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Our Modern English Tudor Living Room + Get The Look



Our living room is finally done, styled, shot, and in the can. Real Simple featured the whole house in the September issue (still out, grab a copy if you are into it and want to read the full story) but most magazines only put a photo or two of each room in the story due to page constraints. So I had Tessa come back the next day to shoot most of the house to give you other angles and more details. Today I have for you the living room.

Emily Henderson Modern English Cottage Tudor Living Room Reveal10

My goal when designing this living room was to be comfortable, warm, kid friendly, appropriate for the style of the house and yet still ‘me’ or I guess I should say ‘Us’. I learned a lot from our last house where I didn’t design that living room to really be used that much (until we staged it, which I loved). Our house isn’t huge so we really need to USE this room every day, not just for friends. We don’t have a TV in here, so it is a more formal living room, but I swore that I would make it a space for the whole family, all day every day. The #1 goal was comfort and functionality. I wanted every single chair to be fought over, and I wanted every finish to withstand the chaos that is our every day life. While there are a couple things I would tweak (always, and see below), I feel like I succeeded.

We spend every morning and evening in here, reading or playing (the kids drag toys from the family room, and we force them to them drag the back). On weekends the doors to the backyard are open and this room is really the hub of the house. Nothing is precious, everything is durable and nothing can destroy my kids or be easily destroyed by said kids. Even those Target chairs are wiping up really easy (which was something that I worried about) because they have enough poly in the fabric. Would they withstand a sharpie drawing? Nope, but so far so good (plus they are so affordable).

Emily Henderson Modern English Cottage Tudor Living Room Reveal5

The coffee table needed to double as as a kids arts/crafts/playdough space (it’s typically just styled with the tray… if that ). We originally had our vintage saarinen table in there which we loved functionally (so kid-friendly, heavy-based, simple, and a great surface for playdough), but it felt too short and it was pretty beat up. So, I upgraded to this one from Lulu and Georgia. We LOVE it so much. It’s a better scale for the room and ties in the black and wood that is peppered throughout the space. Plus it feels more modern than the classic Saarinen (which is now at our fixer cabin that I sneak toured on insta over the weekend).

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Part of my job for Target is to use their pieces in my projects and share them with you guys (and the press). So I can’t tell you how happy I was that once again the Threshold fall line and their new Project 62 line is filled with some seriously amazing pieces that I wanted so badly – regardless of the job.  You’ll see it throughout my house and you’ll have the same reaction as every friend of mine – Wait, that’s Target? And once again I’ll have the same response – YES. I KEEP TELLING YOU, THEIR STUFF IS SO GOOD. The black standing lamp, vase on the coffee table, blanket, and pillow are all Target – and that’s just that shot.

Emily Henderson Modern English Cottage Tudor Living Room Reveal11

Most importantly we need to talk about the previously elusive Rodney chair.  When I first saw these in the look book 6 months ago I emailed my contact in the marketing department and said ‘You better order A TON of these because these beauties are going to sell so fast.’ They upped the order, but still sold out immediately much to my horror (and many of yours). Now they are back in stock (but please hurry if you want them ..update, they may already be out of stock again depending on your location … sorry!!) and I can’t recommend them enough. We even replaced our other chairs because we like these more (the others were bigger and the tone of the wood worked less well with the trunk. They are now in the fixer cabin).

These are the perfect chair – in scale, style and price. They look really high end – the wood is beautiful, the fabric is a pretty simple linen, and the backs of them are even so pretty. I only received one sample for the shoot and had to borrow another from the catalogue shoot which had to be sent back the day after my shoot. So for 2 months I lived with only one chair in here and was ecstatic when they finally came back in stock.

I love those CB2 pillows on them, with that beautiful Schoolhouse Electric blanket.

Emilyhousepickups 006

I’m extremely picky when it comes to art in my house and I opt for vintage or newer originals over mass produced pieces from major retailers. But that painting above works so perfectly in my house and it looks SO REAL. My friend Scott thought it was an original from Nicky Kehoe. Ha. It’s $70 from Target. I love supporting artists as you know, and generally will encourage it over buying mass produced art, but man, it’s nice to get a large, framed, beautiful painting for $75. Update: IT’s by artist Pamela Munger (who has a lot of her original work on her Etsy site).

The vintage sewing side table (which houses all our duplo legos) was a score on Everything But the House. The large pillow is new Target and the smaller embroidered pillow is from Rebecca Atwood. I know her pillows are a splurge, but man if it’s in your budget I will say that they are stunning in both texture, style and color.

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I will do a whole post about the sofa – we custom designed it with Cisco home and it’s now for sale from them – dubbed ‘The Henderson.’ It’s the perfect combination of comfort and formality. At first I chose an english roll arm with a more standard back but then I felt like we were missing an opportunity to do something more beautiful. So the combination of the tufted back, rolled arms, but that deep comfortable seat is perfect.

Emily Henderson Modern English Cottage Tudor Living Room Reveal4

I’ll take some photos of it without pillows from all angles so you can really see it and give you the full story on where, when, why, how much, etc. We couldn’t be happier with it and we’ll have it forever.

Emily Henderson Modern English Cottage Tudor Living Room Reveal6

When I first saw that chaise on Jayson Home’s site my inner grandma (who is VERY strong and VERY bossy) insisted it be ours. Our house is old, covered in ivy, in an English style, and it wanted and needed at least one piece of furniture that felt old-world Europe. But that kind of thing can go badly – bad pattern, too much ornate detailing, or just overall old and ugly. I felt that this chaise was perfect because it is just one color (a beautiful sage) and has aged so beautifully, without a lot of rips and tears. When combining 100 year old pieces with more modern ones it’s my opinion that there should still be something fresh and simple about them to mix it more seamlessly. Had this been an insane pattern or more carving/tufting it could have looked silly, but it’s simple enough to work here.

Birdie and I read in this corner every day (fun fact – the bottom two shelves are typically full of kids books, and a huge bin of kids books usually lives under that demilune). We snuggle, read, and I chant to myself over and over ‘why don’t more people opt for Chaise lounges???’ I think it’s because they don’t know how to pronounce it (neither do I), but I’m telling you – if you have a place for it, opt for one over a chair and ottoman. It feels so luxurious and they truly are so comfortable.

That demilune was a Craiglist find for $100 but it was mohogany and super red.We tried to refinish but our guy said that it would always be red, so we painted it. I need to try and find the exact paint color for you, sorry!! I love a demilune and like chaise lounges find them totally underrated. Maybe I should paint my entry dresser that color? Yes, I probably will.

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On the opposite side of the room is our vintage piano. Now I LOVE this piano, visually, but I will go ahead and say that it doesn’t have the softest sound. Clearly how it sounded wasn’t a priority to us when we bought it, but it should have been. We are going to try to muffle it a bit with some insulation where the mesh is. Regardless I love it. That chair, while stunning (a vintage Paul McCobb from County Ltd.) is absolutely impractical and we are still on the hunt for a bench so I can properly play this lady and teach my kids.

Any and all tips on how to teach piano to young kids, without adding another battle to fight, would be much appreciated.

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Speaking of music, I bought that antique record player at the flea market and it is terribly fun (and EXTREMELY LOUD). You know the phrase ‘put a sock in it?’ Well, that’s from those because the only way to adjust the volume is to shove tube socks in it (or other thick fabric-type stuff).

Lastly our french provincial cabinet that I bought at RoundTop and love deeply. A piece of collage art by Krill Bergart is above it which helps modernize it. The classic Circa Sconce is one that I have loved FOREVER and it is the only one I considered for our house. It’s classic with an edge and totally timeless if you have a more traditional style house.

Emily Henderson Modern English Cottage Tudor Living Room Reveal3

I wish I hadn’t put the photo of Brian and I there or the big plant because it blocks the art and that could have been a more minimal moment.

The window treatments are from Calico and are just beautiful, with the hardware from The Antique Drapery Rod Company (which supplies to Calico). Deciding between roman shades and curtains (and ultimately choosing both) was a hard decision because of a million tiny things that I’ll tell you about later in a whole post about window treatments, but suffice to say I love them so much.

Emily Henderson Modern English Cottage Tudor Living Room Reveal10

Am I happy with the room? YES. I truly love it. However … I still want it to be more neutral and calm. I love that rug, sure, but I would rather it be a cooler tone so it feels more visually relaxing. It’s by far the most kid-friendly rug ever (and I have a 2″ memory foam pad underneath so it’s so kushy) so replacing it with something less busy and colorful is hard to do as a mom. But I think I’ve found one (or two). I’m debating between this one and this one, both 11×14. While they are expensive, by the time you get into rugs bigger than 9×12 it’s hard to find anything amazing for cheaper. I’ve scoured ebay, craigslist and etsy every day for 8 months for something vintage. And I found my dream rug from Restoration Hardware but it’s $10k which is just insane (and no, they wouldn’t give a press discount which I thought was odd, considering it was going to be in a magazine). A dark solid isn’t an option because the sofa is really dark, and a light solid is a bad idea for obvious reasons. So one that has a texture and pattern but not too busy and not light but not dark was needed. I used that Dash and Albert rug at the lake project and we all LOVED it in person. It’s so cozy and yet the small pattern is busy enough to withstand most of my kids. I also may have to resign myself to the fact that I’ll have to spend $250 every year or so to clean them. I’m not a perfectionist, truly, but if something keeps nagging me every day, then it’s worth at least exploring the options.

I also bought a piece of modern art to go above the fireplace. Don’t worry, we’ll do a side by side and see which you like more. As much as I love this room, and truly I do, I need to see if I’ll like it more if it were slightly more neutral and had more of a modern edge.

There she is, folks. I’d love to hear what you think and what you’d change if you were in charge of my life  (p.s. I would also get rid of that plant next to the fireplace as it feels a bit suburban or something).

If you are interested in this look, here you go 🙂

Emily Henderson Emilys House Modern English Tudor Living Room Reveal Get The Look 11

1. Fiddle Leaf Fig | 2. Woven Fringe Basket (similar) | 3. Sofa | 4. Club Chair | 5. Blue Stripe Throw | 6. Black Table Lamp (similar) | 7. Rug (similar) | 8. Coffee Table | 9. Chest (similar) | 10. Lumbar Pillow | 11. Sun & Moon Pillow | 12. Cream Throw | 13. Linework Pillow | 14. Bud Vase (similar) | 15. Cream Vase | 16. Black Tray | 17. Landscape Painting | 18. Side Table (similar) | 19. Brass Task Lamp (similar) | 20. Ceramic Eye | 21. Woven Pillow | 22. Blue Pillow | 23. Spring Pillow | 24. Glass Table Lamp | 25. Blue Stripe Dish | 26. Matches Holder (similar) | 27. Phonograph (similar) | 28. Vintage LA Map (similar) | 29. Chaise (similar) | 30. Blue Throw (similar) | 31. Credenza | 32. Wall Sconce | 33. Blue Console Table (similar) | 34. Blue Basket (similar) | 35. Cream Stripe Pillow | 36. Abstract Art (similar) | 37. Black Farmhouse Chair (similar) | 38. Black Tall Vase (similar) | 39. Bowl (similar) | 40. Oil Portrait Painting (similar) | 41. Roman Shade & Drapery Custom (Calico Corners) | 42. Floor Lamp | 43. White Vase (similar) | 44. Wood Frame Stand (similar) | 45. Blue Table Lamp | 46. Bells | 47. Black Vase (similar) | 48. Blue Sideboard (similar) | 49. Wall Paint Color | 50. Herringbone Flooring | 51. Black Chair (similar) | 52. Sheepskin | 53. Piano (similar)

Thanks to Real Simple for the shoot and for Target for coordinating it.

***Photos by Tessa Neustadt 

Fin Mark


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You really hit the form / function sweet spot with this house. Each image is absolutely lovely but I also want to be in the room, sit on the couch, pull out the Duplo blocks.
I realized recently that I have referenced your work (via blog or Styled book) for every room in my home and every bit of design advice I have offered to family and friends. It is because your spaces and choices make for special and truly livable rooms. Thank you for all your hard work; it has made my own home so much more beautiful and livable!


I agree. In my house, my husband just refers to “Emily” and we both know who he’s talking about. You have influenced my style tremendously 🙂


Oh my gosh, same here. “Emily” is like “Madonna” or “Cher” in our house.


Love the room but agree about changing the rug. While the current one works, i think the neutral one would make the room more “calming” without making the room too formal. Really like Dash and Albert choice.


Oh, and see, I disagree about the rug. I prefer color in my rooms, and this warm and richly patterned rug makes the room welcoming and inviting.

The tradition implied by the type and pattern of rug will provide some calm all by itself.

PS. I love the room, Emily!


The space looks amazing, I am so drawn to that gorgeous oval coffee table!


I really want to love this room. The furnishings are perfect. So practical and cozy. It really, really makes me wish that you’d put a color on the wall. To my eye, wall color would add that old world depth and warmth. Please pull a color from that lovely rug and repaint.


Oh, no way! It feels so fresh and bright.


I disagree. The room glows with light and all the beautiful items in it get to be the stars. A color on the wall would dampen the light. Also, where would one stop with color between the wall and ceiling? Those beams need to stay far away from anything but white.
This room is a wonderful example of how we can all have beautiful things in our lives everyday and actually live messy, fun, rambunctious, practical lives.


I love the white walls! Especially with the wood beams.

Also Emily – just want to agree with the above comments that you influence me so much – in the best way! And my husband knows you by name too haha!

Lynn 2

True, true — Clear evidence of Emily’s effect on my style is the fact that most of my walls are now WHITE (with colorful paintings). It makes me happy & calm.


I agree with Kirsten. Maybe in person it feels less stark?


achingly beautiful!


YES – well said


I love this room, it feels so homey, which I think is the feeling you were after. However it does lean towards busy when looking at it as a whole, even though the vignettes don’t seem so. While I am sad about seeing the rug go, I do hope that you find a cooler toned Heriz, or other Persian style rug, as I think the movement adds so much to the space. I think what throws the room slightly over to the busy side in the whole room shot are the book niches by the fireplace. I realize you need… Read more »


You put into words what I have been feeling, I have not been able to put my finger on it but you are right. I love the little moments in the room and I love every other room in the house but I have always felt this room was busy. I just think back to the shelves in the old house and they were a show stopper, these just look overloaded. Overall the room is gorgeous though and I would kill for all of that natural light.


I have to agree with this as well. The book shelves and how they have been styled make the room look busy. I agree with Emily on a more neutral rug as well. The view of the room with the piano and looking into the kitchen is gorgeous! It’s still a stunning room 🙂


I’m also not a fan at all of those heavy, busy bookshelves. They’re so opposite compared to the gorgeous shelves in your last home, which were like a master class in styling shelves in a clean and calming way. What’s the rationale behind these shelves, Emily? You didn’t mention them in the post and I’m very curious. I understand the function over form philosophy you’ve got going in this house, and I get that you read children’s books everyday but surely you don’t use the novels and other items on the shelves regularly….


I also agree that another calmer Persian-style rug would be gorgeous in here!


I’m going to throw in a different opinion here. I actually LOVE the bookcases and the many objects/books on them! I feel they offer a certain “personality” to the room and it provides a place for the homeowner (in this case, Emily) to display things that bring back memories from travels, a favorite gift from someone special, etc. I do styling work myself and have many clients that prefer a clean, modern look with minimal items “obstructing” their view….they just find that look more appealing. That look makes my job easier and I appreciate their preference but at the end… Read more »

Lynn 2

I see what you’re saying, but I am going to speak up on behalf of the books. It pushes more towards English Tudor/Library feel than California, yes — but I like this look. (The only piece of design advice my mother ever gave me is “books are the best decoration”!)


There are SO many things I LOVE in this room that I can’t possibly list them all! Loved seeing them in print in Real Simple too. I love the rug!! To me, it’s timeless and a lovely juxtaposition with the modern pieces. Of course you should have what feels right for your own home! But I am saving the photo to my inspiration folder before that rug is gone. Nice job, Emily!


I love the room and I love the rug! It inspired me to purchase a rug that has a lot of pattern and so far, we love it. It’s not wool but a durable premium polyester made by Karastan. I have a friend who is very allergic to wool and also, since we have babies rolling around, I wanted/needed an alternative. However, we almost purchased this rug by Dalyn: – in a 9 x 13. It’s a beautiful wool and viscose rug. I saw it on display in a carpet/flooring store) and looks a lot like the Dash &… Read more »


Emily– from a loyal, everyday, longtime reader (but first time commenter!), you have truly outdone yourself. I could stare at this room all day and find more surprising genius in it each time. It is STUNNING, and how carefully you have considered the form, function, and purpose of each piece, mixed with the masterful beauty of blending modern and classic is truly what makes you an expert, artist, and inspiration all around. The whole home I’ve felt like this, but something about reading the room reveals piece-by-piece has made it even more abundantly clear why you are such a respected… Read more »


Have you tried to flip the rug over? That can be a great way to soften the look without getting a new rug. This room is beautiful!


This is the first white walled room that didn’t scream “Unfinished” at me. Love it. It will probably lose something for me when you change out the rug, but the room has to work for you and your family. The BEAMS! I’ll admit that I thought you were crazy not to do the “window frames in white, with the windows themselves in black” option with black beams. That’s still what I would have done in this space, but what you did is so much you. Basically this room feels like the perfect mix of California casual and English Tudor.

Pamela Munger

You’re still supporting artists even if you buy from a mass retailer like Target. I, Pamela Munger, did that painting (titled ‘October’) and am thrilled that the general public gets a chance to buy it. It looks fabulous in your room, Emily, and I so appreciate not only your general style but especially the way you bring art into all of your rooms and often make it a center point. Thank you!


So cool!


It’s beautiful!!! I’m going to go google you right now!!


This is awesome 🙂


Thank you for commenting about your art. I’m off to google you and see if you have a website. it’s always fun to find new artists. I love this painting and I think it fits Emily’s aesthetic wonderfully. Emily, I love this room, I really like the current rug, the other choices are nice, but too predictable in my opinion. Keep on with your fantastic work.

Vicki Williams

So happy that Pamela spoke up, I was trying to find out on the Target website who was the artist. Yea! Thank you will be checking in to your website.


This is so cool. I really love this painting!

emily jane

I was wondering if an artist didn’t create that magical piece of art, how did it come to be..? I looove it Pamela! (your painting is my favorite item in my target shopping cart ; )


so funny, I recently purchased a few of Pamela’s pieces and when I saw this art in the post I thought it reminded me of Pamela’s art…. so glad to know, thanks for letting us know Pamela. Love your work!

Sarah Nightingale

Pamela (and Emily,) I just bought this painting a few days ago and it’s hanging over my fireplace now!! I love it SO much! It is so beautiful. The colors are just wonderful and harmonious, and the composition is perfect. I am an artist professionally, too, but I love supporting other artists when I can and when I see work I love. I was hesitant to buy this piece even though I quickly fell in love with it ( and ONLY because it was coming from a big box store–the holy grail of big box stores though, of course) until… Read more »


If you end up selling the rug I’d love to buy it! I’ve been looking for one just like it to warm up my
living room.


Same here! Although sadly, it’s probably not in my budget. I love that rug!!


Love your whole house, it’s beautiful.


I’m anxious to see the new art for above the fireplace. The current piece is my least favorite thing in the room. A gloomy painting of a strange man staring at me everyday? I get the style of art for the space, but I don’t get what feeling this evokes for you or your family when you walk in the room. The room itself is gorgeous, you really brought out it’s beauty. I love the wood beams so much and the mix of furniture styles keeps things from being too traditional. The only other thing I don’t care for is… Read more »


I might need to take back my thoughts about the rug. When I first look at the overall room I see red, white, and blue. But looking closer at the photos the rug has so many beautiful colors in it, and is hinting more orange vs. red, which is all probably more obvious in person. Still, always fun to compare with other options.

Abby J.

I know you’re trying to source another rug, but the traditional pattern really adds so much to the room, IMHO. The tufted sofa plus the rug, plus the modern Target chairs and the modern coffee table just feels so rich and layered. With those windows and all that light on the walls, I really don’t feel like the rug is too dark, particularly against the light oak herringbone floors. Just LOVE LOVE LOVE this room!


I totally agree. A more modern rug would make the rug more typical. Can I also say that my current sofa purchased in 1994 is dark blue and the same lines? Early on, I had a rug similar to yours but in rust navy and gold. I love seeing these traditional rugs mixed with modern these days and I’m thinking of getting one again after we reupholster the old couch again.


Thanks Emily! I loved those circa sconces so much and bought 2 for our house! Everything looks good! I am so obsessed with that English arm roll couch.

This room, while beautiful, feels a bit busy. I wonder if you would get a more basic rug (even more than the 2 you are looking at)? We have this one and have a 2 year old and baby and it’s holding up really well!

Just a thought!! Thanks again for everything!

Devon Moon

So much to love in this room! The rug is so timeless and practical I think you should keep it!
If you want it to feel more modern, maybe just take down the big antique portrait over the fireplace? The negative space will make it feel cleaner, right now it’s something of a focal point and if it was gone I think your eyes would focus in on the coffee in the center of the room and naturally drift out. Just a thought, and as always, it looks great!

emily jane

oh, an excellent idea! no art over the fireplace magically balances this gorgeous space and allows your focus to shift so the room emerges as a whole -beautiful! (at least to my eye/in my humble opinion/what do I know.!? : )
Emily, i love that your design here feels so cheerful and welcoming without sacrificing beauty, comfort or (quite likely most importantly) livability. it is refreshing to see such a lovely designer space that feels less ‘created just for Instagram’ and more like a ‘real life happens here’ moment. thanks so much for your continued inspiration!


OOOO what a good idea! I would LOVE to see it without any art.

Emily, when you show us the comparison (current vs new modern art) can you also throw in “no art”? I bet that would be lovely and serene.


I need to know about the memory foam pad for your rug. That would change my life!


Me, too! Memory foam for the win. I’m all about making the rugs more cushy for my crazy toddlers. (Mom, watch me dive head first from the couch on purpose. Again.)

Whitney Olson

I bought two of those Rodney chairs but returned them because they felt solo small. I regret it because I love the look and I check online everyday and they have yet to be restocked. Tell them to make more because i need a pair for our master.


I love it, and I think a more modern piece of art over the fireplace would be even better! As for piano advice, I have always heard that when a child is just starting to learn to read is also the moment a child can learn to play piano. You are waiting for the two halves of the brain to join correctly and before that moment it just isn’t going to happen. It’s all physiology! I think learning to ride a two wheeler is also linked to that brain development. I’m a former teacher and I’ve seen this is generally… Read more »


Hi Emily-
Gorgeous room! You mention a memory foam rug pad. Where is that from? I am looking to both make my rugs more comfy and protect my 125+ year old softwood floors. Thanks!


I’d like to know this, too. While a 2″ thick memory foam pad sounds so cushy, doesn’t it make the rug a bulky tripping hazard?


We just buy the ugly foam rug pads they sell in a roll at Home Depot. We cut them to the size of our rugs and it doesn’t make them bulky at all, just nice and cushioned with no slip.


So I watched your instastory on the cabin and am so excited to see what you make of it! One note of what I hope would be considered constructive feedback: It was so fun to see the house, and presumably, your followers all have a good eye or interest in current home trends so we don’t need anyone pointing out how “tragic” the bathrooms are or how hideous the house is. Frankly, it isn’t so bad (but full of potential!) and I would estimate that at least 2/3rds of America have bathrooms just like those or worse. Also, pointing out… Read more »


Hey Emily! I love following your blog and have for years. I recently purchased a rug from this Etsy shop and think they’re so affordable and come in many colors, including blue like you’ve mentioned you’re looking for. You said you’ve scoured Etsy already but I figured I’d share, in case! I don’t have any affiliation with them, just a satisfied customer 🙂


I think what I like best about your style is that you make no apologies about using Target items in your own home. Yeah, I know you’re a spokesperson for them, but you actually seem to love their stuff. Not everyone can afford high-end pieces, and it’s nice to see a professional using more affordable pieces in their own home. And when you mix them with original, unique, hand-made, vintage items, it all comes out so beautifully. (PS I LOVE the Dash rug. Would be interesting to see how it changes the look of the room- with a more modern… Read more »


Oh I love this room and all the natural light! What a treat for you and your family. You knocked it out of the park!! My only edit might be to swap out the light fixtures that currently flank the fireplace. I think breaking up the expected route of “double arm” sconces encircling the room would snazz up that wall a bit. The sofa is a dream!!!!! that fabric makes me swoon, right onto your perfect chaise!!


It’s a beautiful room! I want to like the two rug options you mentioned but I just don’t fit the space. I think something more in line with what you currently have with muted colors would be better. Don’t get me wrong they are both gorgeous and if I had to pick I’d go Dash and Albert…but I say keep looking;)


I like this room a lot, but to me, compared to your other stuff, it isn’t quite there yet. I like the rug, it feels right in that kind of house, and it counterbalances the weight and detail of the beams. To my eye, it’s the wall scones that are throwing this off and making it less calm. Is that weird? Because you have that visible design of the chimney I think the scones make for too much ornamentation at that level, and the room never settles. If you take away the wall scones, and then settle the room one… Read more »


As usual, I’m left wanting to buy up all the Target merch thinking my house will look like yours. Beautiful blend of old and new, expensive and affordable.

I also admire the use of roman shades on one side and full curtains on the other. I look forward to your window treatment post!

I’d also like to comment on how much I love the new posts being posted first thing in the morning. They always pair well with a cup of coffee.


I vote for the the Serena & Lily rug! I agree about the plant by the fireplace. Maybe add a basket for texture under your demiluje to hold books. Anyway, I love it!


Congratulations Emily! The room is really beautiful… so cozy and lived-in in the best way possible. However I think I agree with you about the changes you’re going to make. Although the existing rug is beautiful, I think I’ll also prefer a softer one and I like the Homer Blue Loom Knotted one you’re considering. And I also think more modern art above the fireplace would brighten the space. It’s nice to see that an amazing designer such as yourself also needs to tweak a room here and there just like us “regular folk”. Can’t wait to see the updated… Read more »


This turned out so beautiful. Mostly, I love the foundation choices you made during the renovation (floors, beams, doors, windows, and hardware). I love the current style, but can’t wait to see how it evolves as you change items out. I have used the color ‘Compass’ from the Target paint line for an antique dresser, and it sounds like the color you have described using to paint the entryway dresser. Just a thought!

Christine Schwalm Design

I really like the rug. I think it marries well to the brick fireplace surround and the warm wood tones. It’s perfect size and style for the room. It’s a good foil for all the blue accents, too. If you don’t find something that makes your heart sing, the current rug is a really good option.


B.E.A.UTIFUL. This is gorgeous! Can’t wait to hear why you chose both Roman shades and drapes, though it looks beautiful! I just never would have thought of it.


I totally love this room. But you’re right, the only part that looks like a bit of a misfit is the red rug. Largely because I don’t think it’s you… though I only ‘know’ you from this blog! I saw the rugs you’ve short listed.. I love the colours but not the pattern. I love the pattern on this rug but not the colour. So though it’s probably easier said than done, I’d find a rug in this vintage pattern with those colours… beige / blue / grey. All the best with that! 🙂

Vicki Williams

Nooooooooooooo! I love your Persian rug. :(( But if you have to, the Niles rug. The room is beautiful as always. Thank you for your spirit, your life and work that you so willingly share.

Sheri MacIntyre

Huge fan. Visit your blog every day! This room is lovely. Such gorgeous bones. It’s coming together great. To me, something is off about the fireplace wall. I agree with whoever said the book niches look too busy. I think it is because the shelves are too close together. Being unable to vary the height of objects makes it look busier. But I think they also need something to tie them stylistically to the rest of the room. I can see two directions: find a way to incorporate them more with the fireplace or replace shelves with a chunkier board… Read more »


This is a fabulous idea- re: shelves that match the beams. I can absolutely picture it and it would be beautiful!!

Rachel F.

This room is really beautiful and, to echo many of the other commenters, hits the lovely/livable sweetspot. It is textured, layered and inspiring in many ways. OK, so there is a tiny but… while the chaize is beautiful, that FRINGE conjures some pretty scary flashbacks to every friend’s grandmother’s 1980’s mauve floral living room set with matching velvet drapes. I can actually feel the backs of my thighs sticking to the vinyl sofa covers. While I totally respect your stubborn inner grandma, and could see how a small dose of eccentric-quirky grey gardens could be fun, those tassels fall (in… Read more »


There is so much character in this space I’m amazed that I’m not overwhelmed by it. I totally get what you’re saying about the rug though. I love it so much, and I think that is always my flaw. I fall in love with a specific piece and I just really try to make the room work around it even though it doesn’t work for the room… But, I mean I’m not expert but I’m not confident it’s so much a colour issue as a weight issue. This room has the potential to be so open and and bright and… Read more »


First, I love everything in this room. It truly is the sweet spot. I do have one question, how do you reconcile the tonal groupings your have going on both sides of the room. For instance, it looks like on the side side there is a strong color story of blues and greens (sofa, chaise, demilune, blankets, pillows, baskets, a large amount in the framed art) and much stronger wood tones on the other side between the chairs, credenza, and trunk. It might be neurotic but I always feel like if I put a large green thing on one side… Read more »


Growing up, professional rug cleaners came *every* year to clean every rug in the house. It was a pain, but entirely worth it, and each year we would all collectively realize “wow, those were dirty…” once we saw how clean they were. I support your rug cleaning. 🙂


This looks great! And so good to hear it is functioning so well for your family!!
I think the bookshelves would actually look better filled completely with books. Maybe leave the functional baskets on the lower shelf, but I think in this case the different frames, vases, and books- all being around the same size seems busy. I think all books would add texture and color, but let your other vinettes around the room shine.
I do love books though!

Sarah D.

Love you, your team and your style. There are so many elements in this room that are working., but there are 3 areas that are tricky. Overall, to my eye, it’s an incredibly busy room and I’m unable to rest my eyes on something. The fireplace wall is tricky because there’s already so much detail with the beams, the scrolls on the beams, the scones, the curvature of the stucco fireplace, the brick and then the extra added art and business of the stuffed compact bookcases. It’s a lot. The other part is the busy rug which is off center… Read more »


Re: piano lessons: my daughter is in 3rd grade and she just started piano lessons a month ago. We held off until we knew that she’d be excited about it and willing to stick with it. (There will be no quitting piano lessons for her!) We found a piano teacher whose personality works with hers. My daughter loves her piano lessons and I don’t even have to ask her to practice. Her teacher said its actually nice she started when she’s a little older because older kids are easier to teach (i.e.-older kids can read and they are more coordinated).… Read more »

Stephanie P

Emily, your work is amazing and your book Styled has such helpful info. The room is lovely. I agree the rug is busy and have thought maybe a bigger pattern, same colors, would help. Also, instead of the sconces over the built in book shelves: Circa Lighting’s 18inch cabinet maker’s picture lights in brass. The chaise, I just can’t get sold on. Wingback chair and ottoman would do the trick and add some height to the room. There are so many WB options/ideas out there today. They are a great fit for your English tudor home, and did you know… Read more »


I do like your living room. Especially the sight if you’re standing in front of your fireplace looking towards the kitchen. But I believe that I will like this room even more after you made the changes you are planning to do.


I love, love, love the room and especially the rug. Please don’t change the rug! But it would definitely be interesting to see a more modern piece above the fireplace. Great job bringing it all together!

Ksenia Barton

So many great things happening in this living room! For a more casual and modern look I would love to see the Safavieh Cape Cod Handmade Natural / Blue Jute Natural Fiber Rug (10′ x 14′) in this space. You could bring in more sage and olive accents as pillows on the armchairs to harmonize with the landscape art and the chaise. I would also like to see a pop of yellow or two. I agree with the previous comment that the bookshelves would look good styled with books from end to end…finer grained styling doesn’t seem to fit as… Read more »


It’s so funky and fun but also so truly inviting. I get the pull for something more neutral and I am excited to see those tweaks but it’s totally great how it is. Couple of things, the plant by the fireplace comment (a little suburban – bahahaha!) and secondly, as a mom to a toddler I would be stoked to have a play date here: I’d make him take his shoes off but I wouldn’t let him have a juice box in here – perfect balance in my opinion.


What Paint color did you use in your living room? It’s lovely.

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