How To Re-Style A Room

I started working with Prudence on my bedroom last month, and in that time she has taught me so much about interior design and how rooms flow. We’re on our second project now (can’t wait to share it soon) and during that time have become great friends.

When she texted me last week asking if she could come over to “play around” with my living room off the clock, I was basically jumping for joy. She said that the room didn’t flow and it felt too spread out. I had no idea what she was talking about until she spruced it up and now I get it. It feel so much comfier now.

The best part is that she used all furniture that we already had so it didn’t cost a cent! I had to share photos of it all because the difference is crazy.

Our house is a raised ranch layout which is a tough one to style. It can easily feel cramped and small. My dream would be to knock down all of the walls and have an open concept, but it’s crazy expensive to do that, despite what Fixer Upper likes to tell me. So for now, a girl can dream.

Because of our layout, you walk up a half staircase and the living room is immediately on the left so it’s the first room you see when you walk into our house. That makes it pretty important.

What Prudence did:
1. She moved the console from under the Gray Malin Positano print on the entry way to the far side of the living room. It used to be that when you walked up the stairs into our home, it was too crowded with the table and ginger jars, even though it made  super cool statement.

I’ve lived here for two years and never even realized that until she moved it. Now it feels so much more open when you walk in, and we have more of a hallway.

2. She moved the bar cart to the corner near the staircase. Before it was next to Amalia’s playroom, and even though it’s gated off, that freaked me out for some reason. I never keep my eyes off of her in the house but if she somehow got ahold of anything on there, it could be potentially very dangerous so I feel a lot more comfortable with it far away from her play space.

3. She restyled the bar cart and the console

What we still need to do:
1. Replace the “boob” light with a nicer looking flush mount. We’re still on the hunt.

2. Move the round mirror to another room. It used to work there because the bar cart was below it, but now it’s kind of just floating. We were thinking of putting it over the console but now I love the blue prints there so I want to leave them.

3. Find the perfect baby friendly coffee table. Any ideas?

4. Potentially paint the walls white (a different white than the wainscoting). Either way we need to repaint them because when we moved in we did it ourselves and it looks messy. It needs to be cleaned up, so Prudence suggested going with a creamy white to make the space look bigger. It’s still up in the air! You can’t fully tell from these photos but the grey looks kind of dark when it’s a cloudy day or the evening.

Quick tips from Prudence:

Where to start: If you want to rearrange a room in your home and don’t know where to start, I would suggest the room you spend the most time in: master bedroom or family room. Create a room that feels comfortable and relaxing that embodies the style and colors you love. You can use this room as the inspiration for the rest of your home when you are ready.

Creating flow:  The best way to create flow in a room is to pay attention to the natural “walk” space in the room as well as scale. For instance, you should have at least 36” clearance on all sides of furniture near walls for pass through. Having to find your way through furniture obstacles in a room will definitely deflect from any beautiful pieces you have.

Additionally, to make a room feel cohesive, colors and pattern can work harmoniously to set the tone for a room. If you love a more transitional style, then fretwork or bold colors will work well with clean and traditional lines, if boho is your style then opt for more subdued yet rich colors with lots of pattern play.

Setting up a living room: A living room can be hard to tackle because they come in all shapes and sizes. For a living room with a fireplace, a great option if the room can support it is two sofas perpendicular to fireplace with a rectangular coffee table. You can also opt for two sofas for making al “L” with two chairs or a sofa and two chairs.

It’s important to understand the dimensions and what can fit allowing for pass throughs. Also, as a rule, all furniture should fit on the rug to create a cohesive feeling and a sense of coziness. Having a rug that only fits the coffee table or only some of the legs of the chairs and sofas will make the room feel out of balance.

How to style surfaces: To style surfaces, think in arrangements of odd numbers like three and five as well as scale: small, medium and large. For instance, three objects in varying heights will work great on a coffee table or console.

These are mini vignettes that can be stand alone or you can add more to the same table but with other elements: Three ginger jars of different heights, books, flowers in beautiful vessel with objet or picture frame.

Ultimately, if you love something in your home, then it should be there! Play around with furniture, color and accessories until it feels comfortable and collected. I love the homes that tell the story of who lives there.

Styling by Prudence Bailey
Society Social Sofa
Society Social Console
Society Social Bar Cart c/o
Minted Prints c/o
Dash and Albert Sisal Rug
West Elm Chairs (Glider version only available now)
Birch Lane Striped Chairs c/o (50% off!)
Ginger Jar Lamps
Brass Hand Sculpture
Williams Sonoma Large Ginger Jar
Blue X Benches (Similar)
World Market Faux Fiddle Leaf Plant
Z Gallerie Round Mirror
Pillows on Couch: Old from Serena and Lily
Lo Home Small Blue Pillows c/o
Pottery Barn Beachcomber Basket
West Elm Brass Curtain Rod
Gray Malin Positano Print (Largest size)

Photos by Julia D’Agostino.

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  1. JenH said:

    I am obsessed with this room. I really love the look of no coffee table – i always felt like you needed to have one, but now I realize you would be silly if you did in this case – it looks perfect without it. With two small kids we recently had to get a new round one as to avoid corners, i never even considered going sans!

    Question on your window treatments – how wide is your window? I am in the process of trying to dress a 10′ window with panels and trying to decide if i need to buy 4 panels instead of 2 for the width. Thanks!

    6.7.18 · Reply
    • JenH said:

      haha i totally wrote this before reading the full post (I had followed along on stories earlier this week)- I didn’t realize you were still looking for a coffee table. I feel like you could get away without them and pull out the little blue stools and add a tray when entertaining?

      6.7.18 · Reply
      • MM said:

        I third the no coffee table! We got rid of ours with 3 kids and never noticed a difference except more space 🙂

        6.7.18 · Reply
  2. Allie said:

    The room looks so nice. My husband and I were just talking about how much we love blue and white for decorating. It looks so clean and just the right amount of preppy. Thank you for all the inspiration as we continue to finish decorating our home, xAllie

    6.7.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      #blueandwhiteforever 🙂

      6.8.18 · Reply
  3. Ryann Carter said:

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I haven’t announced this on my blog or social media (the big insider announcement will be Monday in my newsletter), but I’m moving from an apartment with an odd layout to a house with a more traditional layout in July. I am so excited! But I realized that one place I was planning to put a table just won’t work! This is amazing! We hope to hire an interior designer to help with flow and layout who we’ll build a relationship with and ultimately do major projects with. But I’m so excited!


    6.7.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      So exciting!! Hiring a designer is incredible if you can make it happen. They just know so much more than the rest of us haha.

      6.8.18 · Reply
  4. Elizabeth said:

    Sorry if I’m totally missing this, but is there a before shot for comparison? I’m thinking of doing a little layout tweaking myself so I’d love to see how she adjusted things.

    6.7.18 · Reply
  5. Elizabeth said:

    I’d suggest a round coffee table (no edges for baby heads to get bonked on, and gives you more room to move around it). Maybe in a darker wood tone, like walnut. Personally I think that would like nice against some of the lighter tones in the room. The restyling looks awesome!

    6.8.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      That’s what I was thinking but now that a few people have said it, I might just not have one for now!

      6.8.18 · Reply
  6. Anna said:

    Have you thought about a large ottoman as a coffee table? That way it’s something soft that (hopefully) Amalia won’t smack her head on and you can place a tray or two on top to have decorative objects and/or drinks on. When you don’t have people over the trays can easily be picked up and moved to another room so that there are less breakable things for little hands to grab. Just an idea, although I also don’t disagree that the room looks nice without a coffee table as well! Love reading your blog and your constant positivity, even when people aren’t always the most positive. Keep doing what you’re doing!

    6.10.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I think that’s what we’ll end up doing. We have that in our sunroom and it works really well! Either ottoman or nothing at all. I can’t decide!

      6.11.18 · Reply
  7. Jennifer said:

    Love this whole room and all of the blue and white! What do you think of the blue and white chairs from Birch Lane? I’ve been looking for something similar but wonder if they are comfortable and something people would actually want to sit in.

    8.23.18 · Reply
  8. Steph said:

    Hi – Would you be willing to share the paint color in this room along with any others in your home that you’ve posted about? Thanks so much!

    12.3.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      The living room color is Farrow & Ball “Cornforth White” although it’s actually grey.

      12.4.18 · Reply
  9. Bridget said:

    Love this room! I especially love the Minted art and really want to purchase both pieces but noticed only the circular one is linked. Any chance you still have a link for the other?

    1.5.19 · Reply
  10. Jennifer J Clark said:

    A tufted ottoman in leather or vegan leather makes an excellent coffee table with wee people. Still give them little darlings something to cruise on, but it’s padded so they don’t hurt themselves.

    10.20.19 · Reply