Hi guys, for those who landed here for the first time, it has happened! Oh, and welcome of course! ^^ To get straight to the point: the boyfriend and I took a big step in life. The ‘house-tree-garden’ kinda step. Only, it’s not really a house, but an apartment. And that garden isn’t really a garden but a small cozy balcony with a view over a big green park in the center of Ghent. A city we both love.
Small detail: that house that isn’t a house but an apartment, has to be built first. Giving us plenty of time. Give any woman plenty of time and she’ll become impatient. A little crazy even. Counter-move: no detail is safe. From floors to light points, switches or a kitchen setting, doors, a shower or a bath … Yeah, I think you get it. They call it the Paradox of Choice: too many choices, too many decisions … But at the same time, this whole process is such an adventure.
Now, for the big news:
When MisterDesign contacted me with the question whether or not I would be interested in becoming a guest blogger and share this adventure through their blog as well, I jumped up in the air and lost control over my arm movements for a while. Of course I want that. Duuh! Talking to a real fan over here and a lady with a soft spot for pretty interior design. So from now on, you’ll find my interior post on the MisterDesign blog as well (in Dutch though). Because I don’t want to stop sharing my adventures with non-Dutch people, I’ll keep sharing them over here as well. #pinkypromise
So the moment has come, the first post I made in my new role as a guest blogger. Ready?
Project Home-To-Be | Living Area + Tips & Questions
Oohhh this is exciting! Anyway — poker face. Now that we have made some final decisions on what the kitchen will look like (#finally), it’s time to move on to the next area of our home to be: The living area. It’s a little ridiculous seeing how they only started building the complex, but it’s my way of handling the impatience. ^^
Anyway, the living room. First thing that comes to mind is a comfortable couch and some essentials such as a side-chair (or maybe a hang chair?), a coffee table, a tv closet, and maybe a bookshelf or a book closet. Of course you can count on some decoration for that finishing touch and a bunch of plants and cactuses.
That’s a lot if you still want to keep it multifunctional, practical and easy on the eye. The most important thing I learned in the process is to embrace the limited space we have. Accept it for what it is and adjust accordingly. Meaning, don’t place tons of shit that prevents you from breathing.
Keeping this golden rule at heart, here are some other tips I gathered along the way and that might help you handling
small cozy living rooms:
1. Let it flow
If you have the liberty to either hang a certain piece of furniture instead of putting it on the floor, go for option number 1. The more floorspace remains empty, the bigger the room will look. Extra bonus: it’s just easy as hell to clean. Exactly the reason we went for a floating tv-piece in the past that. This one we will definitely take with us.
Big exception I really would like to stress: a carpet covering up a large part of your floor is totally allowed. It even makes the room look bigger in most of the cases. Argh options and rules, here we go again. ^^
I admit, this one leans close in to number 1. Next to choosing floating elements, it’s important to pick items that let light through! The more light, the bigger the room will look. So instead of going with a coffee table made of massive wood, go for an option made out of glass, a table on thin and high legs or a model with a minimalistic thin frame. Really want to add some wood? Add a wooden tray on top.
The same goes for your couch: take one with high seat legs instead of a model that reaches for the floor. For the side chair, don’t go for one of those large bulky types doctor Evil or similar characters always seem to have. Remember, let light go trough and go for something minimalistic so it doesn’t take up too much space.
3. Shine Bright with White
White remains the best color to make a space seem larger than it actually is. Either you go for white furniture, or you go for white walls. We decided to go for the second option. Imagine it, that night on the couch with a bag of m&m’s. Until that moment you lose one, only to find it back at the end of the night. Melted, underneath your bum leaving nothing more behind than one big brown stain. You know what I mean right? Right?! #TheHorror
In order to know which type of white is best, let me spare you of the tons of rules and tips that exist. What I remembered mostly is that you need to check the color of your furniture to determine whether to go for a cool shade of white or for a warm shade. Just like determining the undertone you need for make-up: not simple. My solution, I’ll just ask the dude from the paint shop for his professional advice and some samples. Nice and easy.
4. Embrace your space
Accept the square meters you have and use them to the max. If this means you have to go for a smaller couch (check), or need to get rid of that enormous barcloset; so be it. Choose furniture that is right for the space. Otherwise, you’ll end up feeling like one of those 38 clowns trying to get in a Mini Cooper for a circus act.
Exactly the reason why we decided to replace our couch. Too big and graceless to fit the new space. Below some models we really like. We’re clearly in love with soft shades, but I don’t know, a light grey couch on a wooden floor? Or pastel, will we still love that color 3 years from now? What do you guys think? And argh … that lost m&m. That lost melted m&m underneath my bum … maybe too risky after all a light shade like these?
5. Use your hight
What you don’t have horizontally, you’ll have to get vertically. In other words, use the height of your room and make sure it gets attention. Seeing how our living area will be about 6m at its highest point, it’s a must to get those eyes up. We can do this by using cute plant hangers, a nice long vertical book closet or a cool and huge chandelier to emphasize the height. It will not only direct the attention upwards, the room will also appear a lot bigger.
My ultimate favorite? The Vertigo lamp. It was love at first sight from the moment I first laid eyes on it in a little shop in France. When I finally found it back at MisterDesign, the love for it was still there. Big time. One disadvantage: the price. It doesn’t come cheap. But a little voice in my head keeps telling this one is really worth it. But what about the color? Which color would work best? Black, copper or white? What do you guys think?
6. Finishing touch
To get that picture perfect you need accessories. Because those can be mixed up and change once in a while, I created a little moodboard of the type of items we are thinking of. And as you can see. Lots of green!
I hope you liked this first post I wrote for MisterDesign. More to come for sure!
If you would like to re-read this article in Dutch, you can find it here.