I am so happy to be sharing our updated living room with you all today!
The last time I showed you our living room, it sort of looked like this. Basically, it was a hot mess for a while and we just kind of tried to make due. In fact, all three of our apartments had terrible layouts when we moved in and I think that’s inevitable because you don’t really know what you want yet. After a few months of living in a space that was more “eh” than “okay”, Joe and I got bitten by the moving furniture bug. Somehow, we have gotten into the habit of moving the furniture in the late afternoon/early evening but as long as it gets moved, right? This apartment was especially interesting because it’s the smallest of all of the places we’ve lived.
Now-a-days, thanks to the new furniture layout, this apartment feels more spacious than any of our previous apartments. I had used illustrator to map out a few possible layouts and showed Joe a version that sort of looked like what we ended up with.
The couch and coffee table are still in the same places, but we’ve rotated the rug 90°. This tiny change gives an impression of the room being larger because there’s more wood floor visible. Optical illusions are the best.
We’ve also tucked our card catalogs in the corner, where our reading nook was, and they fit perfectly on that wall. While the reading nook was lovely (and a really nice feature to have), it was nice bringing the beige chair back into the conversation.
It’s hard to tell in this photo, but under the window on the right (the rocking moose is a gift for Joe’s cousins’ baby) is our storage chest. There’s enough room behind the couch that you can walk around. This was the first piece of furniture we purchase together so it’s nice to keep it around, plus it offers a lot of storage for blankets and extra pillows.
Below is the view from our couch. Originally, we had the card catalogs flanking the tv stand but it was just too imposing and never balanced thanks to the temperature control panel. We decided to swap the tv stand for our expedit and bring in our two lerberg shelves to frame it out. There are plans to brighten up the shelves with a little bit of paint (I’m overly excited about the color) and really work on making it all look nice.
We also need to work on hanging our frames for real. All of our frames are hung on old nails that are in the wall, which is why it looks so sporadic. In fact, the only nail we’ve put into these walls was the one for the clock – and that happened almost immediately after being here.
I love that thing. I would get a larger clock if I could find one.
Anyway, the only styling I’ve done so far is organize our books by color. I did that back in April and it’s been one of my favorite details in this room. It immediately makes me happy and sometimes laugh. Possibly because you can see how, um, diverse, our book collection is….
If you noticed in some of the photos above, there’s a door on the right side of tv stand and shelves. That would be a giant closet, which we use for storage and our mini office. After having a desk our for the past two years, I’ve come to realize that I don’t like it being so out in the open, especially when there’s a monitor and tower that goes with it. We got lucky because our desk was the perfect size for this closet.
To make it functional, we just run an power surge/extension cord outside of the closet (there’s one right outside of it). I’m hoping that I get to decorate the closet office for real (the pennant doesn’t count) and maximize the space, but for the immediate future, it’ll look like this… but that’s okay because I can just close the door and it’s like it never happened.
We took your suggestions of pushing our dining table against the wall (I think I did it that night). It was okay, but it wasn’t great. Even with those few extra inches, it was a tight squeeze. The night that we rearranged the furniture, we had actually put the card catalogs in the opposite corner (below) before I had the brilliant idea of trying to have the dining table in the living room.
PS -Husband points go to Joe who has to remove all the drawers and take apart the card catalogs every time we move them, which was twice for this evening.
Joe was skeptical but we figured we were already moving everything else around so why not give it a shot? We immediately hated it but decided to keep it put while we put a few other things back. It may have just been the mess we hated because once everything was put away, the room made a whole lot of sense.
As for the dining nook, it’s now sort of an odds-and-ends room. We moved our buffet back here and it fits nicely, but not perfectly. We’re currently using the sides to house blankets and other miscellaneous stuff (possibly even fabrics in the future). I’ve also brought in my easel and canvas so I’m looking to invest in a nice stool so I can do some painting when the mood strikes me. We tried having the reading nook chair in here but that thing is huge and this space is tiny.
In the bottom right of this photo, you can see some random stuff and a box that are destined for donations. We’ve scheduled three pickups, and each time we come home to a box that’s still living on our front steps. It’s a little frustrating (especially since we’re low on space) so hopefully, one weekend, we’ll be able to drop it off at the local salvation army or a donation site.
So, to sum things up – here’s what I’d still like to do in these spaces:
- Paint the walls a nice white (you all voted on ‘popcorn’)
- Spray paint the bookshelves & then make it pretty
- Figure out a better wire management system for the expedit
- New green pillows for the living room
- Maximize storage in the office-closet
- Hang lots of frames
Room formerly known as the dining nook:
- Donate those two boxes
- Paint those walls!
- New window covering, and possibly apply a window film (like the one we used in the bathroom)
- Take down that little shelf
- Grab a stool
- Figure out the buffet’s real purpose
- Maybe get a little rug to add some color
- Hang art
Surprisingly, the nook has a lot more on it’s honey-do list than the living room. Go figure. Either way, I’m very excited about all the potential for these two spaces and the direction they’re going!
So let’s hear it – do you guys prefer to move your furniture around in the evening, too? Do you map it out ahead of time or just wing it? Have you ever been able to finish a room or is there always one last thing you’d like to do?