Sunday, March 6, 2011

Living Rooms to Live In

A living room to live in designed by Charles Faudree

How many of you actually live in your living room?? It may be the largest room in your home, and it is probably the one you have spent the most money decorating, and yet, very often, no one actually lives there!! With the advent of the family room in the 1950's, the living room became a formal, stiff room to use only when you entertained guests. We homeowners spent all of our time in the family room. Builders and home designers tried to change that in the 1970's, combining the two rooms and creating the "great room", and yet now many people retreat to an even smaller room --- the den or study! We naturally gravitate to the most cozy, inviting room in our home. But there's no reason for that room not to be your living room! These living rooms are some of my favorites by various designers, and they all seem welcoming and cozy --- a place where you could curl up with a cup of tea and a book or the Sunday newspaper.

The room above was designed for the movie "Something's Gotta Give" (one of my very favorites), and the room below was designed for the movie "The Holiday" (also a wonderful movie with beautiful English scenery), both directed by Nancy Meyer. These rooms are so cozy!

There are certain elements that naturally add that inviting ambiance to your living room:
  • Books --- in bookshelves, on coffee tables, in baskets
  • Throws -- casually thrown over the back of a chair or folded over an ottoman
  • Family photographs -- framed in various sizes on end tables or in bookshelves
  • Something from nature -- plants or cut flowers or bowls of fruit
  • Good lighting -- not overhead, but with an adequate number of lamps
  • Cushy throw pillows -- decorative, as well as comfortable
  • A table within reach of every chair/sofa -- for a glass, book, or cup of tea
  • Personal treasures -- something that makes it uniquely you
  • A clock -- not only useful, but the ticking creates a soothing "heart of your home" sound
  • A fire in the fireplace or candles-- keep the "home fires" burning
Another tip that immediately makes your living room seem cozier is to pull the furniture a little closer together. Pull that chair away from the wall, and adjacent to the sofa. Add a large ottoman for more seating, and to tighten up your furniture grouping.

A soothing living room designed by Scot Meacham Wood

A really cozy room -- note the vase of flowers, throws and throw pillows, candles, and lots of lamps--take those items away, and the room would be quite average!

Ralph Lauren's living room (one of several, I'm sure!)

A "beachy" living room designed by Barclay Butera--so soothing!

A little more formal, but still inviting, designed by Mario Buatta

And my own living room (where, after writing this article, and taking my own advice, I sat and read the Sunday paper!!)

This coming weekend (Friday, March 11 and Saturday, March 12) is our 36th Anniversary Sale, so it will be a great time to purchase a throw, some pillows, or a new lamp to make your living room just a little bit cozier. Everything (excluding antiques and clearance items) will be 20% off, and we have lots of new merchandise. We hope to see you then! And don't forget to live in your living room!!

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