Thursday, March 29, 2012

Living Room Updates

Well, a yucky stomach bug has been running through the family members one by one with about a two day lag time in between, which means this has been going on over a week now with at least one person sick every day.  So far, despite being on the front lines, I have yet to come down with anything more serious than a tummy ache.  Please, pray for me that it stays that way, and that it leaves the house entirely now!

Forgive me, but I'm really too preoccupied taking care of the family to write my extra post this week.  I promised updated pictures of the living room, so I have those for you.  Writing about the living room is quite easy because I believe you really don't need much in it!  It's an entertaining space for most, also a family space for us, and if you keep it to just furniture and perhaps a few necessities, you're all set.  As you can see, we chose new furniture when our old sofa rather literally died.  We had a small funeral for it on the curb.

The long bench over there by the lamp is actually an ottoman.  I have it set up as a chaise lounge, but it can pull out to hold a tray if you might need it to double as a table, and it can also hold your feet or a couple kiddos.   My kids routinely pull it over against the couch and pretend we are on a big boat in an as yet uncharted sea!  Multi-purpose furniture items are a minimalist's best friends.  These furniture choices make the most of a small space by maximizing seating and set-up options AND floorspace.  There's some pictures at the end of the ways I commonly arrange the space as need dictates.
With this kind of versatility on board, I also felt confident  losing my two end tables.  We don't eat in here, minus an occasional cup of coffee, so the tables just became a welcome spot for various and sundry items that belonged elsewhere in the house.  The only practical purpose they served was to hold a diaper changing station for me and an extra blanket for cuddling up on chilly mornings.  I took a rather easy opportunity to chuck them when one of them conveniently came unglued a few weeks after the new furniture arrived.  We love the extra space they freed.  As you can see, I just re-purposed two of the shelves in the entertainment center for the diapers and blanket.  The square collapsible bins hold the blanket and the diaper changing items nicely and neatly, much better than the tumbledown stack that was under the side tables!

This really is the second easiest room in the house to take care of.  As long as I am sure the kids don't carry armloads of stuff into it that they don't take back  (and they have little arms, so I usually catch them before they make too much of a dent), and clean up any of the cabinet toys they get out, than there isn't much to worry about but a quick vacuum and dust every now and again.  Even at its WORST when all the toys are out that could be, it still won't take me more than 5 minutes to put them all back.  I planned it this way on purpose.  I wanted this room to be company ready quickly and free of clutter to make it easily accessible to walk through.  We've been sick for over a week, and I could still snap these pics for you in about 5 minutes after a quick pick up and vacuum.  I will admit that our one trouble is the bamboo shoe rack, I love that it gave our shoe pile a place to live neatly, but  it will occasionally collect extra shoes that don't belong there.  Honestly, this is mostly MY fault.  I'm the only one in the house with more than 2 pairs of wearable shoes!  And, I'm also the one mostly unlikely to be able to run straight upstairs to put them away when she walks in the door!  A likely excuse, I know!  Well off to administer some medicine and switch over the laundry (AGAIN!)  See you next week!

Quick Tips for Living Rooms:
-Minimize horizontal surfaces - they become clutter catchers.
-Keep the furniture versatile and suitable to the space, maximize your floorspace for an 'open' feel to the room.
- Keep toys and other items to a few well-chosen pieces that encourage quiet cooperative play (the rowdier, messier toys are in the play area downstairs!)
- Be very diligent about what 'lives' here and what does NOT.

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