Living Room Design Plans

Ok, I’m back and I’ve done a lot of thinking about the fact that I miss the fireplace and built-ins from our former home.

The two conclusions I’ve come to is that IKEA doesn’t have anything that truly meets our needs that wouldn’t require a lot of DIY hacking. Given my knee woes, I’m just not up for that level of commitment. 

The other conclusion is that given our open concept layout, it might feel like you’re being sandwiched by kitchen cabinets AND built-ins if I were to add them. There’s also the expense of either getting them built or buying something we love like this $4,000 version from Crate & Barrel.

So, here’s my design vision:

Gold, black and white living room design plan with floral accents and glass coffee table. | via

As you can see, I kept the fireplace I saw and loved at Lowe’s. Once that is in place, we can wall mount the TV, and it’ll instantly feel a little more warm and cozy. The marble surround coordinates with our flooring and granite…it’s pretty perfect.

Flanking the fireplace are two gold etageres that are about $100 each and pretty substantial at 71″ tall and 30″ wide. Also included are the Hutton sofas from Room & Board that I am obsessed with, a gorgeous rug, my current coffee table, and this stunning floral art print.

I think this gives us a bit more flexibility than bonafide built-ins would. If I want it to feel more airy, I can easily move the etageres over to the wall where the floral art print is. Plus, I have plenty of space to display decor and photographs/art. 

I couldn’t resist also doing a mock-up with a Christmas tree…

Gold, black and white living room design plan with floral accents and glass coffee table. | via

Here’s the visions I abandoned.

Too random.

White, gold, black living room with gallery wall and fireplace.

The frames would cost me more than the gold etageres would, but I do like this set-up, too. But I lose shelves to display stuff and I spend more money.

Scott living fireplace is the focal point of this black, white and gold living room with floral accents and a gold framed gallery wall.

To get to my vision, it requires quite a bit of work! Here’s where we are today… These photos aren’t staged or anything, so you get to see what it looks like day-to-day with my random pillows and too small rug that’s purely there so Pee Wee has somewhere soft to land when he jumps off the couch. It’s a design hodge podge right now, and I’m going to work on it when I put up my Christmas decor, I pinky promise.

We want to sell both recliners and the TV stand, maybe the sofa, so that we can use those funds to purchase our new sofa(s). The fireplace, etageres, and rug are affordable enough, but the sofa(s) are a bit more of an investment.

Living room design plans.

What I most look forward to is really refining my interior design style and getting rid of some items that just don’t fit in anymore in this new place. I’m going to opt for more timeless items rather than trendy, like that darn agate side table that I am now “meh” about.

The TV stand was bought during my reclaimed wood phase, but once that was literally everywhere I stopped liking it as much, and now it’s just an eyesore. 

Living room design plans.

That back corner is so bare and drives me nuts. I’m itching to decorate it but am also slowing my roll to ensure I don’t waste money on stuff I’ll hate later or end up putting a bunch of holes in the wall for poorly planned gallery walls.

Living room design plans.

Basically I think the only things staying are the end table, coffee table and accessories. 

And here’s a tip for when you’re planning on major furniture purchases like I am- grab a roll of painter’s tape and tape out the dimensions of where your new stuff will go. It’s what we did to see if we’d like the width and height of the fireplace, and we now see it’ll totally work. 

We also taped the floor after these pics were taken to see what the footprint of the sofas would be and to ensure they didn’t take up valuable walkway room. I’m super detail oriented and do mock-ups and floor plans, but sometimes good ole painter’s tape helps more than anything else.

Living room design plans.

I really would love to have the TV stand sold and the new fireplace in by December 1, so that’s my first order of business. The etageres are also beyond affordable, so I think I can manage those expenses this month, and the rug and sofas will follow soon enough. I’ll be writing about the sofa saga soon, as it is now coined, because I cannot make up my darn mind. 

That’s the vision, the ugly truth of what it looks like now, and my master plan. Will I regret forgoing fancy built-ins? Truthfully they can still be added a few years down the line, but for now this is a happy medium that addresses most of my design wants and needs.

Thoughts? Things I’m not thinking of? Talk to me in the comments, friends.




  1. Ashley Soto
    November 4, 2017 / 3:57 am

    What program do you use to create the mock designs?

    • Monica Benavidez
      November 7, 2017 / 9:55 pm

      Hi Ashley! I use Photoshop. 🙂

  2. Lori W.
    May 8, 2018 / 2:54 am

    Hi Monica, I’m new to your blog, stubled across the building of your new home, loving everything about it! I think your idea of the Lowe’s fireplace and etageres are spot on.You mentioned selling furniture items… I have a few pieces to sell too and wondered where/how do you sell your stuff, or where do you recommend?