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Jess Harrell, Interior Designer Northern Virginia-Living room rendering

Cozy Eclectic Living & Dining Room Combo Design

This Design Plan for a living and dining room combo focuses on bringing warmth, personality, and cohesion to the space while updating the layout and functionality to accommodate a large family's love of spending time together.


Residential Design Plan


Amsterdam Netherlands


300 square feet


The small living and dining room combo was not functioning for the family of seven's needs. The client was unhappy with the lack of cohesiveness, struggled with figuring out how they wanted it to look, and was unsure of the best way to use the space. 

The space lacked storage for their extensive book collection, the toys were taking over the room, and they had no place to display their mementos and treasured tchotchkes. In addition, a wall-mounted AC unit behind the sofa was a huge eyesore.


The client longed for a space that made it easy and inviting to hang out together, felt cozy, and reflected the family's quirks and uniqueness. She specifically dreamed of a worn vintage leather armchair to curl up in and read a good book.


The goal was to transform the open-concept living and dining room into a cohesive, functional space that feels inviting, unique, soulful, and sophisticated. 

The family has roots and strong connections to Tel Aviv and Seville, Spain. Living in Amsterdam, where the weather is often cold and gray, they missed the warmth, brightness, and outdoor living characteristic of the Mediterranean. The design inspiration was carefully selected to reflect the meaningfulness of those locations and bring that warm, sunny feeling into their home.

The overall floor plan layout was redesigned to use the most space. This included multiple zones for playing, reading, watching tv, and eating. In the living room, the idea was to add as much storage as possible through shelving and furniture. A slatted storage cabinet would disguise the AC unit. 

The color palette was inspired by the coast in Tel Aviv and the typical architectural colors found in Seville. Warm woods and natural textiles, including cotton, linen, wool, and leather, add warmth, visual interest, and character. Furniture and decor selections will be relaxed, colorful, playful, and durable. 


The warm blush/peach paint color makes the space feel like it was kissed by the sun. Clearly defined zones increase functionality. Shelving was added to as much wall space as possible to make plenty of room for displaying books, art, and personal mementos.

The family's sofa was given a new look in the living area with colorful and patterned pillows. The existing area rug was layered on top of a vintage wool kilim in a beautiful colorway. Velvet storage ottomans are used as coffee tables, additional seating, and a place to put your feet up. Deep, moody blue velvet drapery adds to the cozy feel. 

A play area in front of the TV includes a flip-down wall-mounted table (painted the same color as the walls so it recedes visually when not used) and a playful and colorful child-sized chair. The reading nook includes a perfectly worn-in vintage leather chair, a custom storage cabinet to hide the AC unit, and additional shelving. Lighting is modern, funky, and unique. 

A vintage teak extendable dining table in the dining area fits the whole family, and classic Windsor dining chairs in a fun green color are durable and easy to clean. The three-seater dining sofa makes the space extra cozy and encourages hanging out. An ornate large-scale mirror creates the illusion of more space and adds a touch of Parisian glam. Lighting includes a mouth-blown Murano-style glass pendant with unexpected stripe details, and traditional style sconces balance out the rest of the modern pieces.


"My living and dining room were as bland as can be - just a box with four walls and some basic furniture. It didn't reflect my and my family's personality at all, and being the space we spend the most time in - I found it very uninspiring and cold. Jess helped me figure out what I wanted and what would make the most sense for our lifestyle. She took everything into account and really made the effort to learn about us and our preferences. The result was a perfectly designed space - both functional and beautiful. It's like she went inside my head and created the perfect space for me and my family. We are still in the process of putting it together - but I am already so excited about making these changes!" 


Tamar M.

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