Re-envisioning a Living Room

For those of you who have been reading, you know how much I love to work on our apartment, taking it it from a blank slate, and turning it into a a home that reflects us.  Well… I recently started helping my friend re-envision her own space, and it turns out, it is even more fun, because I get to collaborate with someone else!

I actually used to live in this apartment with her, so trust me when I say that it is a great space.  Big rooms, high ceilings, and beautiful crown molding.  She has great taste already, but the challenge is finding a cohesive look and making a space work for both her, and her significant other (ie: How do we get rid of the boyfriend’s hideous bachelor stuff in the nicest way possible, and revamp the space they are living in?)  I can sympathize…

As it stands, the living room is open to the dining room, connected with a large archway.  It gets great light mid-day with a Northwest exposure.  The room is a good size at roughly 17′ in length – so one of the challenges is maximizing that huge expanse of wall, and filling the room out.
In the current layout, the majority of the furniture is grouped in the alcove of the bay window, and there is a lot of negative space in the entryway from the dining room and hallway.
I’d love to see the furniture more spread out, so that the room feels more balanced:
The great news is that she has all the large pieces, and they are all in good shape.  The sofa and over-stuffed armchair came from her parents, and she has some solid Crate and Barrel side tables and a matching coffee table – all of them came from Craigslist.  
Facing the sofa, the room currently looks like this:
While the room has good bones, there are several changes she wants to make – she wants a new, larger rug for the space (the pretty oriental she already has will make a new home in the adjacent dining room), and she wants to bring in more color into the room as well, adding throw pillows, and more art to the wall.
I had some free time on my hands on Sunday, and got a little carried away putting together an inspiration board for her.  I based this on the things we had talked about, and bookmarked online.
This was the original inspiration board…
The adjacent dining room’s walls are a bold orange, and since the rooms are connected by a large entryway, we felt it was important to echo those colors in the living room as well.  
Ultimately, everything had to work with the dark olive colored sofa since this piece isn’t going anywhere, and I think that the palate of blues and oranges work well with it, and almost turn it into a neutral. 
Most of the pattern and color will be coming through the accessories, so the pops of orange will compliment the dining room, but won’t necessarily compete.  Obviously I’m partial to this rug since Kris and I have it in our living room (in grey), but she loves it too, and this sea foam blue works well with orange as the accent color.
After I had the initial inspiration together, I took it a step further, and tried mocking up the room to see what it will start looking like once she starts making changes.  This is what I came up with…

By moving the large chair to the other side of the room, the super comfy chaise lounge can now be pointed towards the TV for optimal relaxation (that’s where I’d be parked EVERY night). 
The larger ginger jar vases are sculptural as well as pretty, and along with a gallery wall behind the sofa, I think they fill out the space nicely.  The accessories are what gives a room personality – especially when you are re-purposing furniture you already have, and working on a budget .  Pretty pillows give new life to an old sofa, and a fuzzy throw gives softness to a leather chair.  I am actually loving the hammered bronze side table I added in next to the chaise lounge (from World Market).  It’s on sale right now for $139!
With that side of the living room re-envisioned, I decided to take a stab at the other side as well (yes, I got WAY too carried away)!  Right now, the 17′ wall looks something like this… (ok, this is a terrible representation… don’t judge me!)
The point here is that I’d love to see this wall filled out, and create storage for her boyfriend’s stuff.  The ultimate goal? Get rid of the un-necessary side tables her boyfriend brought over from his bachelor days (I didn’t even have the heart to try to re-create them in this “before”)
Anyway, here is what I’d love to see this room ending up like:
I need a new program for angling furniture to face the correct direction (chairs will not be angled toward the sofa) but you get the idea.  
On this wall, my friend already has the large armoire for storage, along with the TV and TV stand.  To replace her boyfriend’s tables, I think a bookshelf is a great solution.  They can pack in books, CD’s, paperwork, etc, and use woven baskets to store (and hide) the less visual things.  The lamp on top of the bookshelf is currently on one of her side tables, so once she gets larger lamps to flank the sofa, this little guy can make a new home on top of the bookshelf.  
A tall, wide mirror will help fill in the space between the armoire and TV stand (this photo is not to scale – the gap between the two is actually wider in real life) and my favorite thing about the mirror (and any mirror), is that it opens the space up.  Finally, I am a strong believer that every room needs one living plant in it, and I am LOVING the fiddle leaf fig – an easy care plant that has waxy bright green leaves.  So pretty! 
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Anyway, this is just my interpretation of what the room will look like, and obviously, as she prices things out, and heads into the store the room will end up with other pieces outside of these inspiration boards.  Making a room come together is definitely a process, so I’ll keep you updated once the room starts coming together!!
If you like any of the pieces from the inspiration, here are the direct links to buy.
Where to Buy:

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