I’m starting our home tour with the living area, since it is the first room you see when you walk into our apartment. I’ve mentioned before that what we first fell in love with when we saw this apartment was all of the natural light. The super tall ceilings and huge windows flanking the fireplace (along with the fresh white walls) make this space feel bright and happy even on the gloomiest of days, and it’s not something you can create out of thin air- you either have it or you don’t. And this apartment had it.
For those reasons, along with the pretty original hardwood floors, we really did love our living space at first sight. The tricky thing about it was that it also had to be our dining space, and once we started to factor in all of our furniture (the couch, chairs, coffee table, desk, media credenza, television, bookcase, and the dining table and chairs) things got a little hairy. This room has many functions, and it was important for us to incorporate all of these pieces into the room in a way that would flow and feel comfortable without being too crowded. There was definitely some arranging and rearranging before we finally got it right, but in the end I think we found a way to make it all work (once again, I apologize to our movers and thank them for their time).
So let me give you a quick tour around the room, and then we’ll get into the details.
Hopefully the first thing you notice is the sleek yet inviting leather sofa, and NOT the television above the fireplace. I admit that I am not the biggest fan of putting televisions over mantles for multiple reasons- I don’t like making the tv the focal point, it has to be hung a little higher than is comfortable for viewing, and it limits the decorating possibilities in that spot. I would so much rather have an antique mirror up on the wall and some pretty paintings resting on the mantle, but sadly it was not meant to be. And believe me, I tried.
To the left of the fireplace is the credenza, which houses our media equipment and bar glasses.
To the right of the fireplace is our desk, where I am currently perched as I write this post. The humongous door beside me hides our surprisingly tall and deep closet (which is lucky, because it is quite literally the only closet in our entire apartment). We use it for coats, shoes, tools, Christmas decorations, you name it.
The other door leads to a very brief hallway with builtin storage (housing crafts and toys) and on to the bedrooms.
Against the wall behind the couch is our dining table, and another design choice that was made out of necessity. While having a table pushed against the wall is not ideal, we needed to create a walkway to the galley style kitchen, and honestly, it functions just fine for us on a daily basis. The black chairs flanking the couch can be pulled up as additional seating when needed (thus doing double duty, a major plus for small space living), and the table can also be pulled away from the wall to accommodate more people.
The final door leads to the laundry room and bathroom, and in between that door and the kitchen door is our bookcase.
Now let’s take a closer look around, starting with the sitting area.
In order to define the space, I used a large braided natural fiber rug. I am seriously obsessed with these rugs and have them in varying sizes all over our apartment. The price is great, they hide dirt (a major plus when you have young kids and pets), are incredibly durable, and go with everything. With the way I like to change around accessories, (I am ashamed to admit I am already sick of those mint and emerald pillows on the couch), I can redecorate to my hearts’ content and never worry about my new finds clashing with the rug. I also love our leather couch- it definitely scratches super easily but the scratches fade (and add character, or so I tell myself) and it couldn’t be easier to wipe down. It’s also surprisingly comfortable in spite of it’s sleek lines. The pillows and throw blanket in varying textures help to make the space feel cozy and inviting, and are where I chose to bring in whatever splash of color I happen to be craving at the time.
Peppered around the room are many more of my favorite items to decorate with- lamps (such a better glow than overhead lighting- we literally have never turned on the ceiling light in this room), plants for bringing life and a fresh pop of green into the room, family photos, candles, various vessels for holding fresh flowers, books, and some of my favorite found objects that make me happy. That vintage typewriter is not going anywhere for a very long time, so I hope you like seeing it as much as I do! For more tips on how I like to style items in a way that looks layered and collected rather than crowded and haphazard, check out this post.
You may have noticed (as I did when I went to hang artwork), there isn’t a ton of wall space, what with all of the windows and doors in this room. There is really only one wide expanse of wall that I had to work with, and that was above the dining table. I toyed with the idea of doing a gallery wall, but in the end we opted to display Kevin’s ever-growing guitar collection instead. I love how we have turned something functional (because who knows where we would have stored these things otherwise), into something visually interesting. A win in my book.
So that is our living space in a nutshell! It was a challenge to arrange furniture wise, and the lack of wall space (or space in general) really forced us to get creative with multi-functionality and pare down to only the things we really loved and needed. I will show you what is beyond abnormally large doors number 1, 2, and 3 very soon, (I won’t be showing you inside door number 4, as it is a closet, and while I promise it is relatively tidy and organized, it is certainly not pretty), but in the meantime, let me know what questions you have about this space, decorating for small space living, or just decorating in general! And if you missed the story of our current home and how we came to live here, click to read all about it.
Photos by Amanda Seifert Photography