Decorating Dilemmas: Alyssa’s Living Room

Alyssa's living room and man cave

Decorating Dilemmas is a weekly column in which our stylists answer your design questions, so you can tackle your home decorating project with complete confidence.

Dear How to Decorate,

An hour before we closed on our first home I tripped over myself and broke my foot! It has only been 3 days, and I feel like I am going crazy! I can’t go anywhere or do anything, and I need help with putting everything where it looks the best.

Our living room is quite big, and my fiancé wants it to be his “man cave.” I would like it to be natural and elegant. We are trying to find a middle and just getting the furniture in the correct space would really help! Right now we have a small sectional and a matching chair (which I don’t like). I want to get some cute chairs asap!

Please please please help a girl in need!! 🙂






Your space has plenty of potential, but we understand the challenges of dovetailing two different styles into one room.

Let’s start with your existing sectional. We think it’ll work beautifully in your space. Place is parallel to the fireplace, and we’ll add two chairs on either side for symmetry.

In many rooms, we suggest starting with a fabulous rug to ‘ground’ the room. Our Allegro Hand Hooked Rug can translate into different styles and we think it will bridge the ‘man room’ and elegant look you’re going for. Bring in our Carmel Cocktail Ottoman to place in front of the sectional. We suggest upholstering it in Microfiber Slate so it is durable and sophisticated. Everyone will be comfortable using it for extra seating or as a place for your books and remotes.

Add a pair of our Carlton Chairs, upholstered in our Coco Tweed Camel, to give another element of sophistication and style. We love these chairs for your room because their shape and tweed fabric will have that masculine man room your fiancé wants, but with the sophistication you’re looking for.

Don’t forget to add throw pillows and lamps as a final touch to the space. Our Luciana Table Lamp in Mustard will pull the warm yellow color from the rug and art.

Side tables are a great addition to any sitting area so we recommend our Morgan Side Table in a Medium Walnut finish. Having the option of adding baskets for storage optimizes all your space! To add more storage, how about adding height with one of our bookcases? Our Durham Tall Bookcase is such a classic and can nestle into just about any spot. For your room, we suggest on the right side of the fireplace to balance the built in shelf on the left side.

Mineral Sea Artwork gives an unexpected freshness to the room and will echo the throw pillows (in fabrics Asha Pewter, Bristol Flax, and Queens Velvet Yellow) and the upholstery. Flanking the window and doors with Meyers Drapery Panels softens the hard corners in the room for a fabulous result.

Happy Decorating!

The Design Team

Alyssa's living room and man cave

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How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.