Progress Report: Living Room

Suki loves the new sofa!I’m really excited to share the progress we’ve made in our living room today. This room has been a puzzle for me. I’m STILL in the process of imagining what I want it to be… but it’s also one of my favorite spaces for so many reasons.

It’s the first room you see (beyond the entryway) when you walk into the house. It has turquoise color washed floors, beautiful vaulted ceilings and a giant window. Until this past week, it had zero furniture (except for the piano). I would stand in there often and just try to imagine all the different layouts we could do. But I knew that ultimately, the only way to REALLY imagine it was to get a few of the big pieces of furniture in there and build from there.

But first, a little time travel! Last May, our living room looked like this…

Before(See the full BEFORE post here.) I wish I could show you how it looked when we viewed it the first time (fully furnished) because the previous owners fit a LOT of furniture into the space. I’m glad we experienced it in that way because when we came in on closing day to an empty room, it felt much smaller.

It’s weird how furniture can make a room feel bigger OR smaller.

We lived with it empty for about four months, and I’m glad we did because now we have a much better idea of how we’ll use the space and what the flow of our daily lives is vs. having guests and entertaining… and we can design the room for both!

Living room progress reportFirst let’s talk about those floors.

I have ZERO regrets about this choice. It makes the room so custom and special, and now we get to decorate with all neutrals, which I LOVE. I envision a lot of layered neutrals, whites and texture. I want it to feel super comfortable and cozy, but also bold and unique.

I feel like this house really is a fun way to explore different parts of my style. A lot of rooms are mid-century and Palm Springs inspired… lots of white, brass, marble, fluffy blankets, plants… I’d say that’s like 75% of the house. But then in a few rooms I get to explore different sides. The dining room is so much more Hollywood Regency and BOLDER than the rest of the house… a style that I love in small doses, but if every room were that style, it would be way too much. In this living room I feel like I can explore my more rustic side, which is inspired by my grandmother Corina. She loves Wyoming, farm life, and the southwest. One of her most prized possessions is a ranch oak sofa set that was inspired by something she saw in one of the Kennedy’s houses. She’s definitely my muse for this room, and I am excited to incorporate some elements with that inspiration.

Living room progress report OK, let’s talk about these sofas!

I knew I wanted light tan leather sofas. They are the perfect color to compliment the turquoise and really the only natural color of leather that I feel fits our vibe. We looked at lots of options and ended up choosing the Sven Charm Sofa from Bryght.

I first heard about Bryght because my friend Katie had just bought the same sofa (in black) for her home. I got to test it out at her house, and it was super comfy, so I was sold. I’m not totally against buying things online without seeing them in person (I’ve done a lot of that), but it’s always a BONUS when you can try it out in person.

I love that they are comfy (I will totally be taking a random Sunday afternoon nap there) and look worn in and a little aged. I like that because I feel like they will age well over time because that’s how they are supposed to look.

Living room progress report Something I noticed after stalking the Bryght Insta is that this sofa seemed to photograph as different colors in different lighting. And it’s TOTALLY true. I’ve already noticed that it can look much darker or lighter depending on the angles. As someone who is DAILY taking photos at home, I kind of love that.

Living room progress report From this angle, I still feel like the room looks awkward. This is what you see from the entryway. I want to put a cute table behind that sofa. On the hunt for something super light wood and a great shape!

Oh—and you can see the big window from here. We had it replaced, and it’s so pretty, fresh and OPEN now. Plus it doesn’t leak anymore—woohoo!

Living room progress report Over here there are a lot of to-dos on my list. Above this sofa I think I want to do some kind of large scale art piece or maybe a group of juju hats.

I’m not sure why, but I’ve been avoiding gallery walls so far. And the one I have is all black and white. I think I just did SO many in our last home I kind of want to try other things this time?

What would you do above the sofa here?

Other things—we’ll be shopping for a neutral rug, a coffee table and some other small pieces. Not in a huge rush, though. I also need to find a BIG, awesome pot for our cactus.

Living room progress report Last angle, over on this wall I am thinking a skinny side table and big round mirror are in order.

Whew! What a process! This is a FUN room to work on. I’m glad we have the chance to decorate it slowly.

By the way, I’m about to start sharing ROOM TOURS! I made a schedule for all of 2016, and I’ll be sharing about one room a month. There are quite a few that are already very close to being ready. I’m glad I have my sharing schedule to keep me motivated throughout the year… thanks to YOU guys! Haha!

Have a great day! xx- Elsie

Credits//Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions.  

  • It is looking good! Not my house, I know, but in the last photo, instead of a skinny table under the round mirror, I would love to see a rustic wood floating shelf. Hm hm.

  • i think matching couches always look more elegant facing each other with a coffee table in between them and allow for socializing over cocktails and snacks really well when entertaining. just a suggestion and a way to not be looking at the back of the couch from the entryway. I also LOVE the floors.

  • First off, what a lovely job you’ve done with such a beautiful and open space. It still seems so big even after the furniture (which is quite a feat !)

    Secondly, that floor! I’ve never seen a turquoise floor before, it’s unreal.

    I design fringe tapestries of all different colors and sizes…I feel like this would be the perfect boho chic touch to the room. They range from really bright colors to more neutral tones. You can checkout the full range here ( if you’re interested. I think it would fill a lot of the space above the sofa without being constricting! That’s the beauty of fringe. It’s so flowy and free.


  • I’ve been so excited to see the update on this space! Its gorgeousss! The floors and the sofas are really making magic together! As for above the sofa, I’d be looking for textile art! Can’t wait to see more 🙂

  • LOVE those turquoise floors! And I second the fiber art, or a giant painting with lots of texture for the wall. If you need something made from blue fabric or grey paper with lots of texture and some color, have a look at my website, I think the sizes of some of my work would fit really well:
    Looking forward to seeing the rest of the transformations!


  • It looks great! And what a wonderful window!

    Have you tried to pull the sofa that is up against the wall a little bit out? Even like 4 inches would give the room quite a bit more airiness. I might have something against furniture being too pushed up against walls though, but try it 🙂

  • I adore this room, but you know what I reckon would look amazing above that couch? A massive print of water in a gold gilt frame. I have a friend with one and for some reason due to the quality of the water in the print or maybe it’s the frame it looks like a window or a tv (but in a – hey is that water moving?? way rather than oh god, there’s a tv way). It’s so relaxing and I think it would complement the floors and the couches beautifully.

    Man, I love this room.

  • Looks like it’s coming along beautifully, but I expected nothing less. Those floors make my heart smile!

  • This is why I follow you girls, I love the risks you take in your homes. And how could I not follow a blog named a Beautiful Mess? I have 10 children so I have practice at seeing beauty amidst the mess.

  • What about swapping the corners that the plants and the piano are in? Or could one of the sofas fit on the wall between the french doors and the bar cart so the 2 sofas would face each other? I agree there’s something a little funny about the layout when you look in from the door, but it’s all really lovely.

  • I would put a textile piece over the sofa – a tapestry, macrame, or something like this:

    My parents have a couple of large scale ecuadoran tapestry pieces that look just amazing on the wall.

  • Love the floor with your giant cactus! The natural lighting coming in is a dream. I can envision this room more like the lobby of the Parker in Palm Springs. With a floor like that, I think channeling more Jonathan Adler is a must! 🙂

  • Love the cactus!

  • I’d opt for the art. Partly because I love large scale art and partly because even though juju hats are gorgeous, they’re someone else’s cultural and religious wear. I also like the idea above of large-scale fiber/macrame wall art.

  • I am sure you will find something amazing to put above your couch. Here is a painter friend I have and she does lovely work. She is in galleries in San Francisco but for you here is her work online

  • Those floors – so fresh! I’ve never seen anything like it, & I love it!

  • I am in LOVE with the turquoise floor. I’m with you on the wall gallery front… can’t wait to see what you come up with!


  • If it were me I would put a cool tapestry on the open wall above the sofa! It would relax the room a bit, and you could choose if it was a more neutral piece or a colorful one! Urban outfitters has a lot of cool ones 🙂

  • This is so damn cool. You are one ballsy homeowner!

    xo, Irina Bond |

  • amazing job! the floors are so unique I love it =o)

  • I just commented about the live or raw edge wood tables and then discovered 3 more that are super cool. Again, I’m not associated with the companies that make the tables, I just found them online and thought you might love them too.

  • I think a live or raw edge wood table, maybe in maple or burl wood, would look great behind the sofa and/or as a coffee table. I found two random examples through google, I don’t know the seller and I’m not trying to advertise for them, that I thought you could DIY.

  • LOVE what you’ve done with your living room! So different from anything I would have ever thought of. Just love seeing different interpretations of what is beautiful and cozy. Can’t wait to see the layers as you add them.

  • You should put a big quilt on the wall over the couch. Something with white and tan neutrals and small pops of blue to match your floor!

  • Elsie, I love the work so far (as always!) but I do agree with you word choice of “awkward”- the flow of motion in the room is really disrupted by having the back of the couch directly in front of the door. Could you have the two couches facing each other with a low and light (glass if possible) coffee table in the middle so that the flow through the door can get you all the way to the piano, the focal point? Obviously, I’m going off of pictures so I can’t quite tell the dimensions of the space, but I would have the couches parallel closer to the door, with coffee table and rug between them. Then, I would center the piano against the backdrop of the window and add some equally- proportioned greanery on either side? Maybe some hanging ivy to go well with your BEAUTIFUL cactus 🙂


  • I think that some huge (maybe two) engineer prints would look awesome on that wall above the sofa. In Black and White. I love this room!

  • I’m not going to lie – when you first posted about that floor colour, I was like bright blue?! How are you even going to try decorate with a blue floor?! But it has grown on me SO much and I now absolutely love it! I really love the couches that you chose too! They go so well, and the rest of it sounds like it’s going to turn out pretty amazing too – seriously envious of those blue floors now haha! 🙂
    xo April | April Everyday

  • I am so in love with this room and the colors so far. The turquoise and tan look fantastic together.

    As far as what to hang on the wall above the couch I would say check out some cool weavings. Last week I stumbled upon an awesome artist who creates wall hangings from her loom and many of them are neutral and full of texture! Sunwoven is the name.

  • I forget – is there a library in the house? Where will you keep your books? There seems to be plenty of wall space in this room that could hold a ton of books.

  • What a gorgeous transformation! I absolutely adore the blue flooring! One of the most unique things I’ve seen xx


  • The floors and sofas match so well, I’m in love with this new room x

  • You don`t recognize the old room at all! Amazing transformation!
    xx Caroline

  • The floor is GORGEOUS! I would’ve never thought to use that color for flooring. It almost looks like the ocean.

  • A large weaving made of neutrals with a few pops of color to pull out the turquoise and whatever other accent colors you use would be beautiful above that sofa!

  • This room is looking so good! For art over the sofa, I’d pair up with Camellia Fiber Company for a custom wall weaving. They work with a weaver who does amazing work, and it would be cool to spotlight an indie Nashville business.

    I’m dying to know what you’re going to put on the windows. And I’d be happy to put you in touch with the lady who sewed Barbara Mandrell’s curtains… Just sayin’. 🙂

  • Holy cow! You really turned this room around! It is stunning. All of that natural light is a dream! Absolutely gorgeous job!

    C |

  • I absolutely love this room! I would’ve thought that the darker floors would have made the room much darker, but it’s so nice and light 🙂 I would put a huge clock over the sofa, in a kind of vintage style.

    Elanor Xxx

  • Your room is looking amazing, I love the transformation!! Would you consider painting your own large canvas for above the couch? Or perhaps something by your Mum? My husband recently painted a large canvas to hang in our living room and as well as fitting the space perfectly and looking great, it also feels really special because it’s so personal. Just an idea…

  • SOO gorgeous! I love your house posts. I get excited everytime there is a new one. Truly beautiful and inspiring. And I love that it doesn’t look exactly like everything I see on all of the designer IG accounts and blogs.

  • This room is looking great!! Love the sofas. I would go with a huge art piece or bold photo on the wall above the sofa.

  • Always a fun process turning a house into a home <3 Can’t wait to see the more!!

  • I love how much light you were able to utilize in the room, it really opened the space. You gave me some great ideas for my living room.


  • With all that shine and sleekness, I’d add texture– you could put one of those Moroccan wedding blankets over the sofa, or a huge painting– not a framed print, a painting’s brushstrokes would add texture– and maybe the sofa table could have slender matte black metal legs, and a glass top? So it’s not all leather and wood?

    Gauzy curtains to soften the room, and more plants… texture-y cushions like a chunky cable knit, or woven blanket, or heavily fringed… maybe something in cotton velvet, for a little surprise? Mushroom-y greige velvet is so gorgeous and subtle, and with maybe small gold tassles at the corners?

    Another wall could have a macrame hanging– I hear macrame is going to be big this year. What about a wall sculpture? In more matte black metal? A touch of black helps ground things when a space is very bright, as this room is.

    A wicker basket or two– as a pot for another (fluffy!) plant, or to hold magazines or books, or sheet music for the piano… a snuggly throw for the backs of the sofas, since the size of the room might make it seem a little chilly?

    Sorry if I’m all over the place with this, but I loooooove what you have done with this room and can see it being just amazing when it’s done, and it’s given me so many ideas!

  • Looks stunning! My husband and I have large living room walls as well (vaulted ceilings). Maybe try something made of fabric to cover the large area. Something like a flag, or a large burlap coffee bag. The walls can handle it. Have fun! 🙂

  • I really like the room. It is strange how the layout makes the room seem so much bigger or smaller. I found this tutorial the other day and really liked it. Juju hats for the win:

  • Coming together and looking dang good! I would hang either a large mirror over the sofa or a really large unframed photo or print (BIG!), something that won’t distract too much from all the key features of the room but fits nicely on the big white wall. If you need a resource for large format printing or for fun photos/art, my husband can hook you up:
    Quality is amazing and lot’s of options he can help you choose from. Love hearing about your progress!

  • Those sofas are amazing and look great against the turquoise floor! Another suggestion for wall decor — wrapping various size canvases in coordinating fabrics and doing a “gallery textile” type of arrangement. Just a thought!

  • It looks great! Elsie, I think one of your mums bold paintings would look AWESOME above that sofa, maybe one with similar tones to the floor plus yellow or pink? YOu couldn’t NOT be happy in that room then! 🙂

  • I would hang a Pendleton Blanket. My personal home style is very ‘modern west’ but this one (displayed on the white side) might look cool:

  • A really wide and narrow watercolor that spans the width of the couch would be really awesome. It wouldn’t have the texture of an oil painting, but a cool color washed Wyoming sunset inspired painting would look really cool and would give a nice nod to the color washed turquoise floor. I “think” I’m down now.

  • I love all that your are doing/changing with this house! The molding on the doors seriously pops now! They look incredibly fancy and expensive, before they were more kitchy and didn’t have that elegance.

  • If you are thinking rustic inspired, then I would definitely consider a textile, woven treatment above the couch. The woven wall hangings are all the rage and I am sure you could come up with some something that would just be great. Leather could be incorporated with white fluffy yarn and some bright southwestern inspired colors woven in. Mandy at Vintage Revivals has a modern southwest vibe, that I could see working in here, with your own twist of course. Some cool heavily layered oil paintings could also look classic, less trendy, and be a great way to bring in color and texture.

  • I don’t know why but for above the sofa I immediately thought of this photo – . Also like the idea of fiber art/macrame as a much cheaper alternative to a large picture/painting.
    Also, that cactus is CRAZY awesome.

  • Wow, what a transformation! I’ve never seen turquoise floors before – how fun! And the floors and the couches really do compliment each other!

  • err… also!!! these baskets are neutral and beautiful too!

  • world market has a really cute metal drum- often used as a coffee table that has storage. I think it might look cute in between your sofas as a side table– or something else large and round!

    and I love the idea of a grouping of juju hats. I’ve been feeling a bit over wall galleries too and I never thought I’d say that. Just seems like next level and more mature to do something else 😉

  • So in love with the teal floors. A total showstopper and the neutral decor is the perfect balance. Can’t wait to see the rest!

  • Just wow, this room already looks stunning! I love how the floor stands out against the white walls, and damn, I love those sofas! Very well done!

  • Oh my goodness! I loved the room with bare blue floor and now with the tan leather coaches went to space levels of awesomeness. I am really curious to see what you will do with that beauty! Blow our minds Elsie 😀

    love from,

  • This is stunning! I can’t wait to have a house with hardwood floors so I can dye them blue!! Thanks for being my spirit animal 🙂

  • Love the room so far! I’m totally feeling a cow hide rug in here and maybe a big long mirror over the sofa? Or maybe some sort of tapestry? Either way can’t wait to see what you do. 🙂

  • I absolutely LOVE this room!! My favorite colors…the floor is so pretty and those couches…….Just AWESOME!! You’re doing great! I’m so enjoying these Progress Reports!

  • I would do a large fiber art piece or macrame above that sofa. Love the floors and sofa – what a difference!

  • i am in SUCH suspense to find out what throw rug you end up putting down in this room… i love how the turquoise floors are looking with the furniture now staged in there, and im sure a rug will do a lot to protect the color in your high traffic areas!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.