A Modern and Organic Living Room Makeover + Get The Look
Today we have a lovely reveal for you, this time of a living room that most of us can only fantasize about. The view, the architecture, the white sectional (covered in stain and life-resistant fabric, which we will get into later) – are all pretty special. Our best friends in Los Angeles, Leigh and Corbett bought this house over a year ago and while it didn’t need renovation (it was built in 2004), it wasn’t exactly their taste or style (or mine … or likely yours) so they decided to take on the task of renovating a 5k square foot house, while he was in Australia shooting and she was on 5 month bedrest carrying twins (and a 5 year old to care for as well). What they loved about the house was the location, the space, the uber-modernity of it and it had both a pool, yard and view (hard combo in LA). But the architect chose so many finishes that were contemporary (in a bad way) and dated. Black granite in the kitchen, brushed aluminum everywhere. It was COLD and heavy. And now it’s breathtaking. We’ll be revealing this house over the year (it’s not totally done and we can’t shoot it all in one day) but trust me that what Corbett did to it is STUNNING.
Now the tricky part is that they now have 3 kids, in a CRAZY modern house, and her dreams of a big comfy white modern sectional were not going away. As a multiple-child owner myself, I warned them that comfort and ease were the most important things to me (they had these amazing metal Paul McCobb dining chairs that NO ONE sat in, ever, for instance). Corbett can design the heck out of a house, choosing the most amazing beautiful finishes (you are going to FREAK OUT when you see her kitchen) but she has always struggled with the small stuff – decorating and styling. So obviously that’s where I come in.
A few months ago Domino and Crypton reached out about a couple of makeover posts. I had used Crypton on my dining chairs and LOVE the fabric because it looks like linen and yet is totally stain resistant. Previously the best options had been using outdoor fabric, indoors, but Crypton is changing the game with a pretty weave and so many patterns and textures.
I didn’t have a project at the time in my house, but Corbs had just moved in and this room was totally empty, as she was very busy with newborn twins. While my friends clearly don’t need a charity project, as her best friend I certainly wanted to help her have a more comfortable home. Besides, you bet that I wanted her gorgeous house on my blog.
Their success is the normal American story that you hear all the time – Australian man moves to LA, falls in love with the most awesome person ever, writes a super low-budget horror movie about torture (SAW) that turns into one of the highest grossing horror franchises ever (with 8 sequels! at one time it was THE highest grossing franchise) that sort-of launched his career. Leigh also created the Insidious series (see Insidious 4 which just came out!! although I haven’t yet … :)). Corbs is an actress that is taking a break to have kids, but clearly she should be a designer because as you’ll see when we reveal her kitchen and bathroom how insanely talented she is.
I wasn’t going to mention them at first, but I knew you guys would be like Who owns a house like this? And I think it’s SO Interesting that a guy who created this type of movie genre has THIS house, with this kind of furniture, and is such good friends with someone like me who I think is safe to say, is kinda the opposite of the ‘horror’ genre.
Believe me, we avoided meeting these two. His agent is Brian’s cousin and when we first moved to LA 10 years ago he tried to set us up and both couples avoided it for months. We didn’t want to meet ‘The Saw Guy’ for obvious reasons and they didn’t want to meet his cousins because he pitched us as ‘funky’. We finally did when we coincidentally moved down the street from them in Los Feliz and became overnight best friends. Truly. The only reason I wasn’t in her wedding 2 months after we met was because it was too late to get the dress (she invited me to her wedding on our second ‘date’, which I happily accepted :)). Corbs is honestly the #2 reason that we haven’t left LA yet, and over the last 10 years we have seen each other through it all – career ups and downs, marriage ups and down, we’ve traveled all over and of course we are raising our kids together.
So yes, I love helping my friends design their houses because any chance that I can make my favorite thing to do (design and style) mix with my other favorite thing to do (hang out and talk with friends) I JUMP at it. Plus when a sponsor is involved, my time gets paid which reduces any ‘working with friends’ awkwardness.
We created a mood board based on her Pinboard (which is GORGEOUS) and while she was busy feeding two human babies, Brady and I pulled it together.
Now for the reason we are all here – THAT BEAUTIFUL WHITE SECTIONAL. She wanted one BADLY. I said, “While it will be upholstered in Crypton, which is very stain resistant are you sure you don’t want gray… ?” She said, “NO, white”. I made sure that she was prepared for the comments where every mom in America laughs in her face and tells her she is crazy?? But she had her mind made up. Full disclosure, I don’t really think that the kids will hang out in this room as there is a family room off the kitchen and the location of this room in the house is where this room is kinda off to the side. I’m less worried about the kids and more so worried about us drinking red wine on a Saturday night…
But, you know, of course I wanted a white sectional in my portfolio, so we did it. We went for it. It is Crypton after all and while it isn’t stain proof (you have to clean up after yourself and marinara doesn’t just float away magically) it is VERY stain resistant and wipes up so easily.
We worked with some of Crypton’s partners and found this gorgeous sectional from. Kim has a large selection of fabrics from Crypton and any of her pieces can be customized and upholstered in-house with them, which means you don’t need to buy the piece and then have it covered elsewhere with a fabric, which makes the entire process incredibly easy. Since the room is square we customized the length and made sure it was deep enough for lounging. It is like sitting on heaven and could not be more perfect for the room. It’s so comfortable and I love the details like that little bump at the base and of course the brass legs. We wanted something simple, minimal but low and uber comfortable, which is exactly what this sofa is.
For her birthday last year I gifted her my old coffee table (of which I have waves of regret about) so when we designed this room we kept that in mind. It’s PERFECT in here. I bought it from Anthropologie a few years ago but I don’t think it’s available anymore, sadly.
The black side table is from and the wood side table is from .
The rest of the room came together pretty easily – we chose this gorgeous rug from which we had custom cut to size (it was 10×14 so it was too long for the room, so we had it cut down to a 10×10 – which cost $250 to do by the way and was very easy).
She already had the amazing leather sling chairs from her old house so that was easy (and lucky). As you can see this living room opens up and has the most amazing views ever.
While she is going to redo the fireplace eventually (some sort of see-through indoor/outdoor situation) for now we styled it out with wood logs and some art from .
We reached out to some our favorite artists – and – and bought a few perfect large yet special pieces from them for the makeover. MQuan customized that amazing wall hanging for that spot and boy is it perfect. When the doors are open and you get a breeze coming it the beaded strands move in the most beautiful way.
We added a few Target pieces – that I love (I have it as well in my living room), the , the blue candle and the on the coffee table (all available right now).
I know what you might be wondering – will the fabric actually hold up? Will dust, stain, and dirt (let alone wine, coffee and pizza sauce) actually wipe off? The answer is that while you do have to physically take a rag to it with some water, it’s pretty darn stain resistant. I used it on my dining chairs and while it isn’t immune to marinara sauce, it generally wipes off WAY more than I thought it was going to.
Below you’ll see our dining chair covered in Crypton before it was wiped down.
This is after about a months worth of disgusting toddler food has been on there because we are disgusting people who don’t clean up after ourselves every day. Food spills happen and then stay, linger, soak in and then the next day it happens all over again. We have given both kids their ‘chair’ and I don’t know whose is whose at this point but seeing this in photos publicly is as gross for me as it is for you. So I brought it over to Corbett’s while we were shooting and I used their to clean them up. The process is so easy, a bit of water, liquid detergent (like dawn) and then spray the solution on all the spots and work it in until they start to disappear. You can repeat the process as needed but after 5 minutes of wiping (then dryin’) here is what it looks like:
I swear on the lives of my children that it’s the exact same chair, just a day later after drying. NOT BAD FOLKS. If what you see above (the slight discoloration) bugs you or if the thought of having to wipe down your upholstery often bums you out, especially if you have small kids, then again go for a vinyl or leather. But as a mom of two kids I still REALLY wanted that linen look and I don’t regret it for one minute. It’s so comfortable and warm and cozy, and wipes up like a dream.
Here’s my real two cents about this whole thing – if you want something that looks like linen but don’t trust yourself, this is an EXTREMELY good option. I wish so badly that my living room fabric was Crypton. If you are expecting the fabric to act like vinyl, where wine just drips off your fabric and onto the ground then a vinyl or leather is better for you. But they are obviously less soft, warm and pretty. I’ll speak more about on the dining chairs in the next post, but trust me when I say that for those of us who want linen, but want stain-resistant, this product is amazing.
Doing this project was an insane amount of fun. Being able to hang out with my best friends in their GORGEOUS house and call it ‘work’ is something I don’t take for granted. The room turned out so beautiful and I can’t wait for many, many nights of drinking dark red wine on that bright white sofa, in confidence.
Well, maybe just one glass.
Thanks to Domino and for partnering on this post and Brady for helping style and execute the design. All photos by Sara Tramp for EHD.
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