Cottage Update: The current state of the Living Room

My living room is one of my favorite rooms in the house even though its not intentionally decorated.  It’s just a mix of stuff that I already had placed together.  It’s simple enough: a neutral base, black trimmed curtains to add a little formality, a mix of textiles to add a little color and fun, vintage pieces to add a little soul, and family heirlooms to add a little heart.

It’s not my vision, its not some kind of design thesis statement, but its a happy comfortable space.  I didn’t style anything when I snapped these pics- this is literally just the way I live.  So if it doesn’t look perfect, like something out of a magazine, you’ll just have to understand that I’m not going for that.  It’s all just a work in progress that I tweak and move around on a continual basis.  But for now, here is my living room, plus a few snaps of what it used to be.

Neutral Boho living room Design Manifest

My sofa, with its mid-century lines, isn’t sink-into-it comfortable, so I replaced my coffee table with my ottoman/bench.  Putting your feet up makes everything more cozy.  I’m pretty anal about damaging the delicate La Fiorentina upholstery, so I layered a vintage suzani over it.  I like the look and the practicality of it.

DM living room sofa end table art DM living room embroidered pillow DM living room wood brass end table DM living room art

On the right side of the sofa I mixed Caitlin Wilson’s coral fretwork pillow with an embroidered steal from Urban Outfitters. (No longer end available.)  The end table is a great brass/wood/white mid-century piece that I won at an auction awhile ago.  (I used to be obsessed with furniture auctions… I guess I still am, but no longer have the free hours to stalk.)  The Indian piece of art is one my favorites- it’s actually 3D, with fabric and beading embellishing the piece.  I like to mix brass, gold and silver and you can see that clearly in this vignette, with the brass elephant (a thoughtul gift from Miss Tobe,) silver tray, brass sconces etc.  I like that it feels more collected.

living room before

living room before with door

The original living room was quite teeny: 10×15 with the front door opening right into the space.  When we removed the half walls it felt so much more open!!  The front store is still right there, but it works.  It’s cozy.

DM living room corner

DM living room black front door and sofa

I painted my front door black.  I love it.  When in doubt, paint it black.

DM living room round end table DM living room pillow detail chinoiserie pink fretwork DM living room black trimmed curtains la fiorentina ottoman

The left side features a vintage round table loaned to me by my sister, Megan.  My family is often rotating furniture around among ourselves.  I traded this piece for my wicker stools.   The pillows are different over here, but balanced out by the use of the coral fretwork again.  I have a few general rules for pillows- 1.  Don’t match patterns exactly- ie do one the same, and one different.  2. Don’t match the quantity of pillows on each side.  I lean towards the 2-3 combo.

DM living room front door and fireplace

On the other side of my front door is the fireplace.  It has yet to be used, but I’m really hoping I light her up this winter!  I gave myself a few coat hooks and built-in some shelves in what used to be an awkward alcove.  I keep my keys, dog stuff and various trinkets right there.  It’s pretty handy.

naomis fireplaceFireplace Before

DM living room fireplace alcove shelves

Fireplace After

Ain’t it great what a coat of paint can do?

DM living room fireplace wall

I was extremely insistent that a mirror go above my fireplace instead of a television.  One, because I wanted to reflect the light from the windows and two, because I didn’t want the TV to be the first thing you saw when you walked in the door.  So I mounted it just to the left instead.

DM living room fireplace tv art wall

I surrounded the TV with art.  Just stuff I already have.  I’m still tinkering with this area, particularly what’s on the bar cart.  It’s kinda lame right now… but I’ll get around to it when I feel inspired.  Maybe I’ll add art, maybe I’ll take some away.  I like that many people don’t notice the TV at first… that was the idea.

DM living room television art wall

Wide shots kinda suck in this format, but here’s a better perspective of this wall’s before and after…  Ugly old fireplace again:

naomis fireplace

New configuration with half wall gone, stairs re-built, fireplace painted and shelves installed.

fireplace wall wide

And that’s the end of my tour!  This space will continue to evolve for sure.  I still want to find or refurbish to chairs to go to the right of my sofa.  I do entertain quite regularly and there never seems to be enough seating.  Fingers crossed that I stumble upon something good that works with the space. xx


Hope you enjoyed the long post.  I’m finishing up a vacation and it seemed the easiest time to share something.  What do you want to see next?


xo Naomi

  1. Beautiful space – I love that it’s a real life space and not a magazine-styled one. That’s what I’m about. Also the shelves to the right of the fireplace – so good. I’m toying with the idea of doing that in our place right now. I saw your blog ages ago and loved it but didn’t recall the name. Think I’m back for good now!
    – Amy

  2. Flipping awesome! I love every inch of your space:)

  3. Dee

    Thanks for the source Naomi ! I’m sure my parents would have enough vintage posters for me to do som DIY on the posters with some indian textile and beads .we normally find beautiful prints in yearly calendars . Have a great weekend !

  4. Dee

    Naomi, love the indian piece of art … The prints are very common in India , but the 3d not so much. Can you please share the soure … Would love to have something similar like that in my home he .. Would remind me of good times with my parents !

    • Naomi

      Thank you, Dee! I purchased it through the Loaded Trunk. I’m pretty sure it was a vintage, one of a kind find. I don’t think she had more, but you should check with her.

  5. Sara

    Okay, where did you get the jute rug? That looks like a nice one!

    • Naomi

      Just from Overstock several years back. It’s held up great.

  6. Aubrey

    So you already know that I completely love your design skills, but what I keep being SO IMPRESSED with on your cottage is the reno and the little things that you switched up that make all the difference in the world! Taking out that little wall and revamping the stairs just made that space flow so much better and I’m positive that I would’ve never thought of it if it was my place. It’s just amazing!

    • Naomi

      Thanks Aubrey!! Yea I’m really pleased how open the space is now.

  7. Rachel

    Quick question: is the off-centered TV difficult to watch? I always wonder about that. Glad you avoided putting it over the fireplace because, I agree, it’s not a good look.

    I had a random, completely unsolicited thought: is the diamond door cut-out meh in real life? I am thinking of putting a mirror-backed trellis over a blah area of the back of our house, and I just thought that a diamond-shaped and trimmed piece of wood trellis (from Lowes, etc.), painted black to match the door, might give that window some pizzazz. I dunno. Maybe I’m just suddenly obsessed with trellis. I think I am. Mimi McMakin used a mirror-backed trellis in a garden in the recent House Beautiful and now I want some trellis too…

  8. Elisa

    I love that you added shelves to the side of your fireplace. The room looks fantastic! And your tv hidden among the gallery wall is just darn brilliant. LOVE

  9. I absolutely love your living room it is so fresh and young! Just perfect!
    Love your blog also!

  10. Rebecca

    Absolutely stunning! Love every single inch.

  11. Dear Naomi I love what you have created! I layered blend of artistic furnishing that make for comfortable and REAL living. Bravo!

    2013 Design Series

  12. Nancy

    Naomi, if you have the funds, add a full true divided light French front door, You would need to add a blind of some sort for security and privacy but a French door would transform the look of your room, add lovely light, make the room feel less closed in and transform the look of your home from the front street. Give this some thought. You can buy these doors at HD or Lowes…

    All best-


  13. Uhhhhmazing. You did a wonderful job. Teach me your ways!!! I especially love the curtains — so simple and elegant.

  14. Amazing.. I love absolutely everything about it! Makes me want to redo my whole space!

  15. Janet mcfadden

    Looks great! What color did you use on the walls?

  16. Julie B.

    Loving your cottage. It keeps inspiring me to look at my home differently. 🙂

  17. Landi

    Naomi – if this is “not staged” – WOWZERS! Looks beautiful my dear… Since I’ve been out of the blog world for the past 6ish months, I am soo happy to see all your amazing progress on your house. Everything is coming together so well!

    Take care,

  18. jillian goulding

    Hi there!!!

    Where did you find your coffee table/ ottoman? I love it!!!!

    Thank you!!

    • Naomi

      It’s the Simone bench from Ballard Designs. I used a custom fabric

  19. So glad to finally see it! I’ve missed your blog posts but love the little glimpses you’ve given us into your progress.


  20. Amber

    It looks great! i have really enjoyed watching you renovate your home.

  21. Julia

    LOVELY, lovely, and lovely!!! Love everything about this room and especially the black that pops up here and there, but does not cast a harsh contrast, just a homey and warm vibe! Just beautiful!

  22. Such a beautiful transformation. There’s an ease about your space. It feels comfortable and welcoming!

  23. The whole thing is stupid good… I mean. Wow. Not styled or decorated? Pshaw!

    ps: kind of obsessed with the black hearth.

  24. For a space that isn’t “styled” . . . it looks amazing. I think styling can go a bit overboard – it’s mainly for photos, not real life anyway. Love that you painted your door black – I painted all my interior and exterior doors on my main level black and love it so much. They just recede, but look elegant too. Love it all!!

  25. Ashley

    You managed to make all of your existing furniture and accessories feel fresh and new in your new environment…I love it all! What a beautiful spot.

    P.S. Let’s catch up, please!

  26. Kim

    I love this space as well! I am all about the meaningful art, details, and knick knacks… I love how you have so many personal treasures on display. I also love the coral pillows! I second Kati- would love to see how the attic is coming along 🙂 Its these “real” home update posts that are the most inspiring and fun to follow along!

  27. Love it! Can’t wait to see the rest of your house!!

  28. Catherine

    I love your living room. You have a gift for mixing patterns and making it look like they were made to be together. Where did you get your curtains? Did you add the trim yourself?

  29. Asheley

    Beautiful space. Love the couch. It looks firm, which is what I am looking for. May I ask where it’s from?

    • Naomi

      It’s the Martin by Mitchell Gold.

  30. Kisha

    The transformation really is inspiring – i love how it all works together but nothing is “matchy-matchy” I’m moving into my new apartment next week and hope to achieve the same effortless, eclectic look. Well done.

  31. What a beautiful looking space. It looks like your style and it looks inviting. Love the “when in doubt paint it black”….so true.

  32. Love it. So pretty, welcoming, eclectic, charming, comfortable, easy. Love, love, love.

    I’m dying to see how your attic space is coming along. Or your yard? Or whatever you want. I don’t care, I just know whatever comes next will be guaranteed to inspire me. Again.


  33. girl, it looks SPECTACULAR. i honestly want to be sitting there with you, cocktail in hand right this second. i can’t even pull out a detail that i like most, it’s all so good!! and all from what you already had. well done.

    • Naomi

      Oh man, I would love for you to visit. I guess we will have to wait until the baby is up for travel at this point. xoxo

  34. I love what you have done with the place. It looks really cozy. Great job Naomi. What is the name of the paint color on the wall? Its perfect!!

    • Naomi

      Thank you! It’s Benjamin Moore “Swiss Coffee”- my favorite off-white

      • jessica

        I like the wall color too. Is the ceiling painted a different color?

      • Naomi

        Yes the ceiling is white ceiling paint whereas the walls are BM Swiss Coffee

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