I've never enjoyed housework and I’m not very good with routines therefore, I have become a bit of an expert over the years at finding quick and easy ways to do lots of things and make the task as pleasant as possible. The way I arrange my home environment makes a big difference. Here are some things that work for me and may work for you too:
We’ll start with the living room.
The first and most obvious item to look at is our couch. If your couch is looking a bit dated, toss a nice throw-rug over it or add some modern cushions. If you’re in the market for a new one, there are several things to consider. Not only should it be comfortable, but it should be easy to care for. Leather and vinyl are washable but not always suitable for a warm climate. Fabric couches can stain and become grubby but can be shampooed. Mine has zip-off covers that can be thrown into the washing machine. It’s best to choose a simple style and colour that won’t date and dress it up with colourful cushions. I also use fabric place-mats in a complimentary colour over the arms of my couch to protect them from stains.
Image courtesy of strictlycomfort.com.au
Ottomans are an inexpensive and attractive addition and provide extra seating if required. They can be kept in a corner - even stacked – and brought out as needed. The ones with storage are a bonus. I keep throw rugs and extra cushions in there, but they’re ideal for toys, books or craft activities. Better still, keep an empty one ready to hide-away mess when visitors come.
For extra convenience I had a butler’s tray made to fit on the top of my ottoman. This turns it into table space when needed.
If you have a coffee table, consider one that has drawers or a magazine shelf. Alternatively, an attractive basket can hold your TV guide and remote controls.
Unfortunately, we’re not all able to have a separate room for watching television, so if your living room needs to be multi-functional, try not to make the TV the focus of the room. Instead of arranging your seating around the television as many do, arrange it instead around the fireplace or where you get the best view from the window. Use a turntable under the television or a unit on wheels so that you can move the TV ready for viewing as needed.
Image courtesy of panikdesign.com
Walls should be washable - especially if you have children or pets - and artwork should by something you’ve chosen personally that appeals to you and complements the décor. If your room is small, consider using light colours on the walls. This also makes a huge difference if you have small windows. If the room is large and airy, you can warm it up with darker colours.
While most people like carpet in the living room, I suffer allergies and prefer a floor that I can quickly sweep and mop. I have a rug that I can easily roll up and take outside to clean.
Image courtesy of cottage38north.com
Fresh flowers or potted greenery always add instant charm to a room. If you don’t have the floor space for bookshelves or other storage, consider putting up some shelves on the wall. For those who are renting, there are hanging shelves that only require temporary wall hooks. Try to keep ornaments and knick-knacks to a minimum to avoid extra dusting.
Most importantly, a living room is probably the most-used room in the house. Try not to clutter it up with unnecessary things. Make it a cheerful, comfortable space where your family can relax together in harmony.
Stay tuned for my other articles to help you with each room of your home.