For the past decade, photographer Kelly Lund has been slowly renovating the 1960s ranch-style Denver home he purchased in foreclosure. But as he updates each room, he has more than just his own rustic, Scandinavian style to consider—he also needs to take his famous pup into account. Loki the Wolfdog has nearly two million Instagram followers, so his (implicit) demand for a durable, comfortable place to lounge must be met, as well.
Kelly was able to check all these boxes when he worked with Havenly to transform his lodge-like den into a modern mountain oasis in 2021. So when he was ready to tackle his lackluster living room, he hired Havenly once again. But this time, he needed to accommodate his roommate Em and two more canine friends, in addition to himself and Loki.
Beyond building a space that would satisfy all five members of the family, Kelly’s brief was rather simple: “I wanted to keep my huge sectional couch, since I had just gotten it and the dogs love it,” he explains. “But I wanted to improve the lighting drastically, create a better work-from-home atmosphere, and find a better spot for the TV.”
Havenly designer Kasee Smith delivered on these goals and more, overcoming the challenge of a low ceiling, warming up the room with decor, and incorporating storage in clever ways. She also managed to weave in sentimental items that Kelly wanted to keep, but didn’t know how to style, creating a personal depth that makes all the difference. Let’s take a look.
Lighting Up the Space
While the bay window funnels in sunlight, it simply wasn’t enough to fully brighten up the living area. Kasee added table lamps, a floor lamp, and a ceiling fixture to augment the natural light. “Layered light helps illuminate various spaces and corners and gives total control of the mood he wants to set, whether it’s to read a book, watch movies, or entertain,” she explains.
Finding the right ceiling light proved to be difficult, though, because of the low ceiling height. “It couldn’t really hang low, so I knew a flush-mount installation would work best,” Kasee says. “But the fixture needed to be to-scale with the larger furniture pieces and not feel tiny on the ceiling, so I had to source something flush and wide that would feel substantial.” Though it was a tough search, the sculptural, industrial light she found is perfect.
Improve the Flow of Movement
Kelly had been struggling with the arrangement of his TV and media stand for years, lamenting that “it always felt out of place, no matter what I did.” So Kasee installed a contemporary floating console that completely eliminated this issue and significantly improved the flow of movement throughout the room.
Next, Kelly needed a coffee table that could stand up to his sizable sectional without getting in the way. Kasee opted for a pair of nesting coffee tables that can shrink and become one when the additional surfaces aren’t in use. “They’re surprisingly utilitarian without looking like it,” Kelly reveals. “Together, they fill the space well in front of our giant couch and bring more wood texture to the room without it feeling heavy.”
Kasee warmed up the living area with a variety of textiles in cream, burnt orange, and rust. The biggest statement is the tribal-inspired rug from The Citizenry, which Kelly wasn’t so sure about at first. “When I saw the design online, I didn’t love it, but I trusted the recommendation and went with it,” he shares. “It added to the room in a way I couldn’t have imagined. I would have gone with something more neutral, but it has added a dimension that feels larger than life.”
The finishing touch, which offers cozy nostalgia, was framing Kelly’s own black-and-white photographs in simple, modern frames from budget retailers like Amazon and Target. Kasee then hung some images on the walls and rested others on a wood floating shelf for a collected look. The result is a deeply personal—yet visually compelling—display that takes the space to the next level.
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