• Marie Bateson

Space To Live

Out of all the rooms in our new house, I think the living room is the one in which we'll probably spend the most time, other than the kitchen, obviously. Currently, our living room has been taken over by our new puppy. We can't let him roam the apartment freely as he's not yet house-broken, so we've removed our big fluffy rug from the living room and have pushed the sofas closer so that they form two new walls to the room.

While this is working well at the moment - we can play with the puppy and still use the sofas - I'm hoping that we won't need the arrangement in our new house. As you can imagine, it's not particularly spacious, let alone stylish.

However, I really want to make sure that our new house is live-able more than it is swoon-worthy. I don't want to buy obnoxiously expensive furniture or easily breakable trinkets until... well, until my kids leave home, really.

And then, when they have kids of their own, I plan to once again purge my home of anything I don't want destroyed so that everyone can relax when they visit. As a parent, there's nothing worse than bringing your children to a perfectly styled, obviously expensively-furnished home. You spend the entire visit on tenterhooks, hoping your child isn't the one responsible for smashing some irreplaceable knick-knack. Because one will almost certainly get smashed.

All that to say, my goal for our new house is a living room that's not SO live-able as to be more of a playground than living room, but also one that doesn't err on the side of Annette Bening in American Beauty. Remember that scene? I found it immensely sad. She and Kevin Spacey are so close to re-connecting and then she notices that his beer bottle is perilously close to the sofa...

"Lester, you're going to spill beer on the couch."
"So what? It's just a couch!"

Stylishly live-able with two small children and a dog means easy-to-clean fabrics and no 'pointless' art that will cause me to flinch every time they bounce near it.

Which means, while I love the wild whimsy and over-the-top look of this room, there's not a chance in hell ours will look anything like this. I mean, velvet seating? Nope.

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I'm planning to start with the living room first. I'm not daunted by the fact that it will be the room we'll use almost as much as the kitchen. The fact that it's one of the most important rooms means that anything that doesn't work there will have to find a home in another area of the house. I think it's going to be the starting point for a lot of furniture...

Here are some of my ideas for the living room that will hopefully withstand our children and dog, not to mention some late nights with friends and copious amounts of wine. Something with lots of light, plenty of seating, and no TV. We've never owned a television and don't plan on starting any time soon. The only time we've used the one here in our rental apartment was to watch Prince Harry wed Meghan. Because, you know, history.

This looks like a perfectly lovely living room, but meh. I just can't get excited about all the neutral!

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Finding neutral boring is rather scary as it means I'll have to dabble in colour. That's a whole lot more challenging than sticking to various shades of beige and grey, but OH, just look at this room:

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Again, the velvet is a no-go, but there have to be family-friendly fabrics in colourful hues and shapes, right? Purchasing a sofa or an armchair in a vibrant colour is definitely a rather petrifying decision, though. It's far less expensive to swap out the art, cushions and rugs, than it is the furniture. Perhaps something like the below would work as well...

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Hmmm. So, basically, from looking at these pictures, it seems I have no idea what I want out of my living room yet other than "colourful and not easily destroyed".

This is going to be more of a challenge than I initially thought it would be, isn't it?

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