Home Tours

House Tour: Emily and Todd’s Living Room

Here’s Emily, sharing her beautiful living room!! We were going to combine her living room and dining room in one post, but it was just too long, so I’ll post the dining room separately a little later today (Thursday). “The first piece we bought for the living room was the couch. We went back and…

Here’s Emily, sharing her beautiful living room!! We were going to combine her living room and dining room in one post, but it was just too long, so I’ll post the dining room separately a little later today (Thursday).

“The first piece we bought for the living room was the couch. We went back and forth trying to decide what was more important, buying a couch that was smaller but fit the space or buying a larger scale, comfortable couch that we’ll have for 10 to 15 years (and go with us to the next house). This living room is also our family room so we wanted it to dress up when we needed it to and dress down when we needed it to. We ultimately decided on a Bernhardt couch. The couch is very well made and I’ve been impressed with how well it has held up.

“Above the couch is a series of botanicals prints cut out from this book and framed in Target gallery frames (spray painted charcoal gray).

“Remember the little pedestal table in my master that I mentioned used to be in the living room? It got moved upstairs when I found this fantastic garden stool at the flea market. The colors are amazing. I found the floor lamp for $20 at the same garage sale as the chair in my master bedroom. Again, Todd rewired it for a couple of bucks.

“I made two pillows out of Kelly Wearstler’s Imperial Trellis, two peacock blue velvet pillows (Parker’s pillow of choice when laying on the couch) and a middle lumbar pillow with orange pleated trim. My local fabric store sells this trim, but I needed at least 2.5 yards and wasn’t about to spend that much on trim, and they didn’t have it in orange. So one night I got out the iron and made my own pleated trim. This project was very tedious and when I told my seamstress friend what I did, she said I should have used her pleat tape. Classic.

“Todd doesn’t ask for much so when he told me he really wanted a leather “dad” chair I couldn’t say no, even though I would have preferred two matching upholstered chairs flanking the couch or one of these. We found the beautiful leather chair at Whitley Galleries in Zebulon, NC. It’s made by Alexander Taylor, it’s also a 10 to 15 year piece. I made the pillow using a simple cream linen and gray grosgrain ribbon.

“Since this room does double as our family room, the “perfect” layout isn’t really being applied here. If you center the sofa with the fireplace there is nowhere to put the chair and it makes watching T.V. awkward.

“I found the ottoman at World Marketplace only it was covered in a black Suzani fabric. I loved the shape and the base. We recovered it in a minty velvet material found at a fabric warehouse. Someday I would love to have it professionally reupholstered with the traditional deep tufts. When researching how to do tufts I found out that it’s actually very technical and way too complicated for my little brain.

“The console under the T.V. was made a local carpenter. I found him on Craigslist. He made the console with 100 year old oak, which is so cool to me. The basket underneath holds blankets and Todd loves the fact it is only possible to have this basket because we don’t have a cable box or any TV components by the TV. We were fortunate enough to have a crawl space and Todd has wired all of our “boxes” to the pantry on the other side of the house. So the mess of cables you might expect are all hidden behind the wall and under the house. He has asked that I emphasize that this is a very “hi-tech” home, but great effort has gone into hiding that fact. :)

“On top of the console Todd has been allotted his only personal space in the house…a 5 by 20 inch box for personal items and the remote.

“If you look closely you’ll see that he drilled a hole through the box to run the power cable for the charger underneath the box. You’re probably catching on that my husband will do anything to hide a cord. In fact, he would love nothing more than to write a crazy long post on how to hide all of your cords.

“I was whining to Jenny about decorating my mantel and how I couldn’t find anything to decorate it and make it my own. This post she did on mantels helped a ton. There are two things that made this mantel hard to decorate. First, it’s not very wide, like six inches. Second, it competes with the top of the bookcase to the right.

“I found the brass birds at the flea market for $3, which are also in the principal’s office on Glee, how cool is that?!? The glass candle sticks are from our wedding, I like the look of glass in small doses and they fit on the mantel, check. My mom always has orchids in her kitchen, so I’m very partial to them. I’ve actually told Todd I prefer an orchid to flowers, they live longer (3-4 months if you take good care of them) they’re simple and gorgeous, and Lowes sells them for $10 to $15. Remember the Davenport floral shop I mentioned in Parker’s bedroom post? I’m thinking of having them make me a faux orchid arrangement for the mantel. It’s impossible to beat the real thing, but it’s expensive to replace these even if it is only once a quarter.

“The small painting is another James C. Christensen called St. Brendon the Navigator. I actually won this painting in a drawing that an online gallery held a couple of years ago. I never win anything so to win this painting was kind of awesome. The vintage brass easel is from ebay. Easels are a great way to display little pieces of art or favorite framed pictures, I have several of them. The vase in front of the fireplace was a flea market find and the antique rice bucket is from a boutique in Utah. The beautiful mirror is this one at Ballards.

“You can’t see it very well, but to the right of the fireplace is an antique lawyer stack. Remember when I said my mom was a book hoarder? Well, my dad is a bookcase hoarder. When he was doing his residency he secretly bought and stored these stacks in their attic (at the time each stack was about $25). When it came time to move, he started pulling out all of these stacks and of course my mom was shocked. He thought she would be mad but she thought they were great. He restored them all and now my siblings and I all have at least one in our homes. But my parents have the most; I think there are at least eight more of these bookcases in their house. On top of the bookcase is a large terrarium from Davenport floral, personal pictures, and this little vase (I want all of these vases). To the right of the bookcase is a pair of Carl Bloch etchings.”

Living Room Sources:
Couch: Bernhardt
Ottoman: World Market
Art above Couch: Botanicals, Butterflies & Insects by Leslie K. Overstreet, frames from Target spray painted charcoal gray
Leather Recliner: Alexander Taylor, Whitley Galleries
Antique Chinese Garden Stool: flea market
Mirror: Bellesol Mirror, Ballards
Console under T.V: local carpenter, can’t find his name and he’s not posting on CL anymore, but Carolina Farm House could make a very similar one
Lawyer Bookcase Stack: gifted
Brass birds on mantel: flea market
Small painting on mantel: St. Brendon the Navigator by James C. Christensen, won in a drawing but available through art galleries
Floor lamp: garage sale
Decorative bird cage: Gatehouse in Orem, UT
Decorative balls in bird cage: Pier One
Green pedestal tray on console: Gatehouse in Orem, UT
Brass easel: ebay
Orange Planter Box: Home Goods
Curtain Fabric: Braemore Fioretto
Rug: Green Front Interiors

Our thanks again to Jessica of JJ Horton Photography for the images.

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46 thoughts on “House Tour: Emily and Todd’s Living Room

  1. I've loved each and every room of Emily and Todd's home. Thank you for such a wonderful feature Jenny. I had to smile at some of the elements in their living room. I too have 8 botanical prints hanging above my sofa and my curtains are also made from the Fioretto Sprout fabric and I also have the same Ballard Design mirror, except it is hanging in my dining room! So funny and fun! Thanks again!

  2. Please ask her husband to write a crazy long post about hiding cables! It might inspie my husband to hide the ridiculous amount of cables we've got hanging out all around the house!!

  3. This tour has been awesome! The botanical prints look like they have been professionally matted and framed! What an accomplishment. Such a lovely house. Inspiration overboard for sure.

  4. I think the first commenter Sita, Emily and I all have the same taste! I have pages from that same book framed in our guest bedroom!, have that same Ballard mirror (in our entry) and I have drapes made with the Braemore Fioretto (in graphite) in our dining room! Can't wait to see the dining room and YES, a post on how to hide cords would be seriously amazing.

  5. Great job Emily & Todd, your house is amazing. I love how each room has pieces old and new.. they blend so beautifully! I'm saving all of your rooms as inspiration. Thank you for sharing and I cant wait to see the dining room later!

  6. i'm jealous of all her pretty things…i may need to quit stopping by this tour or i may just have to move in :) i wish wish wish i could this myself too!

  7. I would love for Todd to write about hiding cables. Exposed cables can make a potentially pretty room look yucky.

  8. MORE PLEASE!!! I can't wait to hear all about the dining room. This is like reading a great book!

  9. Todd: PUHLEEEEASE send Jenny a post to share about hiding the cords! We are having a cord "situation" at our house and I just can't handle it any more!

  10. I love that their house is not HUUUUUGE. I mean it looks like a pretty big house, but it's not like 8,000 square feet like some of this stupid, ridiculous homes here in TX. This house feels comfortable and beautiful and like they probably use every room every day. That's the way it should be.

  11. Emily, do you take commissions?? :) I'd love one of those fretwork pillows on the leather chair and one of the bird pillows with the orange boxpleat trim! :)
    Man, I need to learn how to sew!

  12. I normally really don't love recliners, but I sort of like that you guys have one here. It feel more like a real home. And if you're going to have a recliner, that one is the bomb dot com. Was it insanely expensive? You don't have to share a number if you don't want to, but maybe just a little more guidance on the price would be great? Please and thank you!

  13. I'm loving this home! It's so warm and cozy as well as beautiful at the same time. I have what may be a very dumb question though. Maybe you could answer it? If the TV components are in a pantry across the the house, then how do the remote controls work? My husband is capable of moving out components to another location, but that's always been the deal breaker for me. I'm stumped.

  14. I love this house tour! It's cool to see how you both sorta have the same style, and I love the tutorials on everything. I also especially love the practical and low-cost mindset you both have when decorating. It makes it so easy to envision. Everything you do on this blog matches my taste and style and colors perfectly- I just love your blog!

  15. @Robin Gray – you can do this with an RF remote (radio frequency). The old remotes we all have are IR (infrared) and require you to be directly in front of the device you're controlling. RF remotes let you send the signal to the device without being near it. Just finished researching this for our own home to get the components out of the way!

    I'd love if Emily could share how many sq ft her home is. I agree that it doesn't seem huge but so perfectly sized and usable. I'm curious how much square footage you "need" for that feel.

  16. Very cute living room! I really like the perfectly mismatched pillows and the cranes on the mantel. Rounded mirrors always look super cute on mantels. Also, really like the practicality of her place to stash the keys, phone, etc. Need to get a better something like that myself!

  17. Another great room. And actually, I'd LOVE a post on how to hide cords. Trying to get my man to clean up the nest under our desk and I think he could some some encouragement.

  18. What a fun tour this has been! One thing that really impresses me is how finished it is. I love to decorate, and I love a finished room, but for some reason, I stop short of finishing all my rooms and just wait. I think I'm scared of not doing all the details right. Emily (and Todd) are definitely a talented duo to pull all this off w/o any professional help. Thanks for yet another post of great inspiration! (PS, love the Carl Bloch etchings on linen mattes with silver frames…really modernizes them)

  19. My husband would be over the moon if I found a way to hide all the cords and wires. PLEASE get Todd to write that post!

  20. I just emailed this post to my husband. I want our living/family room to feel this cozy. It's not 'overly decorated'. You could just enjoy a good conversation with a friend. Love it!

  21. Robin Grey,

    Dina mentioned RF remotes to be able to "talk" to your devices that are not stored by the tv. This is the best option, but also the most expensive. RF refers to radio frequency, and it means the remote doesn't have to have line of sight like traditional infrared remotes, an RF remote can talk through walls to a receiver unit stored with your devices which then transmits the remote commands to your devices. Here is a link to the best RF remote solution…awesome, but expensive:


    There are also a couple cheaper options which simply extend your standard IR remote signal to you components stored farther away. There are wireless options that have a box you point your remote at that talks wirelessly to a box stored with your components. They aren't super reliable and you still have to have a little box by your tv, and some are hideous. This is the best, elegant option in that regard:


    Finally, along the same lines there are solutions that aren't wireless so you run a cable from your tv area to your boxes and you can hide the cable by your tv, but the remote can still talk to it. This is a very reliable solution and no box is required by your tv. This is what we use, here is the link to the best solution:


    Hope I am not speaking too much of a foreign language. We will see if Jenny gives me some air time, but the secret of a cable free look is being really anal retentive and somewhat OCD.

    – Todd

  22. The square footage of our home is about 1650. It's not what you would call a huge home but I like homes on the smaller side. And i'm not just saying that because we have a smaller home, I genuinely prefer smaller homes but a big yard. It forces us to be organized, efficient, and we have less "stuff."

    Georgia on my mind: I am right with you on not liking recliners, but I ultimately decided that I care more about Todd then I care about my preferred style choices. When shopping for a leather recliner I found that we would have to spend at least $1000 to $1500 so the chair would look nice and polished. Because this is a 20 year piece I am imagine that it will someday be in Todd's office with a pretty floor lamp.

  23. I love the botanical prints!! I can't tell from the picture if they used mats or not?? If so, what size are the frames, mats and prints? Thanks so much, what a beautiful house!

  24. Love, love the botanical prints!! Love them so much I would love to have some:) I can't tell from the picture if they used a mat and if so, how big and how big are the frames, etc. Thanks! The house is beautiful!!

  25. My sister wants me to make some peacock blue pillows similar to yours for your house. I can't tell how you finished the pillow though…Did you box the corners? does it have an invisible zipper? nweaver529 at gmail dot com if you have any pointers.


  26. This entire tour was amazing – I loved each space you shared. And can I tag along with those requesting the long post about hiding cables?! That would be great!

  27. Gorgeous and so "real", which is very associated in the virtual world because it's so uncommon.

    I agree with Brooke @ Very Fine House, I am dying to know the source of your huge, beautiful blanket basket. Pretty and eyecatching baskets/storage are so hard to find.

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