...because home doesn't happen overnight.
07.02.14 / The Living Room

Thank you for all of the wonderful comments and encouraging words on the house tour! Seeing the before-and-after images next to each other was a little surreal even for us. Like, whoa, we actually bought that dump?! But mostly we feel happy about how much light and life are in this lil’ house now. Hopefully, you have a better understanding of the major renovations. I’d like to feature individual rooms and discuss them in more detail. First up, the living room!

HouseTweaking living room before 2

HouseTweaking living room before 1

It came to us dirty and dated but we liked the large, south-facing window and the orientation of the fireplace.

living room 2014-1

We had the aluminum window replaced with a better insulated vinyl one but we were adamant about retaining the look of the original. The center pane is fixed and the two outer panes are sliders. Whenever weather allows, the sliders are open. We salvaged the original slate windowsills throughout the home. I love the way this window frames the view behind the couch. It’s almost like a work of art and it brings in so much natural light. Plus, we enjoy watching the world go by.

For window treatments, we hung woven shades and gray linen curtains. I have a thing for natural textures so that’s where the woven shades come in and I read somewhere about hanging non-white curtains to distract from a less-than-perfect view. Just across the street is a nondescript shed painted hunter green soooo…yeah, gray curtains. The shades and curtains are functional but we leave them open 99.9% of the time. We don’t mind living in a fish bowl.

living room 2014-4

We replaced the orange shag carpet with engineered hardwood. (We’re on a concrete slab.) Installing the floors nearly did us in. We had to glue each and every plank to its neighbors and we did it all ourselves…while I was seven months pregnant. It was awful but we saved a ton of money by DIYing the install and we’re happy with the results. Although, next time (ha!) I think we’ll opt for something that’s easier to install.

We tried living with the red brick fireplace surround for over a year but we ended up painting it out in white. It really lightens up the space and it’s much easier to clean now, too. We don’t regret painting it one bit but we do feel better knowing we gave the red brick a try. We had the wood-burning fireplace converted to gas with an affordable insert we bought via craigslist.

The TV was quite the conundrum. I was all for giving it up but Steve enjoys it…along with (what I think are) unsightly surround sound speakers. The TV / surround sound setup was a complete compromise. I don’t particularly care for TV’s mounted above fireplaces but, since we removed the wall separating the living room from the kitchen, we didn’t have much of a choice. Our solution was to run the TV and speaker wires up and over to the adjacent wall and house the media components in a small cabinet. (You can see the wires via related links at the end of this post.)

living room 2014-13

To make the TV less ominous, we DIY’d a planked bump-out above the mantel that reaches all the way to the vaulted ceiling, recessed the TV within and painted the planks to match the fireplace surround. The bottom plank is removable in case we ever need to service / replace the TV. This setup appeases Steve and me. He has his fancy TV and speaker system but the wires are hidden and the TV isn’t too obnoxious. It also makes for a great architectural feature. That was a happy accident.

living room 2014-9

I’ve tried disguising the dreaded “boob speakers” with decorative mirrors hung on either side of the TV. They’ve been up for over a year but I haven’t decided if they work. We’ve tossed around ideas to make this wall even more of a focal point. Contrasting paint? Grasscloth wallpaper? Who knows what it will look like in a year!

I designed a wood box that slips over an ugly subwoofer on the floor next to the media cabinet. Are you sensing a theme?

living room 2014-7

I played around with a few different furniture arrangements before settling on the one you see. We discovered that placing the sofa in front of the window gave us more open floor space and encouraged casual conversation. Someone sitting on the sofa can easily converse with someone in the kitchen and vice versa. And the scale of the sofa fits the window so well. (I strongly suggest moving around your furniture until it feels right. No harm, no foul and it’s free!) We also switched out a large, round coffee table for a slimmer, rectangular one to better suit the space.

living room 2014-5

With such a major piece shoved up against the window / wall, it was important to “float” other pieces within the room. I positioned an oversized chair perpendicular to the sofa. Not only does this close off the conversation area, it also helps to separate the entry from the living room.

A shag rug layered over sisal defines the living room part of the main living space and gives the kids a soft place to romp. Bringing in the cloud-like rug upped the comfort factor 1000%. It’s where everyone wants to be.

entry 2014

We don’t have a true entryway or foyer. The front door opens up into the living room. The small area behind the chair acts as our “entry.” Peg hooks give guests a place to hang their coats and the bench is a great spot for stashing deliveries until we open them.

living room 2014-3

The front door is original but it was in sad shape when we bought the house. The previous homeowner had added numerous locks and light-blocking, privacy screens to ward off strangers. The only problem was it warded off everyone. In fact, we couldn’t use the front door (we normally enter through the garage or mudroom) for over a year after our move-in date. Our UPS man made deliveries through the window! Eventually, we rebuilt the door jam and rehabbed the door.

The old door was in such disrepair that at one point we considered getting rid of it and starting from scratch. We’re so glad we didn’t! It’s one of our favorite original features – albeit all gussied up.

living room 2014-8

To bring down the height of the wall near the entry and balance out the TV wall on the opposite side of the living room, we installed simple DIY shelving. I display decorative items on the higher shelves safe from our toddler’s reach and use kid-friendly baskets on the bottom shelf for easy storage. And, bonus!, this shelving unit hides yet another pair of surround sound speakers.

So that’s the gist of the inner workings of the living room. As far as aesthetics, I really wanted this room to ooze comfort and coziness. We hang out here. We watch movies here. We read here. The kids play and wrestle here. We have family dance parties here. We entertain here. A lot of life happens here so the room didn’t need to be brightly colored or overly patterned. I feel like the room gets enough personality from its inhabitants. Did I mention we have three rowdy kids? This isn’t one of those look-don’t-touch living rooms. (I detest those.)

living room 2014-12

living room 2014-10

living room 2014-6

living room 2014-11

I’m drawn to neutrals, cozy textures, a mix of wood tones, leather upholstery, vintage & tribal patterns and hits of black and gold so those run rampant. But everything is kid-friendly. On movie night, the kids use the zig zag poufs as bean bags and they’re never without a stockpile of pillows and blankets.

I hope you enjoyed this BIG tour of our little living room ;)

Resources of note:

wall paint – Benjamin Moore tapestry beige
trim, ceiling, fireplace, TV wall, interior door paint – Benjamin Moore white dove
exterior door paint – Behr evening hush
flooring – Jasper engineered hardwood handscraped birch in Texas Brown via Build Direct
entryset – Emtek
peg hooks – West Elm
woven bench – Target
black & white bull photography print – Minted
string art – DIY
tripod floor lamp – Target
wall shelves – Lowe’s, DIY
sisal rug in entry – NaturalAreaRugs
gold clip-on lamp – Land of Nod
wood sculptures – Ballard Designs
woven baskets – HomeGoods
porcelain glove form – vintage
black & white vase – HomeGoods
vintage kantha on back of chair – ebay
oversized chair – Thrive Furniture’s Taylor chair in expectation grey, blonde stain
large sisal with gray border – Overstock
Keno Moroccan shag rug – RugsUSA
basket next to chair – Target
scalloped wood side table – Grandin Road outlet
patterned pillow on chair – Crate & Barrel
leather pouf – Joss & Main
leather sofa – Soho leather sofa by Elements Fine Home Furnishings (google for the best price)
fringed blankets – Target
sheepskin – Ikea
kilim pillow covers – vintage, etsy (try Sheepsroad or YASTK shops)
light gray squiggle pillow – HomeGoods
slat bench / coffee table – Overstock
gray curtains – West Elm
curtain rod – Amazon
curtain rings – Meijer
woven shades – petite rustique from Overstock
wood bowl on coffee table – Target
shed antler – ebay
various decor books – Amazon
brass-bottomed vase – Target (it’s actually a toothbrush holder)
zig zag floor poufs – West Elm
media cabinet – West Elm (I added vintage brass knobs)
gold task lamp – Target
“Generations” photography print – Steven L. Miller photography (custom gold frame from JoAnn’s)
faux roe deer antlers – One Kings Lane
gas fireplace insert – craigslist
tongue and groove planks – Home Emporium
Monrovian star mirrors – Joss & Main
ceiling fans – Amazon

In case you’re interested in seeing how this room has evolved, a few living room-related posts:

































Thanks for reading!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking



Just curious about your shag rug. I’ve admired it every time I see your living room (which I love everything about…come decorate mine please!). I have been on the lookout for a rug for ages. My husband wants something soft because he gets down on the floor and wrestles with the kids on it. I need a pretty large one (mine right now is 10×14 and really needs to be larger). any suggestions on where to look for one? I look at Home Goods when I go, but that’s not often with 4 kids under 6. Any suggestions?


I’ve always thought your living room was gorgeous, but just seeing those before shots again really makes it truly obvious of your vision, talent, and dedication! Congratulations once again on the amazing transformation.



I’ve had good luck finding rugs online at Overstock and RugsUSA. You may want to consider having a custom carpet rug cut and bound if you aren’t able to find anything in the size you need.


Thanks for the tour… I am definitely obsessed with your living room. I love every.single.view…

Wow- I love the transformation! It is so bright, fresh and inviting. I particularly love how you tried to work with the natural characteristics of the house and white washed the brick rather than just covering it!!

Kudos and thanks for sharing,


all of this is so so so great. i keep staring to decide what elements i love most to incorporate in my living room, but unfortunately it’s all of them. ;) just to give my two cents — i love the tv wall as it is. but then again, if you changed it, i’d probably love it like everything else.


I must have missed it, how did that great, high ceiling come to be?


What everyone else said…LOVE!


Vaulting the ceiling in the main living space was a major renovation that I featured in the general house tour. There’s a link to that tour at the beginning of this post. At the end of the house tour post, please find links related to the vaulted ceiling. If you have any questions about it, just ask!

I think the ceiling is our favorite feature. It makes the space feel so much bigger and brighter without changing the original footprint of the house.


I am so encouraged by your mortgage free living. I too am trying to achieve this with three kids. How much square feet is your house? I am worried about buying a house too small to accomplish this mortgage free goal.

This is a really beautiful transformation. I like that you lived with certain elements for a while before changing them – I find that’s often an important step before deciding how you will use the room or arrange things. I usually have to let things “marinate” in my head for a while before coming up with a good aesthetic/functional balance.


Did you ever find a permanent fix for that corner of the sisal rug that kept turning up? None of the photographs was at quite the right angle to tell.


You may have the only over-the-fireplace TV that I really like Dana. It really works. As for everything else, so nice – stylish and comfortable, my favorite combo.


Your talent really shines in this room. Well, actually, every room. Inspiring!

Your living room is one of my very favorites! I’ve been eyeing that sofa on Wayfair since you first posted about it. Do you still love it??


I want your living room. It’s just so cozy and stylish at the same time! Something I’m desperately trying in my own home. I need to know though, what is your secret to keeping that rug white? I have a husband who works outside all day and a dog and I have the hardest time keeping it clean. It’s officially stained darker where there isn’t any furnature and I can’t figure out how to keep it white. Any tips?


so i’m totally going to order the rug in your living room. my woods floors are currently bare and i just can’t handle it anymore! your taste is amazing. thanks for taking the time to source your pieces. quick question though…the keno shag on rugsusa looks a bit different to me than the one in your room? did they change the pattern slightly? there is another rug on their website that looked more similar to yours however. i have a baby that doesn’t sleep so my eyes could totally be playing tricks on me :) just wanted to double check i get the EXACT one you have because i love it that much! thanks again.


Hi there, where did you find your large replacement window that essentially matches the style of the original?? I love the look of horizontal lines but have not been able to find vinyl windows that look that way. Thank you — and you have a beautiful, relaxed home.


What an amazing transformation!!


Love, love, love. That is all! Xx


Curious about tv angle… When we tried to put ours up higher than eye level the pic was terrible. Plus hard on neck…just wondering what you did different because you seem pleased with it.

Love getting into the details. Great storage solutions and love how you’ve hidden the tv. So great!


The difference between the before and after is stunning. You have created a warm, welcoming home. I love the ceiling best, but the painted brick fireplace and planking are wonderful, too. Looking forward to seeing the completed bathroom.

Since you mentioned hanging the mirrors to try to camouflage the “boob speakers”, I hope you don’t mind my two cents. I wonder if it would help to raise the mirrors by a foot or so to draw the eye up and away from the “boob speakers” instead of drawing attention to them by hanging them right next to each other. Just a thought. Hope you don’t mind.


It looks great, but if I may offer some constructive criticism, some of your ‘after’ shots are way too blown out and difficult to look at.


The TV is mounted on a bracket that allows us to change the angle of the flatscreen. We have it leaning forward a little – you can’t really tell from the pics. We also have the main furniture placed so that we’re about 14′ – 17′ away from the screen when viewing. That allows for a less severe neck angle. Again, ideally, I wouldn’t want the TV above the fireplace but it works.


The window is from Window Depot.


The Keno is the one! I think it looks different because on the RugsUSA site it shows a view from above but in my living room you never see it from that angle.


Yes! It has held up so well to jumping kids and lazy evenings. I have noticed the back cushions (they’re attached) slouching a bit but I fluff them back to life every once in a while. I like a slouchy sofa!


It’s roughly 1,600 sq ft.


Not at all! I appreciate constructive criticism.


Good to know. I hurriedly snapped these on my kids’ last day of school while Mabrey was napping when I realized I wouldn’t have a clean house for the next three months. Ha! It was super sunny that day and this room receives so much natural light from the large window and skylights in the kitchen. Probably should have paid more attention to my ISO. I’m still learning!


Love your aesthetic! So when you guys bought the house did you know you could vault the ceiling in the LR or did you have a contractor look at it first and I’m guessing this was a pretty major expense? Would love to learn more on this process. Thanks!


I was wondering if you have ever looked into getting a design degree? I am a stay at home mom also and am interested in taking courses online in the design field but don’t know enough about the field to know which schools are best. Do you have any suggestions?

we can see before and after, the difference is incredible, the decoration and the paintings give to the room more volume, more light, this living room is very beautiful, the style is a perfect mixing with old and modern, congratulations for this job and to share with us.


What a wonderful makeover! I love that you listed where you got everything. The entire room is fantastic, but the shelves and the way you styled them has to be my favorite.


I talked a little about the vaulted ceiling in the main house tour post. See it here…


There are links at the end of the post that discuss the ceiling in more detail. I wrote up a post all about the vaulted ceiling earlier this year. It includes pricing. You can see it here…


Of course, vaulting the ceiling made a major difference in the living room. It gives it a completely different vibe. I didn’t rehash the details in this post just because I’ve discussed them before but I hope you find the links helpful.


I absolutely love this room. It still blows me away every time I see big shots of it! I’m sure you all have a security system and such but does it not worry you at all to have those curtains open 99% of the time? Even when you leave?? Maybe since we were robbed last year I feel differently but I absolutely love that you can do that (as in can handle it) hahahaha. Maybe one day.

[…] we’re removing that wall and all it’s really the only place it can go.  I love what Dana did with their TV above the fireplace, so I imagine executing something like […]


I love what you have done, we essentially are doing the exact same thing with our house in Mt pleasant SC. Construction is well underway, and the lvl beam will soon be in place. I wanted ask about your insullation. As it stands, we have 1 ac unit for the whole house. We have 6 in rafters (not sure what you have) and plan to do te same toung and groovebard you did. The standard R30 was what my contractor was thinking of using. He would have to cram it in so there would be no extra space for airflow. If i remember your post correctly, yall used spray insullation right? Can you tell me why, and how it has been for you heat wise… We are down in the south and I dont want to run into issues with having this new fabulous room, but it being hot all the time! Thanks and I will be sure to pass along some before and after photos once we are move in (maybe a month or so!

[…] carpet no more! Between the freshly painted walls and new wood floors, this living room makeover is one for the record books. We love the neutral color palette and mix of textures that […]

[…] carpet no more! Between the freshly painted walls and new wood floors, this living room makeover is one for the record books. We love the neutral color palette and mix of textures that […]

[…] different antlers and horns in one lovely picture of Dana Miller of House*Tweaking’s living room. I love her modern spin on, well, […]

[…] via […]


Hi! I loooove your living room! I have been searching for a similar rug to put on my hardwoods.

Are you happy with the way your rug is holding up? :) Any pros/cons?



Looks awesome. What spray paint did you use on the lamp?


Design Master gold medal. It’s available at most craft supply stores.


Also a fan of your rug. COuld you tell me please what it is made from. Can’t decide whether wool or other material is preferable. Thanks in advance!

Hi! I’m renovating a 1954 ranch slab in Massachusetts as we speak. The similarities are insane and it makes me so happy to see your *finished* home while I am in the middle of it. It’s like the light at the end of the tunnel. Quick question, we also have a white brick wall, and we just put down bamboo flooring. To keep the floors down, we know we have to choose some sort of baseboard infront of the brick. What did you use along the edge of your brick wall and was it different from the baseboards in the remainder of the living room?

Thanks so much
Jenna @twolittlehomes


We ended up using quarter round along the bottom of the brick surround. It’s white. It isn’t my favorite but it was an inexpensive and easy fix.


This room is amazing! Do you remember how much the custom framing from Joann’s cost?


It wasn’t cheap! I had a coupon and it still cost me ~$180. Luckily, I had some birthday money burning a hole in my pocket. But it means so much to me and will always have a place in our home so it’s worth it.


Hi, weird question about the rug…Is it made out of a more flexible material that makes it possible to fold? I’m interested in purchasing it but it can’t be shipped to our address in Germany and I was hoping to get it shipped to my mom and have her fold it up and fit it into a box to ship to me. If anyone can answer my question that’d be great! Thanks!


The rug has a flexible canvas back. I think it could be folded up for shipping. It’s pretty heavy though!


I know this was posted a couple of months ago, but I was wondering how your leather couch is holding up with the newest, furry member of your family? My husband and I are considering a leather couch, but we’re worried our cat will rip it to shreads.

Your living room looks so cozy, btw. I just want to curl up on your couch with a good book and a glass of wine.


So far, so good. The cat has only shown an interest in curling up and napping on the couch thus far. I did buy a scratching post and lounger / scratcher and am training her to scratch only those items. We’ll see…

Come on over…bring your good book. I’ll supply the wine!


well, I guess if you have to have a satellite for cable (country living). Just wondering if you had a receiver and if so where did to put it


The receiver is in the small media cabinet next to the mantel. We also have a Blu-Ray player, Wii console and surround sound receiver in the cabinet. We added a shelf to the West Elm cabinet and cut a hole in the back for wires to pass through. It’s a great setup for us!


Hi Dana, I am wondering if you have problems with sun exposure on your leather couch? I have a leather couch in front of an east facing window and I always thought that the sun would fade/crack the leather if I didn’t close the blinds in the morning (when the sun hits the window). From reading this post it seems like you don’t close the blinds or curtains at all during the day?


We rarely close our curtains. (And we never close the blinds.) We have a deep overhang above the picture window which helps to keep direct sunlight out of the living room. Sometimes in the winter when the sun is very low, I will drape a blanket over the back of the sofa but I really don’t baby it. I spotted a little fading on the back the other day but it really isn’t noticeable because of the sofa’s position. I could probably do a better job of protecting it…but I don’t.


Thanks Dana. I have tried the draping of a blanket over the back but I get annoyed that it keeps falling off when we sit on it so I ditched the idea…maybe I’m not draping it right. No worries. I love your sense of aesthetic!


your slat table is a Herman Miller stock piece
I sold mine 10 years ago and now live outside the USA.
I am having someone make one for me, I miss it that much!!!!!

[…] houses with this gorgeous rancher that has been completely renovated by Dana, who writes the blog House Tweaking.  I love her clean take on mid-century style…here’s my top 5 favorite things about the […]

[…] love the color palette in the Room of the Week…its warm and modern and mostly neutral with little bits of fun bright color (mustard! […]

[…] of my favorite design details in the Room of the Week is the pair of decorative mirrors on each side of the TV. They really help balance that wall in a […]

[…] pair of kilim pillows in the Room of the Week is such a fun way to add a lot of pattern and texture inexpensively.   Kilim pillows (made out of […]


I’ve been following your blog for a while now & love love your design style! I have a question about your shaggy rug — after having it a while, how has it held up? We bought a shaggy rug but after less than a year it started looking pretty gross in the higher traffic areas. Is the rug easy to maintain? Would you recommend it? It would be in our living room by the TV … we also have a dog, cat & 2 kiddos so it would get a lot of use! :) Thank you, thank you!

[…] House Tweaking. Wonderful transformation with this very dated small […]


How do you find the hardwoods in the kitchen? Ive heard mixed opinions about using it there….but would like to put in in mine!


Personally, we really like them! The only issue (if you can even call it that) is when we drop a knife or something sharp and it knicks the floor. I just touch it up with a brown Sharpie and no one’s the wiser.



just found your blog and im obsessed! lol. quick probably super easy question…..what is that sprig of a plant you have pictured on your living room coffee table?? thank you!!!


It’s a clipping from our backyard. I actually think it’s an invasive Japanese knotweed but I really like its fronds!


[…] replaced the ceiling fans. We loved the look of the first fans (seen here) but they hummed and whirred so loudly. In the fans’ defense, they were listed as commercial […]


H Dana,

I hope that you get a chance to respond to this email, but if you don’t I’ll understand, you’re a busy Mom :) First, I want to applaud you for leaving behind the big cookie cutter house and choosing to downsize so you can focus on what’s important, your family and wanting to live mortgage free long before your kids graduate high school/college!! My husband and I have been on the hunt for a small ranch for a couple years (not many ranches in our area of NJ) and we think we finally found one!(going to look at it today) I have been using your house as an example to get my husband to come down off his high horse when he thinks he can’t do it! So thank you for allowing us to have access to your home, it’s beautiful! You have been a real inspiration… Okay, on to my question, what size is your shag rug in the LR??


Aw, thank you Jennifer.

The rug is 8′ x 10′ which is a little small for the room so I layered it over a larger sisal. Hope that helps!

[…] House*Tweaking Living Room […]


Obsessing over this WHOLE space! I’m very interested in buying the Moroccan style rug you got there. There is one at World Market that is similar that i was looking at, but ALL the reviews say that it constantly sheds. The home i have is going to have dark wood floor so i cant have that! Does the one you purchased from rugs USA shed a lot? Let me know :) Thanks!! :)


[…] it for over 6 months. I love House*Tweaking’s style and am going for something similar to her living room […]


It barely sheds…barely. That’s what prompted me to buy it. I love the look of Moroccan shags but so many reviews mentioned shedding and daily or every other day vacuuming. This was the only one I could find that boasted good reviews as far as shedding goes. I vacuum about once a week and that’s enough.


Did you guys open up the ceiling? Or is it just all the white making the room and ceiling feel larger? Love your blog btw!


We vaulted the ceiling. Read more about it here…




The Keno Moroccan rug looks more yellow than yours and its synthetic. They have others very simillar I want to make sure it’s the same one. Its not easy to tell online. BTW what is the size you ordered? Thanks! Love your home!


It’s the right one! It was white, white out of the packaging.


Thank you. The color is called natural, right? Appreciate your help!

Also, I am about to buy the sofa. My only hesitation is the sewn on back cushions. I like being able to fluff the cushions if they are sagging from wear and if they are attached it’s difficult to do. How have they been holding up?

I’ve already ordered several pieces I’ve seen in your home. Knowing where to go without spending hours and hours browsing is great! Love your style!


Here’s a direct link to my rug…


The attached back cushions were a must for my husband. He detests loose back cushions because the kids are always displacing them. For that reason, we actually prefer them. They do get a little slouchy after a lot of use but I just fluff them from time to time. So far, it doesn’t affect the comfort of the sofa, just the look. I kinda like a slouchy sofa though. It looks lived in. They are still attached even after tons of sofa-diving c / o the kids :)

Hope that helps! xx


Hey Dana, hope you are well! I wanted to check in on how your Moroccan shag is holding up! We purchased the exact rug about a year ago (after LOVING yours) and it’s already greyish / yellowish from walking on it. Let me know if you have any tips for cleaning yours? Or if you clean it on a regular schedule? Besides vacuuming, of course. Any advice is awesome as we love ours but I’m so frustrated with how it looks all the time!

[…]  And might any of you you possibly be the lucky owner of one? Images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | […]


Looking at the before photos, did you raise your ceilings? I absolutely love it!!!!! Is that costly? We have 8 ft ceilings and I would love to do that!



All about the ceiling right here…


We vaulted it!

[…] Interior Magasinet, 3. Daniel Marshall, 4. Bjornen Style, five. The Star, six. Residence Tweaking, 7. Couleur Locale, eight. […]


first off – thank you so much for the detailed info about vaulting your ceiling. I read through each post and by the time we got an architect involved in our own reno I already knew a lot of the terminology and process. When he suggested we do a scissor truss, I was able to tell him that I preferred a steeper pitch and suggested an LVL beam instead. Had I not read all your posts I probably would have just gone along with the original scissor truss suggestion, and then been disappointed by the shallow pitch. Thank you, thank you! Anyway, to my question…

I love the white ceilings in your space and noticed you used White Dove by Benjamin Moore. I would like to use this too for everything (ceiling, walls, baseboards) and just wondered if you were happy with this colour, now that you’ve lived in the space for so long?


I love the white dove! Here in Ohio we don’t always have the best natural lighting. I love that this white isn’t too stark or too creamy. We did a satin finish on the ceiling. I didn’t want it shiny like a semi or full gloss, but I still wanted to be able to brush away cobwebs easily. The satin finish is perfect.

Best of luck with your new ceiling!


Thanks for the input Dana! It’s going to be a while but perhaps I’ll post a link to pics of it when it’s done.


Can you please share details on your wood floors? They look great! We are placing wood floor throughout our home, and are looking for one this very specific color…. Is this prefinished, or stained on site? Thanks!


LOVE LOVE your home… your making me want to find our own underdog and make it happen:) except my hubby is so not handy-he is great just not handy;)
How does your shag rug hold up with kids /food spills etc? I just transferred out souk rug from WElm to the living room ( i have 2 small kids) and its making me nervous;)


You can definitely tell a difference between the area that sits closer to the kitchen and the area that rests (protected) under the sofa. We have a no shoes, no food (except popcorn) rule in the living room so that helps. I vacuum once or twice a week. We lose Legos in the shag like crazy! That’s probably my least favorite aspect but I still love the rug. Before winter hits, I’m going to take it outside for a good shake and maybe try some OxiClean on it. I’ll let you know how it goes…


LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS ROOM!!! I am moving in a few weeks and this is my inspiration!!! GORG!!!
I tried to look at all of the comments to see if you already answered it, but can you tell me what color your curtains are from West Elm? And what fabric they are? Linen?
Love your blog and your style!!!

Thanks SO much!! Kelly


They are a gray linen-cotton blend with an ivory border. I bought them years ago. I don’t think they’re available anymore but you may be able to find something similar from West Elm or Ikea.


Hi there – there are two Keno rugs on RugsUSA. Is it this one? I also would love to get the same exact one as you. Some reviews say its a bright true white but your’s doesn’t. What do you think?



That’s the one! Maybe it’s just ours…or my dirty kids…but it doesn’t look bright white, stark white.


Thank you! I’ll be back soon. Love your style.


Dana, did you ever oxyclean the rug? I have a white rug and it’s gotten a lot of use. I need to figure out a way to clean it and my first thought was oxyclean. advice?


You can read about my rug cleaning trial here…



I love everything about this! We just bought a house and the living room is ever similar. I’ve been constantly rearranging furniture and looking for ways to fill the space–you have given me great ideas!!


I know I’m coming in late in this conversation but I have a question I didn’t see addressed above, why do you have a sisal rug under your plush one? Was there a reason or just for the border effect??


The sisal is the right size for the space but was inexpensive. It protects the floor and allows me to layer smaller rugs on top for more interest.

[…] couch in the second version is the same on from one of my favorite home blogs, House Tweaking. She bought the couch in 2012 and from the sounds of this review, it’s quite a good deal for […]


Hi Dana, my husband and I are looking for a leather couch and have the same pre-requisites you’ve described. I’ve googled the heck out of this couch but am having trouble finding reviews! I was wondering your thoughts on comfort- is it a deep, comfortable couch good for napping and snuggling with kids? Thanks so much! PS- your blog is amazing and I love your kid-friendly viewpoints.


Many naps (with and without kids) have been taken on our sofa successfully! Depth of seat from edge to start of back cushion is ~25″, so it isn’t super deep but deep enough for some horizontal lounging. It’s a great size for a modestly sized room. I really like that it’s low slung. It is comfortable but we’ve found it difficult to sit right in the middle because of the two-seat cushion configuration. (You’re essentially sitting in a crevice in the middle…which Mabrey likes so she usually sits there.) The back cushions are attached and haven’t pulled away or anything. They do get a little slouchy with time and use. I just manually plump them back up. The back of the sofa has faded due to its placement in front of the window but that was to be expected. It is not noticeable from the front. I LOVE the tone and feel of the leather as it has worn in over time. It’s so soft and supple! I didn’t like the shiny look of the brand new leather when the sofa first arrived but the shine has dulled over time and now it has the best patina. Even with kids and a cat (not declawed) there are no holes or cracks. I think as long as you’re aware that the leather will change over time (because that’s what leather does) it’s a great, durable choice for families with kids.


Hi. Love everything about your house! Can you tell me where you found the track lights and ceiling fan shown in the living room please? Thanks!