Hello, living room. We’ve had a bit of trouble arranging the rooms in our house to make them work for us, and I think we’ve FINALLY nailed the living room (which, according to our floor plan, is the dining room). I thought I’d show you what it looks like now / lay out our future plans to make this room perfection. (Click the photos for a larger view.)
I’m also going to tell you a bit about where we got the most important pieces in the room because–and I didn’t notice this until Eliza’s Harry Potter birthday party when a lot of strangers were in our house for the first time–or stuff makes it look like we spend a LOT more on home decor than we do. And that’s a skill, people.
First off, you can see our couch floating where normal people would put a dining room table. We got the couch from Craigslist for somewhere in the ballpark of $175. It’s not comfortable, but it has storage underneath and lays down to make a bed for guests. We’re considering it a good filler couch until we can afford / find the real deal. I’m also planning on making a rainbow of pillows to go on it, which hopefully will make it more comfortable and will bring on the color to this very neutral view of the room.
The area rug is from IKEA and is the best thing ever for kids. They’ve spilled coffee, strawberry juice, and other horrid things on there, and it’s so easy to clean up. If you have kids, only buy things that don’t stain. Otherwise, you’re just throwing your money away.
One more plan for this space: we’re hoping to swap out that light fixture in the middle for a ceiling fan.
Tucked into a corner is our television corner. We picked up for a song at an estate sale, and not only is this the only wall that it really fits on well, it’s perfectly hidden from our font windows (which is an important consideration when you live in the city). We couldn’t mount the TV in the center of the wall because we’d have to drill through an air vent, so we balanced out the space by staggering the table under the TV a bit and adding a print from our friend Matthew Naquin on the wall.
The table, which is really the bottom of a hutch, is a hand-me-down from a family member. We’ve got a lot of those. It houses DVDs, CDs, cables and cords, and a huge assortment of kid’s books.
This set up was hard for me, because I don’t love it when the focal point of a room is the TV, but the couch also looks into the kitchen, so we’re not cut off if we’re cooking for friends, and it’s the only way we’ve found to get the room to flow well. Adding more chairs to the room will help.
Behind the couch is the amazing cherry wood bookshelf Poppy made for us. It’s really special to me, because cherry wood is expensive and hard to work with, and I know making this was super difficult for him. Right now, tucked away in this corner, we have a canvas print of Jake’s photo of the Golden Gate Bridge (Half off with a Groupon!).
The shelf houses some of our antique books (all classics or school primers), some vintage cameras, and our favorite typewriter. (If you’re looking for a typewriter, we have tips for buying them.) We haven’t filled up the bookshelf much, because we know eventually it will be full to the brim. For now, it houses a few or our favorite CDs, mini scrapbooks, and magazines.
In the bay windows, we have our books on music, well curated record collection, speakers, and our receiver. Instead of getting bulky furniture to go in this area, we used old fruit crates. We already had some on hand, but you can find them at antique stores.
After these pictures were taken, we added chairs to either side of the records. Perfect for reading with a window open and an afternoon breeze coming in. Now we just need to get on reupholstering or covering the chairs. More on that later.
The most important part of the living room (of the whole house, really) is the ROYGBIV bookshelves. But we’ve talked enough about those.
We feel like this room is in Phase 2: the important elements are there, it just needs the icing on the cake and a few eventual upgrades. But it feels like us, and it’s working well for our messy life.
What room in your home feels the most “done” to you?