How to design the perfect place to relax
Living and Lounging in a Sitting Room
Mine is a living room, my Mum’s is a lounge and my Nan’s was always a sitting room. If you’re being literal all three are right as that’s what you do in them
– live, sit and lounge. Well, more of the latter in our case!
For us, the living room is the heart of my family home. It’s where the communal television watching (arguing), homework doing (arguing) and board gaming (arguing) takes place. It’s a regular hive of activity and you’re seldom alone which is why I love mine so much.
I even turn and give it a wistful loving glance when I go up to bed. Thats if it’s left tidy with plumped cushions and neatly drawn curtains of course!
Calm and neutral colours are the key for my living room.
Perhaps that’s an unconscious desire to balance out the daily mayhem. I like lots of subtle complementary browns on the walls, furniture, floor and curtains.
Of course this isn’t for everyone though. I get my colour hit from the palette of rest of my home. but if you’re undecided and trying to discover your own perfect style, here are a few tips on how to do it…
As mentioned, subtle isn’t for everyone and I like a neutral base. Bright coloured furniture can be great fun but you need to be brave to commit to it!
If you want more of a lively environment but don’t want to go overboard go for a colour “pop” wall. Remember that paint is easy to change and pretty cheap. So, you decide that your flamingo pink highlight wall is now a bit too out there for you? Change it, it’s not a costly decision that you need to be be stuck with!
I purchased mine in the first place as damage limitation for our “tea on our knee” evenings.
It was ages before we could remove the piles of books we had to lay to train the edges not to curl up and trip us.
But once they were gone I realised how well it completed the room.
Whatever colour, textile or pattern you choose, ensure that a rug is not too small as it will unbalance a whole room.
I maintain a gallery wall in my living room. It has an antique mirror inherited from my Nan, photos of my children and stars from Cox and Cox.
I’ve also put extracts from Bookishly. up among other bits I’ve collected.
These tell a story for me and about me that I love.
This may be too much for some, but don’t leave your walls blank as it can kill the personality of a room. Whether your taste is abstract, Picasso or an Ikea skyline print, show it on your walls!
I have two Lamps in my room. The first is a Tiffany floor standing lamp for ambience. The other is a basic, but pretty, raffia pendant from Dunelm for everyday, lighting. Chandeliers, colour, spotlights…anything goes as long as you feel comfortable. Make sure though, that you consider task lighting next to chairs for reading.
Als,o think about accent lighting to pick up wall decor or fireplaces. Finally consider your general lighting (usually the big one in the middle!).
Start with the basics. Places for glasses and for arses (sorry) and be adaptable, without thinking “I MUST have a sofa and two chairs”.
Sofas come in so many configurations nowadays. I have a 3 seater sofa and a love seat in our bay window, especially for school bags and coats.
So, you don’t have to follow the 3-piece suite tradition. Co-ordinate or clash with materials but insist on stain resistant fabrics.
Otherwise you’ll be following your children round with a spray can of Vanish!
You can also brighten up neutral colours with eye-catching cushions. Coffee tables are great as centre pieces and for storage.
Ironfire industrial style coffee tables are great for interiors whether modern or rustic.
Finally, complete your redec with storage and media centres solutions. They’re great to hide all your random stuff in and pretend that you are a tidy person.
Our gorgeous console tables, (in many sizes and colours) can also add a finishing touch!
Summing it all up
If you just don’t know where to start, why not look at employing an interior designer?
It might surprise you to find that many are well within budget. Some will want to complete an entire room and do the shopping for you too.
There are others though, such as Joy Home Interiors, who will just create a mood board to get you going.
There is an important point is to remember about all this. It’s that whatever you do in your Sitting, Living, Lounge, Den, Girl cave or whatever you want to call it. Its’s there to bring you all together and have a great time – so make it all about you. Whatever your style!
Described by Dulux as a “warm neutral with a hint of heather”, Heartwood – Dulux’s colour of the year 2018 – has surprised many people with it’s warm dusky hues that are a huge contrast to last years Denim Blue. It is described by the Deluxe colour and design expert, Rebecca Williamson, as “sitting between a smoky taupe and a warm mauve”, and we really like the shade, seeing it’s understated versatility as something that would suit many environments and complement the IronFire range. The Dulux team say that people are currently “longing to shut out the outside world, press pause on their lives and spend time relaxing in a soothing space that is uniquely theirs.” The colour is “easy to live with, unfussy in style and depicts that welcome feeling” – this colour sits under their theme of “A welcome home” and makes a home “channel a real sense of calm and warmth”. We think that this fits in perfectly with the ongoing trends of hygge and Lagom, Danish ideals for a happy life that have really taken off over the past few years. Translator ToveMaren Stakkestad says that “Hygge was never meant to be translated. It was meant to be felt.” and the feeling of Hygge is that of warmth, relaxation and to feel as cosy and as at home as possible, while Lagom is to have just the right amount and a good balance in life. We think that Heart Wood does all of this; creating a warm and inviting environment in any room to shut yourself away from the cold and hectic outside world. Complement Heart Wood walls with natural wood and light accessories…and, (shameless plug!), we think Heart Wood in a hallway would look great with one of our Shou Sugi-Ban console tables. Try these accessories with a Heart Wood wall on a console table in your hallway, all from Avalon Interiors. Main image from Dulux
Our Console Table is the IronFire furniture equivalent of the middle child; not always a necessity for a home like the oldest child and our Dining Table, and not the centre of attention like the youngest child and the Ironfire Coffee Table. It does, however, play an important part in the Ironfire furniture family and would be missed if not there. A Console Table is versatile and can be put into any situation and win – transforming a bleak, blank hallway into an interesting and useful space, or housing your media centre to juxtapose our industrial style with your modern day living. Slim enough to stand proudly in a narrow hallway or behind a sofa, the extra shelving that it provides can be used not just for storage but also to display attractive and useful ‘things’ to bring the Ironfire Console Table into play as a real eye-catching piece of IronFire furniture. We are experts in crafting tables, but to really show our Console Table off to it’s full potential, we brought an interiors expert in to showcase it to it’s best. Sarah-Jane Wright runs a full interior design consultancy in Warminster, Wiltshire and it’s from her shop, About The House, that the beautiful items she has dressed our console table with have come from. For more information about About The House and the interior services that Sarah-Jane offers, please visit aboutthe.house on Instagram, @Aboutthehouse.warminster on Facebook, or call Sarah-Jane on 01985 218882.