Gina’s Cozy-Comfortable Living and Dining Space

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY Gillian Grefe

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Published on December 21, 2020

When you’re a busy, working mom of two young kids, you barely have time to make dinner — let alone design a multifunctional living and dining space. That’s why Gina Joehnk, a kindergarten teacher with a 2-year-old and a 5-year-old, enlisted Havenly to help make the most of her living room and dining room after recently purchasing a new home. With the help of Havenly designer Allison, Gina pulled off a beautifully designed, kid-friendly space. Here’s how.

Make It Multifunctional

“My goal with these projects was to create a comfortable, warm, kid-friendly environment that looked put together and inviting,” Gina says. “I wanted our space to be able to host kids birthday parties and sleepovers, as well as dinner parties and adult happy hours.” Gina’s busy lifestyle meant finding key workhorse pieces like a round coffee table — no sharp corners for kids! — and a large, comfortable sectional from Burrow. Multifunctional doesn’t just apply to the furniture, either. To keep the look refined, Allison helped Gina hone in on a simple, serene color palette with warm whites, natural wood tones, and striking pops of black for contrast.

In with the New

Gina says one of her favorite parts about the process was learning about new brands and products. “I am now obsessed with Article furniture,” she says with a laugh. In fact, Gina ended up purchasing Article’s Denman Canyon tan chairs and an Article dining table for her space. In addition to new-to-her companies, Allison also helped Gina select pieces from classic retailers like West Elm and Pottery Barn, including a slim bookcase (perfect for her space’s layout) and a floor lamp.


Gina describes her design style as cozy-comfortable — but while knowing her preferred style was an integral part of the process, she admits she had “no idea where to begin with putting a space together.” Luckily, Allison guided her through every step of the process. “I never imagined I could design a space so quickly and easily from the comfort of my home,” she says. “The room layout option was a must for me — it made executing the design super easy!” That final design is simple and neutral with splashy pops of pure style, and all pieces were thoughtfully chosen with Gina’s lifestyle in mind. It’s an end result that Gina is elated to show off.

“We are really living, growing, learning and thriving in our beautiful home, and I am so proud to entertain family and friends in our new spaces,” she says. “I’m so glad I took the leap of faith and tried Havenly — I never would’ve been able to execute these designs on my own.”

Ready to embrace cozy, comfortable, kid-friendly style like Gina’s? Get started with our interior design style quiz

Words by Sara Watson