Let’s face it, the living room often gets a bad rap. It’s “the room no one ever sits in,” “stuffy,” “formal,” “a waste of space.” Nowadays, many newly built homes are forgoing a living room altogether to give more space to other, more frequently used rooms.
But what if you have a living room in your house? Most houses do … yet it’s often lowest on the priority list of rooms to decorate. Maybe it’s a mish-mash of furniture that didn’t go anywhere else in the house, or, on the contrary, it’s very pretty and expensive furniture that’s not very comfortable and gives off a “don’t-you-dare-bring-a-glass-of-red-wine-in-here” vibe.
Indeed, we had a living room that was never used … until a few months ago when we finally revamped it and got more seating. Now, I’m happy to say, we have used it quite a lot and it has become a favorite room in the house.
On this cold long weekend, it was a great place to kick back with a fire, some wine and games … and here’s the best part … WITHOUT the TV!
We typically play games at the kitchen table … which is fine … but there always seems to be the temptation of the TV right there staring at us. It’s either on in the background or gets turned on eventually. How nice it was to sit in a smaller cozy room with just the sound of a crackling fire.
Of course, everyone loves their family rooms … it’s the first place we plunk down money for furniture because we know it will be the most used. But let’s face it, in most family rooms, the furniture is placed, not for conversation, but for TV watching.
What about a room without a TV … where the chairs and sofas face each other! We have enjoyed retreating to our living room with guests who came for dinner … just to sit and chat a little longer after our meal. When friends and parents have stopped by our house, we’ve been able to sit down and talk with out the Disney Junior theme songs drowning out our conversation.
I’m actually kinda loving AND using my living room now.
So what can you do to make your living room a place you want to live in?
I’ve got a few tips.
#1. Cozy, not-too-stuffy furniture
The room above actually shows both kinds of furniture … that chair on the left … not so comfy … but the two double chaises? Heavenly! A perfect place to curl up and kick back.
At first I was set on two more formal high back chairs to sit in front of the large window in my living room. But the more I thought about it, I decided what I really wanted was something big, comfy, tufted and with a slight recline. I just couldn’t picture myself sitting in a high back chair to read a book.
I’ll admit, the Louis XV settee I already had in there tends to fall on the more “pretty” side of the scale, but with a few pillows, it is surprisingly comfortable. Nonetheless, it was all the more reason I wanted my two chairs to be ultra -comfy.
#2 Furniture that faces each other
As I mentioned earlier, a space plan like this invites conversation. Don’t push your furniture up against the walls or too far apart. Keep things close enough that you don’t have to shout across the room.
#3 Bring in a big table
It’s a great place to personalize the room with your favorite coffee table books or flowers … but you can also use it as a game table, a place to set down a tray of yummy appetizers or after dinner cocktails. I say, go a big as you have the space for.
#4 Fill it with your favorite things
Go a little wild with artwork and pattern … if you love it, put it in. Make it a space where you can go and sit among your favorite things.
#5 Don’t forget about lighting
Nothing kills ambiance like harsh overhead lighting. Make sure you have plenty of lamps or sconces on low wattage bulbs.
Finally, kick back, invite some friends over and let the kids watch whatever they want on TV.