Our lounge room, like most, is the most used space in the house – and in small space living it’s an important place, you want to be happy with how it looks and feels…but lately I’ve not been 100% ‘sold’ on what’s going on in ours. There are certain elements of our lounge room that I am happy with: the couches, the artwork, the dresser. But there are also a few head-scratchers: the rug, the cushions, the ‘stuff’. They say to fill your home with things that are either useful or beautiful…and it will just ‘work’. Hmmm. I have gathered a collection of cushions and random ephemera over the past decade – but now feel they’re very much not working. Or perhaps they are? Perhaps it’s just time to mix things up, look with fresh eyes, change is as good as a holiday and all that.
Our couches we bought eight years ago now from Freedom, and as we predicted have aged well – they are a classic shape (we wanted rounded arms and not too deep or low, hard things to find in couches these days! Matt: “I want a couch, not a bed.”) We had them custom upholstered in a hard wearing slightly textured neutral. I still like them eight years later so must’ve done something right, they are easy to work with in both our space and for decorating around. Our Persian rug however, which was a special wedding gift from Matt’s siblings and cousins, is my decorating dilemma. I love it, but I find it so tricky to work with. The strong red colour clashes with my wannabe-classic-farmhouse style, but instead of clashing and pushing against it, I am now thinking that I need to embrace and move forward. It’s here to stay. I do like it. Work with what you’ve got. There’s a lot of black in the rug…which I’m thinking I need to bring into the room with cushions/accessories to tie back to the rug? Contrast, yes? I have always been anti-black in my decor (light, bright!) but am now realising I need some contrast to liven up the beigey-bland-land. I’d love to know if anyone else has a striking Persian rug like ours and how to style around one.
The majority of the cushions I’ve also had for about eight years, since we got the couches. But there’s a clash of coastal stripes, vintage farmhouse grain sack, Hamptons paisley…my poor cushion collection is awfully confused. The big striped cushions I got from Big W of all places, and have been well loved. So well loved. They are due for retirement from sheer use, but I’d like to get at least one big cushion in a similar size to replace them. The girls mostly drag those big ones onto the floor, and they’re soft and floppy and comfy. I have a frustrated blue and white Hamptons-esque lounge room in my minds eye, hence the inclusion of the blue cushions, but I am realising that this is impossible with the rug, and am coming to terms with the fact that perhaps all neutral cushions is the way to go. The neutral map cushion is probably the only one I’m truly happy with now – because it seems to tie into the eclectic rug dilemma and has some black accent. So – all neutral cushions on our neutral couch, to let the rug do the talking. This is the plan. But for fear of entering beige-bland-land I am thinking lots of texture, knotted macrame, tassels, accents or undertones of black.
The other realisation which has dawned on me (and has literally been slapping me in the face but I haven’t seen the forest for the trees…) is that we have quite a ‘tribal’ style going on due to all of our Papua New Guinean travel treasures. Again, I’ve been holding tight to my vintagey-farmhousey-touch of Hamptons vibes so tight that I didn’t want to head down this path. I thought “No no no, I don’t do tribal/eclectic/bohemian”…then I looked around our lounge room and realised I already was! Ha. I love our woven trays which are on the walls above the TV, and our wooden furniture ties in well with it, as well as our shells from our around-Australia honeymoon. The little window and shelf above the couch holds a lot of ceramic pieces from PNG (most of which has actually fallen apart thanks to not being fired in a kiln and/or breaking on the trip home!) In our small space I think this needs to be curated a bit more – flat surfaces need to be cleared to create some visual space. This was also my thinking with the cushions – all neutral will create less ‘clutter’ to the eye. On the dresser (an eBay bargain which I love, but could probably do with an oil/wax/polish) sits a collection of photo frames, but with photos above the dresser on the wall also, are there too many photos? Too much visual clutter? Matt says “never enough photos!” I disagree. Less is more. But, it is also a real life family home, we live here. Funnily enough! Usually my jug sits there with some flowers from the garden, but I’ve also considered the idea of a terrarium like this or a cloche like this to go on the dresser too. But again: too much ‘stuff’?
So…new cushions will be a start point. Neutral and textures. I am loving this one and this one, amongst lots of others from Sea Tribe, as well as the likes of this, this and this. Maybe even this (black – gasp!) I’ve also considered tan leathers or hides to up the eclectic boho factor? Something like this and this. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though. All food for thought. I’d love to shop locally so I think a trip to Factory One in Warragul is in order also. Perhaps time to embrace my inner luxe tribal boho…
Can you sometimes not see the forest for the trees when it comes to decorating?
Got a particular ‘style’ or just whatever takes your fancy?
Have you been happy with big ticket purchases like couches and rugs?