Apartment Therapy Blogger Style: Shifrah's Own Living Room

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Welcome to my house! Our living room is literally the heart of our home: it's at the very middle of the floor plan. Our goal for the room was coziness and livability, and we achieved it with a mix of things old and new. So many pieces in this room have a story, and that's part of what makes it such a warm and comfortable place for us.

While we did purchase some of our own items, the room gives a definite nod to the past. The chairs were given to us when we got married by a dear friend of my husband's family when we moved to Atlanta. They were white, and I've since reupholstered them. The job was done half by me (it's not as hard as it seems!) but then finished up by a professional shortly before I had my third child. I learned that sometimes even though I can do something myself, sometimes it's much more rewarding for the project to be finished than to have done it all.

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In addition to the armchair hand-me-downs, the coffee table and nesting tables between the blue chairs belonged to my grandparents and were brought here from California. The coffee table's story is a fun one: as told in our family lore, the table was originally a tall Captain's table, and my grandmother had the legs cut down to coffee table height. Not only so, but when my mother and her twin sister were teenagers, their friends used the underside of the coffee table as a little graffiti spot. I remember scooting under the table as a child and looking up at the sketches of my mother's mysterious teenage years. This piece belongs in the family. I had to keep it.

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The couch, from USA Premium Leather, is the one of the first "grown-up" pieces of furniture my husband and I bought, and we opted for top-notch quality. The leather is top grain and oh-so-buttery, and the cushions are filled with 8-way hand tied springs, down, and foam. We love it, we bought it for the long haul, and it's definitely the most comfortable couch I've spent time on.

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The art in the room is also a mix of meaningful and merely decorative. The small gallery wall behind the armchairs is a collection of small favorites from my grandparents' artwork. The pointalism of San Francisco piece was also theirs, and pays homage to that most beautiful of cities where I grew up, where my husband and I went on our first dates, and which I miss so much. The two-piece large scale painting was done for me by a New Orleans-based artist, my sister's childhood best friend.

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We wanted the TV in the living room, but not as the centerpiece. So when we had the built-ins put in, we designed a spot for the TV that would blend in to the wall and the books. (The house is a new construction and funds that were initially earmarked for the bookshelves were diverted to the kitchen backsplash, which you'll see soon. I later helped fund the bookshelves by exchanging half their cost for my copywriting services. Another lesson learned: it never hurts to ask!!) The TV mount pulls out and allows rotation so we have a great viewing experience from that comfy couch. The sofa table behind the couch is one of a set of three Ethan Allen tables we scored on Craigslist.

Additional sources:

  • Blossom painting on mantle: Bed Bath & Beyond.
  • Trio of vases on mantel: CB2.
  • Blue pillows on couch: Cost Plus World Market.
  • Carpet: Crate and Barrel.

(Image credits: Shifrah Combiths)