Bare Natural in the Living Room

With my focus pointed in 14 different directions, I don’t intend to finish my living room for awhile.  I have big ideas, most of which feature fancy designer fabrics and even more custom projects.  Let’s be real, I don’t have the funds or the energy to deal with that and I just want to enjoy my space.  Luckily I have a lot of great pieces and have been able to fill in the room so I can live comfortably.  Here is the first iteration, 1 week after moving in.

design manifest living room neutral

Chocolate oak floors, a cowhide layered over a jute rug and a linen-slipcovered sofa create natural, neutral space.

Vintage finds including a live-edge wood table,  Asian chairs and a brass and wood end table.

design manifest neutral living room

Curtains have been made, art will be hung, furniture will be re-arranged and I’ll be experimenting a lot with pattern and color.  But at this very moment… I’m really just digging the simplicity of the bare natural room.

I’m signing off for the week.  I have a lot to get done before my first house guests arrive.  Later Gators.

{Living Room Before}

The large gilded mirror

Dear Antiquing Gods,

I know I’ve been lucky in the past, but I’m really going to need your help in this next venture.  I’m seeking a large rectangular French mirror.  Gold and substantial would be best, but please not too ornate, except for a little embellishment on top.  Something like below, would be perfect.

Faithfully yours,


Atlanta Homes/ Amy D Morris

Lonny Mag/ Lauren Gold

I want to place this type of mirror over my clients’ fireplace mantel.  But don’t these mirrors look equally good behind a tub or perched between two windows?  

Must find one!

60 second makeover

Do you ever overthink about the decor of your home?  Perhaps you want to make a change, but you are paralyzed with what direction to go.  Sometimes it’s really quite simple.  Look at what a difference a rug makes.  One bold element added or subtracted can revitalize a whole room.  This is why I love design!

I know HGTV tells you to paint your wall a bold color, but I’m telling you something even simpler- change up your rug, or your pillows, or your art.  Hell I rotate all of mine seasonally and I find each room appreciates the change.  I do too.
Laura Resen Photography found via the fabulous Head Over Heels Blog

the oversized ottoman

While shopping for a client, I spied this pretty oversized ottoman.  At 5′ x 3′ and covered in a kilim rug, it would really make a statement in a room.  It reminded me of the ottoman used in the living room of House of Windsor.  LOVE this space- just enough mix of neutrals, pattern and color.

These type of ottomans are great for a family room.  The pattern is stain-forgiving, they are comfy, and they give a big surface area for drinks, books and pretties.  I enjoy a coffee table that is styled to the nines, but isn’t it great if it’s functional too?  As Deborah Needleman says, we should “make places for books drinks and feet.”  (Thanks Ashley!)
Needleman‘s Coffee table
If a big bold pattern is too much risk for you, don’t fret, an ottoman can be equally stylish in a solid.  Choosing an interesting shape is key with solids, as Windsor Smith so keenly demonstrates below.
Or play up the texture of your ottoman.  I’ve long obsessed over this beautiful jute cube by Ken Fulk.
When it comes to ottomans, sometimes bigger is better.  (And I rarely say that about furniture- especially about sofas.)  Play with the scale and let it be the focal point in the room.  Just make sure there is enough room to maneuver around it.
Ottomans are a great custom element in a room (and not too expensive.)  I’m using one in a family room design and I love the flexibility it gives us.  We pick the size and the fabric and my furniture-maker will whip one up.  So excited to see the finished product!

neutral rooms + moroccan tables

I find that I’m drawn to many rooms with Moroccan tables.  They are the perfect size for a little end table or make a pretty coffee table cluster.  Whether is a hexagonal wood variety (with pretty inlay, please!) or a brass tea table, I love the flair they add to a room.

While they look great in a typical bohemian pad- layered with beni ourain rugs, kilim rug pillows, pierced metal lanterns and ethnic textiles- I  prefer them in a more neutral room.  They create an attainable, eclectic feel.  I’d sure love to stumble upon one… or three!

Canadian House & Home via All things bright and beautiful

I think if I had one of these I’d end up moving it all around my apartment so that I could enjoy it in many ways.  That, and I’m crazy.  Where would you put a Moroccan table?