Exton Living Room Project: Before & After

Ahhh the formal living room. Also known as the room most likely to sit empty because it’s expensive to furnish and often underused. I’ve had at least half a dozen clients tell me their formal living room sat empty or incomplete for years and years. That is until we come onto the picture. Our goal is always to create a room that is functional, beautiful, inviting and feels like home. No museum show pieces – just practical arrangements that encourage LIVING!

Today we’re returning to our Exton client’s home to share their living room. After we wrapped up their master bath renovation (see here if you missed it) they called us back to bring some life and style to their underused living room. This family had three young children when the project began, and a formal living room as such was not going to be functional. Rather, our client hoped to use this space as a kid’s playroom during the day that could be quickly tidied up and serve as an adult lounge in the evening. We lovingly came to dub this room the “Lego Lounge,” owing to the Lego masterpieces constantly under construction in this space  😉

BEFORE

AFTER

We knew we needed big, welcoming surfaces for play, and ample storage for toys to be hidden away. We also needed practical finishes so kids could play comfortably without having to be too careful. And yet, we didn’t want the space to feel like a playroom. We wanted it to be fun and playful for kids, while creating an earthy and vibrant lounge vibe for adults.

BEFORE

 AFTER

We started by painting the walls a dramatic cobalt color, and then grounded the space with a leather chesterfield that both invites adult lounging and yet is nearly indestructible for kids. The structure of the chesterfield helped ensure that it would look great effortlessly (very little fluffing and rearranging at days end!), and we layered in a few patterned pillows for personality, including this handsome Tony Duquette print (below, left). We rarely use the color yellow in our interiors, but really enjoyed using it here to keep the space fresh and lively.

AFTER

We selected a vintage sideboard to provide much-needed toy storage, and on the opposite side of the room, positioned a small table between two swivel chairs that can easily swing from hosting board games by day to cocktails at night.

BEFORE

AFTER

To offer another multi-purpose surface, we positioned a console table against a previously unused wall, and had custom slipcovers sewn to cover our client’s existing nondescript leather cubes. Just as functional, but much more attractive!

BEFORE

AFTER

Finally, we styled the room with new lighting, a few accessories, some framed family photos, and commissioned a vibrant abstract painting from artist Jenny Prinn, which hangs happily above the sideboard. The result is a room that everyone wants to hang out in!

PHOTOGRAPHY BY COURTNEY APPLE

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  3. Rachel

    This looks wonderful! Also, I’m obsessed with that chesterfield (gorgeous tufting, but slim straight arms?!?). Can you please tell me where it’s from?

    • Naomi

      Thanks! It’s Restoration Hardware. Not sure it’s if its available anymore, though..

  4. Ashley

    This is the perfect combination of beautiful and kid friendly!! I love that ottoman!!!! Can you give any info on it?

    • Naomi

      Thank you! The base is by Bernhart and we used our own custom fabric.

  5. Megan

    Second the wall color- seriously gorgeous. The whole room, what an amazing marriage of family- friendly and earthy sensual collected vibes!

  6. Monika

    Ooooh, this is so deceptively “simple!” I love the wall color and the fabric on the bug square ottoman/coffee table and the unexpected jolt of hot pink and yellow atop that (once again) fabulous wall color! Did I mention the seductive wall color? You rocked it!

  7. Anna

    I love this room and how you made it both child and adult friendly. A dream space! Can you share the paint colour you used? It is just what I am looking for in my bedroom. Thanks!

    • Naomi

      I wish I could, Anna! Sadly we selected this wall color three years ago and my record keeping was just abysmal then! We are much better at tracking our resources now.

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