Room by room: The living room

The living room

We all talk about our living room as a place of comfort and cosiness - these are very emotional words to describe a room and not one we would use for the kitchen or bathroom. Like all things relating to homes and housing, these term is relatively new in relation to homes. It wasn't that many centuries ago a person was just pleased to have a roof over their heads that didn't leak and their structure was well built. They weren't even concerned about beautifying their homes with pretty fabrics or nicknacks and many were places of work and and living (often intertwined) and certainly nothing like the houses we have today. 


Our living room is often the space we pretty up the most and make the most comfortable. It is the room that we live in during the evening and usually the place we take our visitors. Some people have a family room plus a formal sitting room (My parents did when I was growing up). I don't and I am quite content to have one room that we use for everything.

How one decorates their living room is very personal, based heavily on their likes and dislikes. Some ladies like to add lots of frills to their room, others like it to be plain and simple. Some like colour (like I do), others like a very quiet and calm palette. There is no wrong or right when it comes to what we each like.

Here are two very different examples of a living space: the first one is formal but cosy and very inviting (perhaps not enough colour for me). The second one is very bohemian in style and I just want to get down on the floor and relax. However, whilst I love the second one for its use of bright colours and plants, it couldn't be the only option for seating as not everyone can get down on the floor and if they can, they may not be able to get up!! But what a fun area for children.

Whilst a living room needs to be inviting to visitors, it is, first and foremost, a room that you will use regularly, so its important that it includes several very comfy chairs . . .  one for the lady of the house and another for the man of the house! Somewhere that you can sink into to rest your weary bones and be comfortable and at "home".  A place for reading, watching a movie or just day dreaming. I like these cosy examples below, as they also include a place for one's reading, a cup of tea and look very inviting. But make sure you also have comfortable chairs for your guests to sit one too!


One important element to a living room is plenty of light, especially if it is only a small room. Here are three examples of sunny rooms (thanks to Pinterest). I really like the one with the flowery wallpaper, makes the room feminine and pretty without going over the top.


I am a big fan of coffee tables in living rooms because they have so many uses. They are useful for storage, for all those books and magazines the family are reading, for a cup of tea and cake when visitors come and for decorations such as pot plants, candles and nicknacks.

Coffee tables can be very expensive if you buy new, but there are many cheap and cheery options that are very inexpensive such as making your own (as the box idea below) or going second hand. Perhaps think outside the box and go for an old suitcase.


In cold climates throw rugs are wonderful and I often have one or two in my living room in winter.  If your room is neutral in colour, pillows and throw rugs can add colour and warmth to a room and make it brighter in winter.  I really like the idea of a storage basket for extra blankets and pillows so each guest can have their own.  Throw rugs can be hand-knitted or crocheted or you can make a quilted one or buy new.


Personally, I don't think any living room should be bare of books . . . books are critical in my home and my living room has a bookcase (I would have more if I had the space!!). Whilst you may not have room for anything grand, a pile of favoruite books are a lovely addition to any room. I love old books and the two photos in the middle are on display in my living room.


Walls can look very bare without something on them and for living room you need to select artworks that you enjoy looking at (makes sense!!). If you are arty, you could make your own artwork (I'm not that clever), frame your children's art, my neighbour uses pretty cards which she frames (very inexpensive), below is a great example of using tiles (2nd from left) to create a beautiful wall hanging. Options are endless, search Pinterest for ideas, there are many to choose that are not expensive.



Nicknacks - some people love them and have lots in their living room, others who do not like dusting  and avoid them like the plague. Personal taste once again!! But the important thing is that nicknacks do not have to be expensive . . . pretty bottles on the shelf are just as nice as something more expensive. A bowl shells collected from the beach, candles from the dollar store and you would be surprised at what you can find at second hand stores that people no longer want.



I hope you are enjoying my "room by room" series. To visit other rooms:



*****

Comments

  1. Well, our living area is also hubby's work area, so makes it all a bit tricky. I would like more comfy chairs, but such things are expensive and also they need to work for hubby, so we will stick with what we have. Our living area is not huge, but it is very heavily used, and for so many different purposes.
    love,
    Bets
    P.S. Love all the pictures, there are SO many ideas out there =) To dream of, or just admire =)

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    1. You do have a challenge with your space because of its multi-purpose uses :))) Chairs are ridiculously expensive. I bought one and it was far more expensive than it should have been.

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  2. This was a nice post. I enjoyed seeing the options.

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  3. Nice thoughts on the living room... it is the most used room in our house.....after the kitchen.... and we do have a bookcase in there.... (of course, we also have a bookcase in the dining room, family room, basement and bedrooms..... we also like books! :)

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    1. I can't imagine a house without bookcases, something would be very wrong!!!! Only room without a bookcase in our house is the bathroom and laundry :))

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  4. Great post and great ideas on our living rooms. We don't have a coffee table due to our lounge room being smallish but we use little side tables for our cuppas and books and just a whole heap of stuff. Thanks for sharing at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

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    1. A side table is just as useful - one always needs a place for that cup of tea and all those books. I am currently doing a jigsaw on my coffee table!! I bought one big enough just for jigsaws :))))

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  5. Very nice post! We live in a very small house so every room is a living multi-purpose room. I think homes should reflect their owners. If it's pleasing to your family, it shouldn't matter if the furnishings are in style.

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    1. Completely right - if the family is happy then is is perfect. I have never understood those homes that look like they come from vogue magazine, they tend to look cold and uninviting :(

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  6. Our living/lounge room is a very important part of our home too, and it is very important to Dan that it not be cluttered with lots of "things". Just yesterday we rearranged our lounge room to make it more "separate" from the clutter of the rest of the house - this is important when you have an open-plan living space that runs into the kitchen/dining area and the sewing/craft/school/play area! I have some ideas in mind of extra things I'd like to do in our lounge room to make it even more cozy - but it's going to take time to make/afford the things we'd like... So, as with much of the house, our living room is a work-in-progress!! :) But at least we do have comfy seating options, bright lighting and lovely big windows for breezes and a beautiful view - that's a really good start. :)

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    1. Clara, I'd like to see a recent picture of how you have the lounge now, please. :-)

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    2. I am looking forward to my visit :))))

      I agree that an open-plan would make it far harder where as my sewing room is at the other end of the house and the kitchen is separated by a wall so I can keep the living room just as a living room with out that spill over.

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  7. I'm in the process of trying to redecorate our living room, to some degree, so this was interesting to read. I'm trying to add more color as it has been a bit dull. We inherited much of our furniture, so we had little choice as to colors.

    We have an old travel trunk that belonged to my grandparents for our coffee table. My husband likes to put his feet up sometimes so it doesn't make sense to have anything fancy. Plus, the trunk has sentimental value since it traveled with my grandparents internationally, and it provides storage for our games.

    I also have a large basket that my sister-in-law gave me in which I put the throws and an extra cushion. It has worked out very nicely and now I have a place where those things belong, so it's easier to make things look more tidy.

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    1. I am all for colour - ours is "sunshine yellow" and the rug is red and very bright and cheery (and modern) not to everyones taste but I find the colours make the room feel warmer in winter.

      Our furniture, whilst much of it is newish aren't part of a set but I like all the bits and pieces. I love the idea of the old truck and it seems that these sorts of bits of furniture are quite popular these days. Paintings or even quilting on the walls also add colour and cosiness to a room even if you can't change the colour of the furniture.

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  8. I am enjoying your room by room series Jo. I also have to agree with you about books. Besides one large painting and a few pictures on our mantel, our bookcases are the main decoration in our living room. They are so bright and beautiful and inviting in my eyes (not to mention the most important, they are useful!).

    Thank you for sharing this week with us on the Art of Home-Making Mondays! I will be pining this one ;)

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    1. Thanks Jes :)) I agree completely, books are a decoration in themselves and I use mine for that purpose in my living room!!

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  9. Good morning Jo. I just wanted to let you know that this was the #1 viewed post last week from the Art of Home-Making Mondays. Thank you to all the great information you contribute. Have a lovely week :)

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    1. Thanks Jes, I am so glad that others are enjoying these pages as much as I have enjoyed putting them together. A few more to go!!

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  10. This is a great post. I believe that the livingroom/familyroom is one of the most important rooms because it is where we all spend the most time. Thank you for sharing this at the #SmallVictoriesSundayLinkup!

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    1. It certainly is our most used room and needs to be both comfortable and pleasant to be in :)

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  11. Love this post, and am looking forward to your other home posts like it!
    We are in the process of prepping and moving into a new place, so 'prettifying'
    it is foremost in my mind, lol.

    Keep the great posts coming!

    From: lifeonlittlepond.blogspot.com

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    1. Thankyou - so glad you enjoyed this post :)) Wishing you all the best in your prettifying, it can be such fun.

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