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In our Shopping Buddy series, we ask our favorite in-the-know authors, actors, musicians, and tastemakers to share their most coveted home purchases, from kitchen essentials to entertaining must-haves, so that you can shop along with confidence. 

Joanna Goddard, founder of lifestyle website Cup of Jo and newsletter Big Salad, describes her dream living room as “bright and welcoming, with lots of comfy places to flop down.” 

Her actual living room in Brooklyn isn’t all too different—a giant L-shaped sofa frames the space where her two preteen boys lounge with their friends. “Giant shoes and socks are scattered around our house, which I love,” she says. It’s also where they’ll gather to order pizza and play games (more on their current favorite in a moment). And it’s where they’re currently rewatching Derry Girls. Here’s everything Goddard says makes her living room a place where everyone wants to gather. 

The Best Family-Friendly Sofa

Warren Sofa
The Warren Sectional, Maiden Home ($4,125)

A couple years ago, we decided to get a big sectional. (Our boys were getting too lanky for a regular-size sofa!) I love when friends come over and the whole thing is filled with people of all ages.

The Throw Blanket We All Fight Over

UnHide Throw Blanket
Lil’ Marsh Blanket, UnHide ($69 was $79)

We all dive for the vegan fur UnHide blanket, which stays incredibly soft, even after dozens of washes.

Organizing Product That’s Pretty Enough to Leave Out

Zara Scalloped Basket
Wavy Basket, Zara Home

We keep phone and computer chargers in these scalloped Zara baskets.

Side Table I’d Buy Again

Morro Tables
The Morro Tables, Maiden Home ($735)

We scootch these three nesting tables around the room, depending on whether we’re eating dinner while watching a movie, playing a game, or throwing a party. They’re so easy and functional.

The Rug We Sprawl Out On

Our rug is from Lulu and Georgia. It’s now sold out, but they have so many other great ones.

The Houseplant I Haven’t Killed (Yet)

The Sill ZZ Plant
ZZ Plant Supernova, The Sill ($74)

When I was going through a hard time, my friend sent me a ZZ plant. You water it only once a month, and it feels like a daily reminder of the beauty of female friendship.

Piece of Decor That Always Makes Me Smile

Nerf Basketball Hoop Set, Amazon ($35)

My kids hung a Nerf basketball hoop in the corner, and the games have been epic. They’re always asking me to watch their cool throws and dunks.

Living Room Splurge That Was Worth It

grace cady canyon vase 04
Canyon Vase 04, Grace Cady ($480)

My friend Grace makes beautiful ceramics. When she broke our hearts and moved away from New York last year, I splurged on one of her stunning vases. She was inspired by canyons in the Southwest, but I think they look like women’s bodies and bellies and curves. I treasure ours.

Cheap Thrill That I Tell All My Friends About

Tenzi Dice Party Game, Amazon ($17)

A game that’s fun for kids and adults is Tenzi. Each player gets 10 dice, and you keep rolling yours until all the dice have the same number facing up. It’s weirdly electrifying!