Creating an Inviting and Family-Friendly Living Room

Does hiring a decorator feel like an extravagant splurge?

I get it. Furniture and renovations can be expensive! I recently helped a lovely family make over the living room in their new home, and they were nervous about working with a decorator for the first time. But throughout the process, they were thrilled to discover all the ways that a decorator’s knowledge and experience can save time, money, and stress. Here’s how I helped ensure they got the cozy, inviting, and family-friendly space they were looking for.

My clients relocated from Toronto to Ottawa and wanted a warm and welcoming home to share with their three young girls. They found a wonderful house with great bones, but it needed some cosmetic updates and new furniture to really make it work for their family.

Realizing that they needed help, my clients were browsing Pinterest for inspiration and came across some of my work. After a quick call, they decided to bring me on board to help bring their vision to life.

This transformation started with the foyer, where we replaced outdated finishes with timeless classics. We installed crisp white wainscotting to accent the stunning curved staircase and a large scale, low maintenance charcoal tile throughout the entry and hallway to the living room. The light neutral carpet runner adds softness and warmth to the hardwood stairs, and contrasts beautifully with the dark stained stair treads.

In the living room, we kept the same basic furniture layout but started from scratch with all new pieces. This allowed me to create a cohesive look and make sure everything worked together. I went with a lighter palette that combines soft neutrals with calm blues.

The space is anchored by a soft area rug and a custom three-seater sofa chosen from our exclusive LIVV Home Collection. The round, marble-topped coffee table with a classic pedestal base is ideal for young families, with no sharp corners to bump into!

Across from the couch, a pair of comfy chairs provide extra seating for curling up by the fire. I carried the blue accents into the throw pillows to pull it all together.

Throughout the design process, I guided my clients in choosing pieces that combine classic good looks with durability and quality. For example, we selected a performance fabric for the living room sofa so that there was no need to worry about stains and spills. I always recommend investing in the best quality upholstery that your budget can handle, even with a young family. When you are creating a room for your family to use and enjoy, you want fabric that will hold up to daily wear!

I love how this project turned out, and so do my clients. They were able to relax and enjoy the process, without the hassle of going to different stores trying to pull things together on their own! 

Here’s what my client had to say about her beautiful new living room:

Natalie is extremely good at giving her clients not only what they say they want, but what they actually need, which may or may not be the same thing at times. This is how Natalie ends up paying for herself – we avoided several costly mistakes we would have regretted thanks to her!

Lise Landry-Morson, Orleans

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