This is the first post of a series "Style, Substance and Color:...
Living rooms aren’t just private spots to plunk down after a long day and turn on the TV: they’re also the place for quality family time, friendly get-togethers, and solitary weekend afternoons spent pursuing creative hobbies. Their mixed-use nature makes sitting rooms one of the most important areas in every home, which is all the more reason to invest special attention into living room design. As for me, I’m a huge fan of imaginative décor tryouts, and after years of experimenting, I think I’ve finally managed to put together a living room out of my dreams.
My dream-come-true living room showcases a chic blend of Nordic, natural, and eclectic style. It may sound odd, but these three home décor trends can be paired to a laudable aesthetic effect for as long as you know how to balance them. Scandinavian minimalism provides a ready canvas for creative experiments staring boho elements, and it also leaves room for employment of organic details as accent pieces. The stylistic barebones of my dream living room are Nordic, and boho pieces serve as functional trims that give voice to the creative side of my personality, while houseplants and wooden furnishings infuse the room with springtime freshness and natural charm.
After careful consideration, I decided that hardwood flooring is the perfect basis for my dream living room. As for floorboard hue, I opted for light wood as it visually expands the space and doesn’t disrupt the stylistic integrity of the room. For aesthetic bonus, I shod the floor in a beige DIY area rug made from coarse rope, which now occupies the central place in the room. The rug came in handy when I decided to visually separate the entertaining area from the reading nook: my living room is shoebox-sized, so I had to put every single inch to good use to achieve a décor that’s both functional and pleasing.
The area of my living room that’s dedicated to guest entertaining is tiny, but it exudes an aura of rustic elegance mixed with casual vintage notes. The two round coffee tables are made from oak and decked by faux-marble top, and I reupholstered the retro-looking chair with white textured fabric to match the Nordic backdrop. I also applied a fresh coat of varnish to the armrests and legs for accent touches, and added extra stuffing to plump the chair up for bonus comfort.
The sectional is the pillar of my dream living room. A snug spot dedicated to guest entertaining, Rockway 122-inch two-piece upholstered sectional in notion ironside by Arhaus renders a grounded ambiance to the rest of my Nordic-styled room. The suave grey hue and rich textured upholstery of the statement sectional provide a tasteful dose of visual contrast, breaking the monotony of neutral tones and adding character to the room, while at the same time creating a solid base for experiments with natural wood storage and shelving.
The walls painted brilliant white are an ideal backdrop for creative décor experiments, and they also help visually open up my small living room. Nevertheless, I was never a big fan of all-white designs at heart, so I’m considering throwing in an accent wall covered in modern wallpapers with a Scandinavian or faux-natural print to define the focal point in the room. On that note, I may also swap paint for monochromatic white wallcovers: contemporary wallpapers are easier to maintain and don’t require sprucing up every few years like standard wall paint.
Along the wall overlooking the alley, I placed a low cabinet to accommodate my favorite reads and topped it off with a backless ottoman with colorful cushions. That way, I can curl up with a book and a cup of hot cocoa on cold winter days and spend my lazy Sunday afternoons soaking in literary masterpieces in the sun. Atop the cabinet, I plopped a few oversized planters with my beloved Monstera houseplants and hung a modernist painting above them. I also installed three wall-mounted shelves in the opposite corner to display family photos, my lovely fern plant, and various memorabilia I salvaged during my travels.
I love my living room just the way it is now, and I strongly encourage everyone to follow their dreams when designing their family den. After all, life’s too short to spend your free time in a less than a perfect living room.
Zoe Clark is a journalist, freelance stylist and blogger. She is a visual storyteller and aesthetician by heart who often writes about decorating and DIY ideas. She loves sparking creativity in people and giving them ideas for their own spaces.