Main Floor Makeover for a Soon-to-be Married Couple | Day Session Diaries

This past March, I popped over to Grand Rapids to work with a friend and fellow creative on he and his fiancé's main floor. The two had been in the house about five years, and with a wedding coming up in June, they wanted to have a plan in place to pull their home together.

When they moved in, they'd removed loads of wallpaper, replaced most of the light fixtures, and painted all the walls in beautiful neutral and moody tones. Our goal was to create a space plan and pull furniture and decor pieces for their living room, dining room, and sunroom.

I'll walk you through our conversation and what we came up with. Let's jump in!

Style Discovery Conversation

After giving me a tour of their home, my clients and I sat down to discuss their inspiration images. They showed me lots of spaces with dark moody walls, natural brick, warm wood tones, and lots of clean lines. They especially liked more geometric shapes, globe lighting, and round mirrors.

They weren't afraid of color, but they preferred less saturated, muddier colors to bold, bright colors. They also liked layered spaces with interesting sculptural pieces.

The Existing Space & Goals for Function

My clients have good taste, and they had a lot ofd pieces that we planed to incorporate into the design:

  • A gorgeous leather sofa by American Leather (if you love it, I carry this line!)

  • A striped wool rug by Crate & Barrel

  • MCM TV Stand

  • Side table

  • Grey chair by West Elm

  • Blue modular sofa

  • Two bright red chairs by West Elm

These pieces didn't need to necessarily stay where they were, but they were all up for grabs as far as reusing them throughout the spaces. Below you can see the rooms as they stood when we met:



In their living room, they wanted to accomplish a few things. First, they wanted to address the entryway, which currently felt underutilized. Should they push the sofa all the way back? How would they create a walkway? And what about storage? Additionally, they wanted to add as much seating as possible, and bring in some additional ambient lighting.


My clients wanted to do something a little different in their dining room. They love to host, and generally its larger groups of people. They'd observed that when people come over, there's a lot of leaning against walls in the dining room. So, they figured, if there were more places to land, people probably would sit down and get comfortable.

They told me that sitting down at a table to eat a meal is something that basically NEVER happens in their house, so currently, this room NEVER gets used. Instead, wondered about turning this area into an additional sitting room, and based on how they like to use their house, I thought it was a fantastic idea!


In the sunroom, they eventually plan to remove the drop ceiling and replace the floors, but they wanted to create a special place with as much seating as possible. We decided that in this space, we'd try to use as many existing pieces as possible so they could put more of their budget on newer items inside the house.

Creating The Floor Plan

The main living room didn't change a whole lot. The main change here was that I pulled the seating on the north wall in about 18 inches so that I could create something interesting along the entry wall.

Here, I planned for a credenza along the middle wall section with matching benches on either side below the builtins. They could pull these out during large gatherings, turning their 6-seat living room into an 8-10 seat living room. Pushing the chairs in a bit also allowed us to create a comfortable walkway from the main entrance through into the new "lounge" (aka the dining room).

I suggested a larger rug to tie together all the seating, and I added in lots of extra accent tables so guests could easily set down drinks—VERY important if you like to host! I swapped out their long oval coffee table for a larger round one, and I dotted the room with a handful of floor and table lamps.

In the lounge, I planned for a small curved sofa with nesting tables, paired with two smaller scale accent chairs. In this room, I planned to use the smaller rug that originally lived in their living room. We'd do some art/mirrors on the wall in here, and also add in a tall floor lamp.

Lastly, in their sunroom, I planned to use their existing blue sofa along the top wall (that end piece on the left is a matching ottoman that goes with the sectional, so it runs the entire length of hte wall) and the two red West Elm chairs. I finished out that space with two smaller ottomans that could also be used as seating, a small outdoor rug, and small side table.

Now, this floor plan ended up changing a bit, but I'll get to that in just a bit!

Selecting the Furniture | Round One!

We went a couple rounds before we landed on an exact design for this space, but I want to show you both where I started and where we ended up so you can see how the process works.

In their living room, I selected these two black leather and wood benches with a medium sized art deco credenza in the center. I selected a terracotta table lamp and ceramic bowl to style out the top, and opted for a funky arched mirror in the center.

In the main seating area, I kept the leather sofa in its place, and grounded the room with a large, neutral but textural area rug. On the north wall, I selected these two matching armless accent chairs in a warm off-white, and brought in some extra lighting with this small white table lamp and MCM inspired floor lamp.

For their coffee table, I wanted to tie in the darker wood tones in the entry, so I chose this dark wood round coffee table, and for their drink tables, I chose a combination of white, black, and metal accent tables all in various round shapes.

My clients mentioned they might be interested in a smaller sofa vs. accent chairs, so I also showed them an option where the chairs would be replaced by a cozy armless sofa similar in size to what they had in the room currently:

For the lounge (aka the dining room), I chose a structural curved sofa paired with gorgeous marble and brass nesting tables. I liked that the smaller table was quite a bit taller than