Redesign Part 2: Living Room Decor

Jeff & I have been living in Pittsburgh for about 2 months now.  While we are having fun exploring our new neighborhood, I am still stressing about our living room decor!  The bedroom decor is almost complete, just waiting for our custom bed to arrive.  So I’ve been focusing all my decorating energy on the living room.  The main problem with this is…I can’t decide on a color scheme!  My original plan was to do all neutrals, as seen below.  However, part of me really wants to add pops of color in but I can not commit to colors or patterns!  So for the purpose of this post (and hopefully to help me make up my mind), I will be focusing on a neutral decor palette.

Just to give some background, we only moved 3 pieces from our living room in New York.  Our gray fabric couch, our West Elm wooden coffee table, and a Nicole Miller accent chair (Home Goods score!).  I donated everything else, including the pillows!  I really wanted a fresh start for our new home, which for me means new decor.  Even before we made the move, I was constantly scrolling through the internet for new pillows, rugs and lighting.  I kept finding things I liked but I didn’t love (or didn’t know if I truly loved it enough to commit to it).  That’s when I turned to Pinterest for decor inspiration that would go with the furniture we already have.  Inspiration struck and that’s when I came up with the idea of a neutral palette!  Knowing our city apartment is temporary and that we’ll soon be replacing our sofa when we buy a home, I don’t want to commit to a color scheme that won’t work in a future space.    Neutrals easily fit into any future room decor we decide on and I will be able to re-use some of it in different rooms in the future.  That’s me, always being practical!

Recently through my summer reading, I discovered the word and ideology of hygge. In the book “How to Be Married” by Jo Piazza, the author travels all over the world getting marriage advice from different countries and cultures.  The chapter on Denmark talks all about hygge – which is a word that really has no meaning but at it’s core is all about good & happy living.  I am now obsessed with finding hygge in my own life, which includes my decor!  I wouldn’t say I am a shopaholic, but I have indulged in purchases that I did not need at the time just for the thrill of the purchase. (I’m looking at you, Home Goods!)  I also spend a lot of time obsessing over purchases too, especially when they are larger (in both size & cost).  Well, from now on I will strive to achieve hygge , which to me means only buying things if they truly bring me joy and I believe they will continue to bring me happiness for years to come!

With all of this in mind, I am ready to share my inspiration for a neutral & hygge living room!  The inspiration images below really caught my eye because of the clean, bright rooms themselves & the mix of white neutrals with warm wood tones.  To me, it gives a very happy & cozy feel.  I love that the decor mixes old with new, vintage with mid-century modern & farmhouse casual with a simple sophisticated look.  I am influenced by so many different styles and these photos mix them seamlessly.  Also, I always keep my husband’s tastes in mind while looking for decor inspiration.  If we had our own places we would decorate them completely differently, so I always try to compromise with styles that work well together – after all, its his home too!  That’s why I really like rooms that are bright and clean with some vintage charm and when mixed with some masculine industrious decor and some worn leather & wood that is my husband’s taste, it pretty much looks like the rooms below!

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Below is my shopping list for the top 5 decor pieces for any living room: an accent chair, coffee table, rug, lighting and decorative decor.  I’ve left off a couch since we already have one, I won’t need to shop for one with this post.  If you want ideas for places to find great couches, please feel free to leave a comment below and I will send you some ideas!


So I love a good accent chair!  Currently, we are using a Nicole Miller HomeGoods find that was in our New York apartment.  I love it in my living room currently, but would love to put it in a guest bedroom one day.  Style-wise it most resembles option 2 above, except option 2 has a deconstructed look and ours is more french country.  My dream living room accent chair would be a comfy, soft leather chair that you just sink into (think Carrie Bradshaw’s chair from SATC).  However, I also love a mid-century feel.  At the end of the day, I just want a cute comfy chair in the corner!


So once again, we kept our coffee table that we got at West Elm and brought it to Pittsburgh!  It mostly resembles option 1 but with a dark wood surface.  I love our table, it was a piece I knew I wanted and was willing to splurge on because I knew I would have it forever!  It’s the perfect wood/industrial accent and I feel like it could fit into any space and any decor style!  Currently I keep a large basket underneath for extra throws and style the top with a white tray fill of candles and coasters!  I love the other two options because of the extra storage it provides, perfect to keep extra magazines or remotes.


This was a big purchase for me.  I agonized over it for way to long!  I wanted a neutral color rug but with a cream background to contrast with our darker gray couch.  However, I didn’t want it to be too light because I didn’t want it showing dirt.  While I love the dusty prints of rugs 2 and 3, we settled on rug 1 from Amazon!  I love it because one, it’s a flat weave and very easy to care for; and two, even though it has a lighter background, the small print disguises the dirt!  Also, you have to love the fringe detail!


We have these huge windows in our apartment which i love because they let in so much natural light, we never have to turn on the lights until the evening!  I really wanted a statement floor lamp for the living room, something dynamic that people would notice.  I really like these industrial options!  The metal would be a great juxtaposition to the wood and textile decor, and would add great shine (literally)!  I love the idea of hiding it in a corner or even next to the couch and having it hang over, perfect for reading in the evenings!


I am super indecisive with accent decor!  As I stated above, I still haven’t decided if I want to keep the decor accents in neutral tones or have some fun with pops of color.  For the purpose of completing a look for this post, I’m going with neutrals! However, I am open to everyone’s opinion on this!  I still haven’t bought anything yet because I just can’t decide!  In a neutral palette,  I like the idea of doing black and white for the pillows to make them stand out.  I love these pillows from CB2 & Anthropologie for their bold graphic look and fun texture.  In the future I could match any of these with other pillows if I wanted to.  I’m always on the hunt for a cozy throw and I really liked the texture in the gray one.  It’s light enough where it will contrast our couch nicely but won’t clash against the other textiles.  Finally, I just discovered this fine arts artist, Anastasia Alexandrin, from Philly at an arts festival in Pittsburgh.  I am obsessed with her Timeless Beauty collection!  She is back in Pittsburgh at the end of August and I will definitely be finding her to see if I can get some prints from her!  (Side Note: you can buy prints from her website now, but she doesn’t have prints for the pieces I saw at the arts festival yet.  Maybe by August!)

Stay tuned for my last re-design for our bathroom coming next month.  Meanwhile, we continue to settle in and explore our new city!  I’d love to hear about any good home decor products or home stores you would recommend, I always love hearing about new products and places!


  • I had the same problem when we moved into our home. I could not figure out what I wanted to do with the living room. Or, whether I wanted color or not. I ended up settling for neutral wall paint and regal purple French sofa set that I found on Craig's List and had reupholstered. I love all of the ideas you have above, but if I can offer any advice, go bold first. If you don't like it, change it. It's better than settling and wishing you'd done more. Good luck :) :) :)
    • Lyndsay Jean
      I love that advice! Thanks so much for sharing! #goboldorgohome