Hulett House: Living Room...So Far

One of the rooms I was the most excited about tackling when we moved in was the living room. Right off the kitchen and dining room, it has an open floor plan feel but still has it's own intimate footprint thanks to the plethora of flooring in the space (literally four different types of flooring on the main level for each of the four 'spaces'). And while the beige Berber carpet is a bit dingy and shabby, until we update the kitchen, the patchwork floors remain. 

One of the top priorities for the space was a real grown up couch, not the battered and stained Ikea sofa bed we rocked for many many years. We didn't want to invest too much in a couch that will take a toddler-sized beating over the next few years but really wanted something cool and stylish. And while most people don't equate 'Art Van Clearance Center' with 'cool and stylish', that's exactly where we found this bad boy...

Axis couch.jpeg

That navy denim color. The button tufting. The high back and straight arms. Love at first sight. 

The only problem? We ordered it and it took almost 6 weeks to arrive. So we lived with one rickety old glider chair and one ripped up saucer chair for our 'living room' for 6 weeks. It sucked but the price and style of this couch was worth waiting for. 

After a couple different seating arrangements my MIL Hilda suggested we put the couch under the window. It's the perfect size and scale and sits just at the window sill. With the side tables flanking it, it really looks perfect there. 

And yes, those two obnoxious throw pillows came with the couch. They are in desperate need of being covered (and they drive Tracey absolutely bananas) but I haven't gotten around to that quite yet. But the ikat pillow in the center was a super thrifty find (a brand new Target Threshold pillow for $4.99 at Goodwill) and the Nate Berkus throw on clearance for $17.98 (from my local Target).

Then there's these incredible lovelies. They were given to me from my MIL Becky as she was cleaning it out and redecorating her new home (the amount of midcentury awesomeness we have been given from that home is astounding). In their previous incarnation they were pea green tweed and had rapidly disintegrating foam inside the cushions. We knew we wanted to recover them and I spent a good bit of time perusing swatches from and our trusty upholsterer and finally (despite many objections from everyone else) decided on this muted linen Ikat. And making them even more attractive? My generous mother paid for the fabric AND the reupholstery job! Thanks Mom!! 

Don't they look stunning? The wood was reconditioned and shines like new. The cushions are soft and inviting. The tufted backs are just so sophisticated. And the piping on the backs just makes them look like they rolled out of the pages of Elle Decor. To say I love these chairs would be an understatement. After the kids these are what I'd save in a fire...

And let's not forget another of my all-time favorite pieces...that perfect brass tray table. Rescued from Michael's last bachelor pad and drug from one Hamtramck apartment to the Other Artist's studio space all the way back to Lansing, that brass table has been in many many places. But now it's perfectly at home between these two beauties. I love the way they all look together. 

Tying the whole seating area together were two other pieces I knew we needed to have for this area. The black and white striped rug (World Market) and the acrylic coffee table (, both of which we bought on sale and with leftover gift cards from various birthdays and even one leftover from our wedding!  

Here's the two of them. Aren't they perfect together? Love how modern the stripes look under that table, and how the table perfecly mirrors the clear acrylic Ghost chairs we have at the dining room table. The best part is that it doesn't take up much visual space. So while it serves it's purpose to hold the remotes and tissue box and all the coffee cups we can throw at it, it doesn't make the room feel cluttered or crowded, in fact it feels quite open and spacious. 

And yes, a new tray and a basket for the magazines under the table are definitely in order. They're on my mental list whenever I pop into a thrift store or Target...

The wooden branch leg table is a find from Target a few years back. It's one of those pieces I saw and loved and didn't buy and went back to three or four more times. No one loves it except Tracey and me. But that's ok, we're secure in our taste level. The eagle lamp was a recent thrift store find (where I also found the brass square dish). It's heavy brass with a marble base and was just the right scale to sit opposite the other lamp in this room and it cost a whopping $7.98. With a clearance shade from Target it looks perfect. A jade plant and cheery yellow planter from Ikea are just right on this table. 

I have been looking for a second side table to match the size and scale of the branch-legged table for months. And then I spied this pretty on the @targetstyle instagram page. I tracked it down, put it in my cart and forget to complete the order. Went back to my cart the next day and it was gone. Sold out. I panicked. But kept checking back and finally (thank the universe!) it was back in stock. Thanks to a generous housewarming gift from my friends Maha and Sudharstan this sweet and stylish table is now ours. 

Paired with a vintage midcentury wood and brass lamp (also from my MIL), a tiny globe bank (a Mega Mall find) and a greek key candle (HomeGoods), the look is just perfect to me. 

This 'little' project warrants a post all its own, here is the library wall in progress. I rushed styling it to take these pictures so it's a bit jumbled and jam packed. BUT, I put up most of my cameras and all of my favorite books are represented. At least it's jumbled with things I like! 


My extensive coffee table book collection was a wee bit heavy for the bottom row of shelves so for now they live on the low shelving unit. This set-up isn't ideal but I don't mind it either, especially with more styling on the bottom shelf. 

Beneath those are matching woven baskets (found for $12 each at Meijer, yo!) that hold the only kids stuff allowed in that room. We wanted the room to be toy-free, and though they bring crap upstairs every day, it either goes back into these baskets at night or back down to the playroom before bed. 

Something else that's in drastic need of an update? This awful set of sconces on the wall. And eventually the yellowed fabric blinds will need a new fresh look too. Seriously. Someone find me something to replace those hideous sconces for under $100 each. Pretty please? We'll feature you on the blog!! 

More stuff that needs to find a home location within the room. A pair of poufs (Threshold at Target bought on clearance for $20 each) along with the blanket basket (Nate Berkus also on clearance). 

And here's the lackluster TV area (watching Gracepoint BTW) as it stands now with the ginormous blank wall surrounding it. The TV needs to be mounted on the wall, freeing the top of the buffet for small vingettes and family photos. Hopefully that will happen soon. 

A smattering of the artwork I've bought since moving in that needs to be hung once the TV is mounted. Going for a gallery wall completely surrounding the TV should be an interesting challenge. Can't wait to get this going!! 


And this friends is what the room looks like precisely 17 minutes after taking all the above photos aka when Iz woke up from her nap. She's a one woman Tasmanian Devil. It's a good thing she's so cute. Most of the time this room looks like some variation of this. Toys strewn all over the floor, books and magazines and tissues all over every surface, and at least one crazy child right in the middle of it.

But even with all the chaos and mess, it still feels like the most grown-up and cool space I've ever lived in. 

So...what do you think? What updates would you make? Anything you want me to leave for you in my will? Also for the love of chocolate could someone find me sconces to replace these? Not sure how much longer I can look at them!