The Landing Zone: How Emilie Munroe Made a 700-Square-Foot Living Room Feel Cozy

A variety of colorful seating areas make a cavernous space feel insanely inviting.

Everything really is bigger in Texas. Clocking in at a cavernous 700 square feet, the living room at our 2021 Whole Home (originally conceived of as a combined living and dining room) features a 20-foot-high vaulted ceiling and a whole wall of glass doors leading to the patio.

Undeterred, Emilie Munroe of San Francisco firm Studio Munroe set about making the massive space and adjoining vestibule more warm and inviting. “I thought, Let’s be bold, let’s be colorful, let’s be vibrant and forward-thinking and create a magical environment for welcoming people into this home,” she recalls. Grounding colors set the tone: a deep sea blue on the walls, with inky black for the brick fireplace. On either side of the hearth is a multicolored wallcovering depicting clouds during a dramatic sunrise, a color scheme that’s replicated in the ombré print in the entryway—and the rest of the room’s furnishings. Back-to-back tuxedo sofas feature stripes in two directions, while pops of sunny yellow, lavender, and fuchsia are peppered throughout in pillows, side tables, and accessories. Two subtle color-blocked rugs define and anchor the two conversation areas. “When I design with lots of colors, I like to think of it like a dinner party. You want to have a mix of personalities, but they all get along,” Munroe says. “And no one commands too much attention.”

Inspired by the sunrise, Munroe created a custom wallcovering mural that showcases a prismatic color scheme and functions as art. Coffee table: Croft House. Rattan stools: Article. Wallcovering: Phillip Jeffries. Chandeliers: Circa Lighting. Paint: Farrow & Ball. Rattan side tables: Serena & Lily. Chairs: Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. Drinks tables: Design Within Reach. Mirror: Croft House. Sofas: Evan Spencer.


A collection of nine botanical prints over an ombré wallcovering sets the tone. Bench: Serena & Lily. Wallcovering: Phillip Jeffries. Pendants: Circa Lighting. Pillows and throw: Anthropologie. Art: Simon Breitbard Fine Arts. Tile: Granada Tile.

The opposite side of the foyer provides storage and a mirror to check your lipstick (this is Texas!) before exiting. Credenza: Croft House. Mirror: Anthropologie. Vases: Design Within Reach. Planter: Eclectic Home.

Sitting Area

Sling chairs in a whimsical watercolor print sit in a colorful corner near the fireplace. Chairs: Croft House. Upholstery fabric: CW Stockwell x Voutsa. Vases: Serena & Lily.

Living Room

An extra-long rod allows drapes to be drawn across all the windows.

To personalize the enormous room, Munroe skipped a sectional in favor of two separate conversation areas: one for fireside convos and the other for playing games or patiently waiting on dinner from the adjoining kitchen. Paint: Farrow & Ball. Sofa: Evan Spencer, in Fabricut fabric. Woven tables: Serena & Lily. Coffee tables: Arhaus (gray), Croft House (yellow). Rugs: The Rug Company. Console table: custom, Caesarstone. Lighting: Circa Lighting. Drapery: The Shade Store. Door handle: Schlage. HVAC: Trane.