(Editor's Note: Day in and out, we love showing off our readers' style. As a bit of design quid pro quo, this month I asked some of the contributors from the editorial team to share rooms from their own home. Hope you enjoy! - Janel)
The living room is by far the room of my house where my family spends the most time. My son plays here, I constantly hold and nurse my newborn daughter here, we entertain friends and family in this space, and we snag the occasional date night at home watching Netflix, just the two of us.
For that reason, you will find the room is imperfect, always changing, and generally disheveled. I dream of the day—years from now—when we can replace the well-worn sofa we purchased a decade ago. Its upholstery has a hole rubbed into it from a cross-country move gone awry, its cushions are shot, and it needs a good cleaning, but I don't want to replace it until we're well beyond the sticky, messy days of toddlerhood.
The other furnishings were acquired at different times and the space lacks the cohesion of being "finished," but it's comfy and leaves us room to improve over time. We're constantly in limbo between where we are today and where we want to be someday.
A few things I've done that seem to work:
1. The room is extremely long, spanning from the front of the house to the back. The furniture layout places a sitting area floating in the middle of the room, centered on the fireplace. Behind the couch is an area for console table (yet to be acquired) and a stump for sitting to put on shoes. I'd like to place a bench here in the future. Behind the chairs is circulation space for the bookshelves and the doors to the sunroom.
2. The fireplace is centrally located in the highly symmetrical room. I retained that symmetry by centering the TV console directly across from the fireplace. This way, there are two focal points on either side of the sitting area: the fireplace and the TV. You'll notice the TV is mounted asymmetrically, though. I just didn't have the heart to put it on the same level of importance as the fireplace. It will be a part of a larger whole eventually - a gallery wall that is centered within the room.
3. Toys. There used to be a lot of them in here. Now, they're all kept in the playroom upstairs. But favorites make their way down here and there are several places for storing them without them overrunning the room. I quite like giving the open cubby of the TV console over to my son to put away his toys.
4. I'm not one for knick knacks, but I do admit that they find their way into the house. Requisites: they must have meaning behind them, we all must enjoy looking at them, and they must bring a little humor to the mix.
5. The bookshelves are reserved for our books, the kids' are upstairs. The exception to that rule comes at the bottom shelf of outward-facing books. Those are for the littles.
Oh, and kids' books at the coffee table. At least today. Like I said, this room's for all of us!
(Image credits: Regina Yunghans)