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Rearranging the Living Room with Our Modern White Leather Sectional Sofa

The white leather sectional sofa we ordered back in March was delivered and the living room looks completely different now!   I rambled on in this post about how we wanted to start capitalizing on our view of Lake Superior.  Our furniture placement wasn’t designed for the space because we just moved everything from the townhouse living room and plonked it down. The sofa faced away from the window and although the setup was nice for watching movies with the fireplace roaring, it wasn’t inviting for just sitting around, chatting or reading – and you couldn’t see the lake very well from the living room.  One day we’ll renovate the fireplace and put the television above it (maybe hidden behind art?), but for now we disassembled our old Besta unit, bought prettier “greyed walnut” Ikea legs, and shoved it in the corner to make room for the combined 20 feet of lounge space our new, modern white leather sectional sofa offers.

Ta Da!

Canadian Lake House Living Room TourLakehouse Living Room: Cream Leather Sofa, Black Fireplace, MCM Accents

Even though we added way more seating, somehow the room feels airier and more spacious to me because the windows are now largely unobstructed.  As well, instead of a hodgepodge of furniture (the velvet chair, the mint chair, three teak tables, mismatched sofa and dark ottoman, wall unit, plant stand), we have a more streamlined furniture arrangement: big cream sofa with matching ottoman, one accent chair, a pair of matching vintage teak end tables with matching lamps, and the TV stand.  It’s simpler!  We had to move the teal velvet chair to my office, but I kept the Mingo chair and positioned it with one of the teak tables beside the television.  Once again I’m blocking windows with furniture, but you can still see the lake around the delicate frame of the mint chair and it just feels a little more balanced – but my biggest motivator is that I have literally nowhere else to put my favorite chair in this small home.  It has to live there – or someone else’s living room (cue the sad trombone).

I’m sure I’ll continue to tweak things, but right now I’m too busy loading up the massive sofa with an abundance of throw pillows, wheeeeeeeeee.

Mint Mingo ChairBlue Lotte Lamp in MCM Inspired Living RoomTour a Modern Living Room with TV in the CornerFireplace Painted Dark Grey with Rock Collection on DisplayYngve Ekstrom Mingo Chair Reupholstered in Mint Fabric

Living Room Before and Afters:

Here’s a reminder of the living room when we bought the lakehouse:

Here’s a comparison of our old arrangement with how the room looks now:

Really Before

Lake House Living Room
Lake House on Lake Superior Decorated in Blues and Greens
Wall of Windows
Lake House Living Room with Vaulted Ceiling and Wall of Windows
Triple Bubble Fixture Light from Modernica
MCM Teak Dining Table with Modern Teal Tweed Chairs

Choosing the colour for our white leather sectional sofa was tricky.  I considered many different leather samples, including a beautiful caramel (not pictured), a metallic silver (so expensive), a really worn, bitter chocolate (too rustic), a forest green (what was I thinking?), and a blindingly bright white (not pictured).

Leather Samples

In the end, I really waffled between a couple of grey leather swatches (one matched the fireplace perfectly, the other was a medium grey) and a creamy white.  I kept thinking grey would be practical, but everyone I polled voted white.  My friend Ashley said it best: “in a lakehouse, with no kids, go with the white – it’s perfect”.

I’m really glad I listened because I am so thrilled with the white leather sectional sofa and my light color choice.  It’s what we’d grown accustomed to with our old sofa (although this sofa is a much lighter/brighter shade) and I think that with a sofa this ginormous, a grey or caramel leather would have looked too heavy.

From the sample though, I couldn’t tell how creamy the leather would be and I was shocked when it arrived – certain we’d been sold the wrong colour.  It felt too yellow when it was unwrapped on the deck, with the sun beating down on it.  But once we hung the artwork and added the throw pillows, I immediately appreciated its softness.  A cool, bright white leather as bright as our walls might have looked too stark and cold, especially with my cool color palette.  The creamy white has a natural feel and plays well with Hubby’s Grandpa’s paintings (I moved the creamy diptych from my office, although it used to hang in the townhouse living room).

Lake House Living Room Decorated in Turquoise and BlueMarimekko Luminara Pillows with Blue and AquaBright White and Turquoise Living Room

This white leather sectional sofa is manufactured in Canada, which makes me happy.  I love the chunky arms (there was an option for narrower arms, but I think these look more modern, plus I sit on the edge when I’m on the phone because it’s a peaceful place to perch and take in the view).  The sofa is too comfy for things like that, because I tend to fall asleep, curled up in the corner (“my” spot), within minutes.  Another thing I liked was that I had the choice of “walnut,” “espresso,” or “chrome” legs and we chose the walnut:

Full Grown Komondor with Short Hair

As an added bonus, we finally replaced our disintegrating ottoman!  We bought the matching storage ottoman, and it’s every bit as awesome as I hoped.  I’ve wanted a new ottoman forever and I’m so happy we kept putting it off.  I know “sets” aren’t trendy right now but I love a sofa with matching ottoman because it’s less visual clutter.

White Leather Storage Ottoman

Unfortunately, we think the sofa was dropped during shipping because the arm by the fireplace is really pushed out and wonky.  We’re still waiting to hear back on a replacement/repair, but hopefully that doesn’t create a headache.

Modern Canadian Lake House Living Room in Blue, Turquoise and Mint Colour PaletteBright and Modern Lake House Decor

I lowered the exposure a lot so you could see the view outside the living room window.  Having the sofa against the window was a real shame, because this is the view we were obscuring:

Modern Lake House View of Lake Superior

I’ve been watching the sunset from our new white leather sectional sofa every night and it’s a beautiful way to end the day.

Once I’ve done a little more tinkering with the room, I’ll share a tour of the whole living/dining/kitchen space. You can see I’m still working, because in some photos the McCoy planter on the hearth is empty, but in others it has my new eucalyptus planted.  I’m sure I’ll be fussing with things all week.

In between naps.

Modern Lake House Living Room Makeover

I’ve been asked by many readers to create a page where I list everything in the lakehouse – a “shop the look” kind of idea, but that’s so tricky because a lot of what I buy is vintage, on clearance, or custom-made.  I am slowly putting together a list, going room by room, searching for alternatives that closely resemble my best finds.   In the meantime, here are some links for the living room, with similar items if I couldn’t track down links for the exact pieces.


Triple Bubble Light Fixture with Three Saucer PendantsModernica
Teak Dining Table – Vintage (this round West Elm table is similar but this rectangular walnut table from West Elm is more spacious)
Blue Tweed Dining Chairs HomeSense (the “Sabrina,” the “Tufted Hourglass,” and the “Savafieh” are similar)
TV Stand – Ikea (Besta Cabinet with Grey Walnut Legs)
Case Study PlanterModernica
Turquoise Velvet PillowsIkea (here’s a similar aqua velvet pillow, Made in USA)
Blue Tweed Pillows – Sears
Patterned Throw PillowsMarimekko
Turquoise Planters – Vintage, McCoy (I’m swooning for this turquoise bullet planter, and this aqua ceramic planter on solid wood legs from West Elm is just as stunning!)
Blue LampsVintage Lotte, still produced today (see here for a really affordable aqua lamp with a similar vibe and here for really cool, coastal modern lamp)
Mint ChairVintage (see here for a cute MCM-style mint accent chair and here for a gorgeous turquoise MCM arm chair)
Leather Sofa and Ottoman – Barewood Furniture (local furniture store)
Krenit Bowl – Vintage (see here for modern reproduction in turquoise!)
Modern White Ceiling FanKichler Ferron (can’t find it in white anymore, but there is a polished nickel)



  1. Alexandra
    June 14, 2016 / 1:40 pm

    OMG THAT VIEW!!!!What were you thinking putting a sofa against those windows? (And I know perfectly well how that goes, because I lived in my flat for four (4!) years before I realised the furniture in the living room was placed all wrong for me. But that simply was how the movers had put the furniture in when I moved in, and I never actually thought about whether I liked it or not, or whether it even was working for how I used the room (spoiler: it didn't). The sectional looks great, as does the whole room, and I hope you'll be able to sort the arm out without much bother.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      June 15, 2016 / 2:44 pm

      I know, right? I clearly wasn't in my right mind! I just blindly put my furniture the same way it had been before, because we planned on getting a vintage sectional I bought reupholstered and rearranging then, but that never happened and months turned into years until one day I snapped out of it, lol. Happy to hear your living room situation was sorted out too. Hopefully you're loving your flat even more these days!

  2. Rachel J.
    June 14, 2016 / 1:49 pm

    This looks AMAZINGGGGGG!!!

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      June 15, 2016 / 2:44 pm

      Thank you so much, Rachel!!

  3. Anonymous
    June 14, 2016 / 2:33 pm

    I love the room even more! So crisp-clean, modern and still cozy!Amy in MN

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      June 15, 2016 / 2:45 pm

      Thanks Amy! I am so glad you say that it looks modern AND cozy, because that's definitely the vibe I want. I love crisp spaces but also want to keep my home inviting and welcoming. I'm a homebody and love spending time here.

    • Anonymous
      June 16, 2016 / 3:49 pm

      Me too—such a homebody—ha. I joined a gym recently, so besides getting there for wkouts and running errands. I'm pretty much at home:) Enjoying deck time since it's only warm for so long in Minnesota-ha!Amy

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      June 16, 2016 / 4:19 pm

      I hear you! Anytime it's nice outside I drop what I'm doing and try to enjoy it. Pretty soon the days will be getting shorter again, blah. I was in Grand Marais and Beaver Bay MN for my birthday on the weekend and it was so HOT, everyone was dashing outside in sleeveless tops and sunscreen. The ice cream stand had a line a mile long, lol.

  4. Elaine - Visual Meringue
    June 14, 2016 / 3:16 pm

    Love it! And 'yay' for Canadian-made! The couch looks great and it's wonderful that now you can fully appreciate that AMAZING view! WOW!

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      June 15, 2016 / 2:46 pm

      Thanks Elaine! I was so thrilled to be able to find a Canadian-made sofa – I am hoping the quality will be there. It's definitely comfy, that's for sure!

  5. Haley
    June 14, 2016 / 7:00 pm

    This looks great! I love that last picture of your view. The couch looks amazing. Have you thought about mounting the TV up in that corner?

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      June 15, 2016 / 2:47 pm

      Thanks Haley! My only concern is about where to put the stuff that goes with the TV. Inside the cabinet is a mess of wires and stuff, plus there's the PVR and the DVD player. That cabinet hides a lot! I have, however, been eyeing up some cabinets where the TV is stored inside when it's not in use, which would be a cleaner look, but they're super expensive.

  6. Ariadne
    June 14, 2016 / 7:26 pm

    I love corner sofas although I never had one! I love your new sofa and am glad that you look towards the lake now. What a pity to be missing such view in order to look at TV up to now.AriadnefromGreece!

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      June 15, 2016 / 2:49 pm

      I know, right? For the first while we lived here, we were so busy renovating and painting that, to be honest, it was pitch black by the time we finally sat on the sofa to catch our breath. We enjoyed the view from the dining table during dinner, but didn't have enough time to lounge in the living room and watch the lake. These days, we're working on relaxing more, so we're using the living room differently.

  7. Alex Inspired
    June 14, 2016 / 8:18 pm

    Oh my GOODNESS! I always thought your living room was beautiful…but, wow!I love, love, love the sectional and I love the detail on the back, facing the dining room. Just looks so inviting and cozy! Yay!

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      June 15, 2016 / 2:50 pm

      Thanks so much, Alex! I had planned to put a sofa table and the lamps behind the sofa, but once it was in place I loved looking at it, so I separated the lamps and nixed the sofa table idea. Loved crossing that off my to-do list, lol (#cheating).

  8. Crystal Atkins
    June 15, 2016 / 1:05 am

    That view is priceless! Are you a "fuss until things look right" type of person like me?

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      June 15, 2016 / 2:52 pm

      Definitely! We're the same in that regard, for sure. I will continue fussing with this living room until we move, lol. In 100 years. I'm a very slow person, though, when it comes to changing things, but everything is always in a state of flux.

  9. Michelle {Jarrah Jungle}
    June 15, 2016 / 2:17 am

    Your new sectional looks perfect there, I have a very similar one in chocolate brown leather and it's great for facing both ways for conversation or in your case to face that stunning view! You've done such a great job from the before to the after it looks amazing 🙂

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      June 15, 2016 / 2:54 pm

      Sectional sofas are great, aren't they? My parents briefly had one but it was returned because it started to sag. I think I must have really loved it because since then I've always thought sofas are the epitome of comfort, but I haven't lived in a space big enough for one until now! I've definitely realized my sofa goals now, haha.So happy to hear you love yours! Chocolate brown leather is so classic!

  10. Vin
    June 15, 2016 / 5:13 pm

    This is gorgeous Tanya! I think the color looks bright and feels light. I can't imagine how good it must feek to lounge on that baby with THAT view.THAT VIEW!!! You have added SO much more seating, yet it feels airy! Can't wait to see more pics. I have to go look at your view now , bye ! 🙂

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      June 15, 2016 / 5:54 pm

      Thank you so much!! I am definitely feeling incredibly chill these days. I love that we can finally capitalize on the view! Too bad you can't stop by for a visit and see it in person 🙂

  11. patty
    June 18, 2016 / 9:57 am

    This looks so freaking good! That view is AMAZING. I think I would just live in that room hahaha.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      June 30, 2016 / 2:35 am

      Thanks Patty! The funny thing is that since we got the sofa, we've been so busy we've barely sat in it! I think it will see a lot more bum time come winter.

  12. Tara | ModLifter
    June 23, 2016 / 8:36 am

    Love the black & white contrast and the pop of colour! It's actually what I'm trying to do with my current redesign project. After seeing that bubble lamp I've also noticed that I have a thing for light fixtures lately ;D It will be a true challenge to choose only one or two

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      June 30, 2016 / 2:36 am

      That is always the challenge: choosing what to spend on, and where to save (or go without). The bubble lamp was a fabulous purchase – I love mine and it makes the room! I am really happy with that decision.

  13. Frau Sommer Wohnt
    June 23, 2016 / 11:49 am

    Wow…Tanja, I like the fabulous lakeview….I wanna come to have an cup of coffee…:-)what a change…the color you have picked is perfekt…bright…nice :-)Regards from GermanyLiebe Grüße Astrid

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      June 30, 2016 / 2:36 am

      Thank you! Wouldn't it be fun to do a house swap? Hubby would never go for it, but it would be a great way to see the world.

  14. brikhouse2
    June 25, 2016 / 1:48 am

    Looks great!! I like how the tv blends into the fireplace, I bet there is a lot less glare from the sun in this location too. I also love how you are using your pottery for actual plants now, they really liven up the space.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      June 30, 2016 / 2:37 am

      The TV definitely has less glare – it was so bad before! We avoided watching any TV before the sun went down. I am loving using my pottery – although it's not always the best for plants because a lot of the bug McCoy pots don't have drainage. Fingers cross it's okay!

    • brikhouse2
      July 2, 2016 / 10:28 pm

      As long as you put some rocks in the bottom or something to drain the water away from the soil and it's not a super sensitive plant to water, like a succulent, or you don't over water, then they should be fine

  15. reptilegrrl
    August 1, 2017 / 4:45 am

    Hi, I found your blog a few weeks ago and I love it! We have very similar taste and interests in terms of style and color. In fact my home is full of gray, teal, turquoise, and white. My question: where did you move your plant stand and orchids? The plant stand is actually how I first found your website, so I'm just curious.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      August 1, 2017 / 3:22 pm

      I love hearing from people who like the same colours! I actually gave the stand and orchids to my Mom because she really wanted them and they didn't seem to love the light at my place. She's been caring for them and they seem to like her place better, it's not as dry/cool there either which helps them also.

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