heart’s content. 


The couch was one of my very first decisions and is still one of my favorites. It it is soft, velvety, and has survived many a take-out-spills. I ended up going with this dark grey velvet english roll arm from The Everygirl for Interior Define to well 1.) repel food/drink stains as I am the messiest human on the planet, and 2.) bring a bit of the traditional architecture of the apartment into the decor. To play against the traditional sofa and the boho flokati rug (which was a very kind hand-me-down from Mrs. Henderson herself), I brought in this modern simple brass coffee table which also works with the other hits of brass that I have peppered throughout the room, and this black iron side table which is probably the most genius-ly designed side table ever (Sara also just informed me that genius-ly is not a word, so my apologies to all the grammar/english police that will probably tear apart my use of made-up words in the subsequent paragraphs). The art above the sofa is from German artist Michael Lentz who sells through Saatchi, and has some awesome work. I needed something very large (they are each 30″x40″) and graphic to play against the more traditional elements in the space, so these were the perfect pair. I had them framed by Framebridge using their Mercer Slim Frame and the float mount option. I am so happy with the way they turned out, and they still make me happy everyday.



On top of the coffee table (other than my feet) I threw a few of my large art books to hold this stunning link piece by MQuan Ceramics, which brings in the creams from the rug as well as echoes the circular vibe of the Albini rattan ottomans and the coffee table. See what I did there, I am making up rules for why I did things and I didn’t even intend to! Again keeping with these new found rules and round objects I used the vintage ceramic dish to house some of my most recent polaroids. I keep a polaroid camera out in the living room with plenty of film so that when things get rowdy with my friends I can document it to later blackmail them. But in reality, I usually just end up with incriminating photos of myself that they snap. Regardless, it is a fun little place to keep them all safe and a great conversation starter when my parents come into town and start going through them unannounced.



On the opposite side of the room I added these two leather club chairs. Let’s talk about these chairs for a moment. People are either repulsed by or in love with these leather club chairs. I was on the hunt for a pair of club chairs for a long time and I didn’t have the budget to go out and buy some perfectly worn and aged ones from Anthropologie, so I got scrappy with it. I scoured Craigslist, Chairish, eBay, and the LA streets every night after work for about 2 weeks until I found these guys. I remember showing them to Em and her looking at me like “who are you?… why did I hire you?… what in the world do you think you are going to do with those things?” She wasn’t wrong, they were in pretty bad shape, but I loved the bones of them, the squared off arms, and the fact that they were old and had a story. Apparently, they date back to the 20s from an old speakeasy in Paris. Which most likely in eBay translation means they were made in the 1960s and had been sitting in a warehouse in Valencia. BUT, I am choosing to believe the former, and for $200 bucks for the pair I knew they had to be mine. I hired someone to deliver them from San Francisco (where they were located) down to my doorstep for $50, and they had a happy new home. I fixed them up a bit and patched them here and there so that guests weren’t too afraid to take a seat in them, but I kept them pretty original to the way that I found them.



Tucked behind them I set up a little bar cart area. I hadn’t intended to put a bar cart in my living room as I didn’t want to perpetuate the fact that there are already 1.6789 gazillion images of styled bar carts floating around on pinterest, but after I found this simple (and again circular) bar cart in gold I knew it was the perfect size and shape to fill that area.


It mostly holds dust and fancy liquor that me or my friends never drink, but hey at least you now know I am prepared to whip up a fancy Manhattan for Martha Stewart in style when she comes over. The art below the sconces was inherited from Em’s prop closet for this shoot but will be up on the flea very soon so be sure to check back before I buy it for myself. Then those sconces above the barcart, which are also spaced around the room, are from Ceder and Moss and were such a good solution as this room had no overhead lighting and just 4 wall sconces. They produce just the right amount of light, what with their double glowing spheres and all. I am a big fan of having too much light in a room and then throwing every light switch on a dimmer. It is a trick that has worked for me, and I am always able to create that soft amber glow that seems to fill the room with just the right amount of light and still hide the dark bags under my eyes. Any light that makes you and your room more beautiful is a win win in my opinion.



Just past the barcart is the little doorway that leads into my kitchen/dining area. It is almost done (I promise), just waiting on a few pieces of art as I am doing a massive floor to ceiling gallery wall on all the walls (which was originally inspired by my first real adult piece of art – that huge piece you see in the center), but you know I love teasing you with sneak peeks, so here you go.


In case you are wondering about the other items in this room, and can’t wait for the full reveal you can check out the table, chairs, and chandelier through their links. All the art and the full tour will be coming up on the blog very soon, so stay tuned.


Directly opposite the barcart I have this vintage oversized steamer trunk that I actually found during a street clean up and brought home with me. I absolutely never open it as it smells like a combination of American Horror Story Season 6 and my great great grandmothers silk pajamas, but I love the craftsmanship and detail of it so I am keeping it. On top of it is where I house my record player and my curated collection of records. Who I am kidding – in reality that is where my huge TV goes. Sorry guys, I really did try to make it work in the shot but a huge black TV just doesn’t scream “I work for Emily Henderson, ” so I borrowed my BF’s record player and collection of records, and threw them up there instead. He is much fancier than I am, and obviously has better taste in music. I absolutely love the way it looks and would love to keep it there all the time but sadly “Stranger Things” is still on my Netflix cue so that is calling my name more than a Fleetwood Mac vinyl.


For all the pillows and textiles I kept it pretty monochromatic and neutral. I am actually obsessed with these oversized cotton pillows that are made in India so I ended up getting every single size of them and using them on the couch. Then for the curtains I went with a simple linen drape which is a very similar shade to the grey stripe in the rug as well as the grey velvet on the couch so it helps to pull that tone throughout the room.


Last but not least, we have the entry area (which I probably should have started with in the tour). Despite the the magic that Zeke managed to capture in this image, this little space is very small and very dark which is why I went with this epic chandelier. It has 12 lights and, once again as I mentioned before, is on a dimmer so that I can create as much light as I want. It is always about half way dimmed but it fills the space with so much light and I love the geometric and modern feel that it brings to the archway that it hangs in.


And just because we all love a good Renée Zellweger pre and post operation moment before and after, I have pulled together these side by sides to show you the reason we love a good makeover here on the blog.


Pretty crazy right? I am very much into this corner and shot Zeke captured. Hey Martha, wanna have a cocktail?


So what do you think? Who wants to come over for a glass of vino and marathon “Stranger Things” with me while we stuff our faces with Cheesecake Factory? In the meantime head on over to MyDomaine, where they have pulled together a fun little story on the space and check out this full get the look with almost everything in the room linked up. If there is anything I forgot let me know in the comments below and I would be happy to share the link with you guys.


1. Stripe Pom Pom Pillow | 2. Colorblock Pom Pom Pillow | 3. Black Pom Pom Pillow | 4. Framed Abstract Art | 5. White Task Lamp | 6. Side Table | 7. Double Ball Sconce | 8. Sofa | 9. Coffee Table | 10. Area Rug | 11. Sheepskin Rug | 12. Rattan Ottoman | 13. Throw Blanket | 14. Snowflake Chandelier | 15. Bar Cart | 16. Table Lamp  | 17. Chainlink Sculpture | 18. Bust Sculpture | 19. Antlers | 20. Credenza | 21. Leather Basket | 22. White Vase | 23. Pedestal Planter | 24. Farrow and Ball Pavilion Grey Paint Color | 25. Curtain Rod | 26. Drapes | 27. Double Task Lamp | 28. Woven Chair | 29. Gold Accent Table

Photographs by Zeke Ruelas, Designed, Styled, and Written by Yours Truly – Brady Tolbert

Check out more posts from Brady: Brady Gives a Refresh To His Vintage Bathroom, Brady Picks A Credenza, Brady Picks A Gray Paint, Brady’s DIY Peel And Stick Kitchen Flooring (for under $50),  Brady Picks Some Lighting.

For more of Brady’s Apartment: Brady’s Bedroom Makeover with Parachute | Brady’s Kitchen Reveal | DIY Channel Tufted Headboard | Brady’s Bathroom Refresh | DIY Kitchen Flooring | Brady’s Living Room Refresh with The Citizenry

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7 years ago

Brady, I love your style. Your home is beautiful. Despite the club chairs, (or maybe because of them) I totally believe Emily hired the right guy. What a beautiful room!

Ginger Swail
7 years ago

What a wonderful makeover! You have excellent taste and I love your sweet confessional about the TV vs. record player.

7 years ago
Reply to  Ginger Swail

I think it looks truly amazing- casual, comfortable and elegant!!

7 years ago

Brady. It’s. Stunning.

The attention to detail and keeping a cohesive feeling and consistent color/shape scheme is outstanding. Bravo!

Also, I for one love the texture and history that those armchairs bring to the space.

Can’t wait to see your finished kitchen and whatever else you’re willing to show us. Keep up the fantastic work!

7 years ago

Amazing. i think you really did pick the right pieces for every spot in the living room. the club chairs, i totally would not sit in those even though you did patch it up but kept it true to the original. that couch is spot on.

7 years ago
Reply to  erin

Seriously. This room is beautiful and the chairs do add a certain “something.” But, I would never sit on those chairs. They look terrifying. 🙂 (but nicely zhuzhed)

7 years ago

So what grey did you end up choosing?

7 years ago
Reply to  Julie

I went with Pavillion Gray by Farrow and Ball! I love it so much

Sarah D.
7 years ago

Love it! Can’t imagine what the club chairs looked like before you “patched” them, but after a visit to that stunning bar cart, I thik I’d be able to take a seat;) I love the masculinity of the space, but also the quieter colors and textures throughout. All too often I see scantily clad women on walls, and the dudes you’ve collected are a breath of fresh air. I really like your style and writing voice, so thanks for that.

7 years ago


7 years ago

So – I LOVE your style (and Emily’s too, of course), so this is definitely not a criticism… just something I couldn’t un-see and gave me a little chuckle… At first I was questioning if I should share this comment, as it might come off wrong… but then I saw your notes about American Horror Story Season 6 and Stranger Things, and I thought this might be just your thing 😉 When I saw the leather chairs… my first thought… was The Conjuring 2… If you haven’t seen it, you might need to, just so you can appreciate that reference LOL I don’t think I’d have the guts to have something with such a mysterious past in my own home, but I LOVE that you do 😉 My favs have to be that couch (LOVE me some Interior Define and wanted to lay on every.single.couch in their store when I finally got to visit a couple months back), and of course those pillows, blanket, and that ingenious iron side table – LOVE… (Minor side note – that picture over the bar cart… with the ass-less undies – totally gave me a cheeky chuckle LOL) All that said – Beautiful as… Read more »

7 years ago
Reply to  Shawna

I am gonna have to check it out! But you are right…. I much prefer the cushy couch to the chairs to sit on, but I love the texture and warmth that the chairs still bring in. xx B

Emily K
7 years ago

Brady, I’m soo glad you are a part of the EHD team as you bring some much needed masculine and art deco flavor to your designs. One of the true testaments to Emily’s skills is who she chooses to surround herself with and who she can bring into the circle. I’ve always said that was what separates the successful from the not-so-successful. The content wouldn’t be near as wonderful as it is without your and Orlando’s posts. I’d love to see even more diversity in the team as it grows.

Cris S.
7 years ago

Love it! Would move in immediately. But you don’t know me, so that would be weird.

I too would love to know the gray that you ended up with and what made you switch from your previous decision. The gray that is there now is beautiful and I would love to see if a sample would work in our house. Thank you!

7 years ago
Reply to  Cris S.

It is linked up in the get the look, but it is Pavillion Gray by Farrow and Ball. It is the perfect gray in my opinion. Not too dark, not too light and has a lot of depth. Definitely get a sample pot and try it out. xx B

7 years ago

Brady! What I lovely, put-together, non-stuffy, totally inviting place! Your style is impeccable and so approachable; I want to lounge on that sofa and enjoy the tone on tone calmness. As for the club chairs… sixteen years ago I was on vacation in Tucson and saw to fab leather club chairs with lots of “character.” They, too, were, allegedly, from Paris. I fell in love but, back then, they were $2,000 and I lived in New York, so…. no, I didn’t get them. I still think about them! I love yours and think they imbue the place with a serious amount of… something. I would choose to sit in them just to feel the worn leather. Great execution!

7 years ago

Either I’ve been reading too much of or you and I are the same person… We just recently moved into our new (old) house that we’ve spent the past 14 months gutting and remodeling (it was previously abandoned for 20 years), so I’m on a mission to decorate the entire thing, starting with the living room. So the reason for the first comment is that this room is literally the spitting image of what I planned to do – from the gray sofa to the leather club chairs to the brass accents to the rattan ottoman – thank you for such a gorgeous example of how it’ll all look together. :))

7 years ago

You have to share some pictures of it once you start pulling it together… we would love to see it! xx

7 years ago

Brady, I love your style, your home, and most of all, your personality that shines through in your writing. Keep it coming!

7 years ago

Wow…. Absolutely amazing and gorgeous! And Love the club chairs, reminds me of the RH deconstructed chairs… Adds great texture to the room.

7 years ago

Be still my heart! This is sooo good! Your whole facelift has been insanely bangin so why am i jaw-dropped in awe? Ahhhh!!!!!! I love it so much! Bravo Brady. Bravo!

7 years ago

Not only do you have amazing style and taste, you’re hilarious. Great post! Love that brass cart.

7 years ago
Reply to  CAT

Thank you, Thank you! You have to go pick it up, it is too good (and inexpensive) not too. xx

7 years ago
Reply to  Brady

Ditto Cat’s comment. I was laughing the whole time! It looks awesome and cozy!!

7 years ago

bravo brady… this is AMAZING… love everything… it’s masculine, welcoming, stylish but not overly-styled! the perfect home and as a fellow-renter i am in awe!

7 years ago

Just lovely, your personality and style come through while not obliterating that great old LA /Spanish revival space. Kudos!

7 years ago

Oh my god!! This is trendy while also being exciting and original and unexpected and ahhhh! I love those trashed chairs. I love the go big or go home art. I LOVE IT.

7 years ago

Have to say, Brady, the room looks nice but I’m a little disappointed about the TV! You may think it’s “Not very Emily Henderson” to show a huge black TV but I actually think Emily’s strength is showing real, lived-in spaces, and helping everyone figure out HOW to incorporate their TVs – would have loved to see a little of that here.

Otherwise a lovely room!

7 years ago

First Ginny, now Brady, you guys are coming out with some great makeovers!!

It looks great, Brady! You have a definite point of view (as they used to say on Project Runway). I confess the club chairs make me a little nervous, but it is an interesting and cohesive look! I want that sofa!

7 years ago

What a gorgeous living room! I’m trying to slowly redecorate my bedroom, and while it’s much smaller than your living area, there’s so much inspiration I can take from this post, so thank you. I have a question though…. In the third set of Before & Afters, there’s a light switch and a rod thingy on the wall next to the entry to the living room. What did you end up doing with that? And are you going to re-paint the front door when you move? I’m a renter too, so I’m always curious how people get around that stuff to make a space their own!

7 years ago
Reply to  Tammy

It actually is still there but Zeke worked his photoshop magic and took it out just for picture as it was intersecting some of the stuff in the room very weird and also has a massive smoke alarm attached to it. When I move (which I don’t plan on doing anytime soon) I will probably leave the walls and door the same color. Depending on your landlord and the laws around you the landlord technically has to repaint everything if you move out and you have lived there more than 2 years, so that cost would be absorbed by him…. hope that helps!

7 years ago

loooove the planters next to the record player, where are they from?? can you please do a roundup of modern planters??

7 years ago
Reply to  jenni

I picked them up from West Elm and CB2. We can definitely add the modern planters request to our potential blog post list! Thanks

7 years ago

As long as you don’t sit on the arms of the chairs in the nude you should be ok. I love the sofa too! Great job!

7 years ago

Absolute perfection, Brady. And I love those chairs! Cheers, Ardith

7 years ago

Seriously love everything about it. It looks so finished and grown up. Great job, Brady!

7 years ago
Reply to  Jolene

I love everything about your new apartment, including the storied club chairs. However, the closeup reveals that the chairs are in rather rough shape, so that the more sensitive of your guests may hesitate to sit on them. There is a product called Masta Plasta, available at Amazon, which you might want to use to cover a few of the gaping holes in the leather. I used them on a leather chair to which I was overly attached, and they worked wonders. Yes, they show, and the chair will still look worn out. However, the stuffing will stay inside, and no one will snag or tear their clothing, while enjoying the chair. I know you will spend many years loving your fabulous apartment, and I am wowed by your style.

7 years ago

OMG. It’s AMAZING. And you are hilarious. I LOVE the makeover takeover series. So excited there is even more to be revealed in your beautiful home. Thanks to all of you for the constant inspiration! It makes my day.

7 years ago

Amazing work, Brady! Not only are you a fantastic designer, you are a GREAT writer. Would love to see your voice featured more regularly! I loved those ‘behind the scenes’ posts you used to share. Enjoy your space, and the cheesecake!

7 years ago
Reply to  Courtney

Ditto on everything! 🙂

7 years ago
Reply to  Courtney

I second what Courtney said. I absolutely loved reading this post! Your writing style was so enjoyable. It showed off your personality, which in turn, enhances your design sense. Love it!

7 years ago

Beautifully done, Brady! I may be grossed out by the stuffing come out of the chairs but I also totally see why you love them. The leather is perfectly aged and the bones are great. Loving this whole room! I would love to hear why the other gray didn’t work out. (Wasn’t it darker?)

7 years ago
Reply to  Celeste

It was much darker and once I had the dark walls, dark couch, dark credenza and dark drapes it really started feeling so small and closed in. Since I had all those dark elements I chose to brighten it up with the wall color which then ended up making everything pop that was up against them! I love the way it is now, but also am a big fan of dark colors in the right rooms.

7 years ago

Did you photoshop out the smoke alarm and light switch in before&after 3?
Or did you get said things rewired & moved?

7 years ago
Reply to  Lilli

It was photoshopped out for the final shots actually!

7 years ago

It looks amazing. You made it feel cozy yet elegant. That sofa looks so inviting and the Acapulco chair is my favorite! Beautiful work Brady!

7 years ago


It is really beautiful. I love how masculine it is and neutral with tons of texture. I live with all boys so this has become my style. I love the leather chairs. I think they bring a relaxed vibe that will make people feel at ease. Bother wise it might look too perfect. U have a strong and inherent style and your apartment reflects that. Congrats.

7 years ago

WOW – I am in LOVE with your living room so I felt compelled to comment. Absolutely gorgeous! I love how it feels masculine but still polished and inviting. Simply stunning, I’m blown away 🙂

7 years ago

Love this! Did you paint your walls? If so, what color?

7 years ago
Reply to  Cori

It is Farrow and Ball’s Pavilion Gray. It is so good in person, I love it

7 years ago

Where is your TV?

7 years ago

Oh what I’d give to see it with your TV!! Yes, I know they are eyesores but its a necessity.
And I’m sure yours looks fabulous. I will be patiently stalking your IG for a peak…..

7 years ago

Even though it’s not my style, your apartment is gorgeous — very well put together — with the right balance of old and new. I especially appreciate the side-by-side before and after photos. Not many designers plan ahead and take the before photos. You have succeeded in creating a grown-up, masculine space that reflects your taste (isn’t it wonderful to not have roommates whose taste has to be incorporated?!) Great job! Thank you for opening your home! (As others have said, I, too, enjoy your “voice” in your posts.)

7 years ago

Love it and love the switch up to the lighter gray paint color! But I’m mostly commenting to say definitely watch Stranger Things ASAP! Sooo good. I wanted to immediately restart it after I finished.

7 years ago

Great job, Brady! I love the chairs to look at, but I would probably be too nervous to sit on them. I love that you used them because you love them though! If you love something, there’s always a way to make it work.

7 years ago

Bravo Brady!!! I love how it turned out. Perfectly masculine, styled, and gorg!! And I 100% support the club chairs, they are my favorite part.

7 years ago

BRADY!! I love your living room! I love the monochromatic color palette and those chairs don’t frighten or disgust me. If I had lots of disposable income I would totes hire you to do my living room. You are living my living room dream. Can’t wait to see the kitchen.

7 years ago

I thought you could only use blue to work for Emily! I kid, as half my house is blue too.
Great job, Brady! Love it all. Antlers on fireplace my favorite.

7 years ago

Brady! I just wanted to share with you that I LOVE IT! You are amazing!

7 years ago

Brady, how do you like that sofa? I’ve been eyeing the same one at Interior Define. Is it comfy?

7 years ago

I love this room very much and you’ve done a wonderful job. I’m full of admiration and awe and brightens my already bright day

7 years ago

Beautiful and I love the chairs! The pottery picture bowl is such a great touch…what a lovely home you’ve created. Congratulations!

Love it! What’s the deal with rentals in the US – do you have long leases? Here in Australia 12 months is generally the longest term you can sign up for (you might stay longer) so not many people would put this much effort in to making their home as gorgeous as you have, which I think is a real shame. I would love to have longer leases in place so that people could feeling housing secure. Instead, landlords in Australia are OBSESSED with the capital gain they will make on their property because real estate prices are insane here. Currently the average house in Sydney costs 12X the average wage. Sigh. Anyway – awesome makeover!!

7 years ago

SO good!!!! I love every single detail… even the funky chairs. What a perfectly curated space with a ton of character and stories to tell. LOVE.

7 years ago

This is such a cool space!

7 years ago