Our New Modern Coastal Sitting Room


You guys! I can't believe that today is the day I get to show you around our new modern coastal sitting room!

The six weeks of the One Room Challenge completely flew by and I'm so happy that I took on this project. This room pushed my limits and I had a really good time dreaming it up and making it come to life - and can we just take a quick pause and enjoy those beautiful built ins that I built pretty much all by myself!

I can't wait to sip my wine in here!

modern coastal living room before and afterPin

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Read the full disclosure.

But before we go any further, can we just take a minute to remember what this space looked like just a month and a half ago?

The "formal living room" before the makeover

First of all, we NEVER used this room and since it took up half of this big open room my plans for our eventual bigger dining room had no space. Now that the sitting room only takes up about a third of the room, there will be enough room for the ideas I have for our dining room.

There was too much furniture, not a ton of personality and this room always felt a bit dark, since it doesn't get a ton of light.

Sure it was better than the completely off white space we moved into, but it didn't serve us well.

Want to get on the fast track to decorating your home without the overwhelm and indecision? Click here to learn more about my self-paced online course and coaching program, Style Your Way Home.

What I did to makeover my living room

I painted the walls white

I used a cool white. That means I picked a white with a slight blue undertone and it bounces the natural light that does come in really nicely.

sitting room with built in shelvesPin

I added custom built ins

It's hard to find a lot of character in the Southern California suburbs where I live and I thought adding a built in similar in style to the built-in we created in our family room but with a window seat would give the room some character, add storage and display space, and provide seating without taking up as much space as a sofa.

If you followed my progress over the six weeks on Instagram, you'll know that this build took up a good chunk of the time it took to makeover this room. It also forced me to learn to use a few new power tools - which I love, and best of all it made me realize what I'm capable of when it comes to building really cool stuff! - I already have a list of more big builds that this project inspired!

I really love that these shelves give me an opportunity to display pretty things and add color to the room. - Even ugly books can get covered in pretty paper and suddenly they're displayable!

We are already making use of this space to curl up and read and I'm sure my kiddos will love looking out the window on rainy days.

create seating in small spacePin

I Had My Wingback Chairs Reupholstered

I loved the shape of the modern wingback chairs that I had in the room originally. I found them on Craigslist years ago and had to grab them even though I knew they weren't the right color.

So when it came time to do this room I knew I wanted to have them reupholstered. I got a few estimates and was really discouraged at how expensive it was ($575 per chair) and definitely considered doing them myself, after all I've reupholstered dining chairs before. But the stitching on these is really unique and I didn't think it would be something I could get really really right.

Free Room Design Guide

So I tried one more upholstery place that I had actually used before but they had moved and they were so much more reasonable and he did a really great job! I got both chairs reupholstered in a deep blue velvet fabric that I got online for $400. Much better than $575 per chair.

modern coastal living roomPin

I added large scale wall art

I headed to Ikea with the giant wave canvas art in mind for this wall. I've literally been wanting to buy that wave art for years but never had a place for it until now.

And of course as soon as I am ready to buy it they don't carry it anymore. - This always happens to me!

So after moping around about it for a few days I decided to google it to see if it was sold anywhere else. - No luck.

Then I typed "Ikea wave art" into Craigslist and someone down the street from my mom had posted it for only $25 the day before! - I was stoked! And did I mention that I was headed to my mom's for dinner that night? Crazy meant to be right?

blue and white living roomPin

I added softness with textiles

Finally I anchored the space with a rug the right size to define this area as a sitting room and made a custom bench seat cushion and added some purchased and some DIY toss pillows to make the new seating really comfortable and inviting.

Ready to create a home that feels like you without the overwhelm?

Inside my course, Style Your Way Home, I'll teach you my step-by-step approach to discovering your unique design style and how to incorporate all the styles you love into your own home design plan. Plus, you'll learn my simple 4 step process to to apply your decor plan to any room in your home so you can make quick and confident decisions and create a home that feels like YOU.