I thought I'd show you some photos of our living room. I have been holding back, waiting for it to be "done", but it will never be finished and I wouldn't want it to be either, as homes are evolving things.
I've shown you lots of photos of this room before but none since we added the new rug and coffee table to the room. (Previously we had a heavy dark oak table here and a sheepskin rug - photos here.) I can't begin to tell you how much I adore the joyful burst of colour and light these two items of furniture bring to the room.
The beautiful rug* (spotted by John!) is full of colours that already exist in corners of this room and just draws them all together. It was an investment, the cost offset by the free coffee table, gift from a colleague who had no use for it. Sanded and varnished it looks quite lovely, and I love the spare elegance of the tapered legs and the way the light flows around it. I believe it may be an Ercol piece although I don't know that for certain. I don't really care to be honest, I just like it for what it is.
Our living room is large, measuring about six metres wide and about the same deep, and has very high ceilings which you can see below. (The wood paneled ceiling is original from when the house was built in 1968 and was an absolute swine to paint, but I do love it.) At first, the size of this room sounds wonderful but actually it was quite hard to find a way to furnish and decorate this room and also make it feel cosy. Previous owners extended out the front of the house, creating the area you see below with the bookshelves on the left. Perhaps they put a dining table here, I don't know. I tend to use this room in the evenings though, and think that on balance a smaller living room and larger kitchen/dining room suits the way we live better, but I am not moaning. I like a challenge. (Thinking about it, I don't know why I call this the living room, when I spend most of my day in the kitchen and dining room. This is an evening room, a relaxing room. A sitting room perhaps, or front room, although that one does sound a bit formal, a bit "for best". A lounge maybe? What do you call yours?)
To encourage cosiness (and not be sitting six metres away from the tv and stove) we moved the sofa into the middle of the room and created a seating area in front of the fire place. This also deliberately stops us walking across the middle of the room and it feeling like a corridor, and you walk around the back of the seating area instead. This felt strange at first because in every house I have ever lived in the sofa has been pushed up against a wall. Thank goodness I have a lot of throws and blankets to break up the expanse of grey on the back of the sofa.
This corner below is where I sit if I want to sew in the evenings. The kids are also fond of this spot during the day and often choose to sit here with their legs dangling over the sides of the chair.
This is the other wall, with the door to the dining room on the left. I think it would look fantastic covered with wall paper with perhaps quite a large repeating design. It is opposite the door to the entrance hall and the first thing you see when you open the door and enter the living room.
I've mentioned the unusual, asymmetrical fire place design many times before. It's shape makes it tricky to style as you can't do the usual thing of picture/mirror/clock in the middle with something placed either side.
It's not perfect and it's not "done" but I enjoy rearranging it constantly, propping up smaller pictures and changing the vases, candle sticks and bits and bobs with the seasons, and I have grown to love the design as part of what makes this 1968 house unique and wonderful to live in.
The window is framed by IKEA Billy bookshelves either side which add some warmth to the space.
It currently holds an old blanket chest full of board games and the rocking horse, and is mainly used as a play area. The train track or car mat are often brought in here and left up for days at a time.
In December it held the Christmas tree. I do feel like this space could be better used, could have more purpose, but I'm not really sure how or what that would be. Perhaps play space for Bella and Angus is actually the best possible use for any space.
I've mentioned before that I don't much like the overly shiny laminate floor, although it is good quality and there is nothing wrong with it bar the odd chip here and there, so there are no plans to replace it for now. In the future, we will move the ceiling light that currently hangs in the dining room into this room.
I think the high ceiling could take it and it would look wonderful over the rug, echoing the shape of the circular coffee table below. That's a job for another day, along with painting the copper piping under the radiators and lots of other annoying fiddly jobs.
It's a funny room though, all bright light or dark corners, an effect created by the extended front section with it's long, wide window and the sharp late afternoon light it catches, but that is what you get when you buy a 1960's style chalet house - interesting features and funny angles.