Family Friendly Living Room Makeover

My girlfriend Larissa told me last Spring that she was in dire need of a more “designed” living room. Her living room woes were like I have heard from other friends – you move into a house with your university items, and slowly things change. You have kids, you move houses, you suddenly are with a hodge podge of furniture and a room doesn’t feel put together.

Larissa’s wishes weren’t crazy – and likely if you have kids, you can relate. She wanted a living room that was first and foremost – family friendly. She needed a space where the kids could play – but at the end of the day – a room that reflected her own style. Both she and her husband work in creative fields – they are artsy, creative, and expert entertainers. So they needed / wanted a space that at the end of the day was theirs, and reflected their style, but also took into consideration their adorable 2 kids. Always up for a good makeover story, I threw myself at her (I may have jumped up and down) asking if I could make over her space.  When she gave in, I reached out to Leon’s immediately. Leon’s has such a HUGE assortment of furniture styles that I knew that we could make over this room with some amazing pieces that would fit a small, semi-detached home’s living room, appeal to the design sensibilities of the parents and be child friendly for the two kids.

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Welcome to the “before” pictures. My girlfriend had a big comfy sectional which was totally comfy and awesome but if we wanted to achieve a look of making the room feel bigger, brighter and to be more functional – the couch had to move.  It belonged in a comfy TV room in the basement, not as the main couch in a small semi detached home. Thankfully she was willing to part with it and, was open to other seating ideas.  The other things we needed to address were the coffee table situation, carpet and, lighting. The room got little natural light and yet the only light source for the room was the single ball hanging light at the top. That had to go, and I needed to find an alternative to your normal, traditional ceiling mounted lighting.

To start off, the first thing that we did was give the walls some fresh coats of paint. The living room was a light taupe, and the hallway was a darker grey. Together, my girlfriend and I painted out all the dark walls with the gorgeous Para Paints Chrysler Hall White ( P2118-00 ) and it was perfect. It’s the perfect white for her home. We then headed to the Leon’s Roundhouse to look at styles together so I could get a sense of what she liked / disliked. With an idea of what she liked, I was given the go ahead to pick what I thought worked, and work my magic. So after a fresh coat of paint, getting rid of her existing furniture, bringing in Leon’s and adding in some affordable accessories, this is our “After”…

Leon's Furniture Living Room Astin Sofa

HUZZAH!

The result of the makeover is that it’s family friendly, appeals to the parents, is hip enough to host parties in but also still durable enough for kids to play around too. It’s light (new paint), bright (new chandelier), uber cool (the furniture) and trendy (throw in some cool accessories to finish it off.) First of all –  That couch. OMG. The Astin Sofa is gorgeous and, ridiculously comfortable. The straight clean lines makes it timeless and plays into the mid century look I adore.  For the flooring, we brought in a custom cut rug from a local carpet remnant store and cost the homeowners under $200. The result is, if a kid spills grape juice, or, tracks dirt through it – it’s not the end of the world. I made sure to pick a rug that was slightly darker than the new sofa from Leon’s, grounding the room.

To get the most light for the room that we could, we got rid of the ball light that didn’t do much for lighting or style and my friends we’re so AWESOME when they agreed to buy this Sputnik chandelier I found on eBay. It’s perfect because it’s stays close to the ceiling, but has lights going in all directions – so that the room gets awesome light but also, has ridiculous Mid Century style.

Leon's Furniture Living Room Astin Sofa

The Blue Passerina Chairs from Leon’s are ridiculously comfy as well, gorgeous lines, and a stunning blue. They add a hit of colour that the room needs. The chairs are perfect as they pull up close to the ottoman for when adults are sitting around at night with a glass of wine chatting, but during the day are pushed back against the wall (not shown) for more room for the kids to play around. The Palermo Ottoman which is a white leather was a bit of a hard sell for my friend, but is exactly what the room needed – it’s a relief from the fabric and from a durability standpoint is AMAZING with kids. Different textures are good to have. And something that is wipeable is a plus. And, should a child practice writting their name with a sharpie on it – get a custom cover sewn to put over top. Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy. 
Leon's Furniture Living Room Astin Sofa Leon's Furniture Living Room Astin Sofa

 

The Karen End Tables are a gorgeous pop of natural wood tones to the room so it’s not to overly “white”. I chose the side tables for their sturdy construction (if a kid bangs a toy on it, it won’t show wear) and because it has drawers. You can put TV remotes away, or colouring books / crayons etc. It’s all about being organized and having spaces to put things away.

 

Leon's Furniture Living Room Astin Sofa

 

I layered the room with bright pops of colour in things that are easily changed out down the line if the parents change their decorating taste.

 

Larissa Living Room 096 Leon's Furniture Living Room Astin Sofa

The artwork is modern, and all things that I made – with the exception of the square mirror (shown above) which is positioned perfectly to reflect the Sputnik chandelier.  An original painting I did that Larissa liked, hangs to the right.  Will, Larissa’s husband – is from New Zealand, so I found this cool vintage stamp on eBay of a New Zealand stamp and enlarged it up and framed it. It has the coolest island artwork, which also works with the rest of the art.

And there you have it! A living room that appeals to the parents, but is family friendly so the whole family can enjoy the space.

BUYING GUIDE
Couch c/o Leon’s  Astin Sofa
Side Tables c/o Leon’s ….Karen End Tables
Ottoman c/o Leon’s ……… Palermo Ottoman
Blue Chairs c/o Leon’s …… Passerina Chairs

Paint Colour c/o Para Paints /  Para Paints Chryster Hall White

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    • Thank you so much! And yes re: the whites & creams. I gave up a long, long time ago trying to convince myself to decorate in dark tones, just because I had kids. Life’s too short to live with a room you dislike, for fear of the unknown! 😉 I mean, there are certain things to be weary of, but I always just throw a blanket down if my kiddo is eating a messy sandwich. Plus, there are great carpet cleaners out there these days! LOL!

    • Mary – I don’t disagree with your sentiments based on the photos. I wish I had included more overhead shots to give you a better idea of the room, and much isn’t shown. The ottoman DOES look rather monstrous in the photos where the blue chairs are pulled up close to it… however the blue chairs are normally up against a wall, pushed further back, which leaves a TON of room around the ottoman and chairs for walking. So it actually is the perfect size for the room, I just didn’t do a perfect job of illustrating it!

    • I was thinking the same thing. It’s a gorgeous destined room but the ottoman felt off to me. Hopefully’ maybe in the space viewing it in person, it’s not that big. :o)

  • Fantastic makeover. Definitely more grown up and entertaining-friendly but fun and young like the people who live there! I am never tired of seeing what white paint can do. The pieces from Leons are great.I love those chairs and you’ve inspired me to rework my very own giant ottoman in a different way. Nice job.

  • What a transformation, loving the new ceiling light and also the use of colours in the furniture fittings etc. very impressed. Im a painter and decorator to trade but I don’t have an eye for interior design. I can pick colours for clients and leave a professional finish but when it comes to suggesting other fabrics and fittings then I am a bit lost! Is it ok to follow your blog as I feel as though you can certainly give me inspiration on any future painting projects?

    Thanks, Ross, Edinburgh, Scotland.