Living Room Design & Finishing Touches | ORC Week 7

June 17, 2021

Welcome to Week 7 of the One Room Challenge! I gotta be honest, I have struggled with my time management on this project and am a little bummed that I missed writing my weekly post last week. We went on a family vacation to DC and it was fabulous. The family toured Mt. Vernon and I was so inspired by the designs at George Washington’s mansion.

Living room design and finishing touches for the One Room Challenge | Building Bluebird #mtvernon
Living room design and finishing touches for the One Room Challenge | Building Bluebird #mtvernon

Along with my time management, I have also struggled with the consistency of the overall living room design. I took a day to step back and regroup on the design with my aunt and I feel much better about everything. This week I am working on the finishing touches and taking photos for the final reveal!

If this first time stopping by, welcome, and thanks for visiting! A few years ago I decided to quit my corporate job in Denver and my family moved back to our hometown in Ohio. I became a local real estate agent have been sharing home renovation and DIY tips on this blog ever since. Two years ago we purchased a fixer-upper in Toledo, Ohio and I renovated our dining room as a guest participant for the ORC. I also updated my little boys’ bedroom and our master bedroom in the last two challenges. That brings us to my fourth One Room Challenge where I am renovating our living room!

Catch up with earlier posts in the challenge!

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8

Regrouping on the Living Room Design

My original design plan that I laid out in week 1 was to create a masculine design that brought in mid-century elements. Chris always lets me design our house so I really wanted to create a space that felt much more like his style in the living room. Unfortunately, my design aesthetic started to creep in and I struggled to get back on the right track.

Luckily, I have a very talented aunt who generously came over to talk through some of the trouble areas. Today I am going to share how I got back on track with the living room design.

Living Room Trouble Areas

  • Coffee Table: The original coffee table is too big, but I have not found a smaller one that I like to replace it
  • Seating: I ordered a great chair for the room, but it doesn’t arrive until August. I have been using some filler pieces that have made it hard to come up with the layout.
  • Artwork: I have lots of smaller pieces of artwork that I was trying to make work, but it did not feel right.
  • Adding Texture: I had lots of solid colors in the room and I wanted to soften the space with some texture.
  • Lighting: I bought two lamps for the record player, but I was not convinced that they were the right lamps for the design.

Start with a Blank Slate

To reset the design of the room, we removed everything to start fresh. This included the filler pieces like the oversized coffee table.

Living room design and finishing touches for the One Room Challenge | Building Bluebird #mcm

I worked on this corner of the room last week and I could not get it to feel right. The chair was shorter than I had hoped and the artwork felt too small and busy in the large room. I ended up removing all of these items from the living room design.

The first thing that she noticed was that I had too many “cottage-style” elements in the room. I love the cottage-core style right now and clearly, it had influenced some of my decision-making. We pulled out all of the items except for the large furniture that would definitely stay in the room.

Shop the House

Shopping our house is one of my favorite things to do when designing a space. I had pulled out a lamp from my husband’s office that is MCM and it worked much better than the two lamps I originally purchased. Next, we went to my bedroom and decided to use two stools as the “filler coffee table” until I find the perfect one. These are a more appropriate size and work better than the large coffee table.

Living room design and finishing touches for the One Room Challenge | Building Bluebird #mcm

I am using a chair from our bedroom to use until the new chair arrives. I also pulled a few floor lamps and artwork from other rooms in our house.

Living room design and finishing touches for the One Room Challenge | Building Bluebird #mcm

Substantial Artwork

Large artwork makes a statement. Over. I decided to pull a large piece from our dining room and it looks fantastic in the living room. The new artwork in this pretty girl’s place looks great and I will share soon!

Living room design and finishing touches for the One Room Challenge | Building Bluebird #mcm

I am still looking for a nice statement piece to hang over the fireplace.

Resist Over Filling the Room

This is easier said than done!!

My aunt felt that I had too many tchotchkes throughout the room. I struggle with this because I love to display items that are meaningful to me and family photos. I removed some of the items on the bookshelf and am working through where they should go around the house.

She gave good advice that I should display more of those items in our family room, which definitely makes sense.


After it was all said and done, the room feels so much better and Chris loves that it is a more minimal design. He is not a fan of tchotchkes either! I am going to sit with this design for a little bit and then decide if I want to add in a few more elements.

Check back next week to see what made the cut for the living room reveal! Be sure to check out the One Room Challenge blog to see all of the fantastic projects of the other guest participants.


One Room Challenge sponsored by Better Homes and Gardens

Featured Designers for Spring 2021:

Ariene C. Bethea | At Home With Ashley | Banyan Bridges | Bari J. Ackerman  | Brit Arnesen | Brownstone Boys | Cass Makes Home | Dominique Gebru  | Gray Space Interiors | Haneen’s Haven | Home Ec. | Nile Johnson Design | Pennies for a Fortune | Prepford Wife | Rachel Moriarty Interiors | Sachi Lord | Susan Hill Interior Design | This Is Simplicite | Tiffany DeLangie | Victoria Lee Jones 

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2 Comments

  • Reply shana June 18, 2021 at 11:27 am

    Umm I feel you on over filling the room its like I want to put EVERYTHING but styling it and scaling back is so important! Can’t wait to see!!!! Love your inspiration!

    • Reply lindseymahoney June 20, 2021 at 11:06 am

      Right?! It is so hard! Thanks for the encouragement, I am excited for the reveal this week!

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