Earlier this year, our friends Daniel and Meghan purchased a sweet fixer upper in Michigan, only a few miles down the road from Tree House. After celebrating around our fire pit (double neighbors!, in both Chicago and Michigan, we said!), Daniel got right to work waterproofing, repairing the foundation, knocking down walls and installing a steel beam. Meanwhile, we text each other daily with inspiration photos and color palettes, and we lend a hand or advice whenever we can.
This post is in partnership with Castlery, a modern furniture company that creates a story for every room in your home. They craft furniture that is timeless, using the highest quality raw materials to create pieces that are built for longevity and multi-purpose use. As it is a direct-to-consumer brand without middlemen, they are able to extend honest pricing and affordability to their customers.
The home is small but mighty, coming in at just under 800 square feet. Aside from the modest living room that I’ll be sharing today, there’s a kitchen, full bathroom and two bedrooms. Sound familiar? So when Castlery asked us if we wanted to work together, our minds went right to Daniel, Meghan, and their newest family member, baby Stevie!
Daniel + Meghan’s Living Room | Before
Daniel + Meghan’s Living Room | After
Choosing the Right Sectional for a Small Space
A small room doesn’t automatically equate to purchasing small furniture. In most cases, it can be quite the opposite! Their living room is 12′ x 16′, and needs to accommodate seating, entertainment and a landing zone for the front door (to the left of the sectional). We were on the hunt for something comfortable with deep cushions. Something nappable. Something that would fill the space without feeling overwhelming. Something that would seat the whole family – plus Roo dog! In fact, this would be the only seating in the living room, so we sprung for the Jonathan Chaise Sectional Sofa in Graphite from Castlery! A sectional eliminates the need for arm chairs, which cuts down on items that would make the room feel cramped.
Note: All sources are linked at the bottom of this post.
Castlery believes that there is value in taking the time to curate your home with intention, and they want to help you create spaces that make you feel good, building intimate connections between you and your space and the people you bring into it. The brand believes in creating homes that can do everything, with dining tables that operate as headquarters, beds that moonlight as pirate ships and couches that double as front row seats.
I know that ordering furniture online might feel like a risk, but I’m here to give you peace of mind. The Jonathan sectional is good. So good! Upon opening the boxes, we were all impressed with the soft hand-feel of the fabric, and the comfort was through the roof! I’m trying to not end every sentence with an exclamation, but it’s tough when it’s this beautiful! I’d be remiss not to mention Castlery’s flat rate shipping, free fabric swatches, 14-day return policy and product warranty, too.
I would describe the cushion as medium – not too firm, not overly soft. It’s the Goldilocks of comfort. My favorite part of the sofa are the thick seams and the fixed cushions. This style lends itself to resiliency; the cushion bounces back, so there’s no fuss or fluffing after each chill. A dream.
Lightweight + Multi-Functional Accessories
In a room this size, we knew that any accessories would need to be multi-functional. Enter the Kit Bouclé Stools and Zane Side Table! Gosh, all I can say is that the stools are real cuties. They’re soft yet firm, a perfect spot for propping up your feet or as additional seating in a pinch.
Both the stools and side table are lightweight, which makes them great for easily moving around the room, or better yet, moving them from room to room! Wouldn’t Zane make a sweet and simple bedside table? I can also see the Kit stools in a play room, mud room or at the foot of a bed.
You’ll notice that Daniel and Meghan opted to nix a coffee table, which would be a long obstacle to constantly shuffle around. Instead, they may add a behind-the-sofa console down the road, similar to this DIY!
One Sideboard To Do It All!
The front door opens right into the living room, so we were on a hunt for a sideboard that could act as a landing zone for keys, wallets and phones. It also needed to hide away a basket of toys for Stevie, television components (they’ll ultimately be mounting a TV where the mirror is), remotes and extra blankets.
The Strato Sideboard not only fit the bill, but it quite literally fit perfectly between an open front door (to the right) and the coat closet door (to the left). It has a thick walnut veneer with a stunning matte finish, a hidden drawer and plenty of cubbies:
The slightly recessed black wood top is the prettiest detail, don’t you think? I tucked a few books, a small plant and lidded box for hiding away keys and wallets. And, of course, a small ceramic jar for dog treats is a must in any dog family!
You know I love to share the good with the not-as-good, and I’m here to reassure you that even in the midst of a hard renovation, you deserve a safe space! This living room makeover was a token of our love and appreciation for our dear friends, and having been in the midst of renovations in the past, we needed them to know this, too. Now, do you want to see what the other side of this room looks like?!
View Into Kitchen | Before
Daniel knocked down the wall and added a steel beam to really open the home up! I can’t wait to see the magic they work in this kitchen. Plans include a small peninsula between the two rooms and removing soffits and adding upper shelving. As he continues to work on every other room in the house, the living room will hide away behind a plastic sheet. At the end of the day, this will be his safe haven.
View Into Kitchen | Today
Below is a split view taken from the hallway. The living room is on the left, and the kitchen is around the corner on the right. In the foreground (on the right) is the bathroom, exposed studs and all! It’s a reminder that renovation takes time, and again, it’s okay to reward yourself with a safe space to relax at the end of a (really) long day of work.
Throughout this post, you may have noticed the pink floors! Until Daniel is ready to install consistent flooring throughout the home, we thought it would be fun to give the living room a punch of color. We used floor paint in the color BEHR Lite Cocoa, and it was painted directly onto the subfloor. It was a happy last minute opportunity that I can’t believe we almost missed.
We’re so happy to help them check this room off their list! To be totally honest, it was a wonderful excuse to get them up to Michigan more, so that Lucy and Stevie can begin their lifelong friendship of playing in Lake Michigan, jumping in mud puddles and catching fireflies around the bonfire. ;)
Thank you to Castlery for believing in our small business, and thank you for supporting the brands that support us.
Lighting + Accessories: ceiling light | wall sconce | jute + wool rug | round wood mirror | smoked glass vase | treat jar (similar) | bergamot + peppercorn candle | table lamp | rust channel pillow | raisin velvet pillow | bouclé pillow | speckled cream pillow | color block pillow | olive lumbar (similar)
Paint Colors: BEHR Beach House (walls, trim and ceiling) | BEHR Lite Cocoa (floors)