living room

Samuel Family Fixer Lighting

We have officially moved back into #samuelfamilyfixer! The bulk of construction is done and while we have quite a way to go before it is fully complete at least we are in and I can’t tell you how relieved that is. Going into a renovation you always know it is going to be disruptive and tough at times but man, as soon as I see the finish line I can’t even remember how bad or how hard moving three times (once across the country) with two small kids in under a year, while doing a major renovation was. Ok maybe I still remember a bit, because PHEW, but those memories are now bathed in the glow of a REALLY beautiful home for our family which I think makes it worth it (I will let you know once we actually have settled in, because now it is project finish and furnish this baby.

One big part of a renovation that I get a lot of questions about is lighting. Lighting is SO important and when we first moved into our fixer the lighting situation was THE WORST. In the kitchen, for example, the only source of light was two outdoor/garage spotlights and even the bulbs were extreme on the warm side, casting everything that was already wood and warm into a low lit den of yellow. Clover’s bedroom and our master bedroom had no electrical for lighting at all, and the main living room had only recessed lights (which were again with the super warm bulbs and with a 19 foot ceiling I wasn’t about to climb up there to change the bulbs). So, during the renovation I had to create a major lighting plan as I was basically starting from scratch. Essentially there was no decorative lighting in the entire house which is a major bummer because they can totally make a space.

A few must haves on my list when talking light plan are:

  1. Ceiling fixture on a dimmer in the kids bedrooms and table lamps on the dresser.
  2. Ceiling fixture and sconces in the master bedroom
  3. Sconces or pendants at roughly eye level in bathrooms
  4. SO MUCH MORE LIGHTING IN THE KITCHEN. Ideally a mix of recessed and pendants as well as task lighting over the range and countertops
  5. Chandelier over the dining table
  6. Pendants in the living room and a mix of floor lamp and table lamps.

I ended up doing a mix of my go-to lighting vendors all over the house and I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to highlight them. Starting with Troy Lighting. They are part of the Hudson Valley Lighting Group which is a go-to source for me. I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite Troy pieces here.


The lighting in the living room being all recessed can lights with no easy way to add more (it is a high peeked ceiling with no attic space above and I didn’t want to disturb the original wood paneling) I am turning to table lamps and dimmer switches to create a cozy space in the evenings. 

While we have moved in, we are being super strict with ourselves and our stuff and only bringing into the space pieces we either absolutely need or love (ideally both but really I can’t wait to ditch the grass bottle drying thing from our countertop. tick tock clover your bottle days are almost over). With that in mind, our the house is relatively still empty, but slowly I have started to move some things in, little corner by little corner and this one in the living room is getting my nesting vibes going.

In the living room I turned to Troy lighting because of their large sculptural table lamps and with the incredibly tall ceilings I wanted something chunky and substantial. The Calabria Lamp was such a great fit. They look like I could have picked them up at a vintage shop which helps to balance out the mod characteristics of the credenza to create the more collected feel I am always after. I added some of my favorite ceramic pieces to sit along next to them in an artful moment that has me really excited to start furnishing and styling the whole house. 

If you don’t know of Troy Lighting you can check out their full collection here and I love following them on Instagram to see how different designers and interior junkies style the pieces in their own homes (or homes of clients). This post was done sponsored by Troy Lighting however all thoughts and ideas, as always, are my own.


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

Spotlight on Clad Home

Palm Springs A-Frame // Sarah Sherman Samuel I received loads of questions about our sofa in the A-frame since it was a customized version of Clad Home’s Melrose sofa and there are so many choices for modifications. It is my favorite sofa I’ve had, to date, 10 feet of modern beauty and I’m sharing all the details today. I’ve found that some people are intimidated by custom furniture because they can get overwhelmed by too many variables or they associate customization with a huge price tag. Well I’m here to tell you that neither have to be the case!

When I first came across the Melrose sofa online by Clad Home I knew that was the one. The low sleek silhouette had me at hello and with a starting price of around $1,200 it was an affordable option as well. You can go through the ordering process online and over the phone but since the shop is local I was able to pay them a visit and order the sofa in person. Rosa, the owner, was helpful in guiding me towards and away from certain fabrics and it was also great to see all the options in person so I could make a quick decision. I went with the “Ireland Ivory” which is 100% polyester but looks and feels like linen. That fabric has been discontinued but they recommend anyone that is looking for the same fabric to use one called Klein White which is a close match.

Clad Home SSS Tour // Sarah Sherman SamuelClad Home Showroom // Sarah Sherman SamuelClad Home Melrose // Sarah Sherman SamuelBut warning if you go into the shop you might leave with more than just a sofa. That leather woven chair in the bottom right of the photo above was REALLY calling my name.

Sarah Sherman Samuel a-frame In addition to the fabric customization, you have the length and depth of the sofa to choose. I kept the depth the same as the base sofa (40″) but stretched ours out to 120″. The next thing we looked at was the cushion set-up. I loved the look of the two back cushions with one long base cushion but, since our sofa was so long, we went with three back cushions and kept the base cushion to one long one.

One upgrade you can do is in the stitching. I chose to do top-stitched seams and they offer other styles, such as double stitched or welted, but I liked the extra detail in the topstitch.

Another upgrade I did was in the cushions…for a more streamlined or structured look you can go with the standard foam, but I wanted mine to look a little more relaxed and fuller so I upgraded to their “Trillium” cushion fill which is a polyester fill that mimics down but without triggering my husbands allergies.

And probably most importantly for a household with kids Clad Home‘s sofas are all non-toxic. They use sustainably sourced materials, zero-VOC glues, no toxic flame retardant chemicals and all of their furniture is made right here in LA. So if the design wasn’t enough to win you over, that might!

So to recap the sofa that I chose is:

Melrose Sofa
Custom Length 120″ x 40″
Natural Legs
Ask for Klein White fabric
Top-Stitched Seams
Trillium Cushions
Three back cushions/one base cushion

See more of our A-frame here.

Living Room Makeover!

The living room in our house never really felt 100% finished. (I also realized I never shared a reveal of the space aside from featuring it in holiday decor posts or from when we babyproofed it!) We had a credenza that was a bit too small for the space, and the wall behind the sofa has been a rotation of various DIY projects and props from other projects. But finally… we have a living space that feels like us.

sarah sherman samuel living room makeover To recap, we are turning our family room/playroom (which is through the open passthrough from the living room, as shown above), into the new nursery. The family room is where we had the TV and the more comfortable sofa and this living room space was more of a formal seating area. So now that this will be the main hang out area for the family we needed to make it more comfortable and much more us.

To convert the room, first on our list was to hang some sliding barn doors to be able to close off the nursery during nap times and nighttime etc. We got both the hardware and the doors from Rejuvenation. The shaker style of the doors matches our shaker kitchen cabinets perfectly which is just on the other side of the room so it was a no brainer. We installed them ourselves (you might have caught my dad and rupe literally throwing wrenches around while putting them up on my Instagram story) which went surprisingly very quick! Just the addition of the doors already made the room feel so much more finished and now I can’t imagine them not being there.

sarah sherman samuel living room makeover READ MORE

How to Style and Care For a White Sofa with Electrolux

style a white sofa 3 ways // sarah sherman samuelMany of you, including myself, thought I might be crazy getting a white sofa with two dogs and a toddler boy in the house. However I couldn’t get over my want for a sofa in the colorless hue. I could probably try and blame Pinterest and every gorgeous living room I’ve ever seen with a white sofa, but there was no talking me out of it. Today I am sharing how to style one 3 different ways and how I care for mine with Electrolux to keep the white, white!

For the first look (above) I went white on white on white on white and I don’t think I could love it more. When going SO neutral it is important to bring in different textures and layer different materials so it doesn’t go to stark. The warmth of the natural jute and wood bring warmth to the space and all the varied textures bring dimension, giving it a rich feeling, even in the absence of color.

Sources: Sofa // Jute Rug // Rattan Chair is Vintage Franco Albini // Coffee Table by Sarah Sherman Samuel // Side Tables // Lamp // Vase // Pillow // Fur Pillow // Throw Blanket

style a white sofa 3 ways // sarah sherman samuelFor the second look, I brought in the stark contrast of black and white which creates a slightly more masculine and a lot more graphic vibe. The wood tones are still working hard and doing their job to warm the space up around the white sofa and the pattern mixing gives it an artful makeover.

Sources: Sofa // Rug1 // Rug 2 – vintage (ebay) //Rattan Chair is Vintage Franco Albini // Coffee Table by Sarah Sherman Samuel // Side Tables are vintage // Lamp // Ceramic Jar // Mudcloth Pillow // Fur Pillow // White Blocks

style a white sofa 3 ways // sarah sherman samuelAnd finally for the third look… I gave the sofa a modern boho style with a shibori pillow, vintage rug, and macrame cushion. By layering a lot of pillows the sofa feels more casual and lived in. The layered rugs also help to cozy up the space and the globe lamp and geometric accessories are keeping it modern and a little unexpected.

Sources: Sofa // Jute Rug // Rug 2 – Vintage // Rattan Chair is Vintage Franco Albini // Coffee Table by Sarah Sherman Samuel // Side Table // Globe Lamp // Gold Trays (old, find similar here) // Shibori Pillow // Macrame Pillow (old, find similar here) // Mudcloth Pillow // Cement Pyramid (old, find similar here)

Now when it comes to caring for this sofa, we have our work cut out for us with the clan I mentioned at the beginning. The property around our A-frame is all desert sand/dirt so you know those dogs have already piled onto the sofa and tracked some of that dirt onto its’ cushions. The good news is Electrolux has our back and I just have to zip off the cushion covers and throw them in the wash.

Our Electrolux washer has a great feature called SmartBoost which means it premixes water and detergent before the cycle begins which I love because I always heard you are supposed to let the soap and water mix first and then add clothes because it maximizes the power of the detergent but I NEVER have remembered to and now I don’t have to. It is all built-in!

The cushion covers go in dirty and come back out nice and white! I haven’t had to deal with any tough stains yet but for the dirt I wash them on the normal setting with the Perfect Steam option selected. One thing I worried about with washing the cushions so much is the wear and tear it would take on the fabric but Electrolux has so many features to care for the fabric, like in the dryer, there are moisture sensors that detect when the fabric is dry to prevent over-drying. I’ve been drying them on the delicate setting just to be safe.

White sofas are endlessly versatile and I almost couldn’t decide which look was my fave, but the white on white in the first image takes the cake for me. I just can’t seem to get over going monochromatic. A white sofa can be notoriously hard to keep looking new but since I’ve been caring for mine its been so far so good on the white sofa decision (knock on wood)!

Images by Sarah Sherman Samuel

This post was sponsored by Electrolux, as always all thoughts and ideas are my own.


high/low living room: tailored modern boho

In all my sourcing lately, I’ve been cataloguing my personal favorite pieces as I go and couldn’t help but dream up my ideal living room. Like, if I was starting from scratch and got to redo my living room without a budget, this is what I’d get right this second. Of course this could change tomorrow because after all its a digital living room and dreams are fickle like that. However, in the creation of my dream room, I also found a lot of parallels between the higher end stores and less expensive big box stores.

Now, I am always a proponent of buying original designers work and quality pieces when possible but one doesn’t usually have the means to go out and fill an entire room with big tickets items. So until we’ve all won the lottery or gotten a big ole bonus, I’ve gone and re-created the room with some more budget friendly options as well.


luxe look // tailored modern bohoI love the relaxed but still tailored vibe of this room. The clean lines of the upholstered sofa and ottoman start things off a touch strait laced, but the comfy vintage leather chair and the warmth of all the natural materials says oh I’m not uptight, look how chill I can be and the curves on the bench and the sculptural side table shows it has style for days.

Luxe Look Sources: Pendant // Sofa // Artwork 1 // Artwork 2 // Ottoman // Ladder // Bench // Rug // Side Table // Accent Chair

look for less // tailored modern bohoOf course, one person’s “high” is not the same as everyone else’s. You might be thinking 20k isn’t so bad for an entire room or you could be thinking hey, I can’t even come close to affording the “low” room. When I made the “low” version of the room, I didn’t go bottom basement low. Yes, I could have sourced a white sofa from Ikea and saved another $1,000 and that green chair is not cheap by any means. I could have found one for a fraction of that price (like this one, which would have cut the total cost down over $2k!) but I wanted to keep it as true to the original design as I could. Also, I do think it is important to scrimp and save where you can but invest in a piece or two that really brings personality to a space.

Look for Less Sources: Pendant // Sofa // Artwork 1 // Artwork 2 // Ottoman // Ladder // Bench // Rug // Side Table // Accent Chair

What do you guys think? Is the second look comparable or a sad version? (I actually really love the side table and that bench… I’m kind of dying for an excuse to get them). Also, do you want to see more virtual rooms or posts like this on the blog? I have to say designing for no one in particular is pretty fun. x