blue living room with fireplace

Brie Williams, styling by Rachel Rivers

“Growing up, Victoria and I were library kids,” says Marcus Ford (@marcsford), referencing the couple’s love of reading. So when it came to overhauling their home’s lackluster living space, having a cozy spot to curl up with a good book was a top priority. “We wanted to have a room that felt like the best library you’ve ever been to,” says Marcus. But the likely spot for this endeavor was the bowling alley–esque 25-by-15-foot living room. Awkward space aside, its underwhelming architecture was far from warm and welcoming—hardly the ideal spot to get lost in literature. But a few smart updates (built-in shelves, a tufted leather sofa) take the space from boring to bookish. Take a look at the amazing transformation…

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

Before: Living Room

An outdated-looking brick fireplace left one end of the space feeling lackluster.

After: A Luxe Library-Living Room Hybrid

A Mood-Setting Blue

The room was already blue, but Victoria chose a deeper, dapper shade (Endless Sea by Sherwin-Williams) that lends the room more gravitas. It’s Marcus, though, who gets credit for the impactful coat-it-all-one-color approach. Varying finishes (satin on the walls, semigloss on the woodwork) offers more dimension.

Curl-Up-In Seating

Neutral large-scale wing chairs are the ideal perches for page-turners. A mix of pillows, including some made of bold kilims, round out the richness.

Get the Look:

“Portsmouth” by Arhaus

Worry-Free Materials

A perfectly worn leather Chesterfield sofa (Victoria’s all-time best Facebook Marketplace find) welcomes their dog Remus without any worries. “Leather can be wiped off really quickly, and it just gets better as it ages,” says Victoria.

Before: Living Room

Just off the front entry, this end of the living space was far from ready to welcome guests.

Before: Powder Room

The tiny brown room was far from inviting.

After: A Small Room With Big Personality

A Story-Telling Gallery Wall

A gallery wall shows off a happy assortment of vintage finds, including a “Ford Road” sign spotted at the Raleigh Market, framed life vest, a signal flag, portrait of opera singer Marian Anderson, and a giant bobby pin.

Get the Look:
“Tresham” by Kohler

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below