Tuesday, 24 July 2012
Finally settling in: The living/dining room
The kitchen is open ended, which makes it perfect for social occasions and gatherings. The layout of the room meant that it was quite easy to achieve a 'zoned' arrangement, that provided a mental separation between the study area, living room and dining area.
This room is actually much more like I'd imagined our living room would be, mainly because The Beard and I actually agreed really quickly on dark furniture that would match the piano.
We achieved this zoning with a variety of Billy bookcases, and a couple of Vika Amon desks from Ikea. One of the good things about the desks is the customisable nature of them - because of The Beard and I's height, we bought adjustable legs so that we could make sure the desk is high enough for both of us. Unfortunately we're still working on a proper chair for the desk! The desk both covers up the server and all the equipment underneath, while at the same time providing additional desk space and a partial barrier. The wall space above the desk houses The Beard's choice of artworks - we ended up bring a lot of pieces with us!
The sofa was an important item of furniture to buy, as we spend a lot of time on it. We had already decided that the two things we'd spend the most money on would be the bed and the sofa. We had quite a lot of discussion and sitting on sofas before we settled on one. We both loved the Tidafors range when we first sat in it - the high back makes it perfect for us tallies - but we had our heart set on the corner unit initially. The problem is, it is massive. If we weren't putting an office corner in then it might have been possible, but there was no way we could fit it into the room with a desk and everything else we wanted. We eventually agreed that the two seater sofa and a footstool would give us the comfort that we wanted (being able to stretch out is really important to us, and the footstool provides an extra seat when needed) without compromising on space.
The dining table was a second hand purchase and took us a while to find. When buying furniture we agreed that we would only buy things that were right, we wouldn't make do. We looked at a lot of tables in Ikea, but just couldn't settle on a single one. I found this one on Kijiji.at, the Austrian equivalent of Gumtree. It is a lovely solid table and the chairs are very comfortable.
Lighting was also quite important as although the ceilings are higher than our old house, we wanted to make sure that it didn't reflect on the tv and that we could get enough light around the room. It also had to be nice to look at... function is one thing, but aesthetics are important to us too! We found this number in Bauhaus, one of the big DIY chains. The great thing about it is that the lampshades are purchased separately, so if we get bored or change the colour scheme of our living room, we can just buy some new ones.
I think our TV/Bookcase wall is my favourite parts of the room - it pretty much sums up everything we are: TV nuts, collectors, cocktail fans and film nuts. And we have a beautiful painting above the TV painted by The Beard's mother in 1969 as man landed on the moon. How cool is that?
The TV unit is a Bestå unit with drawers, which has all the space we need for consoles, boxes etc, and all the cabling behind.
We both really love what we've done with the place. We're already at capacity with books though so at some point we might have to add more storage, or I could just stick to buying books on my kindle...
There is still some work to be done - I need to cover the arm chairs with an appropriate fabric, and we need to think about curtains, although I'm still not sure about that because of the radiators being underneath the windows. We have blinds as well as the external shutters, so it isn't a desperate need, and the view at night is so lovely that I'm not sure I ever want to cover it up!
There are a few more pictures to hang up - I have some space over the piano for my collection of Rosina Watchmiester prints, and there is space on the dining room wall for some photographs of Cornwall to sit nicely alongside the two John Miller prints already hanging up.
There isn't much to see in the rest of the flat, we've hung more pictures up in the hallway, and added a blue shower curtain to the bathroom. So we're pretty much done. And it feels like home :)