Friday, July 10, 2009

Housework/Tale of the couchless living room

Have you ever made a big purchase and afterward regretted it? This is the case with my couch. Years ago, we were in need of a new one. It was the only one in the store that was vaguely suitable, and so we bought it. My children think it is the best couch in the world. Tom seems to be able to take naps on it just fine. But I don't even sit on it. I find it uncomfortable. I hate the foamy, boing-boing cushions. Plus, I didn't like where it was in the living room. I thought it made the whole corner crowded. I couldn't really have a coffee table in front of it because it was even more crowded that way.

So the other day I had a brainstorm. What if we removed the couch from the living room? Neither of our kids is in a position to take it right now, but there was some room in the study, so we hauled it in. That's what the kitties in the blog header are lying on. They too seem to think it is great.

I then arranged the chairs in the living room to form a little visiting/watching television area. I brought in the big plant for the corner. The couch used to be on the far wall and filled the whole space. Taking very little time, and just a little work, my living room is utterly transformed and I love it.


  1. That looks very warm and welcoming, Nan. Now I wonder what I can do about my overcrowded living room?

  2. Hi Nan: One of my favourite things is the world is moving furniture. I think your room looks very warm and inviting now, and I can just picture you sitting there with a nice cup of tea. Did you make the quilts that hang on your walls, they are beautiful.

  3. I love those brain waves that happen, that are so simple, but make you feel like you've been so radical. Enjoy your living room!

    When we were repainting the kitchen, one wall had been wallpapered, and I fretted over what new wallpaper to put up to match the paint I wanted. I didn't like any. Then I decided to paint the fourth wall a darker color on the paint chip. It make that wall still be a bit different, but felt like such a crazy, easy, obvious idea.

  4. I love it and you have given me permission to follow through with my threat of only buying comfy chairs the next time we need living room furniture. We all fight over the same chair and ottoman, and the poor couch and loveseat are always rejected. I am so glad you are happy with the space and it looks very inviting...perfect for a long, leisurely read:)

  5. Your room looks wonderful, Nan! The new arrangement looks so cozy and inviting.

  6. It looks perfect, and you sound so happy!

  7. Looks like a beautifully done and warm space. The cats don't mind - and I'm sure that Tom can catch a nap in that big brown chair. Have one of my own to disappear in.

    But where are your piles of books? I know you're hiding them somewhere... :)

    - J.

  8. I love the colors and art of your house! And the room does look very open now and yet simultaneously a very cozy spot where the chairs are. My recent giant chair purchase (a rare furniture buy, we inherit or find most of our stuff)is mostly good but it has goose feather pillows and they jab you when you lean then I think about the poor geese and feel rather heartless. Ah, furniture regrets.

  9. That looks great and I'm sure it's much cosier.
    I loved seeing your living room - perhaps we should all blog pictures of a room a week. I can't do it at the moment because I'm not at home until August but it would make me tidy at least one room a week and, who knows, maybe giuve me some inspiration for a different layout.

  10. Nan, I love the wall hanging in the last picture. Also the blue paintwork.
    I don't like buying furniture- it's such a commitment, and then, as you say, you're stuck with it for years if you don't bond with it. Unless you're my Mother. She just gets rid. We've rehomed many cast-offs.

  11. I love the header picture. The kitties make napping look like the best thing to be doing.

    Your livingroom looks great with the couch gone. It is very inviting with this configuration of chairs.

  12. Lovely transformation! (I love rearranging furniture!)

  13. It looks so homely and comfortable (that's a compliment!)I see you have a fan; I'd rather have a fire today.

  14. I just loved reading your comments. I realized that I rarely write about house stuff when in my real life it occupies a great deal of thought and action. We live in a farmhouse dating from the 1800s, and there is a lot of work that needs to be done, even though we have lived here 28 years. Last summer I wrote about the upstairs bathroom (under housework on sidebar 'letter topics'). Well, the walls and floor still aren't done up there. :<) When you don't have much money and do the work yourselves, well, I'm sure you know - the progress is slow. I think I'll try to write more about the house. We have a lot of plans; now we just have to work on them.

    Maureen, maybe you, too, can move out a piece or two? :<)

    Donna, I love it, too. I'm always working toward a home that is welcoming and homey. I did not make the quilts. I bought them at various places over the years. The one above the desk is homemade by someone local, and is my fave. The one nearest the fan I bought at Gooseberry Patch:

    Thank you for your nice words.

    Raidergirl, I'd love to see that kitchen! I love the idea of one wall being a bit different. I love color, period. It is so cheery and warms my heart.

    Book Psmith, I had looked all over the internet to see a picture of a living room without a couch and simply could not find one, so I had to just try it and see. There's nothing more comfy to me than a chair and a footstool/ottoman for reading or watching tv.

    Alison, thank you so much!

    JoAnn, thank you, and you're right, I'm very, very pleased. The old couch was also grungy and worn.

    Jeff, you're right about that lazy boy being a good napping chair. :<) Let's see, in that room there are books next to the door going to the porch, books under the tv table which hide the wires, books on the shelf near that fan, and there is a tiny pile on a tiny stool behind the lazy boy to keep Ben the dog from going in behind the chair. :<)

    Susan, thank you. I have bought two pieces of art in my life and both are in that room! I know what you mean about the geese. I have some trouble with that too since my pillows and comforter and one of my chairs are down filled. :<(

    Scriptor Senex, I think that's a great idea! There are bloggers I read who write a lot about their homes, and as I said above, I mean to do it more. Here's one you may like if you've not visited:

    Rattling On, that's the quilt I noted above which came from Gooseberry Patch. You, too, could own one. :<) I get rid of things I don't like except with something like this which I couldn't afford to replace. I felt stuck until I came up with this idea.

    Lisa, thanks so much. You know, the cats never slept on the couch when it was in the living room. They must like it in the study, too.

    Mibsy, I love rearranging until I get it 'right' - once I'm pleased and feel good about a space, I don't need to move stuff.

    Call me madam, I love the English use of 'homely' so much better than ours. Over here, it means not attractive. :<) I keep the fan in the room all summer. Last evening it was actually warm enough to use it.

  15. Oh definitely have...our home! I've regretted it every year we've lived here.

  16. Karla, it is good to hear from you. I took your blog off my sidebar a while ago because it seemed like you weren't writing anymore. Is it still the loving life in ok blog? So, so sorry you feel this way about your house. Any hopes of change in the future?

  17. You inspire me, Nan! We bought a very nice sofa a few years ago, but it is just too big for our living room, and we need to make a change. I like what you have done -- it looks like a wonderful place for friends and

  18. Nan - I had my husband take my Loving Life blog down - just never have time to write now that I'm working full time. I had a desire to go back to it, but then had a change of mind. If I do, my Rose Cottage Lane is still active, so I could use that one. I'll let you know if I do go back live again.

    Oh you know - more often than not I make the house situation much worse than it is. I have a nice secure place to live that is mine and I don't have to move until I want to or am able to. Don't listen to my whining. LOL

  19. Robin, I'll be interested to see the result. Maybe you could post a before and after. I wish I had thought to take a picture the way it was before. It seems to me that a few years back, and maybe still now, so much was 'oversized.' Huge chairs and couches. Must be for the macmansions. :<)

    Karla, thank you for writing back. That would be great if you'd let me know if you are blogging again. I don't think you are whining. It is hard when our home, our refuge, our comfort is not the way we want it to be, or where we want it to be. Maybe the full time working will bring you closer to the home you really want. Please do keep in touch when you have time.

  20. Rearranging furniture is such a delightful pastime, but it's been my experience that men don't like it. They not only don't want to be asked to help move things, they want to keep things as they are, once and for all! I'm sure that's not the case in your household, Nan. An occasional upheaval is good for the soul, and you can quote me on that.

  21. Mary Lois, you said, ' I'm sure that's not the case in your household, Nan.' Oh yes it is!! Tom would never move anything, and doesn't really notice when I do. He's gotten better about doing the heavy work without grumbling, though, and has begun to appreciate that things do sometimes work better and look better with a little rearranging. As for the soul, I've also read that it is a good feng shui thing - it energizes a space to do so - but those of us who do it already knew this. :<)

  22. As you know, I love seeing photos of your home. I especially like the view out your screen door to your beautiful green, lush yard.

    I've thought about getting rid of our couch and replacing it with two comfy chairs. Not sure where we'd go to sleep when we have insomnia, though. Annie-dog would have to give up her bed! The guest room bed, that is! ;)

  23. Ben and Sadie say they envy Annie! The screen door in the living room opens on to the porch. All that green is locust trees, honeysuckle, ash tree. You just turn around here and a tree sprouts up. :<)


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