BlogDecember 2021What Makes a Livable Living Room

What Makes a Livable Living Room

Sink into that sofa. Set your cocktail glass on the side table. Get tips for creating a great family room from beautiful beach homes at Cinnamon Shore.

The elements that make a living room comfortable and stylish are up for interpretation. But we asked Austin designer Tricia Dabney to share her favorite tips and tricks for creating a cozy space -- like the lovely space, above, in THE SALTY DOG, available for vacation rental. Tricia has done interiors for close to 50 condos and homes at Cinnamon Shore. She's installed interiors out of her Austin-area business, Dabney Designs by Tricia, and also has a beautiful store called High Cotton Home & Design ( that makes a great stop if you're near Austin. Go there to get the "shabby chic" looks Tricia's known for.

Tricia told us she has several go-to strategies for living rooms, illustrated in some of the homes she installed at Cinnamon Shore. Take a look!

Small Living Room Salty Dog Cinnamon Shore

1)      Make sure coffee tables are a comfortable height.

Older coffee tables add character, but they might not be the right height. Tricia says she doesn’t hesitate to cut the legs off a piece or place a salvaged top from an older table on a new frame to make it easy to use.

For an estimated height as you look for the perfect table, one high-end furniture manufacturer recommends 16 to 18 inches as a standard height, while a taller sofa may require 20 to 21 inches. Just make sure it’s easy to set a coffee mug on and think about kids whether can sit on the floor to play cards around it. We love the one in the smaller den (above) at Stargazer, another vacation rental home. And she chose another wooden table with a rustic feel in Stargazer's main living room (below).


You also can look for the perfect steamer trunk to use as a coffee table -- an old trick for working in extra storage in a vacation home. Tricia’s tip is to find one that’s not too heavy so it’s easy to push around, especially if it needs to move out of the way to unfold a sleeper sofa in a beach house! She uses trunks to store games or sleeper sofa bedding.

stargazer living room cinnamon shore

2)      Add character with older pieces.

In newer homes like the ones at Cinnamon Shore, vintage pieces and antiques easily mix with new furniture. Tricia’s known for her use of architectural elements as decor, salvaged pieces with a weathered look. She shops antiques sales and auctions all across Texas and isn't afraid to blend antique sideboards or settees with newer ones. In the example shown below, also from Star Gazer, she used an old architectural piece as an impressive wall hanging that serves as a artwork and lends character.

stargazer vintage architectural pieces cinnamon shore

3)      Make window treatments a priority.

To let in natural light, Tricia suggests Roman shades that rise all the way to the top of the frame, as shown above in the example from Star Gazer.  Look how this type of shade allows the light to come flooding into the living room. If the home has an east-west orientation, Tricia often chooses shutters to help with energy efficiency.

serenity found condo cinnamon shore den

4)      Don’t be afraid to use white upholstery.

Lighter colors, such as white linen, have such a beachy look, and bleach can be your best friend to keep these fabrics cleaned up and spiffy should a spill or stain occur. Tricia says you can use bleach even on high-end linen and other high-quality fabrics to keep them fresh and looking pristine. Tricia loves to use neutrals like white and cream for upholstery on living room sofas or club chairs, bringing in color through rugs and throw pillows, as shown above in this darling living room in a condo called Serenity Found, available for rent. "It's a real cute, happy place," she says. 

sofa cinnamon shore port aransas

 5)      Don’t skimp on the sofa.

Go with the 8-way, hand-tied sofa for durability and comfort, Tricia says. House Beautiful magazine refers to this style of sofa as “the gold standard of seating,” explaining that the term “8-way, hand-tied” refers to ”the way the springs are constructed in upholstered furniture.” The magazine notes there are other styles of suspension that you can choose, but the kind Tricia suggests means the ultimate luxury and long-lasting comfort.

In Tricia's project with lake views at Cinnamon Shore, shown above, this durable, sectional sofa gets packed with pillows for added comfort and style. Called Sea Ya, this gorgeous home is available for vacation rental.

Almost all of the homes at Cinnamon Shore make the main living space a priority. Homeowners want to have an easy and comfortable space where they can relax, and they wants the guests to stay there while they're away to enjoy them, too. 


Find Your Beach Home with the Perfect Living Room

 To find your your perfect beach home with the coziest of living rooms, browse available properties or find home sites where you can build your coastal dream home. We have homes, condos, cottages and more that might be the perfect match for your family. We're also in the midst of an expansion, so there will more to choose from in the coming year! Call Cinnamon Shore Realty at 361-749-1851 or email [email protected] to find out more about available properties.

To try out the Cinnamon Shore lifestyle before you buy, browse the homes available for vacation rentals and come experience true relaxation at Cinnamon Shore. BOOK NOW!



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Published by Jennifer Chappell Smith
Thursday, December 2, 2021

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