When I last left off blogging about the living room, we had just added the giant lighthouse painting to the wall above the sofa, and were considering what else we could do to bring more light and balance to that side of the room. A few developments have happened since then, as the photo below shows — we added a big “console table” of sorts behind the sofa, and brought in a couple of typical table lamps for some much-needed light:
I put “console table” in quotes above because it isn’t exactly a table, but rather a cheap 1 x 10 foot piece of wood that I sanded, stained, and mounted to the wall using some standard shelf brackets drilled into the studs. It’s quite sturdy, and it seemed like a good solution since the setup of the room means that there’s no way you can see it from the sides to know that it’s a hollow sham underneath.
The lamps themselves were found on Craigslist, a matching set for $20 — which seemed like a pretty good price for two large-ish ceramic lamps in good condition. They shades they originally came with were a little old and grungy-looking though, so we ended up replacing those with new ones from Lowe’s, which added about $15 onto the price of each lamp.
As far as the style of the lamps, they’re a sandy color with sort of a marble-y pattern and gold stripes. They seem to fit in well enough with the room, though I’m not sure I’m 100% in love with their look — in person the texture has a tendency to look dull and dingy for some reason. Here’s a closeup of the base of one of the lamps:
But on the plus side, at only $25 apiece it wouldn’t feel like the end of the world if we decide to give them some kind of makeover down the road — maybe painting them in a fresh color or pattern? — or even replacing them with something else entirely.
For now, though, the difference they’ve made in the living room is huge — it feels so much brighter and warmer and homier in there now. For a fun before and after, here’s the living room as it looked in the last update about it:
And here’s what it looks like now* with the lamps:
* Confession: A lot of tidying happened before snapping the above photo. For a more realistic glimpse of the amount of toys and whatnot that usually clutter the living room, check out this post.
Overall this room has come a long way, but at the same time, there’s still plenty of room for improvement. Here’s the tentative to-do list for the living room:
- Finish decorating the walls – While the lamps made a nice difference, the current arrangement still feels weirdly like it’s missing something — and not just due to the empty wall to the left. Right now I’m thinking maybe move the painting to the empty wall, and put some kind of organic / asymmetrical arrangement between the lamps? And maybe either paint some kind of accent wall, or if we’re feeling really ambitious, try out something like this project to add some texture and interest.
- Find a better rug – Currently we’ve got a pale-colored tone-on-tone one in there, and while it’s really nice to have some kind of rug for Lillian to play on and whatnot, it doesn’t feel like the right size (it’s a 5×8 rug and just barely fills up the rectangle space made by the sectional sofa). Plus the color (or lack thereof) just feels a bit off in the room. And it has a way of easily looking dirty due to its paleness (which we only realized after living with it for a while). Overall it seems like something bigger and darker would be a nice upgrade for this space.
- Sit on the sofa cushions more evenly – This one’s kind of silly, but you can see in the progression of photos above how the rightmost cushion just keeps getting saggier and saggier due to someone always sitting there while the middle ones go unused. Unfortunately the cushions aren’t removable to just switch them, so it will take a lot of hard sitting work to fix this problem. (Or maybe just a few carefully-placed throw pillows.)
So anyway, that’s the story of what’s been going on with the living room lately, and some thoughts on what might be nice to do to it down the road. Do any of the decorating gurus out there have any ideas or suggestions for this room going forward? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!