My dream living room

I recently was inspired by Arhaus to share what my dream living room would look like. I don't typically design rooms in my own house from scratch. Usually they evolve over time, one piece at a time as I can afford to make changes. But I've discovered that thinking about my own room design as a whole is a great exercise. It forces me to evaluate what may or may not be working together, and gives me a vision and direction, even if I can't make changes all at once. And normally my budget is pretty limiting, but what if I could erase those restrictions and just think about my ideal space? Challenge accepted!

I had to go back about 3 years to find a decent photo of my living room. I could have taken new photos, but in reality, not much has changed in that time. Here is what I would love to change in my current space:

My end tables are $7 IKEA bargains and it is definitely time to grow out of the college apartment furniture. (Plus I have like 4 side tables in this room. That might be excessive). The sofas are fine, but dated stylistically and more worn than these photos reveal. There are layers peeling off the the leather. The coffee table/ottoman has been practical but is also dated and worn. These are all pieces we purchased in 2005 when we built our house in Utah. That makes them almost 12 years old, so they've lived a pretty good life and I wouldn't feel too guilty about retiring them.

The wall unit on the back wall is my favorite Craig's List find ever, so it definitely stays. With the exception of a little too much clutter back in the corner when I took this photo, I'm pretty happy with that situation. 

I also still enjoy the orange vintage chairs. I think every room needs some vintage pieces layered in to give it some soul. The piano stays, of course. And I still really like the cowhide rug. The shape helps fill in the extra space (because the seating is kind of off center in the room). I also am still happy with a shag type rug. It adds a coziness factor to the room and I the contrast of the lighter color with the dark floors. On the opposite wall, I still love the gray/green paint color (it ties in our rock fireplace colors-below) but I would replace the New York art prints with something more inspired by our current landscape.  

I have had a layout dilemma for this room. Because of its size, I have a U-shaped furniture layout. I can either do two coordinating sofas (like I have currently) along with 2 chairs, or a sectional and 2 chairs. Or I can try a third (harder to pull off) option of two non-matching sofas with 2 chairs. I've drawn up some 3-D layouts to contrast 2 of these options.

This is using not-actual furniture, of course—just representative models. 

Which do you prefer? I think option 1 looks clean and simple but option 2 is tempting. I think it would be more cost effective. 

Since I couldn't make up my mind, I drew up two different mood boards. Welcome to my dream living room!




a. I changed out this lamp after I brought the mood board together. I thought the room needed a little bling and shine and I adore this Cedar and Moss lamp from Rejuvenation.

b. My current paint color along one wall is Behr Dusty Mountain.

c. I'd love to add some new artwork to this wall that is inspired by our local Montana landscape. In my dream room I would add this 8 Mile Bench panorama by local artist Craig Edwards. In my real room I would probably save money and try to take my own photograph.

d. OPTION 1: This sectional from Rejuvenation looks so yummy and I loved it from the second I first spotted it. (Click through to see better photos-this one doesn't do it justice). It is way out of my price range, but since we are dreaming... (I think it would be difficult to find an affordable alternative which leads us to option 2...)

d. OPTION 2: To coordinate 2 non-matching sofas, I would do one in leather and one in non-leather. I adore this sofa from Arhaus. The upholstery is the perfect warm gray.  I would pair it with this Cavett loveseat from Crate & Barrel. This pairing isn't cheap but together is still less than half of that gorgeous sectional.

e. I have a shag rug but would happily upgrade it to this Marciano rug from Arhaus. So pretty.

f. I have always wanted a low, large, square coffee table. I think the proportions would look fabulous in my large, low-ceilinged-ranch living room. Restoration Hardware has my number on these tables and I am so in love this this Brickmaker's Table.

g. and h.  I love all the textiles from Urban Outfitters, especially this black and white pillow and these killim pillows. The yellow/gray color scheme ties in perfectly with my dining room curtains.

i. Every living room needs a good wool throw to curl up with while you drink your morning coffee. 

j. I bought a Case Study planter for my entry last year (birthday present to myself) and I love it. West Elm has some great options too.

k. These are my own chairs, of course. I included them here for color reference.

l. I desperately need new end tables, and I like the organic look of these reclaimed wood tables from Anthropologie.


So, what do you think? Option 1 or Option 2? What should I save for first?