What We’ve Learned About Designing Living Spaces
11/30 Design Tips

What We’ve Learned About Designing Living Spaces

Sharing a few lessons learned.

Over the years, we’ve learned a thing or two about designing living spaces.

Today, we’re sharing a few of our favorite tips that we always consider from start to finish.

Lesson No. 1: Choose the right fabric content for your family.

If you have kids or a pet, considering what fabric can allow you to live a comfortable life. Nothing is “life-proof” but good choices can help extend the life of your furniture. Crypton is always a go-to fabric for families. A nice full-grain leather can also withstand a lot of wear. Dark fabrics can help hide marks. Cats tend to hate scratching velvet (but their fur loves it)!

We love the look of beautiful linen and if you can have nice things then we say go for it, especially in sitting rooms and master suites!! A slip cover is also a good option for linen, since you do have the chance to easily clean and get a fresh start.

If you want to “go crazy” and not consider fabric choices, we say do it on chairs. They are usually protected by throw pillows and blankets and are relatively inexpensive to get recovered.

For more about our tips for choosing upholstery fabric, read our guide here.

What We’ve Learned About Designing Living Spaces
What We’ve Learned About Designing Living Spaces

Designer recommended upholstery

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McGee & Co.
Everleigh Sofa
McGee & Co.
Morrison Metal Base Sofa
McGee & Co.
Vernon Arm Chair
McGee & Co.
Buckley Sectional

Lesson No. 2: Less furniture doesn’t make your space look bigger.

Smaller furniture or less pieces doesn’t make it look like your room is any bigger. In fact, when pieces are to scale, they show off the dimensions of the room and help make the space feel full. Don’t be afraid to anchor windows with a bench vignette, layer in consoles, etc. to make a space look full.

What We’ve Learned About Designing Living Spaces
What We’ve Learned About Designing Living Spaces

Impactful accent chairs

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McGee & Co.
Lybbert Accent Chair
McGee & Co.
Saxton Chair
McGee & Co.
Morrison Wood Base Leather Chair
McGee & Co.
Denton Chair

Lesson No. 3: Make it feel walkable, but don’t skimp on seating!

Layering in benches and stools is a great way to add seating to your space that’s also easy to move around and fit with the flow of a room.

What We’ve Learned About Designing Living Spaces
What We’ve Learned About Designing Living Spaces

Favorite stools

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McGee & Co.
Edwin Leather Ottoman
McGee & Co.
Waverly Stool
McGee & Co.
Audrey Ottoman
McGee & Co.
Alma Ottoman

Lesson No. 4: Break up your table and floor lamps.

It’s really important to layer your lighting! Use accent lighting to your advantage by mixing both table and floor lamps. In an L-shape configuration we love either a floor lamp or table lamp on a side table––just make sure it’s a really big floor lamp to fill the space!

What We’ve Learned About Designing Living Spaces
What We’ve Learned About Designing Living Spaces
What We’ve Learned About Designing Living Spaces

Textural table lamps

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McGee & Co.
Decker Table Lamp
McGee & Co.
Tangier Table Lamp
McGee & Co.
Innkeeper Table Lamp
McGee & Co.
William Table Lamp

Lesson No. 5: Picking the right coffee table.

Pay attention to the other shapes going on in your living room––if you have an L-shaped couch, go with a round coffee table to break up the angular lines and make it easier for walking around tight corners. If you have a lot of round shapes (e.g. side tables and lamps) go with a rectangular coffee table for balance.

What We’ve Learned About Designing Living Spaces
What We’ve Learned About Designing Living Spaces

Coffee tables

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McGee & Co.
Maureen Coffee Table
McGee & Co.
Eileen Coffee Table
McGee & Co.
Merritt Coffee Table
McGee & Co.
Apollo Coffee Table

Lesson No. 6: Make Compromises

Sometimes not all the “rules” fit and you just need to make the best decision for the space. Just do your best and don’t be afraid to break a rule if it accomplishes a better result. Make life beautiful in YOUR way!

What We’ve Learned About Designing Living Spaces
What We’ve Learned About Designing Living Spaces
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0 Comments
Studio McGee
  1. Hi! Great advice thanks! I do notice you don’t use living room sets as in matching sofas and loveseats etc and I love that. But do you have some advice on how to pair seating? How do you pair fabrics or colors? Thanks so much!

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