Thursday 14th December 2017
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Et voila: my new living room

livingroom

Do any of you happen to recall how, after I left my old place in January, I resolved not to fall down the rabbit hole of redecorating like I always do when I move? Even though the place I was relocating to could not be more physically different than the place I was leaving, and none of my stuff really looked right anymore? How fondly we hang on to our illusions, no? It took me a while to accept that the furniture that worked so well in my comparatively rambling midcentury apartment had no place in my clean and modern little window box in the sky, but indeed that was the case—most particularly in the living room. My beloved club chairs were hulking, and monopolized a huge hunk of the space. The shaggy vintage Moroccan rug—which once imparted such a sense of cozy cool—simply came off sloppy. And everything else just felt dark. The new place—with its walls of windows and clean lines—called for something else entirely.

I was gun shy about where to start—because once you choose your first big item, everything else has to fall into lockstep with it. But finally I pulled the trigger on this sectional (currently on sale! at Blu Dot) and then the big square coffee table you see here (also from Blu Dot) in somewhat irrational—but ever-so delightful—watermelon pink. I knew that the coffee table’s wild-card color was going to make finding the right rug tough—and I already have an impossible time choosing rugs—but then I discovered Brooklyn-based line Aelfie: their pieces are ethnic-inspired but with the kind of  streamlined look I was after, and I fell for the one you see here, which is called the Saskia. It looks like a lot to live with, I know, but in real life it’s actually pretty chill. The piece above the sofa is by an artist named Reed Anderson and I’ve had it for years.

living room 2

I have done some repurposing of old items: this Nelson Platform bench used to be my coffee table; now it sits by the window, topped with a few of the Eskayel pillows that were on my former sofa (which I sat on until they flattened out to resemble pads).  And on the topic of pillows: I am undecided as to whether I need some for the sectional. It seems like I’ve already sort of got a lot going on over there. What thinks?

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Posted on July 30th, 2014 58 Comments

58 Responses

  1. Heather says:

    Kim, you have a great space! I’m the ultimate minimalist, but I say No to throw pillows. To me, they serve no purpose other than being visual clutter. You already have a pop of color on your sofa from your pretty burgundy throw.

  2. Sara B says:

    Love this so far! I think that some throw pillows in shades of ivory and gold would break up the gray couch and lighten up the space while bringing in the gold tones in the rug and the frame on the wall.

    Here’s a nice starting point from West Elm

    http://www.westelm.com/products/hand-blocked-stepped-diamond-pillow-cover-horseradish-t1200/?cm_src=pillows||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_–_-

  3. Sara B says:

    I feel so strongly, I made a little mock-up

    https://sarabellin.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/livingroom.jpg

  4. Kirsten says:

    First of all, I LOVE your blog. Secondly, your new living room is beyootiful! Great idea to hang a huge inky illustration. And to answer your query about throw pillows, I would add one large supersoft textured one in a quiet tone (black) like mongolian lamb. Dip dye silk or canvas with huge tassels would also be thrilling.

    • Ann says:

      O agree with Kirsten!

        • y.k. says:

          yes- the only pillow i would love is a mongolian fluffy one – and i have lusted after the strut table in THAT color for a long time. the fact that you have it makes perfect sense.

    • EVE says:

      One great and large pillow, a thrilling one at that, sounds just right. However, more than one reply mentioned the comfort factor of a pillow or two to lean on, Eve, Kim’s Mom

      • shefferman says:

        hi, eve, kim’s mom. wouldn’t an elongated, platinum-toned chain mail pillow look splendid here? perhaps not so comfy for afternoon naps, but a knockout to look at! xo

  5. c.w. says:

    I’m on the “no” side of throw pillows. I am a minimalist. But here’s what I’ve learned over the years––relatively speaking throw pillows are inexpensive so if you buy a couple or four and don’t like them you’ll find another place to put them or you’ll take the stuffing out and frame them or you’ll gift them to someone or they’ll take up shelf space in your linen closet.

    I’m also not one for sectionals, but I love yours and the coffee table is to die for!

  6. Caroline says:

    Your place looks great. The rug is killer..
    for comfort sake maybe some simple pillows.
    Those blue dot sofas are great but not super comfy in my experience.(if that matters)..
    Congrats!

  7. Jen says:

    Love it! I won’t comment on all the awesome individual pieces but rather on the total success of the feel of the room. Here is a room that I would be happy alone in, reading a book and sipping tea (or wine). But I’d be equally thrilled to host a cocktail party with a small group of my best girlfriends OR invite a date back for a sweet night. Well done! It is perfect.

  8. Laura says:

    love! amazing view too. I’ve purchased lots of furniture and accessories from Room and Board. Check out their throw pillows.

  9. AmyM says:

    If feels just right to me as-is. And OMG the view. THE VIEW! It seems like a wonderful place to live.

  10. susan schwartz says:

    room looks super as is. clean, fits the space.
    i fear pillows could be too much. But if you find yourself dragging in your pillows from the bedroom to be comfortable, then maybe a few solid oblong pillows. Nothing obtrusive, though, or you’ll interfere with the lovely lines of the space: solid or tone on tone: charcoal, maybe cream.

  11. Grenadine says:

    I too am a minimalist and love the minimalist look of this room – I mean, you really have all you need there. I did kind of like the gold pillow mock-up, though, but my philosophy is less is always better, unless you think the pillows would add to your comfort. Then go for it. The coffee table with the rug are so great (and the print hanging in on the wall) that they just speak for themselves and really make the room complete. That’s what is so GREAT about these standout pieces is they really do MAKE the room, you just don’t need anything else, it is great the way it is!

  12. MissV says:

    Love your apartment, especially the pink table. I would add a few pillows such as gold/yellow to bring out the color from the rug or a degrade pink and ivory. Also, a floral or other print would add some zing. Green is a great complimentary color with pink (maybe more acid). Never be afraid of pattern mixing. Maybe one of your beloved Liberty prints?? Finally, I would add a floor lamp of some sort on the arm side of the sofa.

  13. marjorie says:

    I do not have strong feelings about pillows. But it looks SO GREAT! Love the happy rug and coffee table and how they play so nicely with the expanse of gray couch.

  14. Turner says:

    Yes to pillows! Definitely. I like the Mongolian fluff idea.

  15. edie says:

    I actually use my throw pillows as pillows (what a concept). When I want to stretch out and read on my couch, I need them to get my head up where I need it to be. So if you only sit on your couch, I suppose you could do without. But my couch (purchased from the sorely missed Classic Sofa) is never better than when I am taking up the entire length of it with a good book. So for me, throw pillows are much more than an accent or a pop of color or any of those quaint expressions. Very cool room though.

  16. Viajera says:

    Your room looks wonderful!!! I especially like the rug, and I especially like Sammi (sp?) with the rug, and the watermelon colored table is perfect too. That is pretty much a perfect rug. (I can’t get off the rug.) And it all hangs together — drawing, couch…

    As to pillows, I would just sit with it now and see what your moods tell you. I tend to have lower back issues and like pillows, but not everyone does.

  17. GT says:

    Looks fantastic but I guess, for comfort’s sake, you’re gonna want some pillows on the sofa.Mongolian fluff sounds great. Dog might also love them!

  18. kirstjen says:

    I love that rug. It really looks great! Cute pup…

  19. Suz says:

    That is a no on the throw pillows.Not needed. I love the table/couch/rg combo. Its perfect as is.
    And what a great view for your pup!

  20. Amy says:

    I love your new space!
    You don’t really need anything else, but if you’re wanting something more then I would bring in a few more gold accents to add a little pop to the shades of black, white and pinks..

  21. Katherine M says:

    These little pillows from West Elm are nice. Soft and a solid color so it won’t take away from the fantastic palate you have going.

    Your place looks just brilliant!!

    http://www.westelm.com/products/mongolian-lamb-pillow-cover-stone-white-24-sq-t604/?cm_src=pillows||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_–_-

  22. hudvallgal says:

    Yes, for balance, one long kidney pillow, in that yellow/gold Sara B. suggested.

  23. Sarah says:

    As The Dude would say, that rug really brings the room together.

  24. lisa says:

    I like the fluff pillow idea, but I would stick to just one or two right in the corner of the sectional. I think ivory would look great and not pull too much from the fantastic color of the table and that rockin’ rug. Great look!

  25. EVE says:

    Looks great. Love how table, sofa and rug work together. Love the one large pillow idea. I always was obsessed with pillows and patterns in great colors. But after all these years I love the one pillow look. A few pillows somewhere nearby are good for comfort.

  26. ramona black says:

    I would go all Don & Megan Draper with solid pillows in these 60’s shades – similar couch in a modern apartment !

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.a/6a00d8341c630a53ef0167645f128c970b-pi

  27. Flora says:

    That rug is killing me–it’s fantastic.
    I’m not a minimalist and my style is quirky, so if this were me, I’d be doing an irregularly shaped monochromatic animal pillow just to break up the squareness (I know, I’m crazy): http://www.areaware.com/products/fox-pico
    I think the gold suggestions are quite nice as well. I think you’ll need pillows–I have a couch with thin arms and they aren’t really comfortable to lie on if you’re trying to read or watch TV.

  28. Elise says:

    Your space is amazing and the rug rocks. I concur with the Mongolian pillow idea.

  29. SueM says:

    Love it all, the print is to die and an absolute, unequivocal YES to throw pillows in black, ivory, gold or any combo. From the look on the dog’s face he agrees with me.

  30. Jane says:

    Was Reed Anderson a cartoonist for the New Yorker? My family has a big compilation book of New Yorker cartoons from the 1930’s through the 1960’s and that looks mighty familiar. Love it, regardless!

  31. sprylie says:

    It’s a beautiful room, of course. What bold, self-trusting choices! I would…I can’t believe a crow like me who likes shiny things, more and more of them….NOT add pillows. It’s so excellent just as it is. No need for more echoing than you already have.

    If you must, for comfort reasons, I’d go something tactile, as has been suggested, but my eyes want deep deep pink/red. I just like that against gray, as you have already discovered with your throw. If you must do pattern, not liberty, something more middleeastern.

  32. Lisa says:

    Am total newbie at interiors but I really, really like your living room:)

  33. Margaret says:

    I think someone wants to go for a walk 🙂

  34. Love it all, a great space to get creative or to just chill. I’m really digging the coffee table.

  35. DelawareDeb says:

    Yes to pillows. You have all those carefully curated elements on the floor (sofa, rug, table) which really are utilitarian art. Sometimes neutral sofas need pillows to be the cohesive element in a room. Sometimes pillows are needed on a sofa much like one or two carefully chosen accessories elevate the beautifully designed little black dress to the extraordinary outfit. So….something like this silk/cotton Ikat pillow cover with pink, grey yellow, white and black actually does both.

    http://www.houzz.com/photos/2516117/Ikat-Pillow-cover-Pink-and-grey-Decorative-pillow-cover-throw-pillow-traditional-pillows-portland

    Whatever you decide, send a photo to Elle Decor, because that room should be seen in print! Oh, that view from the window leaves me speechless – in a good way.

    • DelawareDeb says:

      Forgot. I think your dog is saying, “I thought you bought the sofa for me. Why are you asking them what they think?”

  36. Anne-Marie says:

    Yeah, you need a comfy pillow so you can lie on the couch and read magazines. It’s just not as much fun to read them sitting up, is it? Might as well make it a cute one.

    Love your whimsical little dog.

  37. Love what you did here…I totally want to plop down on that sofa and snark about September issues with you. (Also, I am super jealous of your watermelon coffee table…no way I could sneak that past my spouse.)

    I love it as is, and think you’ll eventually find a pillow (or three) that you just think fit so perfectly on that couch, you can’t imagine not buying them. Until that perfect pillow wanders into your life, I say leave it alone 🙂

  38. Annie says:

    I think you need some kind of metallic objet with no or few right angles. The room is nearly perfect.

  39. Kimberly says:

    Love the room! I’d definitely go with one of Sara’s suggested gold pillows and a Mongolian lamb one in off white or black! Perfection…

  40. Kelly Ames Smith says:

    Love this room and love your rug, especially. You might want to scotch guard it to be safe. Thanks for this GOACA blog, I’m diggin’ it.
    Best,
    Kelly