4.08.2010

How to Live Well- The Living Room


The living room should be a place of vibrancy- where activities such as, playing games, reading a book, eating chocolates, sleeping by the fire and watching a movie can all be accomplished in relative comfort and luxury.

Ideal living rooms will have lots of light and comfortable seating- enough for the family and a few guests. There will probably be a television, a fireplace, hopefully a place for books (if there is no library) and art.

Our living room is a wonderful space... and while the furniture is not exactly what I would choose as my first choice (seating is limited chez nous)- I’m grateful to at least have something to sit on! I like to focus on the positives, which in our house includes high ceilings, tall, European-style windows and a functioning fireplace.

These are the extras that make the space that much more special:

Recessed lighting on a dimmer switch. I love being able to dim the lights. We have a dimmer in every single room in the house, it adds instant atmosphere come twilight.

Pretty curtains to dress the windows. We chose a neutral taupe color that I knew I wouldn’t tire of... maybe in our next house I’ll go for something a little bolder.

A neutral, warm color on the walls. In our case- it’s cottage white. Again, I will never tire of this and I can add color via accessories- which brings me to my next point...

Lots of sumptuous throw pillows and blankets. I found some great faux fur throw pillows in chocolate that are so comfortable on our tiny sofa- they were from Bed Bath and Beyond... very affordable.

A place for pets. Gatsby loves to sit on his red, fluffy dog bed right in front of the fire on cold winter nights.

A warm rug beneath your feet- the best you can afford. Right now ours is from Ikea, but I dream of a gorgeous Persian-style rug one day...

A coffee table with a few interesting books on it and a place to keep all of those remote controls. Controlling the electronic clutter and coffee table clutter is essential here. I know the TV is there but I don’t want to be drawn to it.

A means of playing music. I love listening to music throughout the day. We have installed surround sound speakers so the sound fills the room!

Art that makes you happy. Or at the very least inspires fond memories. I have a framed Art Deco poster from Roger La Grenouille in Paris that brings to mind magical memories every time I look at it...

VoilĂ 
- my bare essential list for living well in the living room!

I would love to know… what is your living room like?


Gatsby is pictured above on the tiny, white sofa in our living room.

12 comments:

CashmereLibrarian said...

My living room is being painted a new color as we speak. I'll do a post on it when it's done.

The biggest thing I lack is a rug. I am waiting to buy a nice one and so it will be awhile!

the gardeners cottage said...

I love your list. The only thing I would add is fresh flowers or a candle. I also think dimmers add so much atmosphere. I would love to see more pics of your home.

My house is very neutral and to me that means soothing. I think you would like it.

Yesterday I was invited to a tea party that I also think you would truly have loved. It was done on a budget and yet it was so beautiful. It's my current post up, you're invited to see for yourself!

~janet

Michael Rivers said...

I love a comfy living room. I'm still working on getting mine the way I want it, but it's coming along.

Fiona said...

Gatsby said the sofa isn't too small at all - it's just the perfect size for him, even when he stretches right out!

We have two tiny (and very elderly) sofas as well. When we buy a house I have sumptuous oversize sofas at the top of my wish list. I covet the one in Frasier Crane's house (said to be based on Coco Chanel's which is very similar).

I second 'candles'. I light at least one every night, even in summer when it's still bright quite late. We don't have a fireplace though and you do so you already have your living flame.

Josephine Tale Peddler said...

Gatsby looks so comfortable there! Our loungeroom is very small and all brick. We have floor to ceiling bookcases with thousands of books. White lace curtains and floorboards. Even though it is small it is a very relaxing room. Although the books need a good cull. I love reading about your house! xx

Oshiya said...

I love your idea of neutral colors for big pieces of decoration. I totally agree it's easy to add colors later on or even change them up with a few small pieces.

BTW Gatsby is so cute.

Rebecca said...

I agree with everyone about choosing neutral colors. They are so soothing. I definitely need more pillows in my living room.

Thank you for giving us a glimpse into your home!

Esprit de la Vie said...

Aw Gatsby is adorable! I really like the neutral colour palette you've chosen in your rooms, like you said it makes it easier to update soft furnishings like cushions and throws if you get bored or need a hint of colour.

ScentScelf said...

Did we talk about my living room before? It reflects a lot of what our "living" is like: a music corner/alcove (the piano, a couple of music stands, music on shelves and in sorting bins, a few instruments); a place for conversation/book reading (with one thing you'll find in almost every room of the house, books), something with family history (in this case, it's coffee and end tables made by my grandfather), and life (plants).

Also important here, for life with children--at least life with children in our family: this is the one room I try to make absolutely sure is free of clutter. Flat surfaces tend to collect things in a home of readers/collectors, but it is nice to have a respite zone. Even if you have to make the LR also be a playspace, you can contain toys in attractive objects (baskets, cool old trunks, stylish modern shelves w/doors). In fact, in the old house, one corner had a child-size table + chairs and an easel. It all came together just fine.

Verbena Cottage said...

glad to join your great adventures...lovely blog!...maryann

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Thank you everyone for your comments- I love reading about your houses. It seems that a lot of us like to decorate the 'big things' in neutral colors and add pops of color with accessories. It is the safe thing to do (although safe can be boring) but I have lived in my home for over four years now and haven't tired of the color palate yet... it soothes me! Thank you again for sharing all of the details of your homes... your comments are making me really enjoy this series! More to come... xo

Rose said...

I am living somewhere quite small at the moment but my last living room was perfect- it overlooked a huge green park and had enormous windows. I think it's nice to have the TV as not the whole focus of the room and I agree about having some books and magazines- if everything is too neat people can't relax and things like that help to give character.

 
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