Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Perfect Living Rooms

I kind of hate my living room.

It's not all the living room's fault. It's not really my fault either. The room has potential with its wraparound window seat overlooking the city and the sea from eighteen floors up.

living room
Photo by Anna Oler.

But I have nothing to work with. No cushions, no cozy afghans, no rugs. Oh, there are cushions, but they're not the right cushions. And the rug is crammed under the entertainment shelf because it has giant seashells on it. It's perfectly hideous. I think I have one finished afghan on the way here, and another one isn't done yet. And it has a long way to go.

November corner
Photo by Attic24.

How do some people get that perfectly cozy look and feel? And then why do they tease me with photos on Flickr? (Sure, I seek them out on purpose, but still.) What's the secret?

May 2007
Photo by denis/e.

My favorite living room of all time is Patricia & Ed Ranzoni's. (Pat's a lovely poet I visited in Maine.) I wish I could show you, then you'd know exactly what I mean. I even told her how much I loved it. It was like being in a cross between an L.L. Bean catalog and an Anthropologie window display. Some hipster interior designer from the Pacific northwest could recreate it for the right price, but only a lot of time and their earthy sense of style could have made it so perfect so naturally. It's the same sense of style that makes a person offer her guests homemade hand-picked blueberry pie and mint tea from the garden.

Photo by JKönig.

So for now, while I wait for my afghans (because the perfect living rooms always have at least one afghan), I'll start with figuring out how to make the lighting less harsh and the failed attempt at modern glass decor a little warmer and more inviting. At least there's plenty of Chinese tea to go around.


Amber, theAmberShow said...

I love all of these. that first photo is actually in my dream apartment inspiration.

E said...

You must be able to pick up some pillows and other fabric things on the cheap! Do you have a sewing machine there? You could buy raw fabric if you're not finding anything you like in stores and make some runners for living room tables and/or some curtains. Fabric does a LOT to make a room softer and more welcoming.

But I agree - a living room has to have an afghan or two (other blankets can sub in in the meantime or if your SO hates afghans, as does mine :P).