Header Flower On Left

Emily Henderson

Style Play Every day
Header Flower On Right
Article Line Long1
by Emily Henderson
Emily Henderson_Family Room_Blue Paint_Tudor_English Roll Arm_Ask the Audience_8

Ahhh. The family room. Another source of both function and design confusion for me. But, with the photoshoot of the entire house rapidly approaching it’s time to really think about the design of this room, now that we know its main function. After living here for 3 months we’ve found that this room serves as our cozy TV room at night after the kids go down or on weekends with them. Some playing happens in here but mostly it just serves as some toy storage during the day – the kids mostly just drag the toys out of here and into the dining room, living room or outside, but it’s nice that we can store them in here out of public view. Originally we though that this would serve as a great cozy room to read with them, but we typically read books in the living room and in their rooms as that living room is just so much more inviting, which brings me to this – how do I fix the design of the room to make us want to hang out in it more while still holding on to its function as the now cozy TV room? Currently, this room is the one that we want to be in the least and our house isn’t huge so neglecting one perfectly good room is a big old waste of square footage.

Let’s recap:

Emily Henderson_Family Room_Blue Paint_Tudor_Ask the Audience_Before Renovations_1

This room may have originally been the dining room, I’m not sure. One of those doors was a closet and the other led to the hallway that really just stored the huge hot water tank and a tiny washer and dryer.

Facing the other way, the windows were covered in ivy and had this kinda awkward but cute cut out. I thought it was cute until I realized how much harder it is to design a narrow room with a jut-in bay window like this:

Emily Henderson_Family Room_Blue Paint_Tudor_Ask the Audience_Before Renovations_2

These photos make it look bright but trust me, it was super dark and just felt sad. So after the renovation we decided that this was the room we should paint a cozy dark color. We chose Stiffkey Blue by Farrow and Ball.

Emily Henderson_Family Room_Blue Paint_Tudor_Ask the Audience_Before Move In_4

We brought our gray sectional and the white credenza over to fill these needs temporarily, knowing that these weren’t the right pieces for the house. What this shot (below) shows you is how open this room is to the rest of the house – which is a great thing functionally, but the dark color really stopped the flow of the first floor because of this really jarring moment, visually. (Obviously these rugs – and everything else – were temporary).

Emily Henderson_Family Room_Blue Paint_Tudor_Ask the Audience_Gray Sectional_1

That red door is painted ‘Rectory Red’ by Farrow and Ball and man, it is the most perfect red EVER – I highly recommend it. We used high gloss on the exterior and semigloss on the interior by the way.

Emily Henderson_Family Room_Blue Paint_Tudor_Ask the Audience_Gray Sectional_2

Clearly there were a lot of issues with this room after we got it painted and there was furniture in it – it was dark and narrow, the old sofa didn’t work, We needed a rug (or two?) and that lovely West Elm credenza was not the right piece for the window (obviously). But we took a bunch of photos to document it all so here you go:

Emily Henderson_Family Room_Blue Paint_Tudor_Ask the Audience_Gray Sectional_8

Living with the room like that was as painful for me as viewing it is for you. So when our friend’s at Sixpenny reached out about their sofas and had an English Roll Arm in LA that we could borrow and try out, I jumped on it (figuratively, not literally of course), although I am sure the kids would love a chance to jump on it.

Emily Henderson_Family Room_Blue Paint_Tudor_English Roll Arm_Ask the Audience_3

Obviously this sofa and setup is WORLDS better and that sofa is extremely comfortable, by the way. We liked the room so much more as soon as it was in there and the grey sectional was out. We sold the credenza and gave the sectional away and I found this little bookshelf for $10 that I was going to use for the toys for the time being, but it still wasn’t really right.

And even with the new sofa in there the blue was still a problem for the flow of the house.

Emily Henderson_Family Room_Blue Paint_Tudor_English Roll Arm_Ask the Audience_1

As you can see we messed with the architecture of the house during the renovation to make it more functional and open. We put the arches back in and matched the original plaster of the walls, but the dark color was really highlighting that wall as soon as you walked in which really wasn’t what we wanted. It needed to feel more seamless as it is a small house.

As a reminder this is what it looked like before we took the wall out:

Emily Henderson_Family Room_Blue Paint_Tudor_Ask the Audience_Before Renovations_3

It was super closed off and tight, and we love how open it is now, but that dark color was bumming us out without us knowing it. I’m currently writing a whole post about when to paint a room dark because I’ve learned through this experience that there are more rules to dark colors in rooms than I thought.

Emily Henderson_Family Room_Blue Paint_Tudor_English Roll Arm_Ask the Audience_4

In these photos the room looks like the awesome color that it is (Ginny also painted her dining room this color) but in the context of the whole house it just felt like it was really creating this big dark hole in the middle of a really happy flow.

Emily Henderson_Family Room_Blue Paint_Tudor_English Roll Arm_Ask the Audience_9

So here are my goals:

Make this room one that we REALLY want to be in and play in. Therefore it needs to be comfortable, happy and we need to maximize the space without adding too much furniture to keep it open. To do this I need to do the following:

  1. Design a sofa that is super deep and comfortable. I love this one that is currently in there but because of the narrowness of the room we can’t really have an ottoman or a coffee table without cutting it off even more, so we need a super deep sofa. We also need it to be deep because we can’t have it more than 84″ wide and a narrow sofa wouldn’t allow four of us to really lounge on it and feel cozy. The reason that I know that an 84″ super deep sofa would work is that we tried this sofa (that we are fostering in the living room) and it was surprisingly perfect in size and scale. We would just bring that one into here but we certainly can’t have two navy blue english roll arms in one house, right?
  2. Find a rug solution. an 8×10 is too wide, so it could be a corridor rug (like 6×11?) or somehow layer two rugs (see the options below) – 6×9 and something more sculptural?
  3. Art for walls. Still deciding what the best solution is for this but maybe family photos, maybe a gallery wall, maybe one big piece like we did in the old house above the sectional before we moved.
  4. Paint the walls, obviously. That is being done as I write and should be finished tomorrow. We are lightening it WAY up and painting it a neutral tone so that it flows so much better (see below)
  5. Toy storage that doesn’t impede too much with the window. Let’s not even talk about those windows whose frames are totally disintegrating and we’ll probably have to have them custom made and installed, but if we do they will probably have to take off the ivy which kills the ivy on the whole house – the roots are right in front of the window – it’s just a disaster and of course now I see why the previous owners let the ivy grow completely over the exterior of the window. From the outside it looks GORGEOUS but not having any natural light in this room is sad. Long story short we cut back a lot of the leaves but left the stems and it looks pretty janky from the outside, but it’s fine inside now (these photos aren’t updated yet – but I’ll insta-story about it later today).
  6.  Switch out the light fixture. That one, while I love it, wasn’t ever meant to be there – the electrician got confused when installing all the lighting in the house. We left it in here, but it’s too small for that room and instead should be switched with the one that is in Elliot’s room currently.
  7. Add window treatments. Since the walls are going to be solid I think a pattern in here would be nice – something classic but maybe a bit playful.

So I’ve come up with two almost identical starting point/design plans. They aren’t totally flushed out, but this is the direction so far to give you an idea of what is going on in my brain:

Emily Henderson_Ask the Audience_English Tudor_Modern Traditonal_Family Room_Play Room_Mood Board_version 1

Sofa – I LOVE this sofa but it’s too long and not deep enough so I hired my friend Rosa Beltran from Clad Home to customize the shape and size to fit the space better. We are getting it upholstered in a similar colored fabric, a poly velvet that is super durable and stain resistant.

Rug (vintage) – If you’ve been watching on insta-stories I’ve been trying out rugs and none have felt right. And yet they have all been A FORTUNE. I found this on Rejuvenation’s antique/vintage section and it is a great size 7×11 and the colors are beautiful. I could just layer the sheepskin or white hide on top of it at the end. Now, my only concerns are that the color might be too similar to the color of the floor – but other than that it is just stunning and trying to find a beautiful rug in a neutral yet happy color palette that works with our entry rug (which I don’t want to move because it’s my favorite rug of all time) is not an easy task.  Anyway, I’m hoping that 7×11 is perfect and I taped it out but sometimes once you get something into a space it doesn’t work as planned. It was on sale for $1200 and they gave me an additional discount on it since we are friends so I spent $1k on it which if any of you know antique rugs, this is a great deal. I think that the kids won’t be able to destroy it because of the coloring and pattern and it adds a lot of soul. It has a lot more green in it than you can see in the mood board. I get it next week so I am crossing my fingers (I would have waited on it but it was going to get snagged up quickly as it is such a great rug, and if it doesn’t work perfectly in this space I always know I can sell it or use it in a future project).

Side Table (vintage) – I bought this from the flea market, it’s an antique store display drawer case and it’s awesome and brings a nice warm wood accent into the room.

Ceiling Pendant  – We have this in Birdie’s room ready to move down here and hopefully it works. It’s a semi-flush mount so I just want to make sure that it doesn’t hang too low in the room.

Cabinet (vintage) – my friend Scott had this piece in his dining room before he moved and had to get rid of some pieces (It’s from 1920’s and it was originally in the New York library). We secured it to the wall so that it can’t topple over on the kids and it houses a lot of the toys. Scale and style are great, but I kinda wish it had drawers instead of shelves with bins, but so far it’s working pretty well.

Curtain Fabric – This is a new linen blend toile pattern available at Calico (aka Calico Corners). The style name is Honneur (FC)/La Mer and it is not currently on their site but is available in any of their stores. It’s a forest toile in a light green/blue color and it’s just so happy and wonderful. I love that it references something super english and classic (toile) but in a more playful and yet serene pattern. They are currently putting it online so stay tuned for the exact link!

Sconce – A classic but modern sconce to help glam up this space and that corner. When we placed them we had a different idea in mind for that bay window (a big built-in) so I may even reposition them once we get everything else in the room.

Sheepskin Rug – now as a mom I’m like – you know that kids can’t really play on sheepskin rugs, but as a stylist I know how much better it will look layered over the vintage one than a white cowhide. I also know how insanely comfortable this sheepskin is (Brady used it in his niece’s nursery and has promised me that it is GOOD and that she loves playing on it) so I may try it out and use it for the shoot. But if the kids need something flatter to roll cars on I’ll switch it out for my existing white cowhide that I brought over from our old house. Also the kids might love that it’s cozy and they can play cars literally everywhere else!

Leather Ottoman – I feel like we’ll have space for something like this and I’m LOVING this new one from The Citizenry.

Paint Color – Ammonite by Farrow and Ball. This is in our bedroom and it’s the warmest happiest gray ever. I LOVE it so very very much. It looks great with our kitchen (strong white) and our entry (blackened). They are all just various tones that keep your eye moving and give it depth without being the same color or jarringly different.

I am loving the way that it is looking but some of my team at EHD feared that the rug could made it look a bit granny. I understand their fear, but I also love me an antique rug and I think I can edge it all up with the lighting, accessories, pillows and art.

But here is another option:

Emily Henderson_Ask the Audience_English Tudor_Modern Traditonal_Family Room_Play Room_Mood Board_version 2

All we changed was the rug. This rug is from Restoration Hardware and it’s an indoor/outdoor gray rug. Now it’s fairly boring in this moodboard but I do think that it makes this room feel fresh and more modern. I ordered a swatch of it to see how it looks in person. I’m assuming that if it’s indoor/outdoor that it is going to be highly stain resistant and durable and for that reason I’m interested in trying it out. Our last light colored rug in our family room became DISGUSTING so fast and while I’m not totally opposed to getting them cleaned once a year, it just begs the question ‘WHY?’. The vintage rug in our living room is a bit bright for me but Birdie can literally spill a berry smoothie on it and you can’t see the stain. I want that option in these high traffic rooms.

We’ll add more to these design boards as I find the perfect pillows/art/accessories so this isn’t a finished situation. But I am curious – are you on team Antique Emily? Or against me, on the Fresh/Clean team??

***Progress Photos by Tessa Neustadt

For more reveals from Emily’s Los Feliz Home: Powder Room | Jack and Jill Bathroom | Living Room Update | Charlie’s Big Boy Room | Master Bedroom | Master Bathroom | Living Room | Kitchen & Dining Room | Elliot’s Nursery | Backyard | Closets | Laundry Room | Elliot’s Nursery Update | Kitchen | Updated Living Room

  1. First impressions is that the blue contrasted too much with the white. Farrow and Ball do matching whites for this very reason. It’s worth checking out their website and going with their suggested combinations because their colours really are tricky to get exactly right as they change so much in different light levels. For example, I would have painted the skirting board in a darker white. Although I realise you are now completely repainting the room.

    The other problem is the focal point. Is it the window or the TV? I feel the eye is drawn to the window and yet the sofa is demanding attention to what is effectively a blank wall with a TV mounted on it. How about two large comfy armchairs at an angle with a table in the middle to make it seem less like a station platform? Do you really need a sofa if the room if it is largely used by the adults in the evening?

    Also how about painting tricks like painting the window frame the same colour as the walls to make it disappear and that side alone a darker colour to bring it forward and make the room more square?

    I would avoid window treatments as it only draws the eye to it even more to it and darkens the room when surely the TV is the focal point?

    Of the options I prefer the vintage carpet. Embrace the room for what it is – traditional – and it is the only one you have that is semi-shut off. Make it classic and adult in an evening grown up kind of way.

  2. I’m a fan of the Antique Emily option. It grounds the space and creates the cozy atmosphere that you’re going for. My personal opinion is that the window is begging for a small table and chairs – a space for puzzles, coloring and crafts, playing cards and board games, and, eventually, the inevitable legos.

    1. I agree! I believe this room was an old dining room, and therefore was designed to have a big piece of furniture in the middle. A small table and chairs for the kids close to the windows would be super practical and also help with that missing *something* in the middle of the room.

      You have quite a challenge here, Emily! 🙂 Can’t wait to see the reveal!

  3. that green sofa is gorgeous – can you tell me where it’s from? the link isn’t working (it’s going to the Rejuvenation rug). thanks!

    1. The link has been updated, but it is from Anthropologie. xx

      1. Still not fixed and redirecting to rug site at 1:14 pm PST

        1. https://www.anthropologie.com/shop/velvet-leonelle-sofa?color=031&quantity=1&size=ALL&type=REGULAR Here you go Jamis! I believe it’s in the color, “Duck Egg” here.

      2. unfortunately it’s still going to the rug- it is gorgeous though!

      3. still not working for me, but it’s stunning!

  4. I think you’ll find that as the kids get older, and do much more detailed, prolonged imaginative play, that’s it’s nice to have floorspace where that can happen uninterrupted. ie. charlie building a playmobile world and being able to leave it there for a few days as he works or elliot working on a much bigger puzzle. i grew up with three brother and big, sprawling games were a huge part of our play. It’s nice when that doesn’t take up the whole living room and since your living room and dining area get so much play already, I’d be happy for this room to be TV and future use as a prolonged play spot. That way you don’t have to give up the dining room table for days at a time while a game gets played out.

    1. Alex, you have made the point that I was going to make. My kids are a bit older than C & E. We have a playroom that is not as sunny as the rest of the house. It was largely unused when my littles were toddlers except as toy storage but now is the perfect spot for spreading out. It is an especially good spot for when we have company over. Adults hang in the kitchen / dining / living areas and the littles have their own space to carouse. I imagine that when the teen years hit that will be even more handy.

      Also, I vote antique rug. It doesn’t look granny to me at all.

  5. I really like the first option (Team Emily) best. It’s really pretty and goes really well with the rest of the vibe of the house you’re creating.

    1. I agree. The second one looks great, but the first has more of that English look.

  6. I didn’t see “granny” in the first option at all. My initial impression was actually “bachelor”, but in a very good way. The color scheme seems more masculine than I’m used to with you, but I love it and I think it makes it cozy. I like everything individually, but love them together (the sofa link is going to the rug BTW).

  7. I also think maybe this room isn’t right for a sofa – if you can live without.

    2 facing loveseats?

    A quartet of giant armchair/lounge chairs, 2 on each end with a giant play/Lego/Candyland table in the middle?

    Maybe a desk on the non-window end, and chairs in the window end?

    1. It’s super narrow – like 10′ wide so definitely not room for facing sofas. A dining table would be lovely but not useful for us as we already have 3 other places to eat! So hard!

      1. I agree with a few others. The sofa feels like it is demanding attention. Maybe put the sofa or a love seat on the opposite wall. Or just arm chairs like someone mentioned? I love your new home though. SO beautiful and full of charm! Love the herringbone floors. I first saw them on Genevieve’s show and LOVED them!


  9. I love the green sofa. I think you should have a little light hearted fun in this room if you are wanting the kids to play. I used to have closed storage for toys and it just gets forgotten about. For board games it’s fine but kids really need to be able to see their toys. I could see a teepee/cozy tent going in here. Some fairy lights, some natural elements, a wooden kitchen and a few pretty baskets with toys.
    I think family photos sound wonderful AND leaving space to hang their artwork in here.
    What about an art table? I know you are a designer and don’t need a designer but Megan Schiller of the art pantry seems like a fun person to collaborate with. http://www.theartpantry.com
    I am team vintage for the rug. Could you transition this room into having a rya rug or something else that is a bit more fun?
    Also, once they get older they will love playing back their with friends.

  10. Is the archway before the bay window decorative or structural? If decorative, I would see if you could remove it since it breaks up the wall on both sides. I feel it would be easier to place furniture in the room without it. I agree, the blue is not right at all, too dark, plus I feel like it clashes with the blue island in the kitchen. What sheen do you have on your walls? I prefer flat since shinier stuff will highlight all the weird textures of the wall. Also, this is just my humble opinion but I HATE barn doors. The style doesn’t look right in the house either. :-\

    1. You took the words right out of my mouth! All I could see on those dark walls was that revolting texture — hideous. And those barn doors have been Done. To. Death. Actually overdone. Blech. You are my guru, Melissa!

      1. It is flat paint. We can’t take out the niche, the island is green and it was either put two doors right next to each other or have a barn door. Do I love barn doors in every house? Nope. But i think it was the prettiest solution for this one. We tried to do a pocket door and there was some sort of issue that I forgot about. Thanks for your feedback.

        1. I actually love the texture and the barn door!

          1. I actually love the barn doors as well. If you had 2 doors you would loose space opening them.

  11. my eye wants the sofa to be as far down toward the window as possible, with a small sideboard/credenza/small dresser/some piece of furniture higher than an end table in that first corner as you come into the room. The window pulls me directly into the room, and the couch being the first large object halts my progress in a jarring kind of way. A separate and distinct -but smaller scale than a sofa – moment at the beginning of the room would help the flow. I love this nook. Once you work out the bugs, it’s going to be amazing.

    1. THe little cut out is causing such a problem! It can’t be in the middle of it so it kinda has to be on the left of it. So complicated..

      1. This is what makes the journey so great! when you finally GET IT just right (you will) it’ll be SOO GOOD because it was so difficult to get there.

      2. Why not do a custom sofa / bench for the cut out?

        1. I was thinking that too. Or, why is that wall even there? (the one with the tv.) it’s not a fully enclosed room anyway so maybe open it up. Just a random thought.

  12. I’m for the antique rug. It’s much more interesting and the scale seems better for the room (I don’t think the RH rug comes in non-standard sizes?). Also, I think it’s a good thing if the perimeter of the vintage rug more closely matches/blends in with the floor. There are a lot of angled walls in that den/foyer/powder room area and a rug that doesn’t create a sharp line across the den threshold will help the flow of that space (along with the lighter paint color).

  13. I love the vintage rug option, and that green sofa is amazing!!!

  14. I’m surprised I feel this way but I’m team fresh/clean, at least right now. I might change my mind once I see the options in the room and how it works with the rest of the house. I kinda feel like the heavily green moodboards will clash with the rest of the house though. There needs to be more blues and reds.

  15. What about getting rid of the wall with the tv? So when you walk in the house the wall to the right of the door is gone. It would open up everything and keep that room from feeling like it’s off and neglected and you’d probably spend more time there if it felt like it was a part of everything else.

    1. But then they would have a huge room as an entryway, i.e. dead space, and no room to watch tv in. (They have a formal living room w the fireplace too).

    2. This was my first thought, too! Maybe I’ve been watching too much Fixer Upper and am in a mindset of walls just coming out everywhere, but that one image that shows the two rooms makes that wall look bananas. I’ve been to plenty of houses where the front door opens up into the living room, but maybe there’s a more functional and less formal solution for a young family?

  16. I like the green rug better. My initial reaction is to make the room more of a library nook with lots of bookcases, so I like that direction better.

  17. While I love the vintage rug, I have a 3 and 5 year old and after struggling with traditional rugs, opted for an indoor/outdoor rug in our family room and it saved my sanity. It’s soooo easy to clean up messes and I was even able to haul it out into the backyard and hose it off after a particularly bad mess. Save the vintage rug for a few years down the road as the room will be beautiful either way.

    1. YES! An inexpensive indoor/outdoor rug saved my sanity in our family room. It’s just so darn practical!

  18. UGH YES TO OPTION ONE. That whole palette is my heartbeat. So gorgeous, crossing my fingers that the granny train can stop at your house:)

  19. Ikea sells a double sheepskin rug – I’ve only seen it in store, not online – for less. I have it in my daughters’ bedroom, and I’ve even – gasp! – washed it in the washing machine. It came out pretty well! I washed it on the gentle cycle and even machine dried it on the extra low setting, because it wasn’t drying well on its own. It doesn’t look quite as good as when it was new, but it’s still soft and fluffy and pretty and a lot better than having poop on it (yep, that’s why I washed it!). All in all, I’m quite pleased.

  20. I know you must be loathe to remove any of the architectural interest here, but I think the arch in the middle of the room is creating too many “zones” and breaking up the flow of the room. If you removed that, you could scoot the sofa over towards the window, opening up the entrance of the room. You could place the pretty library/toy chest or something else on the wall immediately to the left of the entrance vs being overwhelmed with the sofa. And then the rug could scoot over with the sofa, reducing the clash with the entry rug.

  21. I know this is basically the worst possible scenario (in terms of time and money)… but have you thought about closing that archway? It’s hard to tell from the photos but it seems to be contributing to the awkwardness of the room. Instead of being a cozy little room for curling up with the family it just seems like it’s a narrow space to put a couch to look at from the kitchen. Again, it’s hard to tell these things from photos sometimes, but from where I’m sitting it just seems like narrowing the archway significantly to bring it closer to the original opening size would make the room more closed off and go a long way to making it more functional as a space. I’m in the minority these days because I like closed off rooms more than a big open floor plan, but I feel like for this room it may help more than hurt? Probably too late for this option but it was the first thing I thought of when scrolling through the photos.

    1. I completely agree!! And as the kids get older they will want to be in a space besides their rooms that isn’t so open. And most parents want that too!!

    2. This was my thought, as well. Adding a door back to this room would allow it to be closed off when someone is watching a loud tv show, and it could even function as a guest room if need be. I understand the desire to open up everything but it just doesn’t seem to work for this area of the house and diminishes the delightful contrast that one gets from the transition between a small space (the entry) into a large space (the living room).

      Doesn’t the living room already have a tv? If so, is it really so important for this room to function as THE tv room for everyone? I am not saying you need to remove the tv but maybe don’t worry so much about including a sofa that everyone can sit on at once. The room is simply smaller than required for such an arrangement, it seems.

      The window area is just screaming for a small table to 2 petite but comfy chairs. Does it get morning or late afternoon sun at all? That’s where I’d want to sit. I really want this room to be a cozy library or office…but that’s me. 🙂

      1. We have thought about that and even hung up a sheet with tape to see if we liked it an we didn’t. You see we didn’t bring the opening back (the doorway starts where it staretd before and it was wide already and didn’t have a door) we just extended the opening longer so that the powder room wasn’t in a hallway. But yes, we have totally thought about making the opening smaller in hopes that that would make this room function better.

  22. I have a similar room in my house. It’s technically the master, but ours is a 1940s bungalow with an added second story so the “master” is tiny and we sleep upstairs near the kids. Someday we will renovate it to be a true master suite. For now, it’s our family/TV room. Here’s what worked for us:

    -A giant rug (because the kids spend a lot of time on the floor)
    -A cozy, not too dark paint color (it’s a light grey, but I am so over grey so that’s changing)
    -White curtains: light and bright, but softening at the same time.
    -Storage ottomans. Not the chicest option, but toys and diapers can be stored in them, and they’re easy to shift around. Sometimes they serve as our coffee table, sometimes they’re extra seating, sometimes they’re used to block a baby from pulling on something dangerous, and often they’re used as jumping off points for wrestling matches.
    -Fun, happy artwork
    -Lots of cozy textures…comfy pillows, blankets, etc
    -Baskets everywhere. For toy storage, for art supplies, for remote controls. Quick, easy clean up, and also easy access for the kids.
    -Probably the biggest thing for us is a dimmer switch. The room is light and bright for playing, or dark and cozy for movie watching.

    Also, that bay window area is screaming for a kid sized table. Maybe an art corner? My kids have a little table and they LOVE it. It’s hours of play-doh and drawing and playing restaurant, and they even get to eat at during our Sunday movie nights.

    1. Totally agree that a kids’ table and chairs would work well in the bay window.

      1. Yes! Built in kids nook for the bay window area! It’s the perfect space, and not in the middle of everything, so they can leave dolls houses/lego/play dough/etc there without having to pack it away all the time!

        1. I agree that a kids table will ultimately live here and for the shoot we may style it like that. But we play all our ‘table games’ on the living room table – aka playdough, reading, crafts, etc. But I totally agree that this area visually wants a cute round kids table for sure.

  23. Im curious…have you tried a couch on the wall the tv is on? Even if it has to be a shorter couch. I realise you might not want the tv on the visible wall but something about the couch there really visually just intrudes into the room. Maybe somehow cover tv or just make a nice collage of art to help blend it in. Maybe a piece of furniture under tv for more toy storage. Plus if its a tv room whats the harm in it being visible! And maybe move the closed toy storage to small wall that is to left when you first walk into room. Then in nook area by window (angled facing couch) a comfy chair with small table and light. Maybe a leather chair. And a basket with some toys or books. Love your house and blog!!

  24. For sure, antique Emily’s team! The other rug looks like it’s an indoor/outdoor rug. While durable, not very “sexy”.

  25. Love the vintage rug both style and color-very unusual to see green. While it would hide stains and wear, my vote is for the indoor outdoor rug. It is lighter and brighter and should clean up easily. It also is crisper and more modern – a great contrast to more traditional elements.. Modern is not my jam, but the balance lets the special pieces pop!

  26. I don’t understand rugs being “trashed”. I have always had a houseful of antique and vintage rugs and had a few simple rules. Shoes off in the house and eating is done sitting down at the kitchen or dining room table (or outside). I wouldn’t dream of letting my boys roam around with drinks or drippy fruit or sticky hands. I vacuumed as needed (1-2 times/week) and had the carpets sent out for cleaning every few years. “Indoor/outdoor rug” screams “petroleum-based product” to me and I would not want my children rolling around on that on the daily.

    1. Ha. I think its all about living by example. Brian and I aren’t great about shoes in house, eating only at table, not having coffee around furniture, etc. So while we have our strengths, those things aren’t them so we can’t expect our kids to be different people, nor is it a priority for me. I’d rather have rugs that are forgiving than shift my general mentality or lifestyle. Also maybe I’m just lazy 🙂

    2. I agree with Cynthia. Small adjustments to daily habits can make huge difference in your family life – a positive one. There is no need to be so defensive, Emily. And your kids are/will be different people.

  27. Selfishly, I love that you bought this new home because this more traditional mix is pretty much my favorite style! I think that it’s more challenging to find the perfect balance, but the spaces feel so much more stately, yet lived in at the same time.

    Also, I love the blue but the tone felt off with the rest of the house. Did you think about a lighter tone blue? Pastels are totally in right now

  28. I feel drawn to the gray rug. It seems that the vintage rug along with the curtain is too much vintage for me. I’m inordinately excited about the art that will go up! I think some really interesting art is just what the room needs (along with that incredible paint color!) Is it possible that the vine could be transplanted somewhere else? The lack of natural light is what made it feel too dark I think. I absolutely love that fabric on the couch! Can’t wait to see the reveal!!

  29. I would paint a lighter pastel blue. Or maybe a mustard color, it would give it more light. Our dining room is mustard, and living room (from which you see the dining room) is light baby blue, and the two work well together. I would put a kids play or coloring table by the window. Charlie’s old toy kitchen would also look darling there. That way the room would get used other than in the evenings.

    1. I LOVE the idea of a mustard, but it would cut off like the blue did. But we thought about it, or at least doing the sofa in a mustard. I must bring it in somewhere. xx

      1. I too love mustard (even though most people think its a hideous color), I esp like it paired w/ blue or chocolate brown (which my couch is). If you don’t end up doing an entire sofa in mustard, maybe some mustard throw pillows like so: https://www.etsy.com/listing/257843329/boho-mustard-yellow-black-tribal-pillow?ref=shop_home_active_41

  30. I’m on Team Antique Emily!

  31. I don’t care for the sofa in the room. To me, this room is intended to be a music room. I’d love to see a piano.

    1. We just bought one and its in the living room. Stay tuned 🙂

      1. Pun! Stay tuned … piano … anyone? 😀

  32. I just read all the comments and love learning from others and seeing things thru their eyes. With that said, the vintage rug is perfection. The grey is great…in another situation, but it would be “meh” in there. LOVE the green sofa. Not a fan of dark windows as light is my crack, but there is something cozy and charming about the ivy covered window. I think it will inspire your children as they grow…hobbits and elves type play. I would leave them which is not at all what I would do in 99% of situations. Lastly, I am also not a fan of Victorian type rounded rooms with rounded furniture, but since you are designing a couch anyhow, would it make any sense at all to do it in a half moon shape to fill the window? Talk about cozy lounging! You would need to leave the TV on the current wall but put it on a swivel arm so you could pull it out towards you. If that idea is totally lame, I like your current set up with the couch and maybe a built-in bench under the window with storage drawers for books and toys. I might then put a small table in the middle of the bench with one or two child chairs (vintage cane…I accidentally bought them via online auction when I thought they were full size) facing the window for coloring/small puzzles, whatever. I have seven children…I think closing up toys is brilliant and allows the child to not be overwhelmed by all they have at once, and it totally keeps dust a bay. I despise dusting! Blah, blah, blah. Whatever you decide will most likely be totally right for your family. Good luck!

    1. Neat ideas, Christina. My mind had not wandered into those ideas – so it’s neat to think about.

    2. Thanks, Christina. I love this comment and especially how you ended it. We did think about doing a big built-in sofa but there were a variety of reasons why it didn’t work. And yes re the built-ins! We may do them at some point but because the windows are falling apart it just seemed like a builtin right now wouldn’t be the best idea until they get replaced. xx

  33. I love the first option, it’s so cozy! And this is probably too crazy (to cut off half the windows), but when I saw the windows, I thought they needed a custom window/lounge seat with storage underneath!

    I can’t wait to see it!

    1. THat was our original plan! But then from the outside you would see furniture in a weird way and until the windows are fixed we can’t lean against them because they aren’t safe. So boring!!

  34. Antique rug all the way! So pretty!

  35. This room seems very adult to me. I know the kids are young and you probably can’t imagine them bringing friends from home from school to hang out or have movie night and pizza but let me tellnyou it will be here sooner than you think. Is this the room where sleepovers will happen? If so, it just looks sooo serious – not the fun vibe you give off on your blog. I guess redecorating rooms on a yearly basis is great for blog fodder and what the heck most of the furnishings are sponsored but the room you are currently designing looks more appropriate for empty neeters who might have s grandchild visit on holidays.

    1. HA. I was waiting for someone to say that. It’s really not the kids room – the living room is way more where the kids play and of course outside (in LA its 9 months out of the year). It’s a den. The kids have super playful rooms so I feel ok about this being just simple and happy but not too playful (but hey, it can change ANY DAY knowing me :))

  36. I like the vintage rug. I don’t think it looks “granny” at all. The curtain fabric does, but not the rug. I like it!

  37. Team antique Emily!

  38. Emily I LOVE everything you have chosen for this room!!!!!! Go for the antique rug…i think once you put your art and lights and all the emily stuff there is no way this will go granny. And those old rugs really aren’t difficult to clean.

    As far as the layout, I love all the ideas to do a little table & 2 chairs in front of the window! You could do an art table with little chairs for the kids, or a small game table with dining size chairs for everyone? Also a little tent would be darling in here too! It kinda feels like it has to be treated a bit separately? Also, i feel like this little room might be a good one for some custom built-ins? Maybe between the arch & windows?

    I understand wanting a sofa for sure. I guess there isn’t really anywhere else to put it? The only thing I think you should add is a little table under the tv to ground it. It feels a little lost at the moment.

    Can’t wait to see this when its done!!

  39. I am Team Fresh! The second rug makes a world of difference in my opinion, esp. with the antique cabinet and leather ottoman.

  40. I’m on team Emily regarding the vintage rug!

  41. Definitely on fresh and clean team! Also, that looks like a perfect spot for a huge window seat! And it sounds like you’ve decided to paint, but what about a bright, happy (but subtle) English wallpaper?

    1. I concur. Definitely calls for a wallpaper! Wish I’d been the one to think of it first!

      1. I wish! It’s too open to the entrance and would call out the awkward achitecture, again. So while we really thought about wallpaper we decided against it. Also the plaster is pretty intense as you can tell so we don’t want to skim coat and take that character off but its too thick to paper. xx

  42. Team Antique! (And the beautiful blue really has to go–Maybe in a bathroom? 🤔)

  43. Team Antique Emily all the way.

  44. Though the Stiffkey is gorgeous, you’re so right about the flow. I’m excited to see it lightened up.

    To me, the bay window is SCREAMING for a petite round pedestal table (we know you like a good saarinen, but an antique gaming table could be a fun pursuit). I can see the kids coloring there, or it being a nice spot to sit with the laptop and a glass of wine. If not that, maybe some built-in low-slung benches could work there and provide a bit of storage? That nook needs something or it feels like it’s just hanging on back there.

    We all know what this room is for and I’m shocked to see people suggest that you ditch the tv wall. I think you have to embrace the narrow coziness of it all. I think a slim console or bookcase is a must under the tv to help it feel more anchored and intentional. Though this would probably veto any kind of ottoman or poof situation. These slim consoles from room and board are super neutral classics and go as slim as 7″:
    also nice:

    On a side note, the other thing I’m dying to see is some cushions on those thonet stools in the kitchen! I think bringing in a natural material like a warm camel leather or ticking stipe upholstery would soften them up and tie it all together!

    1. I think in a few years we will put a table there for sure. With the kids being so young (1 and 3) they aren’t as into chess as we had hoped but in a few years they’ll hopefully be doing art/crafts there. Which is why I think keeping it open is fairly smart for now 🙂

  45. Paint the walls 3 shades lighter than your kitchen cabinets.

  46. Vintage rug!!

  47. Option 1: vintage rug.

    Also, I love the tall floor lamp but I don’t see a link to it.

    Other things I’d consider: Install a mirror over the couch to bounce light around. Install a small ceiling pendant in the alcove. Consider placing the tall floor lamp on the left side of the sofa (the darkest corner of the room) instead of on the right side.

    1. I am seriously considering a mirror for that exact reason 🙂

  48. Antique!

  49. When you decide to fix the windows, you should take a look at the custom sofa/window seat that Ohhappyday has in her living room.

  50. What product did you use to anchor your furniture to the wall? I’m scared of ruining my furniture but I know anchoring is a MUST… so I’m interested to hear how you’ve dealt with it!

    1. We just used a screw in the wall, eye hook in the back of the furniture and wire tying the two together. I climb on the furniture and pull on it and I can’t pull it down. I just rig it myself and its pretty darn strong 🙂

  51. I love the antique rug much more than the neutral, but of course it is hard to tell before it is in the space. I agree with other commenters who are hoping you will out a kids table in the alcove. We have an IKEA Docksta in the living room for games, art, and the occasional dinner while watching tv. I would probably get a real kids table to fit the scale and your tiny ones at this age.

  52. Link for the sofa goes to a rug. Please fix!

  53. That green color choice is perfection…..

    (goes well with the kitchen nearby)

    1. that bay window needs a comfy chair or built in bench.

      Id go with the green vintage rug, and the hall rug should be changed to a solid print.

  54. Antique all the way!

  55. Short answer – team Antique Emily!

    I’m extra excited about this as I have a bay window area with similar variables so I can’t wait to see what you do!
    Have you considered making the bay window area a desk/art supply zone? Nature is so inspiring 🙂
    Also, have you thought of putting the seating in the bay window area and placing the TV on the wall on the left when entering (by the white lamp)?

  56. liking this so much more! Yes a darker painted room is great—but when the room layout is more square and separate IMHO. So many angles are softened by the lighter colors. Seems like you are figuring out the house style– I have been hoping you would tend toward classic traditional shapes (not MCM) but update with your quirky fabric/color choices to make fresh and more Emily!!

    1. I think you are exactly right – when the room is separate and the layout is square. RIGHT!

  57. Have you thought about turning the sofa 90 degrees? On the far end of the room (close to the kitchen) but facing the window? Then in the bay window you could do another sofa facing it, or do a kids table / chairs. If you did a sectional type sofa, you could still mount the TV to the wall and be able to comfortably watch. I think turning the sofa would help the flow. It would “separate” the room from the kitchen and not create that awkward hallway-type flow that’s happening right now. A nice sofa table behind it would almost make it feel like a pony-wall and really define that space.

  58. I love the old rug but not the ottoman. It is a beautiful thing on its own, but it makes the room so brown…

  59. As much as I love kids!

    I think it was meant to be the adult beverage drinking room (after dark)

    ***old fashioned brandy/whiskey/ library/leather/vintage

    1. HA. indeed 🙂 Those toddlers are really cramping our style ….

  60. Emily, everything you picked is very pretty and I live the green sofa but where is the fun and whimsy? This seems to lack soul and doesn’t seem like a “family” hangout….looks much more like a library to me. Sorry!

    1. i was literally thinking the same thing…..i would like to see the room a little more playful and edgy, how about your amazing blimp art in here? can’t wait to see how you pull this together emily!

      1. Don’t worry guys. It’s coming 🙂 This is just a jumping off point with the major pieces and I’ll bring that all in with the art and textiles xx

  61. Antique Emily – for sure! It took my breath away with the green and warm leather and those smoky blue accents. Gorgeous!

  62. I really love what you’ve picked out. I’m thinking on the curtains and rugs for a bit though. I think what the room might need is a more modern kick in the pants maybe with a geometric print or even buffalo check in the window treatments or none at all. You’re so good at this so I have no doubt what you choose will look dynamite.

    I also think that room would make an amazing library! Where your t.v is could be a wall of book shelves or built ins, large rug and two comfy chairs with clean lines in place of the sofa. And then a round or oval table in the window area for crafts, coffee, etc.

  63. I’m all for the antique rug – I think with lighter walls it will look fabulous! If it was my room, though, I’d do something lighter and/or more modern and playful for the ottoman to help balance everything out. I can’t wait to see the progress in this room!

  64. I like the antique rug for sure!

    But I have to say that as I looked at the pictures with the gray sectional, my only thought was THOSE RUGS THOUGH!!!! All three of them. To die for. My eyes turned into actual hearts.

    Thanks as always, Emily, for sharing your process with us! You have taught me so much about design – I can’t thank you enough.

    1. Thanks, Kim. I needed that last line 🙂

  65. Built-ins are SO needed on the wall with the TV. This room is going to be much better with that lovely green sofa, but once you are in there it is still going to feel chaotic because of the number of items in that narrow room. Embrace the narrow!! A continuous band of built-ins to house the TV, hold a thousand framed family photos, and hide the kids toys below will unify that wall and balance the visual weight of that sofa. You know how crazy a bunch of small items can start looking…a shelving system unifies all those little moments into one visual “thing.” Plus TVs hanging on the wall always look unintentional, undersigned, and a little whiskey tango (girl…i said it!). Put that thing in built in right now!

    Trust me – you want your family photos around but don’t use them as “art.” Just get yourself a bunch of 4×6 frames and swap the photos out as the years go on and and you take new favs. When the photos are just on a shelf you don’t need to worry about all the color matching, or how you guys look, or looking narcissistic with these giant photos of you guys hanging around. Small frames on shelves are the way to go. Plus you can go to Hobby Lobby with your 40% off coupon every couple weeks and keep buying new silver frames (or black or whatever) and the frame collection can grow with your photo collection 🙂 Then you can put something large and amazing over the sofa and see that art from the foyer 🙂

    While the kids are small I would stick to small rugs that can go in the washer or just use the ottomans. A rectangular rug will further divide the room from the new openness of the entry. Just let the floor flow through….plus bare floor is best for all those wheeled toys and tiny trucks.

    Where is the kid’s table you bough a while back? I would try a small rug in the bay window with the kid’s table centered on it. That way they have a play space separate from the family zone… plus this narrow room really begs for two functional zones (one for TV/Couch and one in the bay).

    Honestly I LOVE this room because it is cozy, and perfectly hides all sorts of clutter from the foyer and living rooms. Can’t wait to see what you do 🙂

    1. Agree with a lot of this, but I’m a big fan of the vintage (Antique Emily) option too.

    2. Absolutely agree about the built in! This would be a great way to incorporate the tv, family photos, and toy storage in one “thing” without having several separate items.

      Also, definitely on the “kids’ table in the window” bandwagon. I think it would make that somewhat awkward space feel more intentional without obscuring the architectural elements or making the layout awkward. I also think this will draw the eye to the window area, which should appease the people who feel that the sofa isn’t in it’s best spot.

      I think the vintage rug is great! What goes “granny” for me is the drapery fabric. It’s probably better in person than online, but the image doesn’t make it feel very fun.

  66. would a sofa in front of the windows work at all? maybe, with a sofa table behind and the tv on the wall next to the entry?

  67. There are too many angles in that room for such a dark paint color. I don’t like a sofa in there either. I would float a table and chairs in front of the window. Something to do art projects at, build legos, etc. I see this as more of a reading nook than a family room – it’s just too small to be a family room.

    1. Yes, yes, yes. Great minds think alike.

  68. I prefer the vintage rug, but I think that it would really shine with a more subtle drapery fabric–like a gray linen. Though I think the arch is cute, the room would make a lot more sense if it could be removed, as it takes an already small room and makes it even more segmented (which I’m sure you already know). I am a big fan of the new paint color.

  69. Antique Emily all the way! The room looks so warm and interesting and cozy with the antique rug, wood tones, and the color of the couch. Love it!!

  70. I loved loved loved that vintage rug … until I saw the indoor-outdoor rug. You’re going to have to try them both out in the space (if you possibly can). I loved the dark walls until I saw that it turned the room into a cave … a cozy cave, mind you, but still a cave.
    If it were my space, I’d look into placing comfy chairs in the bay-ish window with good lighting. Love the library cabinet. Can you retro-fit shelves into it?

  71. Team Emily all the way! Love the vintage rug. And sometimes there just isn’t a perfect solution for an imperfect room. Make it work for your family and embrace the quirkyness that comes with loving and living in an older home!

  72. The problem with this room is the arch by the windows. If you are going to paint and it is possible to remove it or alter it in some way now is the time. Maybe make it like the ones in the living room? I know it might be a cost you weren’t expecting but this is defiantly a case of architecture influencing the functionality of the space. If you were my client I would really press you on this one. Then you can position the furniture so it makes more sense with the overall space. This will also change how the space flows with the rest of the house. I think it will make it feel more like a room and less like a long knook. On the rug, vintage Always wins! Stick to your guns.

  73. Antique option all the way.

  74. I’ll love to see the couch reach from the end of the wall as far as possible to the other side. Ditch the end table and use sconce lighting, perhaps like the nook end. In a dream scenario, I would actually make the couch a tiny sectional L to fit into the corner. I can just picture the pillows in that cozy corner, and it would look so nice as people walked past/peered in. I noticed the floor register, so this might not be possible, although the couch pictured does have legs.

    IMO underneath the TV looks bare. Perhaps some sort of shallow floating shelf unit (that didn’t protrude into the room too much) below to pretty up. I apologize if any of this was covered in the text as reasons things that could or could not be done. I didn’t read all the copy–sorry!

  75. Could you add some narrow built-in book shelves below the TV (and possibly up the sides) to ground the wall? The TV seems so lonely on the wall and built-in shelves wouldn’t topple over.

  76. I’m team antique! I love the look, and I agree with almost everything you’re doing. I’m not 100% sold on the curtain fabric ,but I agree it should be a light and whimsical print. Also, I vote for a large piece of art, as opposed to family photos. And last, I think a really cool, modern ceiling fan like this one would look lovely in there…


  77. Rug option #1 will look AMAZING in your house!!!

  78. Team Granny Emily allllll the way. $1k is such a great deal.
    Can’t wait to see the final result! This renovation is boogying right along.

  79. I agree with those who say (1) close up the archway to make it not be so open and (2) remove the jut-out/beam situation that’s breaking up the middle of the room. As your family grows, this room will likely adapt but I think you’ll always struggle with those two realities that are holding this room back from being a room (now it’s just sort of a nook)?

    When the kids are older they’re going to want their friends to come over and have a room where they can goof around and not be under your watchful eye all the time (see, e.g., teenage years). I think honestly having a sliding barn door on this room will do wonders when the kids get older.

  80. Well, anything would be better than the way it is now. Talk about depressing. I chuckled when you said, “The room was so dark and sad…so we painted it this really dark color.” So…were you going for dark and happy as opposed to dark and sad? (lol) I can’t wait for it to be white again.
    This is my issue: the space is so open that it doesn’t feel like “a room” per se. So putting a bunch of furniture in there…ahh…ugh. Like you say, you don’t want to waste that space. Plus, you’re ignoring your interesting vine-covered windows. I think that area would be great for a kids’ table and chairs. Or maybe a little study/computer area when the kids are older.
    I’d make it less room-like by putting in a chaise instead of a sofa, but you say you watch tv in there. Maybe you could put a bunch of beanbags in there. Just kidding.

  81. I’m totally on antique Emily team. I love the rug and I feel like it’ll give you that cozy library feel. Can’t wait to see it all come together. Other than the design dilemmas, how are you and the family enjoying the house and the yard?

  82. The first thing I thought when looking at the space is that it could be such a special (magical?) space that would draw all of you in rather than out. Ok, not to complicate things more, but I see a fabulous organic looking (nature inspired) wallpaper and I know you know your wallpaper, Emily! I l think a deep, comfy green couch would feel great in there. The antique rug. Maybe a pair of matching vintage low-slung chairs at the window to not obstruct the light and view. Maybe an ottoman. Two matching shelves on either side of that space in front of those electrical sockets for books and storage. Shots of brass in lamps and lighting. Small side tables here and there. I love a little whimsy in my design. Have fun with it and make people smile. You do that so well!

  83. While a couch is practical, it seems so large in the space in your photos – would it be weird to set it at an angle? Probably but hard to tell. And could you put a chair in the window space, seems like it’s begging for a chair with a lamp to cozy up with some breezy window treatments.

    1. Ok replying to my own comment. EcIse I watched your insta-story and now I see how narrow the room is. So yeah, no room for turning the couch. I think the couch currently is so bulky on the bottom, it seems to take the entire room. But I still vote for a reading chair in the window!

      Also, have you thought about how to reconcile your posts with instagram and sharing live. I actually got a better visual with the live look than these photos. Just a thought. Can’t wait to see the final reveal!

  84. I think this should be a dining room and although you have other spaces to place a dining table, maybe those other spaces could be utilized as something else?
    Are you really married to keeping this a TV room? If yes, I agree with other post, push that vouch as close to windows as possible. If it spans the jog in the wall put a narrow ledge behind the sofa … drink rail, picture rail.
    Also, look into having window seat storage. That would be a great way to hide kid toys and keep the room more adult. Maybe windo seat storage with an elegant table for reading and projects.
    As for rug, since the room is unusually shaped, carpet cut & bound in a tonal leopard/cheetah print.

  85. Is there a TV in the other living room? If there is, I think 2 rooms with TVs so close together is wasted space. I would make this a library/reading/play room and leave TV watching in the other room. If the other room doesn’t have a TV then I think the antique rug looks better than the more fresh/clean rug.

  86. Your home is coming along BEAUTIFULLY!!! I’m such a fan!

    As far as drawing people into that room…… It seems like our family of 5 gravitates to any room with a table. They just seem to invite people to sit and play/craft/read. And I know you already know that good lighting has that same effect. I think it’s already been suggested, but a pedestal table by the window would be so charming!

  87. Also team granny!! The RH rug reads as way to boring in the mood board.

  88. I’m 100% on Team Antique Emily! I think the antique rug will give it the cozy vibe that will draw you in. (The modern white one seems like it would be generic, boring, with solid against solid.) I adore the look of the leather ottoman – it offers some immediate class to the look, IMO. I just wonder if you’ve also considered two “chair and a half” instead of one long couch. You could try it out with the one in Elliot’s room. You’ve mentioned that it has all the snuggling capabilities needed, and two would fit you all. Also, you’d be able to put a (storage?) table in between them to help break up the space. You may have already considered chairs and nixed the idea, but it seems worth trying out. I’m crazy about the green color of the mood board sofa and think that is a must. Not only have I loved green forever, it’s all the rage right now, and would connect with your kitchen palette. One more thing – is there room for a kid’s play table in the bay window area? Looking forward to your design decisions!

    1. I love this suggestion!

  89. I would add a little round play table to the bay window space to make it more functional. To me, this space screams to be a crafts and office room. As a teacher, I like to think of a home as having “centers” like they do in a good preschool. Set up a nice arts and crafts center in here, and your kids will use it lots as they get older.

    1. Yes, a round table would work really well, making that area purposeful and the room feeling less narrow.

  90. If I were a kid growing up there, I’d kill for that window to have a seat for daydreaming! I love that little nook. And I’m sad to hear/see that dark doesn’t work – but very much looking forward to your guide of when and how to go with dark paint. Team granny.

    1. Ooh, yes!! I always wanted a window seat to daydream in as a kid. 😉

    2. My first thought was window seat as well! I would kill to have a nook with a window seat in it. It seems like the obvious choice!

  91. Team Antique Emily all the way! Antique rugs are the best. I own 5 and love them all!! 🙂

  92. Really enjoying your progress. So glad you decided to get rid of the blue paint color, totally not working! Team Clean + Fresh all the way.

  93. The first board is the best!! Love the patterned rug and the geeen velvet is my fav for sure
    Team Emily for the win🎉

    1. I love this post, because this room is going to be a challenge and I want to see what you do with it I know it’ll be great in the end.

      Based on the photos, I am agreeing that -yikes – you probably overshot on the largess of the opening. Shrink the archway and burn the barn door.

      Also, I am loving this house – but where is the whimsy? It worked with MCM, but can you pair whimsy with traditional? I’m on the edge of my seat.

  94. Have you ever seen what Jordan Ferney did with her bay window/couch situation? This isn’t what you are asking for, but I always think of it when I see bay windows and awkward situations. I think it’s pretty genius and could be great for kids. Plus, maybe put storage below for toys? We’ve got a long narrow living room and it reallly is the pits trying to come up with furniture placement!


  95. I LOVE option #1. That rug with that sofa and those curtains will provide all the color you need in there without interrupting the flow with the rest of the house. That is going to be a stunning room!

  96. Antique!! That rug is gorgeous and totally works.
    Also I had such a creepy dream that I was walking around your house while y’all were asleep and you got very mad at me. Your house is in my psyche.

  97. I’m on team Vintage Rug but maybe not this particular one. The gold and green seem a little too old fashioned fancy hotel. But maybe it’s just with the mood board, it might look awesome once it’s in place

  98. Team Antique Rug for sure! That modern rug is just so blah… I agree with everyone who suggested an art table & chairs in front of the window, or maybe two tiny armchairs…? That nook just seems like it’s wonderfully kid-sized – I know I would have seen it as my special spot when I was a little one. I say own it.

    Who makes the poly velvet you’re using? Thinking it’s perfect with the cats…

  99. I’m going back and forth, but I’ll say team Antique Emily! I love how the antique rug makes it feel more moody and masculine, which I’m not used to seeing from you. And I agree that you could totally edge it up with accessories and modern art. I’m actually quite excited to see how you mix traditional and modern in this room! Of course, whatever you do will be wonderful 🙂

    1. Also, I’m curious what your original plan was for a built-in in front of those windows? Others have mentioned the same thing and I’m trying to picture it – Wouldn’t that be considered a no-no in this case since the windows are floor to ceiling and would be partially blocked?

  100. Option one is gorgeous and perfect. I don’t think the rug being similar to the floor is a problem at all. The gray rug in the second option is jarring and just doesn’t feel warm or work with the beautiful deep tones of the wood.

    Why can’t you have 2 navy sofas in one house? Do what you want! If it works, use it!

  101. I’m with Antique Emily. so much richer w/o being busy. Gray rug is Borrringgg!

  102. Team granny right here. You’ll never tire of that rug, it’s timeless.

    Love the sofa, too!

  103. I love this color, I wanted it but I ended giving in with another product with a similar hue. Why don’t you paint the baseboards, window and door trim. I did and absolutely LOVE it, I even wanted to paint the ceiling but my husband refused. Check it out here https://thefolia.com/2017/03/01/singing-the-blues/

    Happy Nesting!

  104. I watched your video a few months back where you walked around your new home with your staff and picked paint colors. Sorry – but I knew that blue color was never going to work. That room is long and narrow with little light, plus jarring is a good word. You can’t paint whole floor of house in white and then have one room blue. I was surprised your staff all agreed to go with Stiffkey in the video.

    I should have emailed you right then. I assume you’d change your mind –

  105. Just a thought… what if you had a small couch/loveseat in front of the window facing into the room. The tv could be set on the the short wall. You could then have storage on the two flanking walls for toys. Maybe even a small table/chairs for art time off to one side.
    I love the “granny” rug. It relates well to the house. Also, I love the idea of having family photos and kids art on the walls in here. Nothing says home quiet like kids artwork.

    1. I was going to suggest the same! If the couch is in front of the window alcove, it would also create space for a child’s table and chairs in the window nook (and bonus, it would be hidden from view). Two birds, one stone? I love the thought of seeing the couch straight on from the entry and not seeing the TV at all, unless you’re sitting on that couch actually watching TV. I also love that anyone sitting there has a birds-eye view of the kitchen. Good for family/entertaining/flow.

      1. P.S. I love Article’s Sven collection, and it’s offered in green: https://www.article.com/product/1123/sven-grass-green-sofa

  106. Much much better! I was going to recommend cabbage white by farrow and ball. It’s an amazing white with a slightly greenish blue undertone. We painted our entire living room with this and when the sun hits it just right you can see the greenish hue

  107. I think putting 2 chairs (maybe a smaller scale) in the front of the window might help make that area feel more intentional. The credenza did look out of place, but may be a long and low, but open industrial type shelving unit to span the front of the window and fill it with loads of plants? I do love that green sofa, it’s gorgeous. I also vote for the “granny” version of the rug. I have to say following along on this latest decorating adventure is fun and very helpful.

  108. Fresh and clean. I think the style and general flow of the house is classy enough that too much antique would be a bit redundant. The couch and the curtain fabric would make the antique point clear enough already.
    I also love the simplicity of the fresh and clean team because toys in there is going to add a lot more complexity in color and shapes (yeah you can tuck them away for photo shots but mostly not gonna sort toys away on a daily basis.
    One way to “attract” little ones to a kind of cornered space to place is to but something stationary in there, like a craft center or a train table or a lego central, that you also would not want to see in the living room, because they tend to be on the messier side of playing and need extra storage in close proximity.

    Love everything you do!

  109. Option one all the way! I agree with little play table in the nook by window! Style wise it might not work but practically it will work for art projects, puzzles and even for homework as they grow up!

  110. I LOVE your work and your blog, but I never comment… this time I have to share my two cents though. To me, this space screams music room!! I know you mentioned you play the piano and want your kids to learn, I see a baby grand piano nestled in that bay window area. No sofa, but maybe two arm chairs in there for listening to the music and as a reading space. Think music/library but in a not-so-stuffy kind of way. The right storage piece could also still house toys in that room. I think you mentioned wanting a piano in your living room (on the wall opposite fireplace?) but what if you put a TV on that wall instead? With a credenza below. You said you spend more time in that living room anyway so maybe it can double as your tv space?

    1. I think Melanie is on to something here…

  111. I think you need a window seat and chairs in the room.
    No sofa!!!

  112. I’m with the people who ask if you can find a way to remove the “jut-in arch”? It would do so much for the space.

    Have you considered re-locating the TV to the short wall near the kitchen and rotating the seating?

    Also, I think the sofa is too big and makes it looks like you stuck it in a hallway. I have a small living room with an incredibly comfortable love seat and equally comfortable low back chairs. It provides comfortable seating for adults and since the kids aren’t in there watching TV with you… why put a sofa for 4 in there?

    Smaller furniture and other arrangement may be the way to go. 🙂

    1. Oh and I forgot to ask. What is an “insta-story” ?

      1. It is coming from Instagram 🙂

        1. Thanks. I really am not up with all the cool kids. 😉

  113. I know I don’t represent the majority of commenters here, but I really think the problem in this space is the archway, but NOT THE ONE YOU THINK. The arch you added when you removed the walls is the culprit. The new arch says, “This whole thing (the front room, half bath, utility room) is one REALLY LONG, awkwardly shaped space.” I think the solution to the problem in this room isn’t adjusting the furniture layout or even removing the nook space by the bay window. It’s removing the current arch and ADDING AN ARCH along the 45 degree angled entrance to the front room. That will change the area that provides access to the utility and bath rooms into common space shared with the foyer and give the front room its own dedicated identity.

    1. I agree. It probably seemed good to open that space up, but practically, having that wall from the front door be longer so that the family room became an actual rectangle, might solve some problems. Hindsight. 🙂

    2. it, sucks but i think i agree.

  114. Not sure if anyone else has suggested it but painting the bay window/nook a different colour would take away some of the narrowness of the room. It could also differentiate a kids/toy zone.

  115. I am always and forever on team Antique Emily.

  116. Antique Emily all the way 👍🏻

  117. Hmm. Will withhold judgment (because I think you & your team are brilliant), but my reaction is I think either option is going to be too dark/dreary/unwelcoming, I’m afraid. I think you are only going to want to spend time in there if you bright/happy colors. Like pink. It’s a tv/family room — you don’t need to make it so formal (?)

    1. Oh, and can you clear out whatever plants are climbing up the window?

  118. FWIW, I’m all about white leather sofas: light, beautiful, & so easy to keep clean. American Leather makes some & also I’ve noticed that Crate & Barrel has some new ones!

    I have a dark family room with no windows & getting a white leather sofa made a huge difference. It’s also great with a dog!

    1. I think the vibe of Ginny’s modern bohemian Mulholland office would work great in here, especially the lights walls & white couch. It’s small, narrow, & enclosed but still airy. The office desk could be swapped out for a kids play area or play table & chairs. I can just picture it!

      I think a white sofa would really look good here & would look good from all angles–looking into the room from various rooms & looking out from the room. I’m afraid that the green sofa, though gorgeous, would be too visually weighty for this room & for the way that it is open to the other areas in the home.

      I also think that one reason the family room in your former house (also a narrow area) looked so much better once you styled it to sell is because you got a lighter sofa.

      I think that one reason that you liked this room better when you borrowed the rolled arm sofa is that it was a lighter color, too.

  119. Team Antique Emily for sure! Not too Granny at all!

    I have to agree with all of the suggestions given here about 1. Adding a table and chairs (kid size or adult, either would be fine) by the bay window, and 2. Adding a narrow table or shelving under the TV. Having just the sofa and ottoman as the big pieces of the furniture crowded up front makes the room seem even smaller. If there were some larger pieces in the back, the room would seem bigger I think.

  120. I love antique Emily for sure! I was thinking that a good size built in bench along those windows would be great for storage and the kids/adults can climb up and read there but I know the windows go all the way to the floor.

  121. What about a built in window seat for storage and to help that awkward spot?

  122. Yeah, that is a tricky room indeed. For my eye, it’s not right to have a full size sofa on that wall. It’s jarring to have it encroach on the line of sight from the entryway and I wonder if a loveseat pushed down towards the arch and more centered in front of the TV would work better. Then, if there’s room, put a chair in the corner (where the antique cabinet is) facing towards the TV (or some other piece of furniture). If a chair fits, add a floor lamp or if there’s room, a small table with a lamp on it. (It’s hard to tell from the photos if there’s room for that.) Then see if there’s room for the antique cabinet next to the loveseat. Also, part of what seems ‘off’ is that all of the furniture is against the walls, a chair (or something) in the corner could help balance the perception of ‘long room’ and invite your eye ‘in’ to the rest of the room. I love the sconces by the window very much, but I’m bummed that they are where they are b/c I think tall, shallow, matching bookcases opposite each other (right where the sconces are) would be awesome! They could have closed cabinetry on the bottom for the kids toys and stuff and open shelving for your pretties, and/or books. I would shy away from anything that would block those beautiful windows too much b/c you really need the light in that room. Maybe a couple of low, open chairs to make it a library nook or a bench (although that might not work with your small kiddos (?) I love the antique rug– you have some beautiful rugs, serious envy over here!! I think it keeps things cohesive to continue the antique rug ‘thing’ in this room too. Can’t wait to see what you do– I know it’ll be awesome!!!

  123. Vintage Rug makes the room. Perfection.

  124. Both are beautiful. I am definitely team antique Emily. I think the vintage rug makes the whole room.

  125. 8. Find a game table for the bay window.

  126. Why don’t you swap the current dining room with this room? The long and narrow space is screaming for a dining table in the center and then in the current dining room you could put a bright TV/play spot that is then easily accessible off of the kitchen.

  127. The lighter paint is a definite improvement. I kept thinking you might end up putting the sharkskin blue in here, then I see that you ended up putting it in the laundry room. 🙂 Love it! I was definitely feeling your mustard velvet sofa vibe in here, but I’m really liking this green as well! I envisioned a comfy chair back in the nook, but if you don’t think you guys would use the room that way, then I definitely think an art table (or someone’s suggestion of an antique pedestal table) is the way to go. You managed to make your last combo TV room/play area look stylish and family-functional, I know this one will be as well. 🙂

  128. Have you considered a placing the couch on the opposite wall? So from the hallway, you would look at the TV (and maybe some camouflaging pictures around it) instead of the couch?

  129. I second the “kids love floor space” comment. This is likely why they like dragging toys to the living room. Keep this room furnished enough for adults to be comfortable in the evening, but not much more. It’s too small for lots of furniture!

  130. You were totally right about switching up the paint colors. So tricky to know what colors work in a particular house. I think the first option is loads better. I love me some granny rugs. The second rug looks a bit boring and sucks the personality out of the room. Can’t wait to read your post about when to paint a room a dark color!

  131. it looks like this room could have been a “reception” room in its past, being off the entry / hallway…..and because it’s so visible, it might be suited to visually “not there” furniture /layout (if that makes sense! ). Something like a built-in backless , slimline (but still substantial -looking) floating L-shape banquette seat running along the back wall (deep enough to sit and be comfy), removing the visual bulk when you look into the room, showing off a feature rug and opening up the walls for art and the floors for the kiddos….a deeper version of the image on the top right, and with an added benchseat cushion topper etc https://www.remodelista.com/posts/office-visit-minimalist-fireplaces-from-radd-architects/

  132. I love the sofa. Is it a custom one? The link for it goes to a rug.

  133. Hi! Where did you get your cow hide rug from?

  134. Emily, I think both of your new ideas are lovely, but most of all I wanted to say: thank you for showing us how your thinking evolves! I love hearing about not just what works well, but also what doesn’t and why.

    I can’t tell you how often I’ve asked myself, “Why can’t I just get rooms right the first time, like the pros?” It’s endlessly reassuring to know that even the pros have to try stuff, see what works, and maybe try something different. This (among many other reasons) is why I keep reading your blog.

    1. I totally agree!

  135. well, I think perhaps it should be the dining room and switch the “dining room’ into your family room.
    either way, you will make it look very good. the bay window is amazing.

  136. You are a joy to watch and read! For the rug debate, I vote for option 2 (Restoration Hatdware). The room will indeed feel fresher and your new sofa would shine like the star that it is!

  137. I love so much of this. The Wyatt sofa is going in my living room with The Citizenry leather poufs. Also, you side Current white side lamp is nearly identical to my bedroom lamps. Ha. Great minds. Also, also, you can totally rock a sheepskin. Brady is right. We have 5 and 1 year old boys. They gravitate toward ours. SO COMFY. Well done. My only confusion is the green sofa on a green rug? I just need to see it.

  138. Definitely Team Granny!

    I was also thinking a sweet love seat couch with gorgeous legs might look beautiful in front of the bay window. The 3rd picture from the bottom is a great example: http://www.decoist.com/2012-05-23/how-to-utilize-the-bay-window-space/
    This could be a little reading/library nook.
    Whatever you do will be AMAZING!

  139. Granny?! Amazing round up for that room. I’m not kidding I will buy that rug from you if it doesn’t work out. That green! I can believe I missed it from rejuvenation because I stalk rugs on the reg m

  140. Just saw your insta-story with the new color and it looks fantastic! The new color flows so much better, and the sharkskin…LOVE! I think once you have the antique rug in the room it will pull the other colors together better than the modern one.

  141. I’m no designer by any stretch of the imagination and while I prefer the look of the antique rug I wonder if the lighter rug would help the room not feel as dark. I’m definitely one of those that have to see it to decide though!

  142. I am , lovingly, against you. Fresh and clean please. I think it was Ariel whom stated that one more antique rug is” redundant”. Plus you have an antique rug in the hallway. For your sanity and your children’s ability to play with contentment an ease, an indoor outdoor rug is the way to go. As someone ready to pull my hair out ( it’s already a pixie) I struggled for 3 years w/ rug fear. My husband caught me checking for stains on my hands and knees many times. Not good…Now I have 3 indoor outdoor rugs from Ballard and they are worry free. They have experienced and survived many varied bodily fluids. The made in Belgium ones have varied patterns to avoid the boring factor. I completely agree with the table and chairs under the windows. Not only can the children do crafts, they can also look at nature, make treats for the birds etc. As for furniture, what about two comfortable chairs and a table in-between freeing up valuable floor space. Remember the adults have the gorgeous fireplace room for relaxation. 😉

  143. Option 1 is warm and lovely, although the curtain fabric does read granny. Echoing what others have said:

    Close the room off and give it a proper door. The biggest problem is that it’s too much a part of the entry/hall right now. It will feel better visually and give you more flexibility. When you have the option of two living spaces, I would always go for one open and one closed. It gives you the ability to close a door when the TV is blaring, when you need a private escape, or when it doubles as a guest room.

    Mount the TV in a shelving unit with open and closed storage. A large art piece over the sofa rather than a gallery wall. You’ll have enough “clutter” on the shelving unit.

    If it didn’t have to accommodate play space, I’d say place a desk in the bay to double as a home office. (Again, a door allows for quiet and privacy in that scenario.) It could always transition to a kid’s hangout when they get older and start hosting friends.

  144. Or why not make it a total kids space? Like, over the top, every kid on the block can’t resist, best playroom ever? These years fly by so so so fast and in 5 years or so, your family probably won’t need a dedicated kids space and you can adult all you want.

  145. Antique rug all the way!! Your team has good taste, but their styles are all pretty different from yours. Don’t let them steer you away from what you really want! (Plus, the antique oriental will look so much cozier).

    Is there a reason you don’t want to use the same wall color’s as the rooms around it? J/w.

    1. I meant color, not “color’s.”

  146. it feels too.man.cave because of.all.the.mid tone wood , leather plus. de.green and the neutrals. feels. like.there.is.colour.and joy missing. I know you re going. more traditional with this house but you can pump it up a bit. Plus, definitely some small.chairs.and table in the window nook .it is the perfect spot.for little.ones. Add some red,.coral, whatever. .but.make.it.more.inviting for children and family.

  147. What about a little window bench like this: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/363806476133581150/

    And built ins bookshelves on either side up to the end of the cut outs? Does that make any sense at all? I’ve always wanted a little reading nook and it seems like it would make the room feel much shorter.

    I’m a fan of the vintage rug also – doesn’t feel too stodgy but I think it would make the ivy feel atmospheric – like an old timey professor’s office.

  148. I haven’t taken the time to read all 297 comments before me, so forgive me if this has already been addressed! What do you do with your flatscreen cords? Are they buried in the wall? It kills me that you have all that kind of stuff figured out for your “just getting used to living in the new house” room, while my husband has taken years to deal with this issue for us! I’m secretly hoping you guys photoshopped them out! 🙂 xo

  149. I love the antique rug, but I was wondering if mid century round white and gold sconces would update and balance out the “granny” potential? Since the rest is so traditional, I thought that could add quirk while maintaining the overall English traditional look. Just an idea, you are the pro and everything you do is beautiful!

  150. I like both rugs but the grey outdoor rug sounds like it might be polyestery and will zap everyone playing on it.
    How about an armchair as well, in the nook end? In mustard 🙂

  151. I look at your empty room and see a beautiful grand piano in front of those ceiling of floor windows.

  152. To me this room looks like an obvious office, next to front entry. Big chair in front of window, desk and then two facing club chairs or something. Sorry to throw in my two cents:)

  153. That blue wall color is so pretty! I see why you chose it. I feel like you could possibly still make it work if you painted the portion surrounding the barn door and closet door in the same color as the entryway. Then the blue would start on the wall to the right of the sofa, in a more contained space. But moving lighter and brighter for the whole room will also look great.

    I adore the sofa you chose, and the first (antique) rug looks gorgeous too. In that little window nook, what about a fab desk facing into the room with an upholstered office chair? With slim shelves on either side, it becomes a little office/library/homework nook. Or you could go a little boho with comfy floor pillows and poofs and make it a cozy reading/play nook with some toy storage.

    Whatever you choose, I’m sure it will look amazing! Your house is stunning.

  154. Emily, you need to look at London houses on Pinterest – so many of them have narrow sitting rooms with bay windows! I think the main issue with this room is that you’re thinking of one big item of furniture and keeping the rest quite spare. That means you’re not using the bay window which is a bit of a shame, and the space feels very lifeless at the moment. Embrace the small space! Look at something like this: a tiny room but it feels warm and welcoming. https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/ae/fe/1a/aefe1a579261117837fc947443e88e6e.jpg

  155. I read through the rest of these comments and wanted to point out that you’re brave! I’m not saying anyone’s comments were mean or anything – just that it’s a LOT of ideas to process, a LOT of opinions. That would totally overwhelm me and make me second-guess everything if I were in your shoes. HOWEVER, you handle it all wonderfully! I very much appreciate your comments and responses to all of these. You’ve obviously thought about everysingleoption, and your responses make this room so REAL. A common theme that I’ve always notices in comments in the past has been “yeah, but my room has this problem or that problem, how do I style that?!? Can’t you do more real-life designs?” and this room takes it to that point. Real house, real problems, still do-able! It’ll take more brain cells and might take years off your life. But you’ll get it. And we’ll all get to learn from the process. 🙂

    1. I was thinking the exact same thing! You must be so tough and strong of character Emily!!! You’re such an amazing example!!!

    2. I was thinking this, too! Emily, you are brave – and you take the feedback SO well (not that any of this particular post’s feedback was mean). You are a good example to me, also. I want to be this gracious and open and accommodating and fearless and accepting of opinions.

      It also opens my mind to how there is no end of different ideas that different minds think of. We must have heard 50-100 distinct plans that a certain mind thinks is best! It’s just so interesting and creative of everyone.

      I don’t have any alternate idea to state. I really appreciate your information, Emily, and I enjoyed reading the comments, too.

  156. Emily,
    I really like your style and I think I prefer Option 1. Whichever way you decide to go, I know it will work. Have to admit that it’s refreshing to see that designers get stuck, too! I think that it’s often easier to decorate someone else’s home than our own! But you are the ones who live in and use the room. I do love the green sofa so I hope that you use that color, even if you decide to use some other seating option. I like both rugs but am personally not a fan of light, solid colored rugs with children and pets. My only other comment about the room is that it would be great to figure out a way to add book shelves, maybe in white. To me, the room is just right for them. You have a beautiful LR so this room is not an extension but should have it’s own personality.

    One other comment about the ivy: I love the look of it but I’ve heard that little critters like to build nests in it! My daughter recently bought an old home (older than yours) with an ivy covered, retaining stone wall about 8 feet tall that spanned the length of their back yard. I bravely cut it all down (was quite a project) and sure enough, found a couple of old nests….not sure what they were because I didn’t get too close!

  157. First, I wanted to say that I’m in love with that vintage rug. It’s beautiful and functional for kids – just so much more interesting than the outdoor rug. Second, I love that blue but you are completely correct in needing to change it because of the flow.

    Finally, I wanted to say that I’m really disappointed in the people wanting to change the function of the room (the no sofa in that room comments). Clearly you have already decided on the function of this room based off of what YOUR family wants and needs. YOU live here. You LIVE here – it’s not only about design. No one lives in a house that is only about design. Part of a designers job is to make things beautiful of course, but also FUNCTIONAL for the people living in the space. Anyways, I’m excited to see what you come up with and the final product. I know whatever you chose will be both beautiful and functional for your family.

  158. Team Emily! The new rug does ‘freshen’ it up a lot, but it loses all the soul. Modern art and accessories would make it perfect.

  159. I like antique emily 🙂 b/c you do it in a fresh and happy way. Btw, since you’ll be doing a post on when to use dark paints, I would also LOVE a post on how to style a dark room to help it feel happy and fresh, because…I inadvertently moved into an apartment that, while lovely, is basically dark as late evening in the dining room, and two out of three bedrooms feel like mid-winter Alaska year round, and it is so sad (PSA: don’t take an apartment if you’ve only viewed it at night – should be obvious, but when you’re in a fast-paced market sometimes you lose your head a little and jump on the chance to live somewhere decent before you’re out on the street, so to speak). Anyway, I’m used to lots of light, so I’m doing mental gymnastics trying to figure out how to live here without year round SAD.

  160. i love the granny rug!

  161. Team Antique Emily. The antique rug makes the whole space feel much warmer and more inviting. The other would be fine, but it feels a bit generic.

    What is happening with the window nook? Because it seems an obvious place for a kid’s table. Alternatively, a reading nook with a wide chair big enough for two.

  162. I’m dying to play around with your floor plan here. This is definitely an awkward room. I have several suggestions.

    1. Build a bench into the window area for day-dreaming. Put drawers in the bottom for toy storage, maybe built-in (low) bookcases on the flat portion where the sconces are. We have a window seat (planning on two more actually) and it’s one of the favourite spots in the house with both us and the kids (11m and 4y).

    2. If you want to avoid the dark hole feeling that you have — I don’t think the dark wood, dark sofa, dark rug elements are going to help AT ALL. As others have pointed out– the combo is amazing, but I don’t think either really work for what you want — a cozy hang-out spot. The colours scream “I am an old antique library and so very very serious!” It’s all lovely — but not happy.

    I’m super interseted to see what you come up with!

  163. I scrolled through all the comments, but I may have missed it if someone already asked about fabric. I have been looking for a nice green velvet fabric for a pair of chairs. Can you share which fabric you will be using for your custom sofa, you mentioned it was durable. With kids and pets I need durable. Thanks!

    1. Silk velvet is fabulous to the feel and drape, but I can’t speak to it’s durability. Probably not the best for kids and pets, though.

  164. Ok so not to sound like a crazy commenter but you mentioning the window frames disintegrating got me thinking. I’m not sure how old your house is, or when the last time the frame were painted but maybe look into having those tested for lead? Again, I don’t want to sound overly paranoid lol and I’m sure there’s probably people on here who have a much better idea about this than me, but that little red mental flag did pop up. Lead paint used to be very popular for painting window frames and it can cause some very serious health problems in small children. So maybe I’m over thinking it and I apologize for that, I don’t want to alarm you or upset you but it might be worth looking into. Then again if this is something they checked during the inspection you’re probably fine but again, I’m not an expert 🙂

  165. I am annoying but this is a big pet peeve of mine; I can’t go on without attempting to let you know: the phrase is “fleshed out” not “flushed out.”

    PS. I love the vintage rug. Pairing it with the clean lined sofa and modern/graphic art keeps it from skewing granny IMO.

    I love and respect you forever and ever!!!

  166. I get that as a blue-eyed blond you would favor the blues in your home, however it would offer a nice contrast to occasionally use warm contrasts, such as replacing the blue-green art with with sunset colors to warm the space up.
    Also, be warned that in our state (Washington) ivy is on the “thug” list. Hard to believe you could kill it.

  167. Antique Emily, definitely.

  168. Too bad you aren’t on the east coast. I am looking to sell this dresser from my son’s nursery (featured here on AT). When you open the dresser doors, the left side is entirely drawers.

  169. Both boards look great already. Would love if the antique rug worked in person since it’s really beautiful but the other option will be wonderful too if not. Your blog is so great and it’s cool that you’re so democratic and respond to so many comments, it’s nice for us to feel so close to the centre of the action! Love seeing all the updates to your house and the sidestep to a more traditional style is just getting more and more addictive to watch. Thanks for everything!

  170. The ” nook” at the end of the room, could you give it more of a purpose with some white on white texture/ or grey on grey: ship lap/ paneling, neutral wall paper .. those windows say plants/ planters to me . One or 2 comfy swivel chairs or a hanging chair / Serena and Lilly or find the next trend. Kids zone, tent or tables lasts next 3-5 years?.
    Art wall around the tv so the tv isn’t the focus. Antique rug has more visual texture depth and interest for me/ fits period of the house.
    Best of luck!

  171. I think that window nook cries out to be a designated away place. Where you are connected but can do your own thing. Like play lego, make art, make music, have a picnic on the floor. Almost like a room within a room where grown ups can sit and watch tv while kids play in the secure nook. Easy to monitor a toddler there too. Just my two cents.

  172. First, your idea with vintage rug is beautiful. However, I’ll be honest and say that I personally would never invest in a bottle green sofa. The trend is too new in my opinion. For expensive pieces, better go with something that will age well… Green is the color of the year according to Pantone… And next year it will be something else. I understand you style for you, for a magazine, your portfolio, so that’s fine. But for the general public who will probably keep their decor longer….

    Do you think bottle green like this will continue to be as popular as other more ‘standard’ color in decoration? Like blue? Grey, beige, etc?

    To go the green route, I’d stay with accessories and paint… Easier to update when the bottle green trend goes away…

  173. Would it be bananas to get a custom U-shaped sofa made that fits into the bay? Like a 70’s conversation pit minus the pit. Then the TV could go on the wall with the thermostat and the kids would have tons of floor space for playing.

    Whatever you pick, thanks for letting us chime in. It’s comforting to know that even the pros agonize over rooms that just won’t behave.

  174. Antique Emily all the way! Cozy (which is what you’re going for) and true to the character of the house…I love it with the sofa and drapes. I even like it if it turns out to sort of blend into the flooring – after seeing how open that room actually is to the rest of the house, I feel like the whole “antique Emily” look speaks better to the kitchen and doesn’t fight with the blue direction of the living room.

  175. My vote is to take out the couch, and put two nice comfy club chairs with a table in the bay window area, and put a rug down in the foreground and have it be nice neutral empty space. I know you would love the functionality of having a TV room there, but it would draw the eye out to the end of the room. I’m a fan of having some negative space in a house, especially a house with kids! You could put your closed toy storage in that foreground section. I know you won’t go for it because of the TV issue but…I think it would look so great and flow so well. Good luck Emily!

  176. I think the feel of the room could be greatly improved by eliminating all remaining ivy leaves/vines/roots and cleaning/freshening the windows as much as possible until you can replace them. The vines and leaves and clumps and cloudiness of the windows bring the whole room kind of “down” in my opinion. Totally understand wanting to preserve established ivy on the exterior, but I think any vines in front of windows have to go, even if you risk losing the all the growth outside (and you may be surprised what comes back after a hard prune that maybe could be trained around windows?).I want the ivy to be magical secret gardenish vibe but for me in front of those windows it’s more like visiting the Adams family… Love the couch and antique (go granny!) rug and curtains. Thank you for sharing your work and process – I really look forward to all your posts.

  177. I really like the antique rug inspiration board. It pairs really well with the architectural style of the home. It seems like people keep bringing up the differences between your design now and then. I don’t think it’s fair to be put in a box just because this is different from something that you would have chosen at your last home. They are such different spaces but equally as beautiful and unique. People also grow and change as they enter different phases of their life… this is a good thing, it’s more worrisome if you were the exact same person doing the exact same thing you were 5 years ago.

    In regards to the room layout (for which our opinions you did not ask.. or did you? I can’t remember now) :
    I understand the archway actually cannot be removed because the spaces are two different sizes and dimensions….That being said, what about furring out just the sofa wall so it becomes flush with the alcove, this might be the wrong terminology but bare with me. I know the room is narrow and the last thing you want is to take away from the space, but bringing the wall in those couple inches on one side to create one elevation could really help furniture placement and the functionality of the room. Doing that and making the ceiling flush may make the space seem larger- visually it would seem like one space rather than two smaller ones. You wouldn’t have to touch the television wall since it doesn’t really effect the furniture layout. Also, I don’t have kids so I may be totally biased with this thought- but to me that alcove is calling for a chaise lounge. I wouldn’t move from that spot!

    Either way, the room is really cozy and inviting and the paint color alone will make a world of difference. You will make everything come together in the end, and it will seem like it was meant to be that way all along, you always do!

    1. Nice is nice to set family room thanks, now i Got an idea to do some thing new by http://www.msbte.info thanks

  178. It may look less stark if you paint the hall (door wall and visual from the front door) white like the rest and left just the room walls blue.

  179. Team Antique Emily! I don’t think it will look at all “granny.” I can’t wait to see the finished product!

  180. Absolutely Antique Emily! I love the rug in this space.

  181. I’m a bit late getting on the band wagon, but here’s my five pennies worth anyway. I remember years ago painting my previous large lounge that same colour. After a few weeks I had to repaint it it all, I felt oppressed without realising why. Blue can be intense and oppressive and make you feel depressed even if the rest of the house feels cheerful. I also think you have that lovely bay window which you’re not really making much use it. It seems such a waste to put a side board in front of it. If you had a smallish snug sofa to fit this bay it would definitely be a curl up space to read plus you can look out the window and your view point would be looking towards the dining/kitchen room area instead of a large blank wall with a TV on it. I also think the sofa is slightly big for the room especially as it seems from the photos that there isn’t much space between the footstool and the wall where the tv hangs.

  182. I have found that in the course of raising kids and pets…. plus drinking red wine (me… not the kids or pets!!!) I’ve never regretted the interior rugs that are indoor/outdoor. And. I’ve cursed myself for those (expensive) lovely indoor rugs I’ve tried to slip under the nose of this family. Only to find myself trying to remove some stain.

  183. I would love some hanging chairs in that window and then maybe two comfy chairs facing them with toy storage on the wall that you can’t see from the foyer. Painting the frames so that they disappear and blend in with the walls is a great idea that someone else mentioned.

  184. Hi Emily…I’ve been thinking about paint colours – it’s Autumn here in Australia and I’m considering going green in our kitchen. With paint colours always on my mind, your dark walls came to mind and what if you painted that room THE SAME COLOUR AS THE BOTTOM OF YOUR KITCHEN ISLAND??? Continuity and helps create that peaceful room you’re looking for! What do you think???

  185. I know this is the opposite of your current plan, but I have to say that I feel this room is just begging to be an office or library with floor to ceiling bookshelves on both walls, and lots of symmetry to complement the beautiful window and to be easy on the eyes.

  186. Sure am glad you’re painting the walls. With al the trendy fixturees and the abundance of “vintage modern” I’m losing all sense of the original character of the Tudor architecure.

  187. The first options feels so much cozier to me! I’m all for antique Emily. I also think built in bookshelves would look amazing on that TV wall!

  188. I think you should pick the rug that speaks to you. If the only thing that changed your opinion about it is what someone said, to me, that’s not nearly enough reason to choose something different. I think it is simply gorgeous. How are you going to hang the curtains with the way the windows for in that space? I think you have a darling, unique home 😍

  189. hi Emily
    Long time reader- first time commenter!
    Love the antique/granny vibe. To keep with the architecture and your original comment about cozy and playing up the fact that this room is different- how about pushing it further?
    Consider pushing the ‘sofa’ into the window area like a window bench, shift the TV wall onto the opposite wall and build it into a library wall instead? And maybe just that millwork gets a wallpaper backdrop?
    All the best – the house is lovely!!

  190. I’d put a game table and four comfy dining type chairs in front of that window. But a cute more modern type, almost breakfast like table but chairs that encouraged extended sitting. Like plop down and drink tea while flipping through a magazine or doing a crossword or later on for the kids to do a puzzle or play a board game.

  191. Obviously your blimp painting from your old house needs to go on the wall over the sofa. Hope you didn’t sell it 😉

  192. I see this space becoming what the windows and walls are projecting – a secret indoor garden / Great Expectations styled room – a little vintage granny, some old books and paintings but lots of plants and tropical overgrowth. I think it could still hold a t.v. and a children’s area as well. I think working with the ivy and the wall texture as a starting off point would work really well.

Comments are closed.

Go To Top