Home Is Where The [Living/Dining Room] Is

To start off this little series, the area of the house that I am going to focus on first is the central living room/dining area. I don’t want guests (or myself!) to feel too formal when sitting in sofas or lounging in chairs. I grew up in a home where I wasn’t supposed to sit in the “formal living or dining room,” so one thing that is very important to me when decorating this space is for it to feel interestingly inviting, while retaining the comfort of a traditional living room. Here’s a quick tour of what we’re working with so far:

For the main living area, I envision a modern room with neutral walls and simple yet vibrant pops of orange, blue here and there. I also want to create two polarized focal elements: a huge television (of course!), and dramatic floor to ceiling bookshelves the width of the back wall to house our library, (which is also my covert excuse to have a mini Harry Potter shrine!)

These two elements are across one another so they can only be appreciated individually: you’re either at the television enjoying your Mad Men marathon, or you’re picking out a book from the Penguin Classics collection. I think the TV and the bookshelves will work great as distractions from a greater element of attention, the hillside view that’s better seen in the dining area.

Working with the view outside, the dining area walls should be white to let the outside light bounce around. A solid rustic dining table, eccentric chairs, and a minimalist chandelier can hopefully create modern relationships that make lounging and leisure interesting. Picking out these things will be fun too, as this space can be the most social. I love hosting dinner parties and I am chomping at the bit to have things a bit more in order and to commence entertaining mode.

I have gathered ideas and inspiration for living/dining areas over the years in the form of magazine tear outs, precious images stored on external hard drive, and bookmarked on Pinterest, here are just a few images that tell the story of what I envision the living/dining room to be:

The following are from Pinterest.. I hate not giving proper link credit so if you own any of these images, please just let me know!

I can’t wait to show you guys progress shots of this and the other rooms. I antsy for the day that we can put our feet up and feel as “done” as someone who loves decorating can ever feel!


PS: Once my floor to ceiling bookshelves are filled I’m totes doing this:

See 4 Comments

Leave a Reply to diana Cancel reply


  1. everything is looking amazing! our bedroom is gray with pops of orange, too, it lightens up the mood a lot.

    are you guys building your shelves? make sure you put lights under those shelves so the wands will shine!

  2. Haha! I love that Belle reference, she’s my favorite Disney girl for sure. First off, your place looks AMAZING! Look at that light! I’m sure the views are beautiful too. I can’t wait to see what you do with the place!

  3. What a beautiful name you have! And you are right, very uncommon, no one gets my name right! hehehehe….

    I had to come here to check your blog out too! Love it! Where about in California are you from? I lived in Redwood City before I came to Australia :)