Like many other families, lifestyle and fashion blogger
Candace Alongi‘s go-to hangout for watching Netflix, reading and kicking back with her husband and two kids is the living room. They moved into their new home last year, which gave her the opportunity to bring her Parisian-chic vision to life from scratch. “I wanted a space that was comfortable and family-friendly, yet sophisticated and stylish at the same time,” says Candace. “I’m not one to sacrifice style over comfort, so I was on a mission to achieve a blend of practicality and beautiful design that would speak to everyone in our family.”
Scroll down to learn more about this living room makeover!
House & Home: What was your vision for the living room?
Candace Alongi: “I was very inspired by effortlessly chic Parisian apartments and wanted to bring that seamless blend of classic and modern style together into a space that was beautiful as well as functional.”
H&H: The space is fairly neutral in color, so how did you create visual interest with different textures, materials and patterns?
CA: “I love color, and while we have incorporated much more of it into other rooms in our home, we opted to keep our living room fairly neutral for it’s calming and de-stressing effects. Pattern, texture and hints of color were essential for bringing the room to life. The striped rug was just the pop of pattern needed for that wow-factor, while blush pink and rust tones warm up the space. Glossy aged brass and Carrara marble surfaces add a little luxury, while velvet, faux sheepskin and pampas grass bring in the warm, cozy vibes.”
H&H: Are there any budget-friendly elements in the space? If so, tell us about them!
CA: “I love a good mix of high/low items in a space, so I made sure to include pieces from varying price points. My favorite savvy finds were all the books sourced from a local thrift store. I envisioned a lot of books with black and white spines to match the room’s design, so I was thrilled to score coffee table-worthy pieces without the hefty price tag. More budget-friendly elements in the space include the classic Ikea Stockholm rug, table and shelf decor from H&M Home and the cutest marble end table from Structube that’s under $200.”
H&H: You completed the makeover in a month! Any advice for those looking to make simple changes without doing a full-blown renovation?
CA: “Definitely start with a vision for your space — even if you’re unable to tackle major changes at the moment. I always begin any room makeover with plenty of research on Pinterest narrowing down the look I want to achieve, as well as focusing in on the style and color palette. I also try to find images of rooms with similar layouts to mine to better envision how my space would look. Once you’re set with a clear design plan for your space, it’s less likely you’ll make impulse purchases that you might later regret.”
H&H : What are some ways to redecorate a room without buying anything new?
CA: “With everyone stuck in quarantine — and the economic situation clearly uncertain at the moment — simple home updates can still have a big impact and don’t have to be pricey! Try revamping a blank wall with a gallery of downloadable art prints, shop your own home and restyle your coffee table and shelves with pieces you already own, or add decorative layers to your space with a vintage rug or delicate drapery from a family member or friend.”
H&H: What is your favorite way to style a coffee table?
CA: “Ever since the children were born I’ve had to keep table and shelf decor to a minimum due to curious little hands. But now that they are a bit older, I’m happy to be able to cover every inch of our surfaces with beautiful, interesting things! The key is having a variety of objects from candles, to books and boxes (in varying heights), and layering them for visual interest.”
H&H: What about built-in book shelves?
CA: “The perfect #shelfie certainly takes time and patience to achieve, and I’ve come to understand that it isn’t a one-step process. Start with a few unique items placed throughout the shelf, then come back to it over the course of the next few days or weeks, and slowly add in what you feel might be missing. Maybe that beautiful antique vase needs a piece of artwork leaning on the wall behind it for depth. Or maybe for added dimension, place your favorite candle on top of a stack of books.”
H&H: How can you make family knick knacks feel design-worthy?
CA: “Layering is again the key to a well-curated look. Over time you will see your shelves evolve into a collection of cherished treasures and other beautiful items that tell you and your family’s story.”
Author: Victoria Christie
Darby Mitchell Photography