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Mandy Moore Living Room Tour

The living room and dining room in our Moore Residence project was thankfully relatively spared of from from the 90’s renovation. The original brickwork and copper fireplace remained in tact. The copper hood needed to be refinished and the brick planter needed restoration, but the space still had all the wonderful features from the original architect, Harold b Zook. One of the favorites of Emily and I was how the brick walls play with the relationship of the indoor and outdoor spaces. They intersect the floor to ceiling windows as they continue from the exterior into the interior which carries your eye through, blurring the line between the two.

When it came to furnishing these spaces I wanted to keep that exterior view and the architecture the star of the show while still matching its’ unique qualities. I looked for pieces that were low profile, sculptural, and modern but still warm. We worked with AllModern to completely furnish this room!  That is right,  everything you see in this space, aside from the piano and the custom drapery, you can find AllModern. It was such a fun challenge to source everything from one place while still giving it my artful, modern, and unique touch, but I think we more than pulled it off. I actually thought of that sofa when I first saw the room and begged Mandy to put it there. It was made for that little nook and I was thrilled to find out AllModern carried it.

Mandy and Taylor only had a few requirements for this room. They wanted it to have a piano and a place to play records. Done and done. I’ve found that so many people who have a more formal living room hardly use the space but I’ve loved seeing how they are able to enjoy this room through Mandy’s IG stories while Taylor plays the piano. On our few install days and while we were shooting the space, he would often sneak off to the room and his music would fill the house, it was pretty magical and definitely not your everyday interiors shoot!

Now lets all remember how it looked before…





To see all the tours and progress of the Moore Residence project, check here. And there’s more to come!

Also right now you can shop an AllModern curated sale here that is alllll about this room!

Shop the Look: Bench from AllModern  // Sofa from AllModern // Accent Chair from All Modern // Coffee Tables from AllModern // Tall Wood Accent Table from AllModern // Short Wood Accent Table from AllModern // Floor Lamp from AllModern // Rug from AllModern // Credenza from AllModern // Table Lamps from AllModern // Artwork from AllModern // Wood Chain From AllModern //

Interior Design by Sarah Sherman Samuel
Interior Architecture by Emily Farnham 
Landscape Architecture by Terremoto
Photography by Tessa Neustadt 
Built by Bronstruction and Johnston Vidal Projects

Samuel Family Fixer Before Tour

If you missed our new house news, head to this post first and you’ll be all caught up, but to summarize… we bought a big family home in Michigan and we are going to do our best to turn it into our dream house in the woods, where we can raise our littles. We are trading the palm trees for pine trees and 1,200 square feet for 4,300 (!), in hopes of giving our kids the best childhood we can offer. And if we hate it, well at least we have an exit plan. We are keeping our LA house and renting it out, for the time being (my business will still also be based out of LA), which is helping us rationalize buying a house over the internet, while we were sleep deprived from a newborn and a toddler, and moving our family across the country. So now, let’s get onto the house!

The house was built in 1980 but has the mid-century modern lines I’m drawn to, along with unique features like a 5 foot round skylight, spiral staircase, 22 foot ceilings, a reading loft, and a screened in porch. I fell in love with the project house’s architecture, the peaceful wooded setting that feels miles from anything but is just minutes to downtown Grand Rapids, and that it’s ready for us put our stamp on it. The previous owners were the original owners and they had vision. They worked with an architect to build their own custom dream home and their attention to detail is spot on. The bones of the house are incredible (unique homes like this are much fewer and far between in Michigan, in comparison to California) and while I am calling it #samuelfamilyfixer, it isn’t a major fixer like our a-frame was (thank God). Which means we, hopefully, won’t be having to sink a ton of money into the structure of the house, but all the bathrooms, and kitchens (yes that’s plural) will be getting full renovations, we will be putting new flooring throughout and there will be some walls moved and adjustments to the floorplan made. So, if you didn’t think driving across the country with a baby, a toddler, and two dogs was enough madness, we are adding living through renovations to the mix.

As I mentioned, we still haven’t seen the house, so I’m sharing a tour using the listing photos. I’ll post a full empty house tour once we see it for ourselves and can take some pics!


This kitchen technically doesn’t neeeeed renovation. I actually love l.o.v.e. love the cabinets BUT, we do want to open it up to the living room by dropping that wall of tall cabinets and then expand the kitchen to include that breakfast nook so that it fills the space and flows right into the living room. I am planning to save all the cabinet doors and possibly use them somewhere else in the house or for a future project. It does look like the range could definitely use an update but overall it is a great kitchen and I hope to make it even better (and more us). How good is that rug/runner in front of the sink though? I kinda wanted to ask if it would come with the house.


Right on the other side of that wall of cabinets is the family room which, as you can see, if we took out that run of cabinets would flow right together. One of my favorite features of the house is the loft area (hello kids play space) and the half-moon shape nook that houses the spiral staircase leading to the lower level. The wood cladding and the cut-out in the floor, how awesome is that? I am going to have to get creative on how to child-proof it but it is definitely staying. Right now I am hoping to make that lofted area in to a play space for Archie so we will definitely have to figure out a safer railing situation.


Hello amazing HUGE room with tall wonderful ceilings. To give you an idea of the scale of this room, those are full sized sofas and that is a full sized grand piano in the corner (not even a baby grand). I have no idea what I am going to do with all this space but I can’t wait to get in there and start figuring it out. One thing I need to make a decision on soon is the flooring and I am so torn about it. I don’t love the look of wood on both the floor and the ceilings and I do love the wood on the ceilings here, so while installing some wide plank light-ish wood flooring would be the most cost effective and easiest way to go, I feel like then I would have to paint the ceilings, which I don’t necessarily want to do (even though I love me some white paint). I won’t be making this decision until I see it in person because in these photos the wood reads pretty orangey, it is after all that 80’s, probably pine, wood, but it could look totally different in person. In a perfect world I would keep the wood ceilings and do terrazzo in the main living spaces but it may be cost prohibitive given the large amount of square footage. Oh decisions, why is it so much harder when it is for yourself?


Look how grown up I will be with my very own dining room. We can even throw dinner parties where everyone gets a chair.


The master bedroom won’t need much outside of some new flooring and a lick of paint. Seeing the green through the windows alone is getting me excited about waking up in this room.


And on the less exciting side is the master bathroom. You know me and carpet in the bathroom aren’t friends, for starters, but also in a house so big the master bathroom is relatively small. I have plans to expand it and re-work the layout all together. When we added our master bedroom and bathroom onto our Los Angeles house, we didn’t go crazy with square footage because we wanted the extension to not feel like an extension at all. We wanted it to blend in with the cottage size and style of the house, so even though we built it from the ground up, and could have technically made large rooms, we kept both the bedroom and the bathroom on the small side. But in a house this large you better believe I am going to finally get my dream bathroom, freestanding tub and all (I hope).


On the main level there are only two bedrooms and we almost passed over this house at first glance because of that fact. In my opinion, my kids are too young to be on an entirely separate floor than me at night. But when I saw the size of the laundry room (I’m pretty sure it is about the same size as Archie’s current bedroom) and where it is situated on the floorplan, my wheels got turning and we are planning to knock down a wall in here and steal some space (and some windows) from the garage to turn this into a third bedroom and bathroom on the main level. We will then move the laundry room into the lower level, which isn’t the most convenient but I’d rather my kids close at night than the wash.


This space will be my office for the time being while we get our feet wet in Michigan.


The two downstairs bedrooms are quite large and will be reserved for guests. I want to pinch myself that we will finally have space to host friends and family. Currently visitors from out of town sleep on make-shift beds in my studio, so this will be a nice change to have a dedicated space just for them. Guests will also will have their own bathroom and kitchen to boot… who’s coming over?!


They didn’t skimp on space in this bathroom. We will be tackling the main floor renovations first but this bathroom is on the list for a big update as well.


The layout is a bit funky but the kitchen feels huge, especially for a second kitchen. All that counter space…woah. This will be getting an overhaul but again the priority will be the main floor first.


This screened in porch is another space that I am itching to get my hands on. I think this ranks right up there with the spiral staircase as one of my favorite features of the house. Once we paint over the red (sorry to those of you who like the color red. It is my mom and my sister’s favorite so I don’t judge but I can’t take it in large amounts or almost any kind of amounts. It is just one of those polarizing colors) and swap out the flooring, this will be the perfect spot to hang on the warm summer nights.

There is also another bedroom and another bathroom on the main level that I don’t have photos of, but you know I already have plans for. I am sure some plans might change once we are able to see the house in person but for now I think we have a good start. Once we do reach Michigan I will have to document our first impression of the house and will be sure to share it with a video tour on my IG story so follow along at @sarahshermansamuel!

So what do you think now that you have seen just as much of the house that we have seen. ha Would you have bought it from these photos?

P.s. I’ve started a new category on the blog for this renovation which you can find under the “categories” tab on the right under “michigan home renovation” or click here.

home progress: living room nook refresh

living-room-reading-corner4 This post is sponsored by Target. Shop Home Decor for modern luxury made easy.

You may remember this corner of the room from ages ago. We had just done phase one of construction, which was opening up two walls that separated the living room from the den and the living room from the kitchen, but had yet to even start on all the main construction.

Since those last photos, amongst the main projects of gutting the kitchen, adding on a bedroom, bathroom and laundry room, we also made these built-in shelves and finished the entryway, and in the process I cleaned out this living room corner of everything, stealing the tchotchkes and books to fill shelves and style corners elsewhere. It has sat empty and neglected for a good eight months or so. Thankfully Target sent me over some of their items from their new fall line, so I was able to finish off this cozy nook all over again. I am LOVING all the gold in the collection.

living-room-reading-cornerliving-room-reading-corner2living-room-reading-corner3Rupe has also already commandeered the rocker that we got from the flea market as his personal TV watching chair. It is actually the most comfy spot in the house, when the cushions are on (they are so ugly at the moment I just can’t keep them on unless in use.. ha), so I found a spot here that he can swivel around to watch his favorite show Project Runway ;), or I can swivel back to steal a quiet moment to read. We will see when baby comes if it will actually make it into the nursery. Maybe I should start shopping for another rocker.

Product Sources: Gold Spotted Vase from Target // Gold Pear from Target // Brass Hex vase from Ferm Living // Gold and White bowl from Target // White Throw Blanket from Target // Gold Pouf // Vintage Rug from The Rug Warehouse // Chair is vintage Homecrest // Flamingo Print by Sharon Montrose // Chandelier by Jonathan Adler // Plant is a Fiddle Leaf Fig

To see all of the home renovation progress check here
To see the “before” photos of the house check here

Images by Sarah Sherman Samuel

designing an urban living room with LG

Last week I travelled to San Diego with LG for the home technology tradeshow, Cedia Expo. I don’t typically take part in tech tradeshows (although from now on I just might because I was definitely nerding out over the next big thing in televisions) but I was there to install the “urban living room” space I designed within the LG booth. I wasn’t planning to do a blog post on it because well, tradeshow lighting is reaaaally tough for photography, but I had such an enormous onslaught of questions about the space, while I was covering it in my IG stories, that I wanted to share all the resources in one place and share a bit more about the project.

I have loved working with LG on a couple projects now, they are pioneers in the tech field and it has been incredible to see how their products have evolved just over the last year even. They pioneered the OLED category, which as a designer that obsesses over colors I can truly appreciate all billion+ of them (and the perfect black) that only OLED TVs create. So when they asked me to design a space in their booth at Cedia I was thrilled to create a forward thinking urban-inspired living room to showcase one of their OLED tv’s (the 65″ OLED AI TV E8 to be exact, aka “the glass tv”). And we did it in less than a month, from design, to install and opening day of the tradeshow. PHEW!

If you have been to a tradeshow before then you can imagine what a home technology tradeshow typically looks like. The booths are basically like you’d see in a store display but with the latest and greatest, newly released, or soon to be released product. TVs are all lined up in a row in a plain jane display space.  For the first time LG wanted to create some home spaces within their booth so people walking the show would be able to see the products come to  life in a real-life inspired setting and that is when they turned to me for help.

My jumping off point for the room was their OLED E8 TV. It has a super slim glass design that appears to float in mid air. The pixels are actually painted right on the glass which I’m still not 100% sure I can grasp the idea of but it feels very of the future so that is what I went with as my inspiration for my design. I wanted to push the boundaries of what is expected in a living space a bit with the bold wallpaper but kept everything in a neutral palette so as to not compete with the TV once it is on. To keep a neutral space from being boring I layered on different patterns and textures like the rug, wallpaper, and the large artwork. I then added in a couple real statement pieces like the palm lamp and the sculptural vintage side chair for some serious (actually the opposite of serious) personality.

lg-cedia-booth by sarah sherman samuelI also wanted to make sure to bring in some innovative furniture pieces to match all the tech innovation going on. I looked for pieces that served dual purpose or new ways to use everyday furniture . For example the coffee table pivots which is great for small space city living. You can have all the three sections stacked vertically on top of each other for when you need to save on space or pivot them outward for a larger table when entertaining. The floating credenza is an Ikea hack, featuring my Sarah Sherman Samuel line of doors for SemiHandmade! SemiHandmade just started making their doors to fit Ikea’s Besta units which make beautiful tv consoles and credenza’s (more on that soon!). The bench in the space is also multifunctional since it has the same seat hight as the sofa and you can pull it up to the edge to have it act as a chaise to get cozy on or move it back to the side for extra conversational seating.

I wanted the room to feel high end and highlight the TV but only having a month to design and execute, I had to rely on in stock items and big box stores. We had a last minute sofa and wallpaper swap, but we pulled it off. The result is a mix of high and low, vintage and new, and anything but boring! You know, my favorite kind of space.

Shop the Look: LG OLED AI TV E8  // Gold Palm Floor Lamp // Black Wall Sconce //  Sofa // Coffee Table // Pair of Cane Chairs // Vintage Accent Chair // IKEA Credenza with Semihandmade x Sarah Sherman Samuel Door Fronts // White Scalloped Side Table // White Leather Bench //Maxi – Champagne on Cream Wallpaper // Le Freak – Gunmetal on Cream Wallpaper // Rug – sold out but find similar here //  Quilt Wall Hanging // History Repeats Artwork // Last Tuesday Artwork 2 // Rattan Floor Poufs // Habitat: The Field Guide to Decorating Book // Tom Ford Book // Louis Vuitton Book // Throw Blanket // Wooden Ring Dish Bowl // Small Stoneware Vase // Tall Ceramic Vase // Wooden Chain Decor // Gold Tray // Mid-Century Ceramic Planter

My Jumpsuit is by Damaris Bailey

cabin progress: in the living room

cabin living room aaand voilà! Here is how the curtains turned out in the space from the DIY project.

cabin living room fireplacecabin living room curtainsAlso, to re-cap, here is what we have done so far in the living room:

1. Ripped out the walls, insulated, and drywalled
2. Trimmed out and painted the ceiling
3. Scraped up the old floor tiles and put in new wood laminate flooring
4. Cleaned up the fireplace and put in a new tiled hearth
5. Put in new patio doors and retrofitted the old screen doors to match
6. Put new window & door trim, base moulding, & crown moulding
7. Made and hung the curtains

Still to do in the living room:
1. Reface the back wall of the fireplace.
2. Find a new spark guard and new air venty things for the fireplace
3. Find an occasional chair and more art

Phew! Almost done in the living room. You can also see a few more photos of the living room over on Design Sponge, and to see all of the progress on the cabin look here.

Images by Sarah
Product guide: Badger Pillow by Donna Wilson // B&W pillow: Ikea // Brass floor lamps: Ballard Designs // Brass bucket: local vintage find  // Coffee Table: Home Decorators // Sisal rug: RugsUSA // Cowhide Rug: street vendor in LA // Brass candlesticks: antique shop in southern England // Side Table: my dad made

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