Just when you thought the duplex was getting all the action, we snuck in some beach house updates. The backyard is slowly starting to come together (shed! patio! fence! I CAN’T WAIT to show it to you once it gets a little further along!!) but today we’re diving into our lightener & brighter (and much beachier) living room.

Now this place actually looks like it’s a few blocks from the beach! And the bonus is that everything is sand and popsicle friendly – which is a must for us (we pack this place with family and friends and all the kids). So our goal was never to make it too precious. In other words, we were going for a light and airy look… but it had to be durable, wipeable, and as close to worry-free as we could get it!

bright neutral living room gray sofa white heron walls
sofa | side table | coffee table | rug | bookcase | lamps | wall: SW White Heron | trim: SW Stone Isle

We wanted to use some of the furniture we designed, including one of our new sofas (performance fabric = all the yesses). So we started with our Mellow sofa. It’s sold out right now, but our other two sofas – the Pivot and the Spiffy – are discounted just for the next few days thanks to a Joss & Main’s flash sale (they’ve got different names on J&M for some reason). A lot of things are at the lowest prices they’ve ever been ($699 for the sofas!) so if you’ve had your eye on one of our designs, it’s a pretty great time to check it out.

bright neutral living room gray sofa with white scalloped coffee table and modern chandelier
sofa | side table | coffee table | rug | lamp | chandelier| wall: SW White Heron | trim: SW Stone Isle

Sadly, our trusty old Ikea sectional (Karl the Karlstad, remember?) was ready for retirement (aka: donation). The problem with moving a sectional from house to house to house (we moved it from our second house, to our current house, and then to the beach house over the last eight years) is that sometimes the space would be better suited for a sofa… but you have a sectional… so you just sort of keep moving it around and trying to make the best of it.

neutral living room with dark charcoal ikea sectional

We could kind of make sense of it it photos, but in real life there were awkward things like the chaise cutting into the doorway. We tried putting the chaise on the other end of the living room (it’s reversible), but it wasn’t any better because it meant we couldn’t have the extra seating over there, which really comes in handy and gets used a lot.

doorway between living and dining room with sectional chaise

So as we mentioned a few weeks ago on the podcast, after eight awesome years with Karl, we donated him to a local charity that we love, and he’s living it up with a sweet new family. His legacy lives on. (*cue that Celine Dion song from Titanic*).

Another way that we tried to make this room feel lighter and airier was the patterned gray rug that we bought to replace the vintage one below (which happily lives in a bedroom at the duplex now). OMG that was meant to be in there, guys.

gray wall living room with red color vintage rug and dark navy ikea sectional

Along with our rug switch, the new sofa is a HUGE step forward in lightening things up. Plus its smaller footprint meant there was room for a few more functional furnishings. Like, momma finally gets a side table on her end of the couch. Hello reading lamp! Hello spot for my tea!

bright neutral living room gray sofa with round side table and scalloped coffee table
sofa | side table | coffee table | rug | lamp | baskets | bookcase | chandelier

Also, a word about white wood furniture: it’s a GREAT WAY to achieve a lighter look that’s still livable (it’s all wipeable, but it looks so nice and bright). So if you’re staring at a space you’d love to lighten up, sometimes it’s as simple as a $15 quart of white paint with primer built in (we recently tried Behr Marquee and it had great coverage) and you can redo your coffee table and your end tables – or even a bookcase or a shelving unit in an afternoon. Light walls and white (gloriously washable) curtains help too!

The three tiers on our side table = all the spots for magazines, a basket full of legos, or whatever else you like to keep at arm’s length. We actually ordered two more of the same side tables for the duplex because we love it so much. It also comes in a smaller version (which is super marked down right now) and you know I want to make a coffee table version, so stay tuned!

round white three tiered bamboo side table with pink lamp and gray sofa
side table | top art | bottom art | vase | lamp | baskets | pink pillow | blue pillow

I also hung some new art that I bought through an artist I found on Instagram. Her name is Sarah Madeira Day and her stuff is just beautiful and so well priced. These two 8 x 8″ canvas prints were $25 each! Printed on canvas with gorgeous vibrant colors! I just love them – and I framed them in simple Ribba frames from Ikea that I already had (with linen-like fabric behind them, which adds some really pretty texture and a double-mat effect).

And as much as we liked the coffee table we DIYed last summer, the dark wood legs started to feel pretty busy – especially as the room got lighter. So we carried over one of these coffee tables that we ordered for the duplex. I’m liking how visually airy it is and the size is better for the space, so I may end up ordering another one to make up for the one I yoinked from the duplex.

Also, John and I burst out laughing when we realized that we basically recreated this photoshoot set-up in our beach house. Even the rugs are similar!

Sherry and John in photoshoot with furniture line

It kind of makes sense that it would happen that way, because we chose some of our favorite stuff for that photo… so I love seeing it living together at the beach house now. Especially mixed with other stuff that we love (that CB2 ladder shelf is so glossy and gorgeous in person, and I feel a deep and meaningful connection to our pretty pink lamp from Target).

white heron walls in beach house living room with gray sofa and tall bookcase

Funny story about this coffee table. A couple weeks after that photoshoot, John shot up in bed nervous that the scallops around the outside were a terrible idea. His concern was that it was going to prevent people from kicking their feet up on it (to which I said: “but not everyone puts their feet on the coffee table, right?”).