Continuing on the tour of our new house, we come to the living room. The sunroom leads directly to the living room with two doors, and there are two doors leaving the living room to the center hallway of the house. The living room runs all the way from the front to the back of the house, with large windows on each end (east and west facing), so it gets a fair amount of light throughout the day and is the largest room in the house. Here are some photos from soon after we moved in.
This is the front side of the living room looking toward the sunroom and fireplace.
The ceiling fan will be replaced with a pretty chandelier.
This is the front end of the living room looking toward the center hallway, where the staircase and the front door are located.
I love the pretty side by side windows that are throughout the house.
On the back wall, the side by side windows have been replaced with one big window. Underneath, there is a radiator with a window seat on top, surrounded by bookcases that go part way up the wall. I have big plans for this side of the room! I want to tear down the bookcases and rebuild them to the ceiling on each side of the window. It also bothers me that this window doesn’t match the rest in the house. I think the style looks out of place. For now, we will just be replacing the trim and painting it all white to help it to blend in with the rest of the architecture. Eventually, I would love to remove that radiator and window seat and put beautiful French doors leading out to the back yard (the indoor-outdoor flow in this house is lacking, which is a shame because the back yard is huge and so picturesque!).
A view from the back to the front of the room/house.
A view of the gas fireplace. In our last house, the fireplace and chimney needed a LOT of work (read: over 10,000$), and we never got around to getting it fixed. So, this is the first time we’ve had a working fireplace and it feels like the ultimate luxury! So cozy. The mantle is so gorgeous and I love the proportions, which make it feel really grand. All of that said, I could really do without the green marble tile and hearth with mismatched wood trim. At some point, I’m going to chisel those tiles off and see if I can uncover some original brick. If there is no original brick, perhaps I will have brick installed, or I will face the fireplace with slate or white marble slabs. That will probably be the last project we do in this room.
As you can see, toy storage is one of the problems we will be addressing when designing this room.
The view from the back side of the living room into the sunroom.
A view from the back side of the living room into the center hallway, where the coat closet and powder room are located. This hallway leads to the back door/cellar door and the kitchen on the North end of the house.
I love that the radiator pipes are exposed on each end of the living room, and in the dining room. This is one of the quirks of old houses with iron radiator heat, which we also had in our old house, and I really see it as an authentic architectural element of the house.
As you can see, I plan to have the living room split up into two seating areas because it is so long. Since we plan to keep all our books in here, I want to have two chairs on the bookshelf side along with the window seat (where I will put a cushion and pillows eventually), for comfortable reading. The television will also be visible from these seats by the bookshelves, and we can pull them forward into the center seating area for parties/other gatherings.
In the center of the room, in front of the fireplace, I want to have a central seating area arranged in a square with a coffee table, sofa, bench and chairs. I want this seating area to feel open to the front end of the living room, which is why I want to use a bench on the front side, and a couch on the back side to separate the reading area into its own cozy space. The television will be located on the front wall where it is now, in an armoire so that it can be closed away if we are just hanging out and talking with guests or reading. When there is only one living room and not a separate family room, I hate for the television to take center stage and be the focal point of the room. It doesn’t feel relaxing and calming to me, or welcoming for guests. So, by putting the television off to the side with the option of closing it away, this room feels more functional for us.
As you can see, the wood on the window seat/built in cupboards needs attention.
My inspiration for this room is a neutral and airy Paris apartment. We will be adding dentil crown molding to match the fireplace, and the furniture and decor will be clean-lined and textural. I want it to feel really calming and welcoming, so I am going to focus on texture over color (especially since the books will add so much color). As I always have, I’m planning to mix modern and traditional pieces to create tension and interest in an otherwise quiet room. Here are some inspiration images that show what direction I’m headed!
Next up, the stairway/entryway!
See the mudroom/sunroom “before” photos here!