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Tracking PixelAn exciting “before and after” reveal and update of our living room makeover story and how we’re creating a cozy retreat from the cooling weather in this post created in partnership with The Carpet & Rug Institute.

Living Room Makeover Reveal Part 1 and Progress. The before and after so far and why we love rugs!

It’s been almost four months since we moved in and even before then I knew that this living space would be the epicenter of our home. The place after-dinner dance parties congregate and morning cuddles happen as we stretch our way into the day. The place game night rivals meet their match and holiday parties will gather near the tree. Oh yes, I have some grand holiday dreams for our living room, but what I love about it already is that it’s truly becoming our living space. We designed this space with the goal of making it open, functional and peaceful, so that everyone would enjoy spending time here together. Even before we had a couch, and even now with plenty of ambition left (more furniture, wall art, custom shelving, curtains, etc.), we made sure to keep it open and filled with carpeted rugs to bring in warmth and coziness.

Living Room Reveal + Progress:

Living Room Progress:Living Room Makeover Reveal Part 1 and Progress. The before and after so far and why we love rugs!

I recently read an article about Denmark and a word, or a way of life, that makes their long, hard winters something to celebrate. It’s the art of hygge (pronounced hoo-guh), and it’s actually more of a feeling than a word. A full-on embrace of all things toasty, cozy, and restorative.

As we now enter into the cooler months ourselves, though we don’t hit those freezing temps on the constant here in Florida, there is a still a draw for the cozy life. 

This was one of my main purposes for our living room, to create that retreat, no matter the season. A place to gather and celebrate, with or without a holiday.

For decor, we’re starting from the ground up, both figuratively and literally, with rugs as an essential item in our home. Rugs have always been a key item from a design standpoint, especially when bringing in that cozy element – they establish a room, bring it together, and provide a visual framework for the eyes. But even more than that, carpet and rugs support healthier spaces for living, learning and playing – including for people with asthma and allergies. This is so important for us, especially in anticipation of all the festive gatherings with friends and family this upcoming holiday season.

So, not only are we setting the basis for our cozy winter space, and all of those holiday gatherings, but studies show that properly cleaned carpet and rugs actually improve indoor air quality by reducing airborne allergens. Carpet acts as a filter, trapping allergens and keeping them out of the air we breathe. Allergens that rest on top of hard surface flooring can easily be disturbed by everyday activity such as walking, moving a chair or bouncing a ball (and movement in our home is basically life in a nutshell! #kidsneverstopmoving)… which is significant for young children who have breathing zones much closer to the floor.

To learn more about the beauty of carpet from CRI and to enter to win a $500 Visa Gift Card, head on over to the Carpet and Rug Institute online!

Living Room Makeover Reveal Part 1 and Progress. The before and after so far and why we love rugs!Living Room Makeover Reveal Part 1 and Progress. The before and after so far and why we love rugs!Living Room Makeover Reveal Part 1 and Progress. The before and after so far and why we love rugs!

Here are a few more ways to create that cozy retreat, no matter where you live or what kind of space you have…


Our bodies seem to always know when it’s time to fluff the nest a bit. I’ve been cleaning more lately, baking, making dishes in the kitchen with my kids and laying out blankets over the couch. It’s as though our homes are aware of the weather’s turning as well, and are leaning in to the change, to the preparation. Just like you’d put on extra layers to head out into the cold, do the same for your home as well. Add rugs, pillows and blankets in different textures so that no matter where you find yourself, you find a cozy space to be. 

Create a Place of Warmth

Counter the earlier darkness and cooler temps with the warm glow of lights. A roaring fire, candles and twinkle lights all create a visual fete of warmth. While you’re creating a glowing atmosphere in your home, find some things that warm your soul as well: piling into the living room for movie night or reading a good book, brewing your favorite drink, inviting friends over and gathering around a pot of something delicious. 

Soothe Your Senses

Contrast the harsh outdoors and settle in for the season by finding ways to counter the cold like using materials that are soft and luxurious, forgetting about design “rules” and choosing an item or two that just makes you smile. Whether it’s through technology and you use voice command to start your favorite playlist or you’ve got a beauty of a record player to use; play cozy jazz (or, ahem, Christmas music even if it’s early) and other tunes that calm you and set the pace for a slower “wintering” rhythm. All of it makes a difference. 

Happy Wintering, friends!

What do you do to “cozy up” for the fall/winter season? Any tried and true tips? I’d love to hear!


This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Carpet & Rug Institute.