Fair Trade & Ethically Made, Sustainable Living

Socially Conscious Living Room Makeover Part 3: Furniture + Decor Picks!

Socially Conscious Living Room Makeover Part 3: Furniture + Decor Picks!

I am excited to share more progress on our socially conscious living room makeover as we continue through the process of building and designing our new home! In this post, I will share the furniture and decor options for our new living room! If you haven’t read part 1 (the personalized style analysis) or part 2 (space planning) be sure to check out those posts to learn more about the first steps of our living room makeover!

I am thrilled to be working with Kelly Butler of Gratify Home to create a beautiful and mindfully designed living room in the new house. Kelly teaches socially conscious women how to be their own interior stylist, to confidently create a home they love while leaving a positive legacy on the world. I love that she creates beautiful interiors while also helping clients stay true to their values, selecting products that are sustainable, fair trade, ethically made, vintage, or made-in-the-USA.

After nailing down my personal style and figuring out a layout for our living room, Kelly’s next step was the fun part: Picking out the furniture and decor!

The Design Recommendation Process

When Kelly puts together design recommendations, she chooses specific products to propose to her client to purchase. She creates fun mood boards to show how the products all look together, and also puts together a 3D model of the room so you can see the products together in action.

Product Design for Socially Conscious Living Room | Fairly Southern

Kelly creates a handy spreadsheet of the products with all of the nitty gritty details, such as the cost and links for where to purchase them. What I love most, however, is that Kelly also includes information about why that particular product was chosen as being socially conscious. She notes whether each product is fair trade certified, made with eco-friendly materials, produced in the USA, or even an item that she recommends finding secondhand at a vintage store or Facebook Marketplace.

Our Two Living Room Design Options

Kelly put together two design options for our living room. Wes and I got on a Zoom call with Kelly so she could show them both to us, and we were both blown away! I was amazed at how well she captured the aesthetic I had been hoping for. I never would have thought to select some of the products she picked if I had been looking at them on their own, but all pulled together, the room looks better than I ever could have imagined!

Option 1: Gray + Rattan

Gray + Rattan Socially Conscious Living Room by Gratify Home | Fairly Southern
Gray + Rattan Socially Conscious Living Room by Gratify Home | Fairly Southern
[Sofa rotated 180° for viewing purposes.]

The main differences in the two design options are the sofa and the chairs, hence the name of option 1! This option features a gray sofa and rattan chairs.

Seeing these images pop up on the screen made me instantly SO excited about our new living room!! I can’t believe how amazing it looks, and that this is actually going to be OUR space! Kelly nailed it.

I love that the decor is coastal while also not being so beachy as to feel cliche. There are also lots of natural textures incorporated, which I love. The room is beautiful but also quite functional, with poufs for propping up feet and nearby access to table surfaces for drinks and lamps for reading.

Option 2: Green + Stripes

Green + Striped Socially Conscious Living Room by Gratify Home | Fairly Southern
Green + Striped Socially Conscious Living Room by Gratify Home | Fairly Southern
[Sofa rotated 180° for viewing purposes.]

The second option is similar to the first, with different chair options and a different sofa.

Wes and I really love the chairs in this one. While I love the look of the rattan, these chairs are a bit cozier and also swivel to allow more flexibility for TV watching (yes, that’s a TV on the wall between the two wall-mounted shelves…a Frame TV that displays art images when not in TV mode!).

Refining the Design

The next step in the process for Kelly is to tweak and refine the product selections after receiving feedback from her client. While she does a spectacular job choosing pieces for each room she designs, every client has their own unique preferences and may prefer that a certain furniture piece or color be changed.

Wes and I loved both design options so much that we wanted to do a hybrid of the two. We liked the chairs in Option 2 but wanted a slightly lighter sofa color like in Option 1.

Kelly cautioned us that rather than getting hung up on the color of the sofa, we needed to first go sit in both of the sofa options she picked out and choose one based on personal preferences of comfort. From there, we could look at the many color options available in the sofa we liked best and select one.

Luckily, both sofas were available at nearby stores for us to go try out! I wasn’t expecting that we’d be able to access the furniture in person and was pleasantly surprised. One sofa was located at Crate + Barrel, and the other at West Elm. Wes and I set out one Saturday on our homework assignment of sitting on sofas!

We were both so glad Kelly encouraged us to go sit on the sofas, because there was a CLEAR winner for us on which sofa we liked best from a comfort perspective. The West Elm sofa (the gray sofa pictured in Option 1) was by far our favorite! We never would have been able to tell just how different the two sofas felt by looking at pictures alone. While we were in the store, we also got to touch and see the different fabric options in person. The sales associates were able to provide some advice on which fabric options might work best with the dogs we often have with us on the couch.

We were able to narrow down the fabric and color options to two in they gray/taupe family, and Kelly has now ordered samples of each to see which one will look best with the striped chairs we selected in Option 2!

Next Steps in Our Living Room Makeover

Our fourth and final step for our new living room is ordering all of the items and setting up the new space! This final step will take the longest, as the construction of our new home has been delayed quite a bit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We don’t anticipate the house being ready for move in for at least another 6 months. In the meantime, we are keeping an eye out for sales on each of the products Kelly selected so that we can maximize our budget.

Friends, are you someone like me who is creating alllll the Pinterest boards and reading the how-to tips but going nowhere with real action to transform your home in a socially responsible, sustainable way? Are you ready to finally create a beautiful and conscious home?  Kelly has very generously created a free resource guide for y’all – 5 Tips: How to Start Creating a Consciously Chic HomeShe offers 1:1 conscious design coaching (design with you) and virtual e-Design services (design for you)–if you reach out about these, be sure to tell her I sent you! And of course, go give Kelly a follow on Instagram @gratify_home for tips and inspiration, or connect with her on her website!

Stay tuned for the fourth and final installment of our living room makeover series!

xoxo Laura

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