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Living with the living room

couch cat 2

Cats and people agree: cozier is better.

The living room is an open space that was originally two rooms. One area is for the dining table, while the other is our lounge area. This room gets the most combined use, I’d say, in terms of hours spent there (while awake, anyway). So I thought about what layout might suit us best.

LR floorplan 2
I went through a few reject layouts before settling on this. Can I just say, 3D modeling programs are so useful and so fun for planning out interiors.

These are the major pieces in the lounge area:

Big squashy brown couch and big squashy loveseat. Jamie bought these himself right after uni, as some of his first major pieces of furniture. He chose them because they were the most comfortable. Simple as that. Six years in and he still falls asleep on them most nights, so they’ve been worth their while. They’re not what you’d find in a West Elm or CB2 catalogue, no, but they comfortably fit two people and a cat and then some, so that’s that. These couches say, you don’t need nice shoes in order to sit down on me, just have a seat, sink in and relax.
The couches need to be against the walls here, because they are simply too damn big to be floating in this modest space. I tried floating the couch, but it turned anyone sitting in them into munchkins, so against the wall they go.

Gas heater. It came with the house, and we love this thing. We used to get some gnarly electric bills after running one small panel heater in our apartment, and this big lug is miles ahead in terms of efficiency and cost. It keeps the living area nice and toasty in winter, and we’re looking forward to installing heat transfer ducts so that the rest of the house can be less of an icebox this year. Yeah! The heater is flued into place, though, so it can’t be moved without significant effort. I initially considered shifting it to under the window, but decided it wasn’t worth the expense and it’s too tall to fit under there anyways.

TV cabinet. Not our nicest piece of furniture by a long shot, but it does the job for now. Didn’t want it in front of the window, didn’t want it turning into a focal point on the big wall either.

Turntable, associated media cabinet, and records. Can’t sit in direct sun. I really need a better piece of furniture for this, too.

LR 2:14 lounge

LR 2:14 lounge 2

How it’s all looking right now, plus a fabric painting that’s hanging out over the heater until it finds its proper place.

So far it’s feeling colourful and a bit quirky in here, like it’s heading in a Californian, Emily Henderson sort of direction, except without any of her talent or vision. You can take the girl out of the desert, but… yeah. I blame that brass-topped table, that thing is Hollywood Regency as hell.

brass table pieces

I found this folding (!) mid-century coffee table at the tip shop a couple weeks ago for $30. I couldn’t say no! It’s in excellent condition, though I suspect it’s a cheaply-made version of these types of tables. (Here’s an antiques listing for one just like it.) I wiped it down, cleaned off small tarnished spots off the brass, applied some furniture polish to the legs and there she goes.

couch cat 3

Hello there, shiny table. Hello there, Mishka.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the room:

LR 2:14 dining

DR table 2

Our dining table is finally here! Rejoice.

It’s the ‘Woodwork’ table from Freedom, which we got during their Boxing Day sale. Their description – the table is down-to-earth dining in a barnyard-meets-iron foundry kind of way, sporting a look that boasts an overall recycled aesthetic – makes me throw up in my mouth a little, but Jamie and I do really like that it’s an unfussy bench table that can sit a bunch of people. I think it complements the chairs, too.

As you can see in the floorplan above, I intend to have a bench on one side and chairs on the other, but that’s not going to happen until the bench gets built (oops.)

DR table 3

These photos are not truly conveying how NICE that wooden top is. It’s mangowood, which has an interesting, variable grain. It’s also a highly sustainable timber, which is nice to know.

The succulent planter was a Christmas gift from Jamie’s sister Casey, who’s a gardening ninja. It usually sits in the window, but it can turn into a rad centerpiece pretty quick. I love it to bits.

There’s still A LOT of stuff that I want to do with our living room, but it’s feeling pretty liveable now!

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