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Designing the Perfect Cozy-Eclectic Living Room for a West Michigan Family of Three (Plus Two Pups!)

This month, I had the pleasure of working with a wonderful family based in Grand Rapids. Over the course of two Designed in a Day sessions, we tackled their dining room, family room, and a few design aspects of their already beautiful living room.

Style and Functionality

My clients are a young family with two large dogs and a recent addition of the cutest baby boy. Knowing their stage of life, we wanted to keep durability and practicality in mind.

They're overarching style leans midcentury modern with a dash of cozy eclectic. Here's a few of their inspo photos from pinterest:

The Spaces Before

Let's take a look at the three spaces we addressed and talk through our goals for each. First up is the dining room, which is separated from the living room by a beautiful double sided stone fireplace.

Their current furniture is hand-me-down and not their style. They ideally would love a table that expands to fit 10 (probably not actually ideal for this small space, but we're going to try!). They also wanted to keep their chandelier, which was recently added.



Next up, and our top priority, was the family room, which is just off their kitchen. Their current sofa was not cutting it—you could feel the frame when you sit on it, and the cushions were obviously not holding up.

They'd been using a Ruggable rug and loathed it (I've never used one, I have some clients who love them, but I more often hear the negative experience). The pad underneath looks messy, it's difficult to wash, and the corners don't lay flat. They wanted something that could be cleaned since they have dogs, and this is where they often come in.

Other ideas for this room were whether to keep the TV in it's current spot or move it, maybe add built-ins, and they wanted a bar cabinet somewhere, whether in this room or in another location.

The room is a bit of an odd shape due to the brick wall fireplace in the corner and entry points on almost every wall. We were definitely going to need to get creative!

Seating wise, we wanted space for at least six people if possible.


The living room was already very nicely furnished, and just needed a few additional details to make it work for them. They wanted some additional storage in here for toys, and were curious about a wall of built-ins on the walls behind the sofa.

They liked all their furniture (it's currently baby-proofed), the rug, plants, and artwork (also can we talk about that massive painting?! Her sister painted that!!!), but one paint point in here was a lack of lighting.

And this wall was very massive and not being well utilized yet, so they wanted to do something here as well.

Creating the The Furniture Layout

My first step in a furniture heavy project like this is to measure the space and the pieces that will be start, and then start working on an ideal layout. Here are the three options I presented to my client:


Option one featured a large expansing dining table in the dining room, the addition of a long credenza and built-ins in the adjacent living room, and a combo of sofa, accent chairs, and built-ins in the living room.


Option two was similar in the living and dining areas, although I've feature a different shape of table here, but the family room area got a little more funky with a curved sofa and accent chairs. This was my favorite of the three options because I liked that the curved sofa helped the fireplace feel more a part of the room, and also softened up the entry points.


I wanted to provide one option for the family room that had a very comfortable spot for watching TV, so this is the layout that accomplished that. I also included a stand-alone TV console vs. a wall of built-ins in the event that two walls of built-ins felt too overwhelming for them.

Selecting the Furniture and Decor

Like me, my clients preferred layout option umber two! It's always nice when there is a consensus. My clients had done a little leg work pulling some bar cabinet options, curved sofas they were drawn to, and a credenza that they'd been eyeing for a few years, so I got to work filling out the rest of the pieces.

As is usually the case, we went through several iterations, but here's where we landed:

In the dining room (above), we paired sleek small-scale black chairs with a chunky oval extension table, and chose some artwork to tie in the blue walls. In the living room (below), we envisioned the entry wall of built-ins with closed storage below for toys. We may bring the lower cabinets out to 16 inches and have the upper bookshelves back at 10 inches or so.

We utilized the credenza they had been eyeing, which scale wise nicely balanced out the massive beautiful painting, and added a simple large arch mirror and lamp to the credenza.

As I mentioned, the living room is where we got a little funky. They'd liked several rooms that had green elements, and also spaces where one piece of art tied together the entire color palette well. they also wanted lots of texture, so I incorporated many different materials to capture that vibe.

We wanted to utilize their inspiration image for the TV built-in wall, but instead of just shelves we'd incorporate a space for a Frame TV. They were also excited about a bit of color, so between the chairs, pillows, and artwork, I think we were able to accomplish that well.

The bar cabinet is AWESOME and is one of the pieces they had pulled in advance (linked at the end), and we also wanted to add in a couple sconces on either side of the fireplace because the room is so dark.

But just for kicks-and-giggles, here's a few variations on the living room. The first showcases a lighter sofa fabric, and the second highlights one of their alternate bar cabinets.

The project came together is a super cute way, and the clients left our session with a comprehensive design plan that they can now execute at their own pace. Honestly, these Designed in a Day sessions have proven to be a game-changer for my clients and myself, offering a cost-effective and efficient way to transform spaces.

If you're curious whether your own project is a good fit, shoot me a message here and let's have a chat!

The Project Link-Up

Aside from the items I've provided links for below, other items and item alternates can be found and purchased here via my designer trade platform, SideDoor.


About SideDoor (please read prior to purchasing): 

+ This is a designer-exclusive platform that allows designers like myself to source & sell items directly to clients from hundreds of trade-only manufacturers.

+ Orders are fulfilled by our third-party vendor, SideDoor, which ships items directly to you. + Prices shown include threshold shipping; for an added cost, you can add "white glove" delivery at checkout - I suggest this for larger items like sofas or casegoods + All sales are final. On the off chance something arrives damaged, SideDoor will either send a replacement or facilitate a repair. 

+ Please check items for damage upon arrival and let SideDoor know of any issues within 48 hours of receiving the items. 

+ Your collection remains active for at least three months following your session so that you may purchase over time as it makes sense for you. 

+ When you go to the platform, you'll be prompted to make an account; you can then add items individually to your cart & change quantities if applicable

+ If you have any issues or questions with your order, you can contact my post-orders account manager, Cole at


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