Living Room Update – Furniture Layout

I looked back at the poll I posted last week…

TV poll

…and the results inspired me to play around with a photo of our living room so that Kevin could get a better picture of what I am seeing in my mind.

First though, here’s how the room looked when we moved here in October of 2012:

The Lettered Cottage Living Room | Before

…and here’s a (zoomed-in) photo of the room right now:

Living Room | Now

We painted the walls and put up the planks last year, and we’ve been gathering seating and side tables, piece by piece, over the past couple of years, too.

We’d like to add some curtains and shades at some point this year, and then we’ll see about finding a great big rug or some carpet squares. In the meantime, we’ll keep having fun dreaming up fireplace ideas. We’d love to extend it up and out, so that it reaches all the way up to the ceiling, and sits out in front of some built-ins. Maybe sort of (but not necessarily exactly) like this:

Living Room | Idea 1

We love the idea of adding closed storage on the walls on each side of the fireplace, so that we have a place store/hide “stuff”. Guitars, toys…those kinds of things. I popped these lockers from Pottery Barn in my inspiration picture, but our built-ins wouldn’t necessarily look just like them:


There’s a junction box in the middle of the ceiling, so I’d love to add one of these galvanized ceiling fans from Ballard Designs at some point, too:

Galvanized Ceiling Fan


But this next inspiration photo is what I really wanted to show Kevin. I wanted to show him that by designing the doors on the built-ins so that they open and retract, we could mount the TV on an arm that extends and pivots behind them. See it peeking out from behind the door on the left in the photo below?

Living Room | Idea 2

Obviously the doors in the photo aren’t exactly the right kind, and nothing is to scale, but I just wanted him to get a feel for what that kind of layout would (sort of) look like.

Here’s why I like it:

– Symmetry, symmetry, symmetry.

– We don’t have a guest bedroom in this house, so having two sofas (that are as deep as twin beds, or that pull out into queen-size beds) would give us at 2-4 more places for visitors to sleep.

– Right now, our armchairs are to the side of the TV. I’d love for them to face it.

– Everybody would be able to face each other when they’re seated. Music and game nights would be so much more fun! :-)

– There would be endless possibilities for decorating (and re-decorating!) that planked wall!

Pottery Barn Wall Grouping

(All photos from

Kevin was pretty hooked on the idea of keeping our entertainment unit on the planked wall until he saw my inspiration photo last night. Now he’s leaning towards the two couches. Yay!

What do you think? One sofa facing the entertainment unit, or two sofas flanking the fireplace? Let’s do another poll, shall we? 😀

[poll id=”5″]

Thanks in advance for throwing your two cents in!

PS- Want to learn how to create your own inspiration photos using Photoshop or Photoshop Elements? Check out my Room Makeover Training Class over at!

Room Makeover Training Class Using Photoshop

I’ll post another reminder on Friday in case anyone is interested in signing up to take a peek on Monday. The training video will only be viewable for free on the 16th, but you’ll have full access to the class for those 24 hours, so you can see if it’s something you might want to invest in later! (The class is normally priced at $59)

Living Room Update - Two Sofas It Is!
23 Bungalow Court - House Tour

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  1. says

    I love it, Layla! I especially love how you can see the ordinary and twist it around and make it extraordinary! I would never have thought to arrange the living room that way. The TV cabinet next to the fireplace reminds me of a cabinet I saw at a friend’s house. Hers was a very similar size and shape. It had some sort of frosted glass doors on the front, and while I was visiting at least, they had the TV on with the doors closed, so it glowed. It was actually pretty cool. I don’t know if it was actually cool inside the cabinet… I’m thinking it might have been getting kinda hot in there, and maybe they didn’t even realize they left the TV on, but hey! It looked cool. :)

  2. Lisa W. says

    Your living room is certainly coming together beautifully!!! AND you just make my heart sing, all your inpiration pictures ARE from my very favorite decor store, Pottery Barn IS my true love. My friends actually tease me BECAUSE when I walk into my local PB the workers say “Hey Lisa how are ya doing, we haven’t seen you in her in awhile.” LOL my neice was with me once when they did that. She came up behind me and said ARE you kidding me, they know you by name in here:) YEP tickled me pink. I am in dreamy land with inspiration flowing over the top while I’m in there! Give us another pic of your kitchen AND those new drawer pulls!!!

  3. Karen says

    Love the idea of the two “floating” sofas, my eye is really drawn to the two chairs. Love that they are different styles, but the same fabric. Did you purchase like that or reupholster them?

  4. says

    Ooooooh… I’m in love with that Pottery Barn storage locker as well (just not the price tag…). The proposed layout is stunning. So functional yet gorgeous! Can’t wait to see the actual. Will be checking out the class on Monday!!! Woohoo!!

  5. Vicky says

    Sorry if already said: Pull couches in toward the fireplace so they aren’t against the walls. Fireplace: Add planks above the fireplace for vertical texture in addition to the built-ins.

  6. Martha says

    How about a write-in vote? Leave the one sofa against the planked wall. Then move the other sofa to where the grey chairs are and have the two chairs flank the window.

    • Layla says

      Hi Martha!
      We actually want to keep the area where the chairs are free from any sofas. We had one there before and didn’t like seeing the back of it from our dining room and kitchen. :-)

      • Linda says

        I love the two couches. My only suggestion is to purchase the new one with lower arms. Place that one closest to the TV. You will be able to stretch out on the sofa (my son’s favorite way to watch TV :-) straight on and still be able to see over the arm.

  7. Kristen says

    I’d float the couches- at least one. And put a console with lamps behind it. You’re going to need a place to stash toys- and put them out of sight at the end of the day.

    We put our tv above our fireplace- and I regret it every day. It’s really too high to look at comfortably when you’re sitting on the couch. Your idea of built-ins is much better!

  8. says

    I don’t have time to read all the comments so forgive me if someone else has already chimed in with this idea. I have been mulling over your living room for the last day (sounds creepy but I rent so I live vicariously through my blog buddies!). When I first saw your living room, I immediately thought about half height cabinets like you have drawn in but I thought glass doors would look lovely (and the extra light bouncing around can’t hurt). If it would be messy, you could line them with gathered muslin. Secondly, I imagined those two armchairs sitting in front of the fireplace/built-in end (like this: and this: Then I thought a dresser/media cabinet across from your existing sofa with your tv hung on the wall above and surrounded by a salon/gallery style picture collection (like this: and this: I think you shouldn’t worry about every seat being able to see the tv for a couple of reasons. Firstly, you probably only watch it when you are at home alone so watching it directly across from your comfy couch makes the most sense – any angle there will be uncomfortable. Secondly, you just can’t make every seat see the tv when you have furniture on three different angles. Anyway, hope that helps in any way. Whatever you do will look amazing and I am looking forward to seeing what you decide!

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