Hey Folks, it’s me, Brady – and today we are back with another edition of Makeover Takeover. This time it is my turn. I’ve already taken you through the process of picking out my sofa, finding just the right credenza, choosing living room sconces, selecting the perfect grey (which actually wasn’t so perfect after all – thank goodness for Farrow and Ball’s Pavilion Grey for saving the day), swapping out my kitchen flooring for under $50 bucks, and refreshing my vintage bathroom . . . exhausted yet? Ya, so am I – but I did promise you folks a big living room reveal and have been teasing it for months, so today is the day, and the full reveal is finally here, MyDomaine also graciously wrote up a little feature on it which I am pinching myself over – so head over there if you are craving more. I cannot tell you how excited I am to finally have a finished living room (yep, that’s right. It is JUST the living room. I still have lots more content coming your way so don’t push the back button on your browser, or fall asleep on me yet). The fun is just beginning. Speaking of the beginning, let me take you back to what it used to look like.
I know, I know. It really wasn’t that bad and in fact, the space, the light, the old character, and all the little charm of this place is really what made me so desperate to call this apartment mine. Previously I was living in a 3 bed/3 bath new-build in Brentwood with two of my best friends. When they moved on with their lives (marriage/new jobs) it was time for my single, lonely self to move on with mine. I spent months and months looking for the “perfect place” and saw over 20 apartments before I finally landed on this one. I made the appointment to see the apartment without even seeing any pics of the interior, but the cryptic landlord description and slightly sketchy craigslist ad had me at “original hardwoods” and “beamed ceilings.” It was love at first sight, and in my exact words to the landlord, “I am not leaving this apartment tonight until you let me sign the lease.” He thought I was crazy, I thought (and aggressively persuaded him) that I was the perfect tenant, and well it worked out, so once the place was mine it was time to get to work.
I wanted the space to be a place I really wanted to live in. I wanted it to be casual, comfy, refined, masculine, and also an eclectic collection of what I already had been hoarding through my previous moves, mixed with some new pieces. I spend quite a bit of time in the space as it has so much light and is the main hub of the apartment, so it also needed to serve as a place where I could read through late night edits of Emily’s blog (don’t worry I am not writing this the night before it is scheduled to go up), hang with friends, and lounge around without having it feel too stuffy or uninviting like a formal living room. Basically a place where I could kick my shoes off and eat my Cheesecake Factory leftovers in peace, whilst watching garbage reality TV to my heart’s content.
The couch was one of my very first decisions and is still one of my favorites. It it is soft, velvety, and has survived many a take-out-spills. I ended up going with this dark grey velvet english roll arm from Interior Define to well 1.) repel food/drink stains as I am the messiest human on the planet, and 2.) bring a bit of the traditional architecture of the apartment into the decor. To play against the traditional sofa and the boho flokati rug (which was a very kind hand-me-down from Mrs. Henderson herself), I brought in this modern simple brass coffee table which also works with the other hits of brass that I have peppered throughout the room, and this black iron side table which is probably the most genius-ly designed side table ever (Sara also just informed me that genius-ly is not a word, so my apologies to all the grammar/english police that will probably tear apart my use of made-up words in the subsequent paragraphs). The art above the sofa is from German artist Michael Lentz who sells through Saatchi, and has some awesome work. I needed something very large (they are each 30″x40″) and graphic to play against the more traditional elements in the space, so these were the perfect pair. I had them framed by Framebridge using their Mercer Slim Frame and the float mount option. I am so happy with the way they turned out, and they still make me happy everyday.
On top of the coffee table (other than my feet) I threw a few of my large art books to hold this stunning link piece by MQuan Ceramics, which brings in the creams from the rug as well as echoes the circular vibe of the Albini rattan ottomans and the coffee table. See what I did there, I am making up rules for why I did things and I didn’t even intend to! Again keeping with these new found rules and round objects I used the vintage ceramic dish to house some of my most recent polaroids. I keep a polaroid camera out in the living room with plenty of film so that when things get rowdy with my friends I can document it to later blackmail them. But in reality, I usually just end up with incriminating photos of myself that they snap. Regardless, it is a fun little place to keep them all safe and a great conversation starter when my parents come into town and start going through them unannounced.
On the opposite side of the room I added these two leather club chairs. Let’s talk about these chairs for a moment. People are either repulsed by or in love with these leather club chairs. I was on the hunt for a pair of club chairs for a long time and I didn’t have the budget to go out and buy some perfectly worn and aged ones from Anthropologie, so I got scrappy with it. I scoured Craigslist, Chairish, eBay, and the LA streets every night after work for about 2 weeks until I found these guys. I remember showing them to Em and her looking at me like “who are you?… why did I hire you?… what in the world do you think you are going to do with those things?” She wasn’t wrong, they were in pretty bad shape, but I loved the bones of them, the squared off arms, and the fact that they were old and had a story. Apparently they date back to the 20s from an old speakeasy in Paris. Which most likely in eBay translation means they were made in the 1960s and had been sitting in a warehouse in Valencia. BUT, I am choosing to believe the former, and for $200 bucks for the pair I knew they had to be mine. I hired someone to deliver them from San Francisco (where they were located) down to my doorstep for $50, and they had a happy new home. I fixed them up a bit and patched them here and there so that guests weren’t too afraid to take a seat in them, but I kept them pretty original to the way that I found them.
Tucked behind them I set up a little barcart area. I hadn’t intended to put a barcart in my living room as I didn’t want to perpetuate the fact that there are already 1.6789 gazillion images of styled barcarts floating around on pinterest, but after I found this simple (and again circular) barcart in gold I knew it was the perfect size and shape to fill that area.
It mostly holds dust and fancy liquor that me or my friends never drink, but hey at least you now know I am prepared to whip up a fancy Manhattan for Martha Stewart in style when she comes over. The art below the sconces was inherited from Em’s prop closet for this shoot but will be up on the flea very soon so be sure to check back before I buy it for myself. Then those sconces above the barcart, which are also spaced around the room, are from Ceder and Moss and were such a good solution as this room had no overhead lighting and just 4 wall sconces. They produce just the right amount of light, what with their double glowing spheres and all. I am a big fan of having too much light in a room and then throwing every light switch on a dimmer. It is a trick that has worked for me, and I am always able to create that soft amber glow that seems to fill the room with just the right amount of light and still hide the dark bags under my eyes. Any light that makes you and your room more beautiful is a win win in my opinion.
Just past the barcart is the little doorway that leads into my kitchen/dining area. It is almost done (I promise), just waiting on a few pieces of art as I am doing a massive floor to ceiling gallery wall on all the walls (which was originally inspired by my first real adult piece of art – that huge piece you see in the center), but you know I love teasing you with sneak peeks, so here you go.
In case you are wondering about the other items in this room, and can’t wait for the full reveal you can check out the table, chairs, and chandelier through their links. All the art and the full tour will be coming up on the blog very soon, so stay tuned.
Directly opposite the barcart I have this vintage oversized steamer trunk that I actually found during a street clean up and brought home with me. I absolutely never open it as it smells like a combination of American Horror Story Season 6 and my great great grandmothers silk pajamas, but I love the craftsmanship and detail of it so I am keeping it. On top of it is where I house my record player and my curated collection of records. Who I am kidding – in reality that is where my huge TV goes. Sorry guys, I really did try to make it work in the shot but a huge black TV just doesn’t scream “I work for Emily Henderson, ” so I borrowed my BF’s record player and collection of records, and threw them up there instead. He is much fancier than I am, and obviously has better taste in music. I absolutely love the way it looks and would love to keep it there all the time but sadly “Stranger Things” is still on my Netflix cue so that is calling my name more than a Fleetwood Mac vinyl.
For all the pillows and textiles I kept it pretty monochromatic and neutral. I am actually obsessed with these oversized cotton pillows that are made in India so I ended up getting every single size of them and using them on the couch. Then for the curtains I went with a simple linen drape which is a very similar shade to the grey stripe in the rug as well as the grey velvet on the couch so it helps to pull that tone throughout the room.
Last but not least, we have the entry area (which I probably should have started with in the tour). Despite the the magic that Zeke managed to capture in this image, this little space is very small and very dark which is why I went with this epic chandelier. It has 12 lights and, once again as I mentioned before, is on a dimmer so that I can create as much light as I want. It is always about half way dimmed but it fills the space with so much light and I love the geometric and modern feel that it brings to the archway that it hangs in.
And just because we all love a good Renée Zellweger pre and post operation moment before and after, I have pulled together these side by sides to show you the reason we love a good makeover here on the blog.
Pretty crazy right? I am very much into this corner and shot Zeke captured. Hey Martha, wanna have a cocktail?
So what do you think? Who wants to come over for a glass of vino and marathon “Stranger Things” with me while we stuff our faces with Cheesecake Factory? In the meantime head on over to MyDomaine, where they have pulled together a fun little story on the space and check out this full get the look with almost everything in the room linked up. If there is anything I forgot let me know in the comments below and I would be happy to share the link with you guys.
1. Stripe Pom Pom Pillow | 2. Colorblock Pom Pom Pillow | 3. Black Pom Pom Pillow | 4. Framed Abstract Art | 5. White Task Lamp | 6. Side Table | 7. Double Ball Sconce | 8. Sofa | 9. Coffee Table | 10. Area Rug | 11. Sheepskin Rug | 12. Rattan Ottoman | 13. Throw Blanket | 14. Snowflake Chandelier | 15. Bar Cart | 16. Table Lamp | 17. Chainlink Sculpture | 18. Bust Sculpture | 19. Antlers | 20. Credenza | 21. Leather Basket | 22. White Vase | 23. Pedestal Planter | 24. Farrow and Ball Pavilion Grey Paint Color | 25. Curtain Rod | 26. Drapes | 27. Double Task Lamp | 28. Woven Chair | 29. Gold Accent Table
Check out more posts from Brady: Brady Gives a Refresh To His Vintage Bathroom, Brady Picks A Credenza, Brady Picks A Gray Paint, Brady’s DIY Peel And Stick Kitchen Flooring (for under $50), Brady Picks Some Lighting.