You guys! It’s me, Orlando! I’m working on a number of projects up at my parents’ house and I’m sharing the step-by-step here! I’ve already blabbed to you about the totally fun kitchen reno I’m working on for them (Mini-update: we finally got our permits and demo starts this week! I underestimated how insanely slow the permitting process in Sonoma County is). This week I’m here to talk to you about their living room, which we decided to tackle because it’s adjacent to the kitchen and we’re basically turning the whole room into one big family hangout room. They moved into this house about four years ago, out of the house I grew up in in Yosemite National Park. They brought most of their furniture with them and have been trying to make it work in their new house. But the tiny craftsman bungalow I was raised in was a far cry from their new house, both in style and scale, so a lot of the furniture isn’t a match for their new house.
Before I say anything, I should say that I actually love my parents’ taste and everything they have. They’ve been collecting art and objects forever and have a wonderful treasure trove of smalls to choose from. They’ve done a few great things in their home already, including painting over the gross beige colors the developer-flippers put in before they moved in. They also replaced the carpet with warm maple hardwood floors. They chose a color I was a little perplexed by but ended up loving. The reason I was confused is that it was my dad’s idea and his style is much more traditional/Craftsman than my mom, who likes more modern/contemporary stuff. The light Scandinavian style of the wood floor makes the home look way brighter, but calls into question the large amount of more traditional looking furniture.
As it is right now, this room is a joyful place. My siblings and I love coming over because it’s such a bright happy house. While it may not be super polished right now, it’s a comfortable and welcoming place we love to hang out in. My goal with this makeover is to increase the amount of seating, make it much more loungey, and get rid of some of the heavy/wonky pieces of furniture that my parents bought years ago and no longer are into. Keep in mind that the wall with the sliding doors is going away once the kitchen remodel happens and that whole side of the room is going to be a breakfast bar that looks out over the kitchen.
One of the more obnoxious details in the room is the diagonal fireplace. I’m wondering if these will make a comeback. I’m not a fan of them. I wanted to take the doors off but my parents were worried my niece or nephew might fall in so we’re leaving them for now. A fun fact about me is that I grew up in the forest in a house heated by a wood stove, so my parents hate fireplaces now because they got so sick of how messy and annoying it was to heat their house with one. They thought about ripping this one out but it was going to cost too much and also seemed like a weird thing to remove in case they ever want to sell. So for now the lame fireplace is staying. I’m hoping to figure out some good styling for it that makes it a bit more elegant. Maybe I’ll add a festive basket!
We’ve had the sofa and the loveseat for as long as I can remember. They’ve gone through so many patterns at this point. I think they both started off floral. Now both are a pale grey. They’re fine, but I think we could use something less heavy, not slipcovered, and more structural in here.
Just so you know what my parents were working with, this is what it looked like before they moved in. This is the BEFORE before pic. Gross carpet, cheesy 1977 brick fireplace, nasty furniture. They’ve done A TON to make the room look way better. The whole house was that beige color. HELP!
As a refresher, this is the general style of the kitchen. We’re knocking down a huge wall and making it span the entire side of the room. We’re installing a giant peninsula filled with storage so my mom can finally have a place to put her five million kitchen gagets. The style of the kitchen is transitional traditional, with shaker cabinets and other traditional nods combined with a few contemporary touches and an insanely luxurious Bertazzoni range.
The layout of the space will be designed to allow flow through the room but also as much seating as possible. I’m most excited about the sectional from Interior Define, which is going to add way more seating while creating a better layout than the current, choppy one. Behind it, we’re going to add a custom bookcase from Hedge House that will serve the dual purpose being a resting place for lamps AND storing toys for my niece and nephew, who come over all the time and basically destroy everything by pulling their toys out and throwing them all over the place. I did this rendering in a rush in order to figure out sofa size, so the wall with the TV is missing (don’t worry, in real life the sofa won’t just be facing a giant hole in the side of the house!).
Resources: Painting (by me), Vintage Art and Accessories, Wall Color Alaskan Husky by Benjamin Moore, Modern Marble Table Lamps, Douglas Bookcase from Hedge House, Caitlin Sofa from Interior Define, Reclaimed Coffee Table, Grey Wool Blend Rug, Lacquer Media Console, Round Basket, Stickley China Hutch, Eye Clock, Loveseat, Ceramic Table Lamp, Vintage Tea Chest.
My parents have had this Stickley china hutch forever, and they love it. It is a really beautiful piece that seems slightly lost in their 1977 modern house, so I’m going to add in a few more warm wooden accents to tie it back in. My mom has these beautiful tea chests from her childhood in Japan that make excellent side tables so we will use those again. And we snagged a new mission style coffee table from The Mine. I haven’t chosen the loveseat yet and I’m not sure what I’m going to put in there yet. I’d like something leather but it’s going right next to that china hutch and it seems like a lot of warm brown for one side of the room. I want it to be the kind of loveseat you can kick your feet up in, so I’m going to look into some cozy velvet/linen options.
My parents had the living room painted Alaskan Husky by Benjamin Moore before they moved in. It’s a really great grey, warm but not muddy. Very bright, fresh, and clean.
We’re going with the beautiful Caitlin Sectional from Interior Define because it was the perfect combo of contemporary and traditional. We’re doing a large size to get as much seating room as possible. I’m so excited to see this in the space because it’s going to completely change the vibe. We ordered like 20 fabric samples and thought about doing this in so many colors, but I love the simple bright fabric we chose (color is Linen Pebble Weave). So long, granny sofa!
We are doing a customized version of Hedge House’s Douglas Bookcase to store all my niece and nephews living room toys (there are other toys hidden in multiple places throughout the house). The bottom row of shelves will be drawers to hide toys .The upper shelves will be styled with books and objects (my parents have plenty of both). We’ll be adding these cute Target lamps on top to help give the room some low, warm light.
I drew a lot of inspiration from this old project of Emily’s (that I actually helped out on years ago!). The combination of the pretty grey walls, a contemporary sofa, and lots of mid-century and traditional furniture gives it the kind of natural eclectic look I’m going for at my parents’ house. Theirs will be slightly more Craftsman influenced, but the comfy, cozy vibe will be the same.
So there we have it! That’s the plan. The kitchen renovation is due to be finished by December 1 so I’m hoping to finish the living room by then as well (I’ve already ordered the sofa and the bookcase is in progress, I need to get on ordering everything else!). Next I’ll be sharing the fun update I’m doing in the guest bedroom. It’s going much more luxe and inviting. STAY TUNED YOU GUYS! Okay bye.
***Photos Courtesy Emily Henderson and Robert Stilin