Thursday, January 23

home goals for 2014: a more efficient living room

We've lived in the Country Townhouse for two and a half years now and still haven't hit the lottery in an amount equal to a house down payment, so it looks like we'll be here for a while longer.  Even though I often find myself feeling a sense of discontent about the lack of privacy, sound control, yard/garden space, and freedom to paint, our townhouse is cute, safe, and VERY convenient to my school and Mr. Q's office.  In fact, I'm worried that I've gotten spoiled being able to leave the house with only a few minutes to spare in the morning, and able to dash home in an emergency if I've left something important.

We're here, and I need to embrace this townhouse as our home, not think of it constantly as a "temporary home" and treat it like a dormitory in terms of upkeep and decorating.  I've decided to follow along with Apartment Therapy's January Cure, and I'm finding the prompts really helpful.  My #1 goal is to make the spaces in our home more efficient.

When we took the Christmas tree down, it became clearer than ever that our living room is only super-efficient when it is time to put a large tree up.  Hey there, empty corner!

During the rest of the year, this empty corner is not a good thing for the flow of our lives.  It becomes a catch-all space for our gym bags and my school bags, stacks of magazines, and my laptop which just sits awkwardly on the carpet.

One day during the Christmas season, I was reading on the sofa and remarked about how happy the Christmas tree made me because it brightened up "my end" of the couch.  Mr. Q kind-of-snarkily replied, "You know what else would do that?  A lamp."

Obviously, we need some end tables and lamps, and I think the best solution for our living room is to center the couch underneath our large painting.  Here are three potential solutions that I whipped up using Polyvore:

Option 1:

Option 1 - Open shelving and glass lamps

That's our actual art and an approximation of what our couch looks like when slipcovered.  The open shelving is from Pier1 and those adorable Mason jar style lamps and linen shades are from World Market.  Mr. Q was skeptical the completely open shelving because he likes the idea of being able to "hide" some of the clutter we accumulate.  Mr. Q did like these lamps the best, and I like the idea of styling them like bookshelves and using baskets to deal with the clutter situation, so I decided to see what that would look like...

Styled Open Shelves

Option 2:
Option 2 - Storage and iron lamps

I have so many pictures of rooms with storage baskets on my Pinterest that it's kind of ridiculous, so I wanted to see what that would look like in our room.  The end tables (from Pier1) are a very similar wood and style to our entertainment console, so that would bring some continuity to the room.  I like the texture the baskets add to the space, and I chose a lamp from Target (paired with the same World Market shade as the first option) with a really low profile to balance things out.  I think this one is my second favorite because I could always remove the baskets and do something similar to the look above.

Option 3:
Option 3 - Classic style and mercury glass

The most traditional design would be these end tables with drawers paired with mercury glass lamps.  I love mercury glass and the style of these tables is VERY similar to our entertainment console.  However, I'm not sure these tables would be versatile enough to hold our laptops as well as all of the other "stuff" we accumulate during our after-work couch lazytime.  I'm also worried that the drawers would become junk drawers!

Which of these looks is your favorite?  How do you manage clutter in your living area and keep the things you need available?


  1. I love option #1, I love the basket at the bottom.
    Good idea to embrace where your at as home right now.
    xx, High Heels and Tutus

  2. I think I like option 2 the best, almost maybe instead of baskets on each shelf you could leave one open for books or something? Although our living room is in desperate need of a change like this, and I have no idea where to start with ours.