When Sam and I designed our living space we wanted an open concept living area that optimized our view. So we designed our house upside down, meaning our bedrooms are on the first floor and our living room and kitchen are on the second floor.
We spend the majority of our time upstairs with our friends and family so it made sense to spend most of our time looking out the windows with the best views. I’m so so happy with how this space turned out. My favorite area of the house is the library nook and the “adult only’ sitting area with the Mexican barrel chairs I bought off craigslist.
Most of our furniture is from West Elm and Room & Board mixed with pieces from Target and small shops. Full disclosure we worked with West Elm to decorate and design the interiors of our home and it was the biggest blessing ever. They gave us a designer (Dallas) to work with (which is a feature of theirs by the way) and with his help we created a living room that is comfortable, easy to clean and reflects our California vibe. Our designer Dallas Wagman was a huge help in conceptualizing how to create an organic look and feel in this space and also was the diffuser of many arguments.
As a therapist and mental health advocate it was important to me to create an intentional living area that not only reflected our California style but also allowed us to come home from a busy day to a space where we could find clarity and comfort. It brings me so much joy when a guest comes into our home and says, “ah I feel like I can think and breathe here.”
As a builder of homes for people, I’m constantly challenged with the task of looking at a clients space and help people feel more at home in their homes. This can be tricky task, but it is next level when you are doing for your partner and family. I was lucky to build our first smaller house when we had just one kid so I got to see the way our life changed as we filled the small house with more kids. Designing a space as a contractor is just hard because the practical builder side wants to make it as simple as possible, but as the client, you want to have the wow factor that can make you feel at home. So as the end user of the house, Chrissy and I went with the feel of the house and some wow factor. So with the rise of open concept floor plan (including our small house) we made sure the living spaces where light, bright and airy with some exceptions. I have been influenced in design by Frank Lloyd Wright, who really moved to bring the outdoor world inside homes. I made sure we maximized the natural light with as many windows as I could put into wall. There is nothing like seeing the sunset through our big picture windows to make me feel at home. It’s always been something that I love creating for clients and for our family as well. Another thing that I really wanted was separate area to sit and read, and one to watch media in. The media area was built around a large fireplace insert finished in smooth concrete. Chrissy and I loved that look and we capped the fireplace with a beam pulled out of our friends house during their remodel. Reusing and giving old materials new life is something I has tried to do in every house I have worked in over my building life. Having a large open space with two places to sit can feel like a blended area, but by having a large area between the sitting areas can really beak up and signal the separate areas. Another way that we were able to separate the ares was with lighting fixtures. We used a beautiful West Elm ceiling mounted fixture to highlight the sitting area. Doing that helps kids and guests signal the sitting area. The media area feature a stylish ceiling fan to provide nessisary airflow to make movie time more comfortable! As we finally came down to finishing the living space with the final touches, I remember sitting the living space for the first time in awe of the way the space felt. It felt like I had finally come home.
The perfect neutral rug that will hide even wine stains linked HERE.
The Pierson Sofa from Room and Board compliments our Mexican barrel chairs beautifully and grounds the space with comfort.
We found our coffee table at Room & Board and it served as the perfect table to hold interesting books and organic pieces of art.
For a natural and organic looking coffee table try walnut. We fell love with this Room & Board Corbett Coffee Table becasuse it felt very organic and was big enough to fill the space.
The Coles Media Cabinet from Room & Board is also a a grounding piece of furniture and it serves as a focal point when you walk upstairs.
One of my favorite parts of this space are these gold frames from West Elm (linked below) and these Mid-Century Vegan Leather Arm Chairs. We pulled this areas together with the Stone Tile Rug from West Elm.
Budget tip: I printed these large prints at Costco and saved a lot of moola.
Design tip: for a pop of color add a red or orange book to a space.
Art Print: Cosmo by photographer Arielle Vey
Bryce Vase by Denai Jones
I bought this chandelier from Serena & Lily on sale in 2020 but here is a link to a similar one. Click HERE for the Aptos Shell Chandelier.
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Stay tuned for our next Home Post on the kitchen and dining room.
With Hope & Healing,
Chrissy + Sam