Reader SOS: Living Room Layout

Today we are back with another “DIY Playbook, Save our Space!”. You guys have been emailing us about your Reader SOS and we’ve been able to get a little glimpse into some of the dilemmas you’re having when it comes to decorating. Our plan for #DIYPlaybookSOS is to take a reader’s space and (virtually) offer tips & tricks on how to improve it.The DIY Playbook- Save Our Space

We figure sharing a ReaderSOS is a good idea for a few reasons…

  • You may have the exact same design dilemma as one of the featured spaces, so hearing some decorating advice could help you tackle your own home!
  • We can showcase various styles that may be different from ours.

So today, we are excited to introduce you to our new friend Heather!

Reader Design Dilemma

Heather reached out to ask for help with the layout of her living room and some overall tips for this space. Here’s a look at the room:Reader dilema- Heather's living roomReader Heather's living room needs helpHeather's living room needed our helpHeather sent us an SOS for her living room

Now that you know what her space looks like, let’s dive into some of the tips we offered Heather.

Our Advice

We always love to start out by identifying what we already love in the space. For Heather’s family room, the room has gorgeous bones… already! That fireplace, wainscoting, crown molding, dark floor, can lights, and doorway (with all of that natural light) are all stunning! And that paint color?! LOVE!!

Now let’s chat about our advice. We will first address the problem in Heather’s room (share a photo of the problem) and then provide a few photos/links for inspiration. Hopefully this format will allow you guys to get a glimpse into what we envision.

Less FurnitureOur advice- less furniture

This room has so many gorgeous elements, but because there’s so much large furniture inside, you can’t focus on all of the great stuff. We advised Heather to cut down on the large furniture. Taking out the two-set sofa would be the first priority because that would open up the walk-way to the double french doors.

We think the dark recliner could also be removed and replaced with something more slim in its place, so it still provides function but isn’t as large in this space.

Purchase a Few New ItemsOur advice- purchase a few new items

She mentioned she was open to buying new items. Our recommendations would be a tailored couch (love this one from West Elm) so it is not so heavy in the space. Also with the 2-seat sofa gone, she could go with a longer couch if she still needed the seating room.

Inspiration for Heather's living room

From there, we think Heather can remove add two chairs looking across at the couch for seating that is fashionable and functional. We love this inspiration look from House of Jade Interiors.

More ideas to inspire Heather and her living room

We also suggest buying a lower, more sleek console (like this one or this one), which could offer a lot of secret storage for her kid’s toys (like our girl Mandi from Vintage Revivals did in this living room). And if she got a console without glass doors, the items in there would be neatly tucked away and out of sight.

Heather already has the TV mounted and requested that it did not move, so we’re confident that the new set-up would fit within these parameters.

Breaking Up the Straight LinesOur advice- break up the straight lines

The coffee table is adorable and looks like it adds a lot of secret storage — genius! If Heather is looking into replacing it (although we definitely don’t think that’s necessary), we told her to consider choosing a round one. We like this marble and brass one, since she already has a few brass accessories in the space.

Inspiration for Heather's living room- coffee table

The round shape of a new coffee table could be an easy way to break up all the straight lines in Heather’s space, just like the talented duo at Chris Loves Julia did in their basement.

Replacing Bulky Chair with Function and FashionOur advice- replace the bulky chair

We do think it’s important to remove the two-seat sofa chair in the corner of the room because of its large size. After that,  we think it would be a great idea to add a console table over there and even add two stools under it. Since the wall is white, a wood console like this one might do the trick.

Inspiration for Heather- console seatingImage via HGTV Home

More console inspiration for HeatherImage via Decor Pad

Doing something like one of these inspiration pictures would allow Heather to use the stools as extra places to sit when she has company over. We also love the idea of adding a round mirror (this one is gorgeous) above that console. It would not only add another round element, but it would make the space look bigger and brighter!

We think this space is starting out pretty amazing already and has such great “bones”. With a few small tweaks and investing in a couple of new pieces Heather LOVES, she can really take this space to the next level… and fall in love with it all over again!

Thank you so much for reaching out, Heather, and allowing us to share your space with our readers!

We Want to Hear from YouHow an we help you- let us know!


We wish we could come to ALL of your homes to hang out, drink coffee, and help solve your design dilemmas (#dreamjob!). Sadly, we can’t BUT that doesn’t mean we still can’t drink coffee and help solve some of these design dilemmas from afar!

If you want your space to be the next #diyplaybookSOS feature, all you have to do is share a photo on Instagram, tag @diyplaybook and use the #diyplaybooksos. Tell us about your design dilemma and your space could be our next feature! Or feel free to email us some pictures and information about the space to [email protected].


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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