Heights House Living Room Design


When designing our home, I envisioned the living room to be the place where we’d gather for morning baby snuggles, afternoon football games, and late night conversations. It would be where memories were made while hosting family during the holidays or a quiet date night in. The space would be warm and cozy, calm and comfortable, and an extension of the relaxed European style of our home.

Situated just off the front entrance and open to the dining room, the room feels larger than its 18’x18′ footprint with a tall cathedral ceiling and five large picture windows.

We sacrificed square footage in other areas of the house for this room because to me, it’s the heart of the home. Watching it come together and dreaming of our future here was the most fun part of the construction process…

Those three 5′ south facing windows let in a ton of light, and I’m so glad we didn’t go smaller to try to save money. I wrote a detailed blog post all about choosing windows in case you missed it.

One of the most exciting days of construction was the floor installation. Ten months later and I’m still obsessed with these French Oak planks.

The vaulted ceiling has to be my favorite feature, especially after we added the faux wood beams. They make the room feel so grand!

The light and airy color palette (read about the paint color selection in this post) helps make the room feel more open and serves as a neutral backdrop for furniture & decor throughout the seasons.

Since moving into this house five months ago (how has it been that long already?!) the living room was relatively low on the priority list while we finished up the kitchen, nursery and powder bathroom (among a million other little projects). At first it had a couple random pieces of furniture brought in from our storage unit…

Here’s the other side…

I didn’t want to rush into completing this room and risk overspending or buying anything I didn’t 100% love because I was impatient. The best rooms are well thought out and evolve over time, so this is still a work in progress and I don’t mind the wait.

Over the past year I’ve had time to mull over my design plan, scour the internet for the perfect pieces and even do some bargain hunting. Here’s what I came up with:

The first decision I made was the chandelier I found last year and couldn’t pass up. It was the perfect size for our large room (53″ wide—it’s also available in 40″ here) and fit right in with all of the other black iron fixtures in our home.

My next find was a secondhand score via OfferUp (I think it was around $80?)—an armoire which holds our TV. I love the classic European character and it’s just the right size. The plan is to paint it eventually—I was actually thinking a pale green, similar to the existing color, but I may wait and see if I can find an antique unpainted wood armoire and move this one into our bedroom. We shall see!

The next piece was this 9×12′  Loloi Layla olive/charcoal rug that caught my eye months ago.

My original design plan was based around a rug with primarily green tones, which is particularly difficult to find! I spent countless hours exhausting pages of search results on every site I could think of, and always came up short. The Layla rug looks brown in photos, but in person in the daylight, it’s mostly olive green (it does look more brown under incandescent lighting, though). I was thrilled to discover this when I unrolled it! Here’s an iphone photo I just snapped that’s an accurate representation:

It’s also surprisingly soft and cushy, especially given how thin it is (I’m not using a rug pad at the moment). It feels almost like a thick velvet fabric. The attention to detail is impressive—the pattern is actually pulled from a real vintage rug so it looks authentic.

It hides everything and cleans well (you’d never know where Susie puked on it), it’s very reasonably priced, and I can’t say enough good things about it. It really is the perfect rug! I love it so much I ordered the same one (in the 5×7′) for the Riverside Retreat kitchen.

And the biggest purchase for this room, one I spent countless hours searching for over many months… the sofa!

I tracked down every linen sofa in a similar size/style looking for the best price and reviews, and this was the winner (I plan to do a dedicated blog post with all of my findings cause the info is too good to not share!) I had bookmarked it early in the year and when I was finally ready to pull the trigger in June, it was no longer available. I panicked and talked to customer service, who assured me that it was coming back in stock in a few weeks (whew!). A few weeks turned into a few months and I had almost given up hope of it returning, but as soon as it finally did, I jumped on it.

This is hands down my favorite sofa I’ve ever purchased. The price is amazing, the style is clean and sophisticated, the size is perfect for this room, it’s durable and super deep and comfy. The cushions are double sided and have removable slipcovers which eases my hesitation of ordering a light colored sofa. Online it says dry clean only (what? no thanks), but I spot cleaned melted chocolate with Oxi spray stain remover, water and a dish sponge and it came right up without leaving any evidence.

The only imperfection I can find is that the material isn’t super soft. It’s not rough or uncomfortable by any means, but it is a thick woven linen which is naturally textured. This doesn’t bother me at all though, it makes it more durable and easier to hide stains.

I paid $1,400 in August which I thought was a steal… but I just found out it’s on sale for only $1,050 right now! Totally kicking myself, and tempted to buy another one just so I have a backup, ha. I’m super jealous of anyone who gets it at this price! You won’t regret it.

The next big ticket item (or items, I should say) are two slipcovered Wyatt armchairs from SixPenny. I ordered these last month and they’re scheduled to arrive next week.

These will sit across from the couch, where the two wicker placeholder chairs are in the photo below:

I’ll do a dedicated blog post reviewing them after they arrive, so stay tuned!

And that brings us to the next piece of the puzzle, the coffee table. I posted a poll on Instagram a while back, trying to decide between Option 1 and Option 2.

The results were evenly divided, so in the end I went with the one I thought was more unique and fit better with the style of our home.

Size was the most important search criteria, and it’s quite the task finding something over 50″ long (the proper scale for the sofa/room) that’s also stylish and budget-friendly. My options were relatively limited, but I’m glad I came across this table and think it was the right choice. Apart from the price and design, the rustic wood finish is pretty indestructible so I won’t have to worry about damaging it!

Another crazy good deal that I can’t praise enough is this faux olive tree:

Realistic looking faux trees are few and far between, let alone affordable ones. This was another purchase I researched for months before finally pulling the trigger, and I’m happy to report it lives up to the photos and reviews online. The best part is the price—under $200 for a nice 8′ tree is insane (and only ~$100 for the 72″!)—so insane that it’s always sold out. I managed to snag one after setting up an alert on Wayfair, but currently they’re sold out again (they usually last only days, if that). I plan on buying another for the Riverside Retreat as soon as it comes back. There’s a video review in my Living Room story highlights on Instagram if you want to see more in depth:

One key element that’s currently missing in this room are curtains. I think just about every room needs window treatments to feel complete, and curtains in particular are such an easy way to make a space feel soft and inviting, making them a must (in my book) for living spaces.

After much debate, I’ve settled on neutral linen panels—specifically these Belgian Flax Linen drapes in Natural.

They’ll be unlined to provide privacy while still allowing the light to come through, and the added texture will help give the room a relaxed and comfortable vibe. Can you picture how much more finished they’ll make this space?

Moving right along to another secondhand find, this antique sideboard:

I found it on OfferUp and paid $275—it’s the perfect size and in great condition, worth every penny to me. It’s beautiful as is, but the lacquered cherry wood isn’t the best match for the neutral tones of this room so I’ll be painting it black (sorry wood purists, can’t change my mind on this one! 😉

I’m currently on the hunt for a large antique mirror to hang above it, and have a few contenders lined up so we’ll see what I end up with. Mirrors are plentiful in the secondhand market so I’m not too worried about finding something I love. Currently considering these… any of them stand out to you? (I’d paint them gold):

The last major decision to be made is this empty wall. I’ve decided on large scale artwork (since I’ll already have a big mirror on the other wall and there won’t be enough room for a table).

I’ve been browsing Pinterest for inspiration, and am leaning towards DIYing large wood frames, and filling them with something vintage—old maps or topographic illustrations, perhaps? I’m loving the style of this…

via The Spruce

That’s something I can figure out later though, and I’ll plan to make a DIY tutorial out of it too 🙂

I think we’ve covered pretty much everything! The only thing missing that I don’t have a plan for yet are side tables, which I’ll probably need two of (one between the armchairs and one next to the sofa). I want to wait until the chairs arrive to decide on a plan for those—there’s a good chance they’ll be a thrift store/secondhand find.

I haven’t set a timeline to complete this room, but I hope to have at least the main pieces here in time to decorate for the holidays. It will be pretty last minute, but we’re hosting family this year and it’s baby’s first Christmas, so I can’t pass up an opportunity to get festive! In the meantime, here’s a look at real unstaged life just outside of these shots, from the dining room…

And speaking of real life, I uploaded our first vlog since baby last week in case you missed it! There’s plenty of adorable Esmé clips, how we’re adjusting to life as new parents, and project updates on both houses:

Next week I’ll be revealing our master bathroom at the Riverside Retreat, so check back then or you can follow me on Instagram for daily updates!



48 thoughts on “Heights House Living Room Design

  1. I vote top left for the mirror. Bonus, it’s already gold. Love the idea of painting the buffet black. May I suggest moving it to the blank wall though? If you add a side table to your couch, I think it would look heavy sided. Art where the buffet is currently would look 👌.

    1. Originally I was planning to have the buffet on that back wall, but once the new chairs arrive there won’t be any room. The side table by the sofa would be on the other side, not next to the buffet! And the gold mirror is my favorite too but it’s also the most expensive so we’ll see if I can make a deal 🙂

  2. Wow Jenna! I’m loving your new family room. That SOFA! I wished i needed a new one…that would definitely be my first choice. Love the look, and the color. What a beautiful setting you have for it. The windows are so lovely…all of it !….perfect. Anxious for your side chairs to arrive. Love the cute update video of you two with Esme….you guys are such a sweet little family! Fun to see Susie around too!

  3. Another beautiful room! I cannot believe you found the armoire for $80! That sofa is beautiful too. I love the simplicity of the bottom left mirror. Love the vintage maps in rustic frames.

  4. You have exquisite taste, Jenna. Every decision you make is spot on. Love, love, love your living room. (As an aside, yours is the only blog in which I read every single word. 😉 ) Now, back to view the video!

  5. LOVE the design and selections, so beautiful. Run, run, run and order a second sofa and replace the 2 wicker chairs opposite from the sofa with a second sofa. 2 sofas across from one another will look better. The weight and scale of the single sofa is nice but would look better in my opinion with another across from it, provide more seating and if anything happens you have a back up sofa. You have the scale and height of room to handle this plus you can always place a narrow console behind that sofa. Just my 2 cents after looking at the photos.

  6. I love it! It’s classy yet not overly formal or fussy. It doesn’t look unfinished now, but I can’t wait to see “final” photos.

    I agree with the previous comment that suggested moving the sideboard to the blank wall. The current placement may look crowded with a sidetable added in.

  7. It all looks great so far! I think I would choose the first mirror, ( depends on the prices, really) the second one is pretty but looks like it should be above a dresser, maybe. They would all work, so I would probably buy the best priced one, especially with a whole new house to buy for.
    How about ordering another couch for your bonus room!
    This is a beautiful room, the tall ceiling and beams are wonderful.

    1. Thanks for the advice! I’ve honestly never used them and haven’t noticed any adverse effects but I want this rug to last forever, so I should probably get one to be safe.

  8. I love the top left mirror the most. I like the sideboard on the wall you now have it on but I wouldn’t use a side table on that end of the couch, to tight with the sideboard there. How about using a floor lamp at that end of the couch? I love what you’ve done so far! You never disappoint us! I definitely would get a rug pad though, I’ve had it both ways and been very disappointed when I didn’t use one. May you and your family enjoy your home for many years to come!

    1. Thanks Linda! The table would be on the other side of the sofa, and I’ll have a lamp on the sideboard instead of a floor lamp 🙂 I’ll definitely get on that rug pad!

  9. Love it all so much. Good job especially considering you’re taking care of a newborn also and Lucas has gone back to work. I love mirror number one, the one on the top left. I think it would be magical. Can’t wait to see what you do for the holidays.

  10. Love it! Looks so you! I love the idea of painting the sideboard black. I choose the top left mirror. Have you thought of putting the sideboard on the wall behind the chairs? Just a thought and it may be the wrong size.

  11. I love everything! The three-section mirror is my favorite and that is the coffee table I would have selected. I don’t think you or anyone else will be sorry that you painted the sideboard black. It will look smashing. Can’t wait to see what you do for the holidays.

  12. OMG, your house looks fantastic! I’m suffering from a serious case of house envy! Thanks so much for sharing, Jenna Sue. I love your Armoire, and whatever you decide to do with it, it’s beautiful as is, but my absolute favorite is your sweet black kitty, Susie.

  13. Be careful and don’t use those waffle type rubber pads with your rug. It will ruin your wood floors because over time they adhere to the floor!

  14. Hi Jenna,
    This is the only time I’ve ever disagreed with one of your intents/choices. That cherry piece appears to have book-matched cherry doors. Unless I’m missing something (i.e., it’s a fake), the piece is worth a lot more than you paid for it. (I have a bunch of Stickley furniture in my home. I’d be heartbroken if anyone painted them after I am gone.)
    For the mirror, either the top or bottom left choices. For the artwork, the big map (in four pieces) looks great. Since you’re in Florida, check out Elaine Hahn, a member of the National Watercolor Society (NWS).
    You go girl! I’m looking forward to seeing the chairs and curtains installed.
    Jackie

    1. Thanks Jacqueline! I’m not sure how rare this particular buffet is, but I see very similar pieces for sale (used) around here all the time! This one just happened to be the right size, and black will fit this room much better 🙂

  15. Gorgeous! I’m not sure which I’m loving more, the sofa or that chandelier! My mirror vote is also top left. Here’s hoping you can strike a deal! We, too, are gearing up for Baby’s First Christmas. Bring on the matching famjams and pictures under the tree! I hope you enjoy every moment of this season with your sweet Esmé.

  16. I just want to hug all three of you. I’m an empty Nester, and had two lovely lovely girls… That time I really believe is the most precious! I also really can’t imagine how I would’ve done that without God! He’s so kind to show us each day and he controls and his sovereign over the future! He is so good! You guys are my favorite design blog. You have the best style, and I would and will copy everything you guys do!

  17. Love your beautiful progress. I totally trust your design choices.
    We will love you and your work just as much with fewer posts, not to worry.
    Best picture, Suzie in the sun.

  18. My computer won’t open the sofa link. It just has a malware warning. Do you have a better link to the sofa website? It’s amazing!

  19. So beautiful and inspiring! I’ve been searching for a sofa for months and months and pinned that one a while back but wasn’t sure about it- you convinced me! I’m sure you’ve mentioned it somewhere but will you share what paint color you used on your walls? Thanks for sharing!!

  20. Love the vlog! She’s beautiful and you guys are doing wonderful with your projects! I know all too well the struggle of trying to balance caring for your infant, working full time, family time, and house projects. Thank you for sharing your parenthood journey with us!

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