Open concept living room design plans

As we have been wrapping up the dining room projects and styling for the big reveal next week, we have been discussing whats up for our next #finishthatspace, the open concept living room. open concept living room

Our winter gallery wall is going strong so you won't be seeing any changes, but I do still need to fill that empty frame, hopefully I can make a decision and find a great piece for the spot.

current gallery wall

Making decisions on this space has gotten a little hairy over here. Seems like every time I start designing overwhelm hits with the amount of stuff we have already half started, or really want to complete.

If you watched our house tour video then you've seen the space if fairly "complete" (except all the painting needed ASAP). We spend most of our days in this room since it connects literally every other room in the house. Haverly plays all day in this room, and the dogs sleep under the gallery wall (as you can see from the mud stains on the white wood work- yuck!) We really want the space to function as best as possible for us.

living room photo of couch

Changes like swapping out the fan/light combo for a new light. One in which we don't have to worry about picking up Haverly and her head hitting a fan (#tallpeopleproblems). Or a full sized rug that fits under the furniture and doesn't slide around during play time.

This rug from world market is currently the big contender because of its durability and for the price tag. We need an 9'x 12' rug for this space (which is why I currently have multiple rugs in the living room) , that size tends to come with a hefty price tag!

Navy Bordered Woven Jute Area Rug

Were ready to finally re-do the cushions on our vintage mid-century chairs I found two years ago at the Brimfield Antique Show (They originally came out of a hotel in PA from the 60's). Recently Joann's had a sale and the perfect white tweed upholstery fabric grabbed me for like 75% off (ummm yes I'll take that steal).

mid-mod chairs

Another big project that still needs completing is the sliding door into the office. I've been back and forth on purchasing some "barn door hardware" or DIY-ing something ourselves. You can find some really wonderful tutorials from other bloggers who have successfully made them.

before & now of office sliding door

In this case I'm really not sure if its worth the effort and modest savings . We found the door (which is actually a exterior porch panel and not really a door) at a used building materials store for 20$ last year. Typically it would cost a bit more to find or build a door so our savings could be used towards quality hardware.

And then the coffee table....We gave my sister the vintage bench  that we had used in the living room. It was just too long for our space with the current couch. I love it dearly, and didn't want to see it go, at least it looks amazing in her loft so I can't complain much.

The size of a new coffee table is really scrambling my brains. I'm thinking a large square table will help to lengthen the seating area and fill into the room a bit more but its such a big decision.

Like this large white table:

An Apartment with a View in San Francisco

Putting in a huge coffee table terrify's me. Giant people+ giant dogs does not = fitting into tiny house. I think some spacial planning is in order to determine what size table will be adequate without creating a heavy piece that just bottles up the area.

coffee table visual guide


That's not even all of the projects we are rolling out for this room! We also have...

  • Finding a locksmith with antique keys for our original door hardware (which we painted black a little after moving in years ago)
  • Shelves below the tv and my Great Aunt Susan's contemporary oil painting
  • A custom hanging pulley light that has been in the making for way too long
  • DIY-ing a new wood floor register to replace the metal uncentered one under the tv

Wish us luck because were gonna need it to get most of these projects done! What do you think about the coffee table in this open concept living room? Extra large or keep things at a standard size?



Dining room inspiration & design coloring page printables


Like all the rooms in our home, the dining room is still a work in progress. Part of our push in 2017 is to finish our projects we have already started, or need to finish.

So were starting with the dining room in January and finishing a few things that have been lingering since the porch remodels. Things like painting the room, fixing the crown molding, finally installing a light fixture that lights up the table adequately, and putting up some art. Eventually (were thinking next fall) were going to take another stab at our live edge slab table. Which warped on us over the last year.

So its time to start making some product and design decisions. Those can be difficult even for those of us with lots of experience. Heck sometimes I think its even more difficult because I have had so much design experience, I appreciate many styles, textures, and patterns.

When I find it difficult to finalize decisions its usually and indication that I need to slow down, add some constraints or design guidelines, and then look with fresh eyes.

So basically I had to peel my fingers of the pin it button … just walk away from the screen Susie.


What do I mean by guidelines?

First, I go ahead and look at what I have and really think I’m reusing in the current design. Like our live edge table, cafe stools, and mid-century side table.

Then, I take the architecture and homes age into consideration. Since our home has so much character already built in our door casings I don’t want the small rooms to get busy.

So that already narrows down some things and creates some guidelines for the dining room. All the new items will need to work with the items I already have, and our homes bungalow/cottage architecture.

Now, I can narrow down the search. When I come across something I absolutely love (like an idea posted on Pinterest) I can let go of it if it doesn't fit within the guidelines. It makes it easier to find the stuff that will work. Instead of being stuck on too many ideas that won't work and getting overwhelmed.

Once I find inspiration in some photos (possibly with similar items to what I already have), I go ahead and draft a design.

If I’m still having issues with the design and colors,  I will make a coloring page. That way I can really feel free to try some ideas (with no one overseeing).

free printable dining room coloring pages

I’ll even create a couple of designs that have different styles (something a little more traditonal , mid century modern, boho, etc).

Free Printable Coloring Pages

free printable dining room coloring pages

So that leads me to your free coloring pages. You have a couple of different design layouts and styles to choose from and can play with the colors till your hearts content.

How can interior design coloring pages really help?

  • Help you color in your current guidelines (like our floor color and the white cafe stools we already own.)
  • Start to answer those tough questions for yourself. Like do I have too many metals mixed into this room? (It helped me to color in our brass fixture above the dining table since we don't currently have a brass fixture in our house.)
  • Try new styles (you know spread your wings and fly....) If your space is very traditional, how would it look to mix in some mid-century modern pieces? Its easy to take the risk on a coloring page you can just throw out if you hate.
  • Try risky colors. Their is something about coloring it all in yourself that helps you finally make that decision. (Like if green walls will work for you. O yeah that's what I started with when we moved in.)

Doesn't it just feel great to make some of those decisions on your own (or as a couple)? You can end up receiving so much advice about designing your space (friends, family, design shows, co-workers) that your really not sure. Going through a process yourself helps calm the nerves and puts you back in the driver's seat.


free printable dining room coloring pages


You can download the three different designs below and try it out yourself. Go ahead and color your pages in. Don't forget to tag us in your posts so we can see what beauties you come up with!


dining room coloring pages download

Let us know if these pages were helpful and what styles and rooms you might want to see next in the comments. I'd love to create some more for other spaces and styles you might be looking for.


free printable dining room coloring pages

Finding Dining Room Inspiration

With my guidelines in tow I find it easier to love something, and then let it go, and not get my mind jumbled with too many ideas. You shouldn't just follow every rule in design blindly, but guidelines  can help you let go of too many ideas. Which will help zeroing in on the ideas that will work.

So I ended up pulling some inspiration off of, and if you haven't ever check it out, your missing out.

San Francisco Charmer
Resident Art
Those fixtures just make me want to sing! We wanted to add a bit more of the mid-century modern to the room. Which will tie in nicely to our side table which will move into the dining room.
 dining room side table
The only reason I ever got this piece was because my mother hated having it in her room as a child. Apparently it pinched her when closing the doors one too many times. Of course she's over here at our house tons, must drive her crazy to still be plagued by it!

Mood board


  1. We love this amazing giraffe print. It would be a nice reminder to embrace our tall goofy selves.
  2. I don't want the dining to end up too Mid-Century modern with the addition of a fixture like this, but I just keep going back to it. Here's a budget friendlier version.
  3. We painted the entry this Sherwin Williams color and have loved it, most likely you will eventually see it on the kitchen walls as well.
  4. The side cabinet will store our barware, what better then to have a vintage mid century decanter on top like this one. Or this one.
  5. I mean who can resist? Maybe a cactus inside, or maybe a bowl to hold our wine stoppers, and other miscellany.

Once I put together this mood board I realized our colors are very muted. Although my inspirations had white and grey walls, they brought a generous amount of color in with the art and plant life.

I've been playing with my dining room coloring page to see if I'll keep it all muted like below or add color with a giraffe print and plants. The color really looks great in these spaces, maybe I'll embrace the eclectic side and get some more color in everything.

Reality Check

Nothing is ever exactly how you originally envisioned it, the beauty of design is in the process to which you get to the end result (does a room ever really stop evolving?). When I first started designing our dining room table I had decided I wanted to find all different vintage styles of barstools, but it just never lined up where I could find the right height (our table is counterheight) and in reasonable condition to be rehabbed. So we ended up purchasing some and I'm very glad we did, but they still aren't my absolute favorite....

dining room cafe stools

They blend in to the small dining room with a little style, they are so much easier to clean than I would image something we painted would be, and they all came in time for Christmas and guests the year we bought them.

The point is, you don't have to love every single thing in your home to have a wonderfully designed space. Stay tuned in January for how this room comes together, here on the blog, and on Instagram!

Anyone else finally finishing some spaces in the new year?