Living Room Layout 2.0

Restoration Hardware Nea rugs and furniture layout

We’ve made progress on the living room layout since I last posted about it here. It is a particularly challenging floorplan because this room is effectively 1.5x size with 1.5 seating areas and a fireplace. Initially I had arranged the furniture with a chaise couch in the center, but ultimately the back of the couch was too high and it was awkwardly splitting the room. This was made most apparent when the rugs were delivered.

Before the rug was delivered, our layout looked something like this

The rugs are from Restoration Hardware Teen, called “Nea”. Strangely, while they are on sale, they are also back-ordered for months, which makes me wonder if they are the made-for-sale type rugs that are never intended to be full price and are perpetually always on “sale”. In any case, they are priced better than all the other RH rugs I saw, so I bought them and they look good. I bought two, 9×12 rugs for this room. The intention was to provide for two seating areas and to save money by not buying a custom rug to fill the whole room.

First RH Nea rug in place is already poorly framing my intended layout

I was committed to make this green couch work because it is ❤ years old and was intended to be a flexible piece of furniture that could fit “anywhere” because it is a chaise, and a smaller profile, etc. I first bought this couch from Room & Board in 2016 for a rental loft. I wanted something that would transition into any home and not be “too big”. However, this room was probably one of the more challenging spots to fit this couch and I found myself thinking more than once we’d have to get a new one.

Initially intended that this couch would divide the room, but the room is slightly too small

Thankfully, the new layout finally clicked into place and it works great. In hindsight, the layout is obvious, but it wasn’t initially so.

This layout is more open and proportionate

There were many false starts on layouts that looked terrible. I stepped away, looked at a few decorating books and magazines, and it finally clicked into place. We made one last transition and it worked.

The throw makes a world of difference!

A throw from Barney’s, purchased with a wedding gift card (thanks Cayla, Brad and Jeff!) softened up the room and tied in the Bowood chairs that are currently placed out of frame ( on the second rug).

Barney’s throw pulls in the Bowood chairs (out of frame)

 

The dining room, in process

Ellis green, a needlepoint rug, and Ikea hack woven leather chairs

I posted the “before” photos of the dining room many months ago, when it was gray (and boring!), and I am not quite ready to post the “after”, but I’ve certainly made progress. What makes this room special is that all of the major elements were either made by hand or procured second hand from Ebay and 1stDibs. The most expensive item in this room was the paint. We painted the dining room Ellis Green from Farrow & Ball for a big impact. While the dining room has a lacquered look and feel, it is actually a high gloss finish and not a traditional lacquered application which is why it is not a perfect mirror, but it is close. This saved ~$5k and it works. I love the high gloss green and it makes a big impact for less [than Swedish putty / lacquer]. The inspiration home (linked above) was painted with the traditional lacquer treatment. Otherwise the paint color and finish (high gloss) are exactly the same. Comparing the two rooms you can see a difference, but one that I am willing to live with for the savings.

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Farrow & Ball “Wendy’s Green”, Ellis Green high gloss paint in pre-war dining room

The ceiling and molding is painted Wimborne White. Similar to the guest room, the rug was from Ebay and is an Asmara needlepoint rug. It was a great price (<$1,000) and a perfect fit, in perfect condition.

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1stDibs Chandelier, South Loop Lofts credenza, Ikea hack chairs (I made them), Asmara rug

The chairs were an Ikea hack with a $25 Ikea frame and leather strips purchased from an online supplier, based in TX. I posted a tutorial on these chairs on my old blog that you can find here. The chairs were ~$90 each. My father made the table and the bar cabinet.

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High gloss Ellis Paint, Farrow & Ball, Ikea hack chairs, window will ultimately have drapes

The artwork is my own and flanks the large window while it awaits the perfect chintz drapes, TBD. I have pulled a few samples and am working on my final selection for long drapes, but haven’t made a final decision yet.

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Will add a large piece of art over fireplace and decorate mantle

The fireplace is marble and was custom made for the house (by the prior owner). We will hang a large piece of art over the fireplace this month. The piece that I have chosen is currently in a show at Downs & Ross in New York. I will post the great unveil when it is hung!

 

Master Bedroom

Art finds a home in a traditional space

The master bedroom was painted Wimborne White and is a great fresh slate for art, which was installed last weekend!
As a reminder, this is where the master bedroom started:

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The master bedroom was all floral in the listing photo

Today it is a fresh slate, painted Wimborne White, for art, and for a more modern aesthetic, in a traditional space.

Farrow & Ball Wimborne White wall, perfect for hanging art

My favorite piece of art that we own has found a new home in this room. This piece is by Charles Mayton, who is represented by David Lewis Gallery.

Charles Mayton, David Lewis Gallery

A great improvement from the faded florals of yesterday!

DIY: An IKEA hack

A Gjora bed painted Farrow & Ball

Everyone loves a good IKEA hack, like my last leather woven chair hack that you can find here. This one is much simpler. The prices of the beds at IKEA can’t be beat. This bed was $359 + tax and delivery and can be found here. For this project, I am only 1) painting and 2) tweaking the design a bit by leaving off the top cross beam. Easy!

The bed that I selected was the Gjora bed because it has a nice height off the ground (more traditional) and it is simple. It also doesn’t hurt that it ” doesn’t look like Ikea”.

The Gjora Ikea Bed is traditional with nice height off the ground

The bed came in 5 thin and tall boxes that were relatively easy to wrangle into the elevator. I laid out the primary wooden pieces and immediately started to paint the exterior of the platform support and the bedposts Wimborne White from Farrow & Ball (leftover wall paint) to match our guest room trim. I quickly ran a clean towel down each piece to pick up any dust (there didn’t appear to be any).

Ikea Gjora frame pieces laid out for painting

I did not prime the pieces or do any prep work and used a brush to apply the paint. I applied the paint only to the outer surface of the support boards and painted the top edge AFTER the bed was assembled. This was easier than having to hold each board on its side. It also helped to conserve paint as no edges that do not show were inadvertently painted white.

 

Two coats of Wimborne White from Farrow & Ball gave great coverage

I debated setting up the bed directly onto the hardwood, but decided to lay down a basic rug to give some texture to the room and a soft place for feet to land. This rug was from Houzz and was not expensive. It can easily be changed out in the future.

Houzz rug is basic and looks best with a bed on top

After I painted the bed, I left off the top cross-bar that the Gjora features because I felt like it appeared too high and a bit strange. It also gave me less to paint! I will add finials to these posts once I identify which finials are best.

I will add finials to the top bed posts
Final Ikea Gjora bed with Company Store, Frette linens and Brooklinen pillows (still waiting on 1)

I will add additional pillows once they arrive, finials on the bed posts and a quilt to the foot of the bed. Will post additional pictures once it is complete.

The total cost of this bed was ~$980 start to finish, including the mattress from Tuft & Needle and the frame from Ikea.

The den, in process

Railings, by Farrow & Ball

The den has been painted Railings by Farrow & Ball. It is a sophisticated color and makes for a cozy room! A flashback to where we started:

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Remember where we started? The original listing photo was a bright gray bedroom.

And, where we are today. A completely refreshed base for what will be a den.

The choice of color was an easy one, working with the fireplace surround, but I was in suspense leading up to the big reveal and wasn’t disappointed. Walter and his team from Tapia’s Works did an impeccable job.

Den painted Farrow & Ball Railings matches the fireplace surround nicely

You may recall that a prior owner had painted around the mirror, leaving the space beneath a surprising shade of pink! We cleaned that up this time around.

The windows are original curved glass from the late 1980s

The windows are pretty, but are old. I solved for draft with SewSixThree on Etsy draft stoppers that are beautiful and smell great.

We sprayed paint over the fireplace with Farrow & Ball Wimborne White for a beautiful finish

A sprayed finish is the way to go for smooth surfaces like doors, and detailed surfaces like molding, with a brush sprinkled in as needed for more detailed trim. I must say that I am a true Farrow & Ball subscriber after seeing the finish compared to the prior paint.

The bookcase will provide great visible storage once we are in decorating phase
The radiator will be left uncovered. It didn’t look as bad as I was expecting

We still need to identify a good spot to hang a television and make a decision on drapes.

The finished color is so sophisticated relative to the gray we had previously
Cozy plaid draft stoppers filled with balsam pine by SewSixThree on Etsy
The mirror from prior owner is back in place and the perfect fit!

Now that the base is complete I am considering furniture ideas and searching for the perfect plaid rug. Let me know if you have any ideas!

Guest bedroom, wallpapered

Bird and Thistle, for the win!

The guest bedroom has been papered in Bird and Thistle by Brunshwig & Fils, and I’m excited that the entire place is coming together as planned and on schedule.
As a reminder, this is where we started:

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From the listing photo, the guest room before we started work
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The small bookcase behind the door was one of the first things we removed

And, this is where we are today!

Bird and Thistle wallpaper by Brunshwig & Fils, in the guest

I am thrilled with the results. Walter’s team at Tapia’s Works in Chicago did a great job installing this paper with no waste. We completed this entire job with our budgeted paper and will use the remaining strips to cover wooden tissue boxes (craft project!). The room is painted in Farrow & Ball Wimborne White. The original moldings and doors are spray finished. The doorknobs are antique brass.

The window boxes were painted in Wimborne White by Farrow & Ball
The wood floors will be revealed this week
The leftover paper will be used to cover wooden tissue boxes!

The build-in bookcase is great, but it wasn’t finished particularly well. The middle strips should be covered with molding, which we will add.

The bookcase face will be cleaned up with new molding

For lighting, I chose the Aerin, by Visual Comfort, Modern Rosehill Semi-Flush Brass and White Strie-Glass light fixture. I’m a bit worried it will be too small, but it is the same size as the flush mount previously installed, so it should be okay. There is a larger choice, but I didn’t appreciate this until after the order was placed.

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Aerin Modern Rosehill Semi-Flush Brass and White Strie-Glass Fixture
The Bird and Thistle paper is set off perfectly by the Wimborne White finish

The lighting fixtures and drapes will come next. I am planning on a bamboo shade paired with Bird and Thistle matching drapes.

 

The den, before

I haven’t forgotten you!

I haven’t written much about the den, but it is a room I am really excited about. The den is one of many rooms in this home that are circular, but is unique because all of the window panes are original and curved as well. The windows face Astor Street with great eastern exposure and the room has a wood burning fireplace and a beautiful original wood mantle.

The den is in the back of the house, clustered together with the master bedroom and bathroom, the entirety of which can be separated from the rest of the house by closing a door. Originally, this room was a bedroom but it was less functional without a closet and seemed better suited as a space to relax. The vision for this den is to be cozy and dark, while also warm and inviting. Here is the den today:

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The original fireplace inspired the color of paint

The mirror above the fireplace was purchased from the original homeowner for $500. I think it is a great mirror for the space, is beveled and is the perfect size.

The room will be painted Railings by Farrow & Ball

The walls will be painted Farrow & Ball Railings, a softer alternative to black that complements the fireplace brick.

These windows are original curved glass and have a great view of Astor Street

Similar to the other rooms, the window boxes will be kept Farrow & Ball Wimborne White.