Our Summer Living Room and A Big Design No-No

At the end of this post, I'd love to hear about a design rule that you've broken in your home.

The other day, I shared the details on how I gave my 10-year old sofa's a brand new life (if you missed it, click here).  One of the things I love most about my recently made-over furniture is the neutral fabric.  It allows me to create different looks in the space by swapping out just a few accessories.  Below are the pieces I brought in to create a fun summertime living room...

I curated a look that is simple and bold by using pared down, large scale items with striking patterns and sharp contrast.  Fresh greens and natural texture were incorporated to soften the color scheme and keep it from appearing harsh.

Here Are The Produce Sources:

In addition freshening up the room with new accessories, I re-arranged the furniture to create a more open feel.  I flipped one of our sofa's around and placed it in front of the fireplace to open up floor space and create an more convenient traffic pattern.  This is a great example of throwing design rules out the window.  Blocking the fireplace with a sofa could be considered a big design no-no.   

The tall black mantle behind the crisp white sofa creates a striking focal point.  Moving the sofa to this position gives the kids more floor space for board games and matchbox car races while they are home for the summer.  Although it may be considered a no-no, blocking the fireplace with the sofa functions well for us and I like the way it looks.  To me that is what good design is all about.

We rarely use our fireplace during the summer months so having it turned off and blocked by furniture for a few months is not an issue.  Should we decide to have a fire one night, I can easily slide the sofa back around to it's usual location.   

The wall color; Martha Stewart Coir (an old recipe that has been discounted) is a nice neutral.  It is a gray-based green which compliments just about any accent color.  If you follow this blog, you know that I like to switch things up with the seasons.  Using a nice neutral paint colors allows me to do this easily.

This bookshelf in the corner of our living room is where I have a little fun with different accent colors.  This colorful display (inspired by my son's artwork) is not only a bright, whimsical accent in our room, but it is also very convenient for summer time entertaining.

Our summer time living room is all about fun.  Lots of room for playing, ready for a party, bright color and bold pattern.  

Have you ever intentionally committed a design no-no in your home?  Please feel free to share in the comments below or on my facebook page.   I'd love to hear about it! 

For information on my affordable online design service please click here. 


  1. I love it all, and I love the fact that you switch things up often. Makes every room more interesting.

  2. I always look forward to your blog and it never disappoints. I love how you decorate! If the Martha Stewart color Coir has been discontinued, do you know a similar color that has replaced it?

  3. Very refreshing post, perfect for summer! I like your wall color, Coir. You said it has been discontinued. Do you know of similar colors since Coir is not an option? Thanks!

  4. It's a beautiful room, Sarah. I like how you 'broke the rules'!

  5. I painted a room yellow...not good!

  6. I love your paint color and how you are able to rearrange your furniture. Can't do that so much in this house like I was able to in our last house. I think my hubby likes it. ;) I would rearrange the rooms often.

  7. WOW! Absolutely love the way this room looks! I'm so in love with black right now. I bought a new-to-us house last summer that was 20 yrs behind the times. I've painted all the exterior doors black, window trims black, slowly painting stair rail black and white, etc. Now I want to copy this room of yours!


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