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Finding The Perfect Flow for a Tiny Living Room | Day Session Diaries

This past June, I headed out to West Michigan for a lovely Designed in a Day session with the cutest, kindest couple. Our goal? To tackel a tiny living room space, which they'd been pondering and planning over for something like eight years!

They laughed about how long they'd been in the house, saying how when they'd moved in, they'd made note of all the details that needed to be updated RIGHT away...and here they were, eight years later.

The thing is, their kids had been tiny when they moved in, and as life will do with kids that age, the time flew by! So swapping out sofas and light fixtures just wasn't a priority at that point.

Now, with one kid in middle school and one in late elementary, it was time to upgrade the well-loved furniture and finally swap out those dated fixtures.

The Existing Space & Client Goals

As you can see, the living room space, while very small, was quite beautifully designed: gorgeous built-in bookshelves around a beautiful stone fireplace, gorgeous stone arch open to the kitchen, and nice neutral tones on the walls and carpeting.

The main challenge in here would be the flow since there were entry points on two walls, fireplace/shelves on another, and a large bank of windows on the one remaining wall.

You can see below how their furniture was originally laid out: they had a single sofa facing the fireplace and pushed up against the window wall, and on the same wall as the entry to their kitchen, they had two large scale accent chairs side by side.

Because of the layout, they didn't have space for any side tables, which meant no space for table lamps as well.

They also struggled to figure out where to put their dog crate, so it had been sitting between the two accent tables, sort of acting as a side table.

Their goal was to create a better flow for this space that could accommodate their family of four, and something that wouldn't feel awkward or cramped while still allowing for access to the porch.

Below you can see how the existing layout wasn't maximizing the space to its full potential:


Living Room Style Inspiration

Below are a handful of our clients inspiration images from Pinterest. They loved the look of tonal spaces with lots of texture, and were drawn to lighter spaces with transitional furniture styles, warm wood tones, and warm leather accents.

The one caveat was that they did NOT want an white sofa—which, with two kid and a dog, is a a very smart and fantastic idea 😂

Creating The Floor Plan

To take full advantage of the space, I opted for a smaller scale sectional to be the main seating in the room. This would sit with one side along the window wall, and the other side floating out into the room, creating a walkway behind to access the porch.

The side of the sectional facing the fireplace would be ideal for watching TV, and the additional side would allow options for seating when the family is not using the television.

On an angle opposite the sectional and just beside the fireplace, I suggested a smaller accent chair with a small drinks table. This would round out the seating area and give us an opportunity to add in another material—likely leather in this case!

On the wall where the two chairs had been, I planned for a long narrow console table with a table lamp on top and two small poufs tucked beneath for extra seating or propping up feet.

We also planned for an arch lamp to stand behind the sofa, as well as artwork above the console and behind the floor lamp on the wall.

Additionally, I planned for a large square coffee table and another small drinks table beside one end of the sectional.

Selecting The Furniture

I started with the sectional as my base, since this piece would take up the most real estate. I chose a grey/beige sofa with clean lines and and some nice depth to the fabric. I chose something in a performance fabric so that, even though it's on the lighter side, it will resist stains and wear.

For the accent chair, I chose a modern play on a wing-back chair in a warm leather tone with a classic pedestal style drinks table in a dark iron. To bring in some texture and warmth, I selected a variety of patterned, textured, and tonal accent pillows and a throw blanket.

As the main surface in the space, I chose a metal framed reclaimed wood coffee table in a rich dark wood tone, and brought in a smaller drum style accent table with a variety of wood tones for beside the sofa—this table reminds me of a wine cork, which is adorable!

Behind the sofa, to the right of the bank of windows, I selected two framed ink prints with a warm wood frame and white matte.

Quick Tip: If you want to use large artwork but are afraid it will overpower your space, try smaller prints but with large mattes in large frames. The overall effect feels grander because the pieces are large, but most of the visual will be the neutral matte.

For the console, which would live on the same wall as the entry to the kitchen, I chose a modern parsons style table in a lighter, but still warm, wood tone.

Atop this table, I chose a pearly white table lamp paired with a large framed print of a calm landscape painting. This would be our "color moment" in the space, since for the most part we'd been playing in neutrals.

Beneath the console, I chose two textured greige cube style poufs, which could be easily moved around, but stored here when not in use.

There were a few additional details throughout the house we also wanted to select, including artwork for the dining room, new light fixtures in their entry and over their dining table, and new upholstered stools for their kitchen island.

Below you can see our selections, which we wanted to coordinate nicely with the living room, since everything is open concept.

For stools, we wanted something easy to clean, so we chose a warm faux-leather backless stool with a lighter wood base. This color warmed up the space and played nicely with their natural wood toned cabinets and and white marble counters.

For the dining room, I chose and oversized piece of artwork with a beautiful landscape in green tones, which would be centered on the back wall and in line with the table.

Above the table, we chose an updated lantern style chandelier in a dark bronze to replace what felt like an overly traditional candelabra chandelier, and for the entry, I selected a flush mount shade/lantern combo style light, which would coordinate nicely with the dining fixture.

The Wrap Up

All in all, this space came together so beautifully! And the best part is that we were able to create this entire design all in a single 5-hour session, which my client can then execute on their own timing.

When we set aside this focused time, I find that it helps my clients to get really clear on their desires and come to our session very prepared, and it also lends to making decisions more, along with coming up with some very creative solutions.

For this particular project, my clients left our session with a style board showcasing the exact pieces I recommended, a link to their custom collection of furniture which they could order using a one-click checkout, and a to-scale floor plan of their living and dining rooms so they know how to set it up when everything arrives at their home.

Our Designed in a Day service is definitely our most popular option with clients, 1) because it's incredibly cost/time effective, and 2), because it is an incredibly versatile service as far as the kinds of projects we are able to tackle.

We cover anything from furniture and decor, to space planning, to window treatments, to making selections for a renovation project, or even just working our way through a list of design woes.

SO, if you find yourself wondering whether your own project might be a good fit for a day session, click here to view more details about the service. There's some great info there, or simply complete our project intake form here and I'll reach out to schedule a discovery call to discuss your project.

PLUS, did you know that it is good for your mental and physical health to live in a space that meets your needs? You and your family deserve it, and I can't wait to help you create a space that works for you!

Thanks for visiting my little corner of the internet!

- Lauren, XOXO


Work with Lauren Figueroa Interior Design

LFID is a full-service interior design firm serving West and Southeast Michigan known especially for our Designed in a Day service.

We work with clients from Detroit to Novi to Clarkston, and Grand Rapids to Holland to Traverse City—and anywhere in between! We pride ourselves on creating bespoke, people-centered spaces—because after all, people are what this life is all about!

If you have a project on the horizon, get started by telling us about your vision here, and you can view past projects here. Thanks for stopping by!


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