Gebhardt Formal Living Room: Design Board to Final Reveal

Gebhardt Formal Living Room: Design Board to Final Reveal

Sabrina’s formal living room was a bright beautiful canvas waiting to be filled with and life and color.  If you read the post yesterday, you saw her casual living room transform, and we wanted this room to be just as special.  Pretty, pretty, pretty is what we were going for; plus comfortable, inviting, and entertaining.  Since it is the first room you see when you come into the house, we wanted it to be “WOW!” when you walked through the front door.

Here are some before pictures.

This is the wall you see when you walk in. They added the shelves on either side of the fireplace.

Looking into the formal living from the dining room.

Looking out from the fireplace into the back of the room and casual living room.

Like the casual living room, the room has tons of natural light so that was a big plus.  It also holds charming details like this Greek key detailing around the tile floor surrounding the fireplace.  (When they bought the house, they didn’t even know this was there!  After they refinished the floors, the dirt and grime was scrubbed away to reveal this lovely woodwork.)

We wanted these rooms to be friends so we carried the main accent color of navy through both rooms.  For the formal living room, I felt especially inspired by this crazy beautiful painting that belonged to Sabrina’s grandmother.

The colors are so so vivid, so I knew when I saw it, that painting needed to be a focal point in the room.

Say hello to the design board.

This room’s design board contained more “options” than the casual living room simply because I had a few visions in my head that could work.  As with any inspiration board, we changed our minds on things and tweaked things Sabrina wasn’t crazy over.  I originally thought we would paint the walls surrounding the windows at the front of the room the same navy as the gallery wall in the casual living, but we decided to keep the walls all light.  Sabrina had already purchased a white Ektorp sofa from Ikea, an 8×10 plain jute rug (I planned to layer an antique rug on top to give some interest), and an oval bamboo coffee table from Gypsy Soul.  A pair of antique French-looking armchairs needed to be upholstered, and we also were on the hunt for a chair and lamp for the corner of the room.

Because I was so crazy over the yellow blouse in the painting, I was inspired to bring that color out in some way in the room.  When I found this amazing pair of vintage petite legged stools at Scout Design Studio (thanks Tiffany and Britt!), I knew a lovely textured yellow fabric would be incredible on them.

And I found it.  At Childress Fabrics in Dallas.  A perfect-shade yellow raised velvet on a linen-y background.

The room was coming together.

And it turned out truly beautiful.  Just like we wanted.

View from the Dining Room…the curtain fabric is “Mercy” in ivory from Cutting Corners, and we edged it in two-inch navy grosgrain ribbon.  The result is light, airy, and chic with a hint of moroccan flair through the pattern.

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

View from the front door.  Pretty wow, right?!

Something I love about these old homes is they have picture rails!  Hang a pretty chain from a hook that holds onto the picture rail, and voila, your art is hung.

Looking into the Casual Living Room.  Do you spy a birthday party about to happen?

All the pretty details…

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

The Gypsy Soul coffee table on top of the antique persian rug is sooo lovely.

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

Isn’t this rattan stool too cool?  Found on CraigsList for $75!

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

Since there is no true entryway in the house, we created one by using a piece they already owned, plus a tray, sunburst mirror (Home Goods), and lamp (Home Goods).

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

A funny story about the sweet little vintage tole tray…I found it on Ebay and sent it to Sabrina on her shopping list.  It said it was 20×24, I think.  When it arrived, it was so tiny.  I couldn’t believe it!  It was 20 centimeters by 24 centimeters.  HA!  It worked out though, we had a bigger chest planned for this space originally, and went with the smaller one instead, so a tray that big wouldn’t have fit.

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

The chairs were recovered in a Greek key fabric from Premier Prints.  I had the pillows custom made with a beautiful indigo velvet frame surrounding a piece of Schumacher’s Chiang Mai fabric in the aqua colorway.  The backs of the pillows are a vivid red.  I chose the Chiang Mai because I loved how the colors mimicked the painting, and the pattern brings a modern vibe.

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

The layered rugs turned out so nice!

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

And the stools…oh how I love those stools!  They are so elegant.

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

The fireplace is non-working so I originally thought we would make it architectural by stacking wood and exposing the ends, but Sabrina saw a picture on Pinterest of books stacked, and I loved the idea!  It looks charming, and she can add more over time.

Shelf styling is rather therapeutic for me.  I really enjoy it, and I rearrange my own shelves often.  For Sabrina’s home, we kept them fairly simple. We utilized many items she already owned, plus some interesting things she picked up at various antique stores around town.  Sabrina is a photographer (check out her lovely work here!), and she has started a little vintage camera collection to display.

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

The ikat pillows are from Home Goods, and we had some extra yellow stool fabric we made pillows from.  Do you love the monogrammed pillow as much as I do?  I had it custom made based on a monogram I love from Leontine Linens, and had it embroidered on the same indigo velvet that frames the Chiang Mai fabric on the side chair pillows.

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

For the mantle, we kept it simple and sophisticated.  A few ferns mixed in with her grandmother’s crystal bottles.  She can add more over time if she wants to.

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

This corner needed some oomph, and we breathed some colorful life into it!  (not to mention it is now a useable space!)  Using Chiang Mai wallpaper remnants I had from a previous project, I framed them using Ikea’s Odby frames. (a GREAT alternative if you are tired of the Ribba!)  The rattan chair and pillow seat were Gypsy Soul finds, the stunning brass floor lamp is from the Restoration Hardware outlet, and the wooden stool was Sabrina’s.

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

Doesn’t it look amazing?

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

View from the casual living room.  Love the french doors!  Love that painting!

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

What impressed me so much about both of these rooms was how layered, and collected, and natural they looked after such a short amount of time.  (Sabrina and her family had only lived in this home for three weeks at this point!)  Both rooms turned out light, bright, happy, elegant, functional, and inviting.  They look beautiful, and they are fit for family and friends.

I asked Sabrina to write a few sentences about how she felt about the rooms, and I got this – so so sweet!

Dear Grace,

To say that we are happy with our new rooms would be a complete understatement. We are above-and-beyond thrilled with them! They are more than we could have asked for or expected and we are enjoying them so much. Our formal living room is absolutely stunning. I finally feel like I have a beautiful room that is welcoming to guests, is inspiring to be in and is a complete reflection of my taste. In our previous home, I was never proud to have guests over or to entertain but now I am and it is all thanks to you.

As for our casual living space, it is so peaceful and comforting. My husband and kids love it as much as I do. The best thing about the space is that it is beautiful and functional. My kids have places to play and store their toys. My husband has a comfortable space to watch football and I have a space to relax in. I love our gallery wall and it really does completely mask the television…even when it is on, your eye goes to the photographs and not the screen. It is amazing.

Thank you again for your hard work, vision, attention to detail and to listening to what I wanted. I could not be happier!


Thank you very much to Sabrina and her family for letting me be a part of creating their home!  Enjoy your home and the fruit of your labor, Gebhardts!  Love.

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

Do you need help creating a home perfectly you?  Contact me here or email me at Submissions @AStoriedStyle .com!



  • Sabrina
    Posted at 13:08h, 14 September

    LOVE LOVE LOVE. Every morning when I come out to this space I absolutely pinch myself that this is MY living room!!! Thank you Grace! Now, I need to get to saving so that you can do the rest of the house:)

    • Grace
      Posted at 21:32h, 14 September

      Oh yay! That makes me so happy, you have no idea! Of course, I’d love to work with you again! Thanks so much for the beautiful pictures, Sabrina!

  • Shalene
    Posted at 14:03h, 14 September

    Gorgeous, Grace!

    • Grace
      Posted at 21:33h, 14 September

      Oh thank you, Shalene! I am so so pleased with how it turned out!

  • Jennifer
    Posted at 14:07h, 14 September

    Lovely, once again! I think my mom has a rattan chair like that somewhere at her house. I might have to steal it from her, after seeing how cute it can look!

    • Grace
      Posted at 21:36h, 14 September

      Thanks Jennifer! I do like that little chair. It has kind of a funky feel to it. You should definitely steal it!

  • Meredith
    Posted at 14:01h, 19 September

    Love the transformation of these spaces! So absolutely amazing and is inspiring me for my living room in house we just purchased. What is the wall color…nice soothing backdrop for all the colors you’ve incorporated.

    • Grace
      Posted at 23:12h, 19 September

      Hi Meredith! So happy you enjoyed it, thank you so much for reading! The color is a Sherwin Williams shade, and I don’t know the exact name, but it is very similar to Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter. Hope that helps, good luck with your living room!

  • Kelly KV
    Posted at 14:56h, 20 September

    WOW is right – Grace, you hit it out of the park. Beautiful! And Sabrina is a very talented photographer as well. What a fun creative team you two make, and what a neat process that must have been. LOVE Grandmother’s painting too.