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Living Room Makeover

Today I wanted to share pictures of my living room makeover. The room is on the front of the house and before we even moved in I had it painted white with pale pink ceilings. (Continue reading below for the full story.)

Living Room Makeover | Oh Happy Day!

The paint made such a difference! We moved our furniture in and lived with it but the layout wasn’t really working. Every few months I would work on it a little bit but the whole process has been pretty slow. I thought I would go through each challenge below and talk about the process.

If you’re interested in seeing the rest of our house, check out our PantryBedroom, Kids’ Room, Bathroom and Dining Room makeovers.

Living Room Makeover | Oh Happy Day!

Living Room Makeover | Oh Happy Day!

 

Problem #1: NEW, BIGGER SOFA. The first decision I made was to get this green sofa. The one we had felt a little small for this room and I had owned it for 6 years and it felt a little dated to me. The green sofa felt like a splurge but it really is the sofa of my dreams and I haven’t regretted it. It took three months to have it made (a lifetime!) but I love the color and it’s very comfortable. The clean lines on it make it feel fresh to me and even though I have a bad habit of buying and selling sofas I think I’ll stay with this one a long time. The art above the sofa is fine for the time being but I’m still looking for something else. I think proportion-wise it needs something bigger. I’m hoping I find the perfect thing at a flea market or I was going to commission an artist (or my own husband!) to do something that would fit.

Living Room Makeover | Oh Happy Day!

Problem #2: THE SPACES NEXT TO THE MANTLE. I felt like bookshelves made sense next to the mantle but I couldn’t find anything the right size. I wanted some sort of credenza at the bottom for storage and to hide unsightly things like camera storage or cable boxes. I saw Victoria’s awesome bookshelf and thought maybe I would have something custom made. In the end the quotes I was getting were around $10K which was not in the budget. Then I saw this DIY Fauxdenza made from Ikea cabinets and I figured I could add some Ikea shelves and the measurements seemed just right. We had to hack the shelving part a bit because it was 2″ too long but it worked! I liked the solution of the shelving on both sides of the mantle because it added symmetry to the room and it also made the tv blend in a little more. It is so nice to have some shelving and storage in that space and we were able to do the whole thing for a few hundred dollars with materials all from Ikea.

 

Living Room Makeover | Oh Happy Day!

Living Room Makeover | Oh Happy Day!

Problem #3: BAY WINDOWS The biggest problem of the layout of the room was the bay windows. They’re beautiful and I love the architectural details but I tried all sorts of furniture in the space and nothing worked. It felt like all the space was being wasted and when you looked at it something felt wrong. I just didn’t know what the answer was. I scoured photos online for solutions and could not figure it out. One thing I considered was a custom sofa but I was worried about how expensive they are and about the risk (I’ve seen lots of custom sofas that came out looking strange.)  Once you make them there are no returns and I wasn’t even sure if I would like how it looked anyway. It seemed to risky for me so I continued buying random cheap furniture from the Flea Market and trying to see if it worked any better. After a few months I just felt confused. I texted my friend Jenny from Little Green Notebook with a picture of the bay windows and said “What do I do here? I’m stuck! I’m thinking of a custom sofa but I am too scared.” She sent over a picture reference from Pinterest and it was PERFECT! I couldn’t believe how easy that was. I wished I had texted her earlier! When I could see a photograph it was way easier for me to visualize it in my own space and I knew it would look great.

sofa

Once I had a plan I emailed Clad Home who does custom sofas based in LA. They had me make a paper cut out of the exact dimensions of the Bay Window nook and mail it to them. From there they did a sketch and then a CAD Drawing and they mailed me swatches so I could see the fabric in person and choose the right one. I measured three times and compared it to the plans just to make sure it would fit. It was scary and I had to be talked down a few times before I actually pulled the trigger. The sofa cost $1200 which I thought was a really amazing price for a custom sofa. At the last moment I added some down filling to the order so it would look and feel “fuller” so the price went up a few hundred dollars more. In about 6 weeks they delivered my sofa to me and it was perfect! It was EXACTLY what we needed. The room all of a sudden felt bigger and the layout finally felt “right.” It’s funny to me how a big part of design is just problem solving and trying out different options until it works. I bought extra fabric and had my friend Madina Aryeh make me some pretty custom drapes from the same fabric. (I had printed her some letterpress cards a while back so we did a little trade.) I felt like such a grown up getting custom furniture and drapes made! There are always little things I’d like to switch out in the room but It feels good to have it mostly figured out and it is my favorite room in our house.

Oh Happy Day Custom Sofa

 

Living Room Makeover | Oh Happy Day!

Sources: Black Sofa – Custom (from Clad Home), Green Sofa – Room & Board, Rug – Vintage (from Morocco), Green Pillow – Furbish,  Drapes: Custom (from Madina Aryeh), Coffee Table – Ikea (no longer available, similar here), Yellow Chair – Vintage, Floor Lamp – Vintage, Shelving – Ikea, Brass planter – eBayStool – Vintage (from Book/Shop), Shelving – Ikea

Photos by Paul Ferney for Oh Happy Day

  1. Kristin

    September 9, 2015

    I was excited to read more about your custom sofa after seeing it mentioned a few weeks ago. We are looking into doing a custom sectional for our house, but I’m not having much luck finding custom sofa makers closer to home – St. Louis. I think the price point for these are great – it’s just the shipping that’s so expensive. If anyone has a Midwestern source for custom sofas, I’d love to know!

    Thanks.

      • Rosa
      • September 10, 2015

      Hi Kristin,

      Just a note that we do ship nationwide and it can be surprisingly reasonable! Try us for a quote :)

      Rosa

  2. Lynet Witty

    September 9, 2015

    Wow! Almost $4K for couches! ….don’t I wish I could afford that.

      • Jordan
      • September 9, 2015

      I know it’s a lot but it was over the space of two years so we were able to spread it out a bit. We also splurged there but were able to save a lot of money by using the Ikea shelving.

        • Kathleen
        • September 9, 2015

        Jordan – this is such a kind way of dealing with a mean-spirited comment, and I just want you to know this is one of the (many) reasons I love reading Oh Happy Day! It’s so personal to share things like sources and budget, and I think you consistently do a great job of building beautiful things from a wide variety of sources and price points. Keep it up!

        • Mia
        • September 9, 2015

        I agree, Kathleen. Thanks for speaking up. Shaming is lame. No one should be made to feel badly about what they’ve earned. Naturally Jordan handled it ever so graciously.

        Jordan—thanks for generously sharing your design tips, finds, hacks and this personal peek into your beautiful home.

  3. kate

    September 9, 2015

    Wow, I can’t believe how affordable the Clad Home sofas are!! What an awesome resource, thank you thank you. Saving my pennies now.

      • Rosa
      • September 10, 2015

      Hi Kate! When you’re ready just let us know what you’re in the market for and we’ll be happy to help!
      :) Rosa

      http://www.cladhome.com

  4. Rachel

    September 9, 2015

    Beautiful room! I always find so much inspiration from your rooms and your styling! Would you mind sharing the name of your pink paint? It’s so soft and warm. It’s perfect! Thanks for sharing!

      • Jordan
      • September 9, 2015

      I don’t remember. I just chose the lightest pale pink they had .

  5. Parisa

    September 9, 2015

    It looks amazing! I’m doing my living room too, and I have already painted the whole room white and the tile on the floor is grayish black with mint borders.
    I wanted to ask you about the pot-plant stand. Where did you get this from?

      • Jordan
      • September 9, 2015

      I got it off Ebay. It’s vintage.

  6. Harriet - & Projects

    September 9, 2015

    Wow, I love what you have achieved! The shelving is absolutely stunning and that little waffle side chair looks so cute. Great makeover, thank you for sharing!

    & Projects

  7. Jess

    September 9, 2015

    I love the way the entire room came together! That green sofa is beautiful and your shelves are styled so lovely! Although I look forward to seeing what art your husband may create for the behind the sofa, I’m pretty smitten with the moths. Please share the details!

  8. Batya Stepelman

    September 9, 2015

    Hi Jordan,
    I love what you’ve done here…in particular your solution to customizing the room’s shelving in a way that works with the space. We bought an old home (1895) and I’ve been trying to blend the historic feel of the structure with the aesthetics and budget of a modern family. My husband and I have lots of books, so naturally I thought we would have a custom bookcase made for our family/living room. But when the estimates I received exceeded 10K I started considering other options…similar to those you’ve shared here. I think your shelving works so nicely because it’s against a white wall and the brackets/shelves are white too. Do you think this would work against a darker backdrop? (Maybe I should paint the hardware to match our main wall color?) Also, do you have plaster walls? We do and it’s been a bit of a challenge. Thanks for your input.

  9. Elizabeth

    September 9, 2015

    Hello,
    I really love the butterfly prints above the sofa (even though you said they were temporary place holders). Could you let us know who makes them?
    Thanks!

  10. BW

    September 9, 2015

    Love this! Especially the inclusion of budget factors. I’m new to this site and appreciate that you take this into account with all of the posts I’ve viewed, without sacrificing the gorgeous aesthetic. Especially here in SF, it’s fabulous to see a wonderful remodel on a budget (that doesn’t look in the least bit ‘budget’!)

  11. Sarah W

    September 9, 2015

    Your posts about your house are my favorite! You have such a great eye, and I love what you choose, and how you put everything together. I would love to see an after picture that included the fireplace/stove area. I did see a glimpse of it when Heather stayed at your house and posted a pic on instagram, :) I’m jealous that you are friends with Jenny and can just text her to ask her for advice. She is so incredibly creative, and talented!

  12. Shannon

    September 9, 2015

    I love the sign on the bookshelf “nothing will make you feel better except doing the work.” My google image search led me to pinterest about 15 times-ha! Would you mind sharing where you got it?

    • jordan
      • jordan
      • September 10, 2015

      It’s my little mantra I made up. The sign is a gift from my husband, he painted it in a sign painting class.

        • Shae
        • September 12, 2015

        I have been searching for that sign too. I love it! I would totally buy it. Your Mantra has kept me going all day today.

        • Shannon
        • September 16, 2015

        Thank you for sharing! You have a very talented and thoughtful husband (not that I need to tell you, I’m sure). I’m thinking of making one for my office for inspiration!

  13. Linda K

    September 9, 2015

    Jordan, lovely, cozy room! In a few recent posts you’ve shared your budget/costs and I really appreciate it. I know it may attract some sarcasm from certain quarters, but it gives readers important context. We can all scale up, scale down or opt out depending on our own circumstances. I actually get more frustrated when I see an inspirational room without any concrete markers regarding the cost. So thanks!

  14. Joanna

    September 9, 2015

    Wow, that custom sofa was crazy affordable! Awesome find.

    I’m curious if you tried having the sofas face each other. Seems like a space that could have pulled it off (though I can’t quite tell if there’d be enough clearance). I’ve always wanted to arrange a room that way, alas I live in a tiny NYC apartment!

  15. Alex

    September 9, 2015

    Oh my gosh looks amazing! Freaking love that couch

    http://alexinwanderlust.blogspot.com.au

  16. Mallory @ Classy Clutter

    September 9, 2015

    This is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing! Amazing!

  17. Sarah

    September 9, 2015

    Beautiful mix of high and low, new and vintage. It looks magazine worthy but also lived in. So inspiring! I think you commented on this when you first moved in, but how did you decide to paint the trim? We just bought a 1900 Victorian in Petaluma and I’m torn on whether to paint the wood trim. I respect the original detail but I also love the clean lines of all white. How did you decide?

  18. Nadia

    September 10, 2015

    omg so beautiful and cozy , amazing home :)
    xo xo from Paris
    http://www.rosesinparis.com/one-day-in-the-south-west-of-france-and-contest-inside/

  19. Raffaella

    September 10, 2015

    This room is gorgeous and the custom sofa turned out really well!

  20. Reb

    September 10, 2015

    I always love your home tour posts – you have such amazing design sense and your rooms and full of inspiration!

  21. Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

    September 10, 2015

    Beautiful transformation! Love Love Love your sofa!

    http://www.josiegirlblog.com

  22. Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

    September 10, 2015

    Beautiful transformation! Love Love Love your sofa!

  23. Anna of Analog House

    September 10, 2015

    I love the space and the pale pink ceiling. It’s such a joy to be able to paint a home that you own rather than a rental. I love the bay window sofa because it’s a space that people would love to sit in anyway. And I love that you painted the warm wood. It’s such a questionmark as to whether to preserve that detail or not, and it looks so much brighter and cheerier white.

    Analog House
    http://theanaloghouse.blogspot.com/

  24. Georgina Markocki

    September 10, 2015

    Where did you get the two butterfly prints? I love them!

  25. Meg

    September 10, 2015

    I need to get my ass to Morocco to do some rug shopping!

  26. Lee

    September 10, 2015

    I can totally see kids playing all over the sofa up against the windows. Unless, of course, I was hogging it.

  27. Theresa

    September 10, 2015

    Thanks for this update! I have learned so much from your home posts about the creative process, and appreciate that some challenges are easier to resolve than others. I have been renovating a house from the 1940’s, and when I started I remembered estimating to friends that it would take me 6 months. 9 years later, I am still not done, but love my little bungalow so very much for all the ways it reflects the choices along the way. The kitchen was so incredibly hard…I had to make choices I never considered before like what type of kitchen sink and then under-mounted or top-mounted…but now it’s one of my favorite rooms. Again, thanks for the insight and sharing your inspiring home.

  28. Monica

    September 10, 2015

    I absolutely love what you did with your space. My husband and I have lived in Russian hill for the last 2 years and have little by little made our 1 br feel cozy but there is still work ahead. I particularly love your bay window solution. Ours has a ledge where one can sit, but it has an awkward two level thing going on. I’m curious to know if a custom sudo couch can be designed for my window to get a similar look and feel.

  29. Jessica

    September 11, 2015

    I love this type of post – it’ so real! And we all go through it!! I love the room and both sofas! They are fabulous!!

  30. Amy

    September 11, 2015

    How is the custom sofa holding up to the sun exposure in that bay window? I am blessed with large south-facing windows, but my sofa is now faded (unevenly of course) and looks awful. Trying to figure out a good fabric solution for when I save up enough for re-upholstery.

  31. London Accountants Lady

    September 17, 2015

    You’ve done an excellent job there! I love the bookshelves particularly.

  32. Jilly

    September 20, 2015

    Hi! I adore your place. You did a fantastic job blending crisp white with color. I love the moth paintings and have looked to find prints of them seemingly the size of yours. However, I have only found the artist’s book that seems to be much smaller. Would you mind sharing your resource for them? Or if you find that perfect larger piece to take their place – selling them? :)

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