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Design

Living Room Update – AGAIN – Our New Sofa, My Dream Floral Chaise And The Pop Of Red I Always Wanted In My Life

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This room. My beautiful, bright charming problem child of a room needs more care and attention (and thought) than any of the others. Why? WHY? It’s such a pretty room!!!??? I’m blaming the children and my intense need for comfort and practicality these days. But historically I’ve blamed the old sofa, the bright rug (then the neutral rug) and at one point I even said: “there are just too many windows!” Ha, impossible. Slowly but surely we are getting there and I’m officially the happiest YET. Of course, my needs/wants have shifted even more because after living so minimally up in the mountains, with nary an accessory in sight other than a pillow or two, I realize how much easier it is to live and parent with less stuff to style and put away. So trying to bring that minimalism to my desired “eccentric English grandma” adds another challenge – she is historically NOT minimal. So with less booked shoots and partnerships, plus some new pieces to show off, it felt like a good time to style out a few rooms (plus I was dying to style/shoot – safely of course). You saw the kids shared room reveal last week (thank you for all your wonderful support – I’m SO happy with it) and today we have a living room update, yet again. It’s Groundhog Day here, but perhaps it’s just GROUNDHOG YEAR.

But one can not give you a proper EHD update without recounting the drama of this room’s sordid past. So let’s revisit the history of this living room over the last three years.

photo by tessa neustadt | from: our modern english tudor living room

Version #1 – 2017. The Busy/Messy English Great Granny. Admittedly this version actually “works” the best visually in photos, and yet it’s not my favorite (thus the need to dedicate the next three years of my life to getting it right). One reader pointed out why this works (in 2019) and it’s because the heaviness of the rug balances out the beams. Oh, I wish I had read that comment (or had that thought myself) before I bought our new rug which I LOVE and is the softest rug in the entire actual world (it’s plush + 1/2″ memory foam – its an absolute dream to lay on and creates so much more seating without more furniture) Sadly it’s no longer available. But this 1st version also had/has too much stuff for me. When it was perfectly styled (for this one day in 2017) it was beautiful, but otherwise it was just too much stuff to put away, too many plants to keep alive, and yes a bit too ornate, busy and traditional for me – without the edge that for some reason I think I have. It felt too busy and colorful, but that was also when I had two very small kids and my life felt extremely chaotic so I had to reduce the visual noise. NOW, if I could go back in time I would have NOT sold that rug so I could try it with the new sofa and less “stuff” and that might actually be the winning combo but I wanted to work with this new rug and see if I could make it work. Next up…

photo by sara ligorria-tramp| from: my living room update

In 2018 I switched out the rug for this more neutral one and we all agreed that its calmer, but for whatever reason didn’t work. The styling on this shoot was a bit stiff, too… So a month later I reshot it with better/looser styling…

photo by ryan liebe | from: our updated living room

I did like it more, for sure, but man, just not that happy with it. At the time I blamed the sofa (first the rug, then the sofa – who is next?? too much beautiful natural light??). So I happened to still have this sectional from Article that I staged in our Glendale house, and figured it was worth a shot. Maybe a more modern streamlined sofa was the solution.

photo by sara ligorria-tramp| from: a quick update: the changes i’ve made to my la living room

2019 – The Contemporary Eclectic? This is starting to feel like a stretch. I admit that this works, but we were actually back to a “lot of stuff” to deal with in order to make that room sing. Picture this room without the flowers/branches and 9 pillows on the sofa. I think it might not really be that exciting. Why? Because the sofa and the rug are the same color, i.e. no contrast and it felt off-balance with the chairs. One of those two things needed to pop a bit more and I didn’t want to have to style out those pillows every day. No… I wanted a statement sofa, something special… And after a year of shopping, I finally ordered this amazing bright Lawson Fenning sofa that makes me smile every time I see it, sit on it, stare at it, etc. I’ve only spent a week with it since we aren’t even living in this house, but I just love it so much. So this is where we are today and when I was in the room I LOVED it.

2020. Here we are – new sofa, new pop of red and the chaise lounge that I’ll keep for the rest of my life. Maybe I’ll call it the “Almost Off Her Rocker But Like Not Really Eclectic Grandma” – not really that weird, I can admit, but in person it’s just enough and when I added more stuff, it just felt like more to put away at the end of the day. I’m wondering if I’m losing my “stylist” label because I’m increasingly not into “stuff” which is the actual calling card of being a stylist. Instead, I’m opting for some super special pieces that don’t actually want much on them – The sofa, red chair, and the chaise are the statements that bring me so much joy, and adding color back in makes me so happy. I missed my blues and greens and shant ever stray from them (except in a month when I change my mind).

My New Sofa

Sofa | Sofa Fabric (via Cryton)| Black Lamp | Double Sconce | Picture Sconce | Striped Footed Bowl (no longer available) | White Lamp | Trunk (vintage) | Rug (no longer available)

That sofa. Oh I love it. It’s from Lawson Fenning, called the Moreno and reupholstered in Crypton fabric, Salute. Now we tweaked the dimensions to make it more ergonomic so if you want to order it from Lawson Fenning ask them for my dimensions instead of what is on their site (I believe the back height is just a few inches higher and the arm height is a few inches lower). It is just so pretty and the shape of the arms are so simple but special. I wanted to have a brighter, happier color and this powder blue is actually brighter than I remembered ordering, but I’m even HAPPIER.

Hot Tip

A small swatch of fabric looks different than the same fabric in a huge sofa.

Side Table | Coffee Table (no longer available) | Ceramic Tray | Kava Bowl (vintage)

I was so tempted to put in more “stuff” but then I remembered that I want clean and fresh and purposeful. Maybe that’s my 2021 Post Pandemic attitude – “Clean. Fresh. Purposeful”. WHO WILL WE ALL BE ANYWAY AFTER THIS???

White Candleholder (no longer available) | Art by Melinda Forster | Roman Shades

The Chairs are Back…

Accent Chairs | Lumbar Pillows | Trunk (vintage) | Black Vase | Curtains

We brought back those Target chairs I just can’t quit because I like how it lightened up the space. I didn’t think that the dark gray ones would work as well with the blue sofa (but they might be fine) and I tried a bunch of different vintage chairs to see what would work but it just was too busy. To be fair they might have looked good in a photo but it just felt too much for me. I’d love to invest in some super special vintage chairs, but tbh these are so simple and good, a great scale and remarkably comfortable. Plus, I love the open wood arm – the chaise is really the statement so three heavily upholstered pieces in a row wouldn’t have let that beautiful piece POP.

My Dressed Up Vintage Chaise

Chaise (vintage) | Fabric | Floor Lamp (vintage) | Neutral Textured Mixed Media Painting

There she is. Ready for the ball. In case you have forgotten who she was before, I bought her from Jayson Home over 4 years ago in the original vintage fabric and fringe from the 1800s (she’s FRONCH) until it basically fell apart. Here she was BEFORE…

photo by tessa neustadt | from: our modern english tudor living room

The shape is just so pretty and it has a really lovely petite scale that is still super comfortable. But after springs started popping up I put it in storage and started shopping for her new skin. I searched for a year for the perfect floral fabric and I FOUND IT.

The fabric is from House of Hackney out of, yes England and it’s incredibly stunning in person. The color combo could NOT be more perfect – it has that vintage-y vibe, in a modern unexpected way. The caramel flowers against the teal reminds me so much of my favorite pillow seen below. Buildlane restored it, refinished it, and reupholstered that beauty and they did an amazing job (like always). No more springs in my back when I’m trying to read The Vanishing Half (so good).

I’ve always loved florals more than most, but they are still HARD to get right. This floral has never been more right. It is splurgy and don’t try to knock it off (there is a reason it’s so splurgy) but for an investment piece like this I can’t recommend House of Hackney’s collection more – totally timeless high-quality English florals. I bought that lamp at a thrift store up here for $40 or so and then added the black shade to ensure what is an apparent necessity – that every single lamp of mine is black (except for the Schoolhouse lamp with the blue shade I’ve had forever on the piano). Onto my next favorite vignette …

Painted Portrait (vintage) | White Lamp | Trunk (vintage) | “Century” Book | Balloon Chair (vintage) | Striped Vase

Remember the trunk I bought at the Downtown Modernism flea market? I thought that it was a regret as it sat in the garage for a year, but once I realized I wanted more antique/vintage in here I brought it in and the green/brass added a lot of soul. Once combined with the Puritan oil painting (from 1730 – seriously), the modernist lamp, and BOOM that red leather balloon chair from Chairish and it felt pulled together, but unexpected. I added a vase from Justina Blakeney (the black and white stripe on the top shelf) and tried to restrain myself on the shelf styling but could probably take it down another 7%.

That chair brings me all sorts of guttural happiness. It’s red but not crazy bright. It’s round and graphic, with wood arms and black legs and it speaks to me. My new footed bowl (because I needed another one) is from EcoVibe – a new resource for me that has a ton of cute pieces.

MY PILLOW IS BACK. I made that floral pillow when I was 24, out of vintage fabric from the 60s and 15 (FINE 17) years later it still brings me a lot of happiness – maybe even more as I get older. I suppose it’s an OG EHD piece that will never leave, so I really had to work it into this room. I combined it with a tasseled pillow and blanket from EcoVibe. As I wrote about earlier in this post, I didn’t have enough black-owned businesses represented in my house so after I called myself out, and went on a personal shopping spree while researching posts, I styled out these pieces here and love them. The side table is from 54 kibo, the pillow/throw from EcoVibe, and the candlestick via Jungalow.

As we turn around we can see the piano and dining room and just in case you didn’t know that all the doors opened up to that dream of a patio (will never not be in love with it), we went ahead and opened them up.

I suppose I’ll hoard that vintage leather trunk forever. It’s been in 4 different rooms which shows its true versatility/my addictive nature to rearranging. The Entler lamp on top makes it feel more modern IMHO. The MQuan bells are holding strong after 6 years, and that flea market grayish cabinet is still one of my favorites. Slowly but surely you can see that things aren’t changing as much as they used to. I’m really starting to create an inventory that I won’t ever let go of.

I would LOVE to try a darker rug at some point but “trying” a 10×14 rug takes like 2 people and 3 hours. I do think that one with more weight would add that grounding that we need and balance out the beams, but it’s not happening right now.

MQuan Bells

So there we are – an update, a sofa/chaise/red chair show and tell… Rearranging was SO MUCH FUN. It was the definition of “Style, Play, Every Day” that makes me really miss our day to day job.

So what do you think? I know that some of you wished that we would have pushed further and for others, this might be too far already. I suppose what I feel like is a huge win is having pieces that I’m obsessed with and knowing that when you put things that you LOVE together in a room typically they work, even if they “don’t work”. One of the best pieces of advice that I learned from my styling mentor/boss Cindy Diprima was “pretty always looks good next to pretty”. Of course, there are exceptions but I think the overtime collecting is working in this room and it’s starting to really come alive, in a restrained way which is livable for us. Maybe a darker vintage rug would look amazing. Maybe two vintage chairs instead of the Target chairs would balance out the sofa more (I’ve literally spent HOURS searching for open wood armed chairs that are big enough to balance out the sofa, but not “chunky” and it’s hard!). Ok, let’s talk about it. xx

In case you missed any of the other reveals so far check them out: The Kid’s Shared Bedroom | The Basement Guestroom/Office | Basement BathroomElliot’s Room | Kitchen and Dining Room | The Entry | The Front Yard

**Final Reveal Photos by Sara Ligorria-Tramp

Fin Mark

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Anon

This definitely seems like the freshest version – so pretty!! Still obsessed with that wooden coffee table after all these years and those target chairs are true work horses. Would definitely like to see that original red rug back…talk about statement pieces…sigh. Glad you lightened up the fireplace side by getting rid of some tables back there, and also glad not to see that black and white art over the fireplace – I know you loved it, and that’s what art is for, but it was VERY distracting in photos. The chaise lounge is GORGEOUS (I’ve been toying with the idea of recovering an antique chair and would love to read an article from someone who has done a diy version on here), but not quite sure it’s working with the rest of the room… maybe just a nice plant in that corner? Overall, seems much more playful and classic EHD. ☺️

thank you!! I absolutely love it in the corner, but I think that’s because I would love it anywhere. I so wish I had the red rug back, too. maybe we can photoshop it and see if its worth trying to track one down?

Vicki Williams

Great idea about photoshopping that rug! . I loved that rug so much. I’m loving this latest version. Except for the rug. Though I certainly love the idea of it being so soft and comfortable. I had a hard time with the black and white picture over the fireplace but as she said if you loved it.. it works. Anyway love what is happening now. And continue to love your metamorphosis as you hone your skills and treat us to it all.

Tuto

Could you layer a smaller more colorful rug with some red in it over the big pale rug?

Julie

This comment is a better written version of anything i was going to say (except i love the chaise where it is). Yeah, just really really love this refresh and learning through the journey. I’m longing for that kava bowl. Also have to applaud the use of “shant” in the post – surely the influence of English Eccentricity!!

JoAnne

What about a smaller (4×6; 5×7) darker rug (oriental?) on top of large pale rug, under coffee table?

Jen @livelygracehome

Chiming in on the layered rug idea …. Miss Em, perhaps there’s one you have tucked away somewhere already that would give the option to try it out, before the need to search and purchase the perfect one. Another shop your home hunt!

Lisa

Oooooh I love it so much!!! I am IN LOVE WITH THAT SOFA and I love how it allowed you to bring back some other of your treasures – I have always loved the vintage floral pillow and it looks like these two were made for each other! The lady on the fireplace is another favourite of mine and I think she looks great there – soulful and quite modern at the same time. The reupholstered chaise looks INSANELY good – what a fabric find!!!??! And the pop of red from the circular chair is just right!! SO MANY EXCLAMATION MARKS!!!! It looks exciting but also lets you breaaathe and I just love everything so much. It feels like a space you could style, play in everyday but also live in and – like you said in your last paragraph – like it is really comming into its own but still leaving you space to experiment later on if you want to. I LOVE IT – well done Emily and Team!!!

Lisa

Oh and I feel like I should emphasise again HOW MUCH I LOVE THAT SOFA!!!! Just in case that didn’t come across in the first comment haha… the COLOUR, the SHAPE ugh it looks just right!

THANK YOU LISA!!! I also love that you know my pieces – its so touching. Yes, to that portrait (I forgot to mention) and that pillow, my pillow, i’m just so glad its back. thank you thank you. xx

Vicki Williams

I know, when I first started reading I thought, Isn’t that Emily’s pillow from long ago Yes! I love that you are keeping things that you love and incorporating them throughout the house. Keep it up!

Allie

I noticed the pillow right away as well! I have loved the pillow since the first time you showcased in the first home you bought. It is neck and neck with the new sofa for my favorite piece in this room!

Tuto

Agree.
Love the pillow is back.i have followed that pillow.true Emily color palette
And style.Have followed you since early days. Brass petal , moving to LA,
Staying with friends and you and Orlando .the best combo. True and authentic.

Jen

Ditto to everything Lisa said!! It’s exciting but also let’s you breathe. That is the perfect description of what I’m trying to accomplish in my own home and Emily has nailed it here!

Tanja

I love the new sofa! Beautiful colour and shape and love that it has one cushion to sit on but two on the back. It’s perfect! And the target chairs are stunning. There is no need to find vintage chairs to replace them, when they work so well in this room. I also love what you did with the vintage chaise, it’s more beautiful than ever. So great job!!!! It’s nice to see so many older things that you have kept over the years, like the bells and your floral pillow and the always so stunning coffee table. One thing I’m not crazy about is the red chair. It just feels little bit off in this space. But I really love your new vintage trunk, that colour is so so pretty. Over all the colour sceme in the room is so beautiful, light and bright and happy. Can’t wait to see how it evolves and what you’ll do next!

Debbie

Love the sofa….comfort, style, fabric and Color! Also the chaise and the pop of red. But to be honest, the first thing that I noticed was the coffee table. Funny, but I think I’m the only one who doesn’t care for it! Maybe it’s the color, not sure…..it’s light (at least in the photo) and the rug is light. Since you love the rug, have you considered just layering a smaller vintage rug over it?

Sarah

I agree on the coffee table, by itself it is a lovely piece but seems a little small in this space? I think it’s the pedestal base that doesn’t have a lot to anchor it. I would like to see a leather bench or something to balance the two sides of the room. BUT, all that to say I really like the overall changes and the new sofa is gorgeous and looks really comfy, as does the updated chaise!

interesting! I could totally see that. if only i didn’t love it so much i’d probably try to get a big rectangle that might anchor and ground the space more (and then I wouldn’t think about the rug?).

Rusty

Nnnooooooooo!!!
That coffee table is you and it’s way better than the oval.
To me, the cushion, the bells, the coffee table and that fabulous blimp (which I strangely miss seeing so much!) are YOU!

Karen

Maybe if the couch and target chairs were pulled closer to the coffee table it would connect them together and “ground” it?

Allie

I have always thought the same thing… bring in seating in closer to the coffee table on both sides! The room feels too stiff at the distance they sit from the coffee table, Just my humble opinion.

Elissa

It’s too tall! It would feel so much better and more grounded if you could cut off part of the base!

Lauren

Play with the idea for sure bc that’s why we love EHD…but that table just exudes making the eclectic indoors part of your backyard. Such a great connection to your love of trees!

Jen @livelygracehome

Plugging once again here for a layered rug option; adding contrast, balancing the beams, and can gather the coffee table, couch and chairs together. Ya know, thoughts from a gal using a 5 X 7 too small rug in a small living room and 3/4 gallery wall, with a DIY vintage bookshelf hack waiting attention in the backyard … obviously I have no trouble pulling a room together!
Love the process, thanks for re-stying and sharing your home. Dang, we’ve all needed it!

Lisa

I really, REALLY wanted to love the new version, but I find myself just feeling kinda “meh” about it. Truthfully, the original 2017 version with the colorful rug is still my favorite, if the room was de-cluttered a bit. Now I feel like the coffee table (which I have always loved) is too small for the space and just floats in the middle of the room, like an island on a sea of beige. Also, the airiness of the Target chairs (which I also like) seem unbalanced with the heaviness of a darker sofa. And the plain rug feels like a missed opportunity for something a little more interesting. -Ah well, all that really matters is that Emily loves it.

Christine

The colors, prints and textures are VERY Emily but I agree the coffee table looks too small for the space OR the furniture needs to be pulled in a but more so the coffee table doesn’t look like it’s floating. I also think the built-in shelves look a little too cluttered and would look better with a few items removed.

maria

hey Em, (yes, I call you that because we’re close friends in my mind) I was reading the part about the black shade next to the chaise longue and it made me think about how good would it be for reading. Then I’ve tried to imagine the light at night and this led me to realise we’ve never seen the room at night!(at least that I remember) I know it must be painful to photograph but just out of curiosity, would you give us a night tour of the house? I think it could be interesting for learning to correctly illuminate a room and how the type of lights and their distribution can affect the space and create different moods. Btw, I love the “new” living room, the sofa looks great and I’m so glad that vintage floral pillow is still around!!

R Remington

Love the idea of a post giving a “night tour” and talking about lighting! Also agree with another reader’s suggestion of perhaps layering a smaller, bolder rug over the large one.

Lucy

Yes, I’m curious about what the filtered light through the black shades is like. I love the black elements but I have sort of a thing about what kind of diffused light different sources produce, and it makes me wary of exciting lampshades.

OOh i love the idea of a night tour, too! I can promise you this – NO ONE, i mean NO ONE cares about good ambient lighting at night more than me. Its a huge joke amongst my friends that if they don’t have good lamp lights when they invite me over for drinks that i’ll likely bring my own. thus the sconces. I love lamp 🙂

Lauren

I love the new lights over the bookcases too!

Leigh H

Lovely, best version yet! Love your pillow soooo much. Well done

LouAnn

Maybe I’m easy to please because I’ve loved pretty much every incarnation of this room. It’s a terrific space. But I think I might like this update the best. The furniture is the true star here — the sofa and that SPECTACULAR chaise. Oh my gosh, do I want that chaise in my house. And I am Team Trunk all the way. (I, too, loved that red rug but I don’t think it would work with this furniture. Too busy.)

There is some stuff in this room but not too much. It feels airy and spacious yet inviting.

I’d be happy to move in if you need a house sitter. 😉

PK

Love love love it! It’s fresh and weird and interesting. I love the dose of vintage, the carefully curated art and the Showstoppers of the furniture. It’s very old Emily but also it’s a more refined, classic version which is timeless.

I finally love this room too!

ah. thank you!!! it took some time and learned some lessons. I think for some of us we never finish finding our style just like we never finish figuring out who we are (because we change) but we get closer and closer and closer.

M

It’s looking great! LOVE the chaise! Noticed one version of the living room is missing – what about the green couch with the blue rug? I loved that!

oh i forgot about that! we really only had that for a bit after the holidays (you know, your ‘holiday’ living room set) but I should throw it in the post. it didn’t work for a myriad of reasons which we knew immediately, so I forgot about it!

Herselfindublin

I do prefer this version of all of them (but I too miss the red rug). I think you’re now mixing “Eccentric English Grandma” with “Thirty-something American Granddaughter” and I like it (but then I like a mix of styles). I much prefer the chaise longue now, and love the red chair. In fact I think a dash of the same red at the other end of the sofa would be great too. Also, European here, would you consider angling the two armchairs very slightly towards each other, rather than have them perfectly parallel? A tiny change that can have a significant impact on the “conviviality factor”. But actually I think the reason you’ve always struggled with this room is the fireplace. It’s a bit of a nothing where it should be a definite something. It’s not “Eccentric English Grandma” and it’s not Tudor, which you’ve said is the style of your house – I appreciate this may mean something different in the US, and maybe it is in fact “American Tudor”. And it’s the natural focal point of the room, yet your eye keeps sliding away from it. Even the photos in this post look so much better when… Read more »

Jessica

Ooh! I don’t know anything about Tudor architecture so I looked it up and you’re so right! This fireplace is much more Spanish-inspired than Tudor revival, and the proportions would be way better if it was changed.

I like the light colored stone-looking version with the slightly pointy arch for this room. It would have some weight to it without necessarily looking heavy.

Totally agree it’s a big project, though!

(Love the room, Emily!!)

I don’t disagree at all and yet, yah, that sounds like a JOB. the house was built by a carpenter/architect in the 1920’s. He and his brother built the first two houses on this street in Los Feliz, and my best friend lives in his brothers house next door. Literally the only charm left of the original house is the fireplace and those shelves (and of course all the windows and doors, actually) and I just can’t bring myself to change them. but that could also be because A. it would cost a lost and B. I might mess it up…. but I do agree that its american tudor which might not really be a thing 🙂

Amber

You are right about the style being an American version of Tudor revival. In California, Spanish revival was also a very popular style in the 1920s (which is when I assume this house was built), so you often see both influences at the same time. Emily’s exterior is more traditionally Tudor imho.

Elizabeth

I agree about the fireplace being a challenge. It seems to me like you are trying to make it disappear, it is refusing to be ignored and that creates a disconnect. It wouldn’t have to be painted a bright “feature wall” color to give it some definition, but I think a little color on the fireplace and built-ins would help.

Vicki Williams

Maybe some gorgeous tile? I am doing a Spanish Revival right now and bring in some beautiful tiles on the fireplaces.

sg5785

Perfect post (from another European!) Perhaps a way out of the conundrum would be to look for a vintage fireplace, something more Tudor-like? I also liked the juxtaposition of the black metal frame with the wood, and it picks up so nicely the dark floral. So I’m wondering whether this is another direction for the chairs that would replace the target ones – black paulistano chairs, may be?

paula mills

Unequivocally, the best version yet! The room seems “settled” with the lights and darks, the colors and the neutrals well-distributed throughout the space. Thanks for showing us the room from all angles – we can almost imagine we are invited in to sink into the gorgeous blue pool of that sofa – wow.

Kate

A “heavier” rug might work better in photos but I think the one you had before would take away the specialness of the red chair. It wouldn’t “pop” against such a similar color. Stick with the lighter rug for now since it’s so comfortable and you have little kids.

Azure

Oh that’s so true! I think the red chair and the chaise would get “lost” with a busier red rug. I like light rugs in general, and I really think it works in here.

Karen T.

I love it. And I’m so happy you changed out the fabric on the chaise. For some reason, it just never worked for me but the updated fabric is amazing. And The Vanishing Half…soooooooo good. Just finished it last night!

Barbara Snyder

Emily, every version looks great!

Emily J

one problem might be that you’re trying to make it one cohesive room with a central focal point. that room is long and needs to be subdivided and more intimate. there should be 2-3 smaller focal points.

Molly

Totally agree with this. I think you could have two seating areas in this very large room.

I also like someone else’s good idea to remove the shelves and just leave open alcoves where you could display some art. The busyness of the bookshelves still seems to compete with the rest of the room.

Having said all of that – I REALLY like the changes and the direction this room has taken. New sofa is AH-mazing, and even though the floral on the chaise doesn’t appeal to me personally, I think it’s all really working together. I do like the idea of a simple rug, but the lack of color in this one feels sort of sad to me. I really think a bit of color on the floor would make the whole thing fully come together.

Megan

I think the artwork on the left bookcase helps it feel less cluttered. Wondering if doing the same on the right with a neutral piece would calm down that corner, working with the gallery wall and letting the chaise breath a bit more.

Ally

Love the feel and the couch. I want to sit in it and drink tea with your eccentric grandma who is only visiting these days 🙂
One thing that I struggle with is the art selection. Art can be transformative. Do you love the vintage art in the room? Too me it’s dark and doesn’t inspire — so doesn’t fit with the rest!

Brigitte

Love the new sofa! I would (1) add this rug: https://www.chairish.com/product/761857/traditional-handmade-rug-10-x-14. The rug would play nicely with the red chair and blue sofa. It has pattern but is dark enough not to be considered “busy” IMO. AND (2) I would switch coffee tables. As much as I love the live edge coffee table I would switch it back to the original surfboard coffee table which is currently in the Mountain House I think? And I think the live edge coffee table would look so much better in the Mountain House with the trees in the background. Enjoy your new living room. It’s lovely whatever you decide.

Amanda

I love it. The coffee table is so much better, and the pops of black really ground it cleanly.

very fresh! thanks for taking out the stuff, thanks for the use of vintage pieces.

i liked seeing the view of the piano and kitchen from the living room. they feel more cohesive now. the cream/blue/green/wood tones experience. also, so much storage. yaaasss! and wonderful funky lighting. *heart eyes*

Nicole

Loveeeee the new fabric for the chaise! I wish it had a more front-and-center role in the room because it’s just so gosh darn pretty! Overall I’m really loving this iteration of the room. I was one of the readers who felt like the first room looked too chaotic but the later iterations felt too boring. This is really striking that balance of being welcoming and fun. I’ll echo what another commenter said and say that I’m glad you moved that black and white art that you had above the fireplace—it’s really cool but it was all you could look at when you had it up there. Maybe it would be better on a wall in a hallway or somewhere else unexpected? Maybe a nook in a kitchen? Though I love your kitchen as-is. 🙂

Alison

Yeah, I agree! The chaise is amazing (I loved it before but am obsessed with it now) and I think if it was more of a focal point, in the pulled out shot especially, it would change the vibe of the room much more to English grandmother because that floral is exactly that tone, in the best way. I knew it was in the first picture but specifically looked for it, and I wish I didn’t have to look 🙂

Barbara

I LOVE the way that the shape of the new black side table, the white vase on the coffee table, and the black lamp with the navy shade kind of echo each other. It really moves your eye around the space, creating a little trio around the new couch!

Cassie

I’ve been fighting against red for so long, and yesterday fell in LOVE with a rug featuring a very present pop of red. I guess I’m accepting red again, here we go!

Marla

They’re all pretty! But the best one is what makes you happy!

Christina

I’m so not nearly as funky or confetti-fun in my decor as you are…Totally Scandi. However, I really think this is the best this room has looked yet! And it is very you, but even still, I really do like it. Well done. – For a year until you change it again and it is even possibly better.

OMG> Confetti-fun! I love this description and this is my goal in life. Well, as far as I can compromise that style with my husband who is kinda the opposite.

Donna

Emily, I love your new sofa, it’s a great color! The chairs and trunk across from it are nice but I’ve always felt a matching sofa would ground the space. I love the red chair and the new fabric on the chaise (I finally like the remade version!). Your updates feel fresh and fun, thanks for sharing. I’m so happy to see the changes and updates in your home, feels like old times!!!

Polly

It’s nice but I don’t see how this sofa is modern English grandma, especially compared to the first blue sofa, which was perfectly on point. Was it uncomfortable?

Megan Lec

The chaise just gave the end of the room a major glow up. English granny but the kind that photogs snap photos of as she walks into London fashion week! The lighter rug I think really works with the new sofa and target chairs. I think this is my favorite version by far! The view out to the patio is “chefs kiss.”

Annie

It’s a beautiful room and that new sofa is perfect. The entire space feels warm, livable, chic and playful all at the same time. That said, the chaise does not fit. In fact, that entire back part of the room seems to be telling a different story than the middle of the room. Like the back part of the room is eccentric English grandma and then the rest of the room is California modern. So each vignette is gorgeous, but as a whole, it doesn’t feel quite coherent. The biggest issue is the chaise, I think. It is beautiful but whereas the rest of that back area could be made to be somewhat connected to the front (that red chair, for example, is bold and brilliant and somehow fits), to my eye, the chaise does not.

Nora

Yes, I agree with this too.

Mk

There is so much to love about the individual zones/pieces, but each are telling a different story. I agree about the Chaise. I loved it before you recovered it. I would have moved it to a Master bedroom before recovering it. It shouted, Sink into me and read a book.”
Now the floral chaise says, “Yeah, I do not necessarily work in this room, but Emily spent $ reupholstering me and I need to go in here because she wants to add the new English Grandma trend.”

It is similar to the kid’s bedroom and that canopy. Your tip toeing into English Grandma does not seem to be working well for you.
If you are going to do EG then be like the guy who did the pink dining room- he leaned in hard, owned it and it was fabulous.

This long living room needs curved pathways.

This seems much more in line with your personal vision, a happy medium between the style of your house and your personal style. Congrats, I know you worked for it!
The one thing that I notice in every photo of this misfit room is the shelves flanking the fireplace. Have you ever considered doors or shutters? I see the necessity of the storage but that end of the room is always feeling a bit busier. Just a thought…

I am so in love with what you’ve done! I feel like this is the most YOU version, love love love!!!

Mk

I like the new horizontal sconces by fireplace-less visually busy.

I like adding touches of red with books, small objects or art. However, I like the “pop” from the chair.

Is it just me? Do others feel one large piece would be better over the piano? Balancing out the fireplace and minimizing the visual busyness view of all the stuff on the piano, the kitchen chairs and what is going on over the gray cabinet.

Would angling the two chairs with a round table breakup the airport runway feeling I get looking into the living room towards the fireplace. “Enter” here and “Exit” on the other side.

Emily

Absolutely in love with couch. It is my dream couch in every way. I think the coffee table works really well in here too. It is big and chonky and adds a nice organic shape. Fabric in the chaise is gorgeous and I love that the little gallery wall goes to the floor. Agree about looking for a darker/heavier rug to balance out the beams but I think the one you have works fine for the time being. The only thing I don’t love is the darker trunk by the red chair. I wish it didn’t stick out from the wall as much and was a few inches taller. Though I loved the very first version of this room, I think I like this one the best. It’s a good balance of the color and excitement of the first room while toning it down a bit so it’s not overwhelming for every day life. Beautiful!!!

Sonja

Kamala Harris and Emily Henderson’s new living room giving me hope for the future!

Elle

This is sooooo charming! It’s modern and romantic. I don’t think paring down and being more minimalist makes you less of a stylist; if anything it ups your game! A curated collection is totally a stylist’s calling card.
I have one small critique and it’s soooo tiny but that picture mounted on the bookshelf is making that corner feel off to me. It’s a lot of black in that corner. It kind of works in that vignette shot where you can’t see the black lamp that’s next to the couch.
Just my two cents.
But really I am in love with this version and am so happy that you are happier too!
Bravo!

Wendy

Yes! That was literally my only quip with any of this lovely, reimagined space.

Hana

Wow! That chaise looks gorgeous in that fabric!! I had to scroll down right away looking for the close up! And this version of the room is by far my favorite! I think the red rug would take away from the chaise and make the room too busy. A darker solid or textured rug would be my choice. The only thing I don’t like is the art over the fireplace. I would leave that naked and just add seasonal flowers or greenery there as it is so sculptural and beautiful on it’s own imho. Great job and I want to curl up on that chaise next to the fire!

Victoria

I love it! Have you seen the book ‘The Cozy Minimalist’ by Myquillyn Smith? Her tagline is the most amount of style with the least amount of stuff, and that’s the vibe I’m getting from this post.

Elle

YES! It made me think the exact same thing!

Okay. I have so much to say. 1. this is my FAVORITE iteration of your living room. Though i do agree, that first rug was stunning. I understand the regret of selling a beautiful rug. 2. i love the fireplace art. i’ve seen you use it in so many spaces and it is soooooooo you. it really needed to be in there. 3. that sofa is divine. i am currently waiting on a new sectional from Medley that is probably the most expensive thing that i’ve ever bought after my house and car. which means that thing will be with me until i die. and then it will be buried with me. i sooooooooo wanted it in lavender (i want to live in a pastel dream) and the swatch I got was so good. BUT, since this will have to last our entire lives and i have 2 messy kids and a messy husband, and we will be living on this thing (our living room is also our family room), we went with a very dark blue. it’s nice and has a great texture and will hide all kinds of mess. but it’s not the dream. sooooo, all that to… Read more »

Madeline

Beautiful! Love the portraits the most. They make me happy. I have to ask… how do you play the piano in a chair with arms? I keep stumbling on that. I also love those wall sconces. Gotta have those in my house asap.

Kate

I think a vintage rug would make the room sing and bridge the chaise and the sofa.

Rusty

This. Is. Massively. Better! 🙂

I looked and looked and gazed and zoomed in and out and scrutinized and…..
It works because of the CURVES!!!

The fireplace curve, the gorgeous new curvy sofa, the red balloon chair circle-curve, the natural curves of the awesome coffee rable, the curved arms of the target chair and…the oh-so-luverly chaise curves!!!

You did it, Emily! Yaaay!

Now that chaise…honestly, I used to hate it. It looked like it might have an odd odour or something, the fringe was too much and….now ….. I LOVE IT! You brought that lady back to life!!!! You quintessential supreme stylist, you!

Yes, maybe a more grounding rug would be a nice tweak, byt, seriously…this is fabulous and it feels like the fun, quirky you is baaaaack! Pandemic or not, you’re you again!

This post made me happy to the core. I’m happy for you, because the journey of this room has been long and difficult. Now, the room breathes a huge sigh of styled relief. ❤

Karen

THE CHAISE!!! Perfect fabric choice.
The white hot air balloon lamp is so darling and interesting.

Piperlou

The sofa and chaise are SO GOOD. I’m dying for a little more funk/ excitement in some of the styling (edgy or eclectic granny) . That rug is probably beautiful in person but definitely feels flat in the photos. BUT I love that you show us progress photos & I love that you’re happier with the room.

Samantha

I let out a deep breath and said to myself and the dog, “you’ve done it. It’s so perfect”. As if it’s my home. The colors, the scale, the vibe is perfection. Weird but a pretty weird. Just enough stuff with out being cluttered and those floral fabrics in the chaise and pillow are sublime.

Kim

It’s perfect Emily! The darker pieces in the corners give you that balance you are looking for and with the wood elements and great sofa, it’s cozy, but still light and bright. I like the rug, because the nuetrality of it lets everything else pop. It’s easy on the eye, makes the room appear bigger and really lets that great coffee table be a showcase! Don’t change a thing! You nailed it!

Sarah

I want to paint your fireplace a darker color. My eye gets to the end of the room and can’t find a focal point to rest on. Other than that, I love the room!

The room is gorgeous and just a perfect combination of fresh and vintage, beau teal and eclectic. You did it!!

Nan Bishop

I’m wondering if you should do just books in your bookshelves on the top shelves, and wicker baskets on the bottom shelves to tone down the visual chaos. With adjacent gallery walls there’s too many small items on that end of the room.

Suz

Loved this trip down memory lane! It’s reflective of your personal journey & I truly love every version of that beautiful space.

Elaine

I love this iteration of your room…that sofa, that chaise…Ah-Mah-Zing!!! To me the new sofa leans a little more towards teal which I love, while the tufted sofa seemed to read navy heading towards dark indigo (didn’t love so much). And in keeping with ye olde english vocab, the whole look feels like an updated version of Emily of yore – effervescent and fresh, with a dash of quirky accessories and a foundation of good bones. I love it!

Kate

Man, this is GOOD. Like, so GOOD.

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