Our Living Room Design Plan



Creating a design plan is one of my favorite things to do. It allows me to shop without spending a dime and browse all things home without leaving my home. Here are the design plan and moodboard options for my living room.

Living Room - Before

This space is a sizeable but basic living room. We're renting, so none of the foundational finishes were my decision. Dark floors, an electric fireplace, and a reddish-brick fireplace surround are not my jam. But I'm working with what I have and making the best of it. Thankfully, the living room also gets great natural light thanks to three windows.

Living Room - Inspiration

Photo: Tessa Neustadt | Design: Bobby Berk

Photo and Design: Studio McGee

My design style is organic modern. I love a clean aesthetic. Give me all shades of neutral (blacks, whites, creams, browns) and colors inspired by nature (greens, blues). I'll also take sides of warm woods, leathers, and metals, please. Bobby Berk (left image) does this style so well. I'm also drawing inspiration from Shea McGee's Rye, NY project (right image).

Living Room - Moodboard

Here are the moodboard options for my living room!

Let's start with the new pieces.


I'm huge fan of sectional sofas, so I'm sticking with another one here. But I'm replacing my seven-year old, gray Ikea gay sectional (see you later, Karlstad) for a creamy white one. I love the Crate & Barrel sectional shown in the moodboards. But it's backordered for months, and I'm impatient. I've been impressed with the quality of my old Ikea sectional given its price point. The Ikea Finnala sectional seems to be a decent alternative.


The gray rug in Option 1 (from the Chris Loves Julia x Loloi collection) is a show stopper. It's a great neutral that plays really well with the creams and browns in the space. But the rug is also backordered for months, and it's pricey! The rug in Option 2 is a great way to introduce my favorite blue hue.

Wall Art

The back wall is completely bare and is begging for something. I'd love to install some type of decorative moulding on the wall. But I don't think I can get away with that since I'm renting. So I'm sticking with wall art...maybe a gallery wall or one large art piece. I'm giving myself bonus points if I can incorporate picture lights.

My budget is thanking me for not replacing everything. I've owned these pieces for years. They're tried-and-true, and I'm glad they're sticking around.

Accent Tables

I love my coffee table from Article. It's three years old and in great shape. The side table is several years old from Target.


This cabinet from the Studio McGee collection at Target would be perfect on either side of the fireplace. One word of warning: the middle shelf in the cabinet does not have a large weight capacity. Consider using it for decorative storage instead of heavy-duty storage. I'd love to put floating shelves above the cabinets. Or maybe artwork?


I wish this chair from Willo San Francisco was still sold. It's all things good: wood, leather, clean lines, and moody.


Every room needs something green and living (or living-looking đŸ˜‰). My faux olive tree from Crate & Barrel brings so much texture and dimension into any room. I place the tree in a large planter (a Home Goods find) and raise it about 12-16 inches inside the planter to give it extra height.


Not pictured are all the accessories that will bring this living room to life. Pillows, vases, lighting, art, books, and more greenery will complete the space.

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