The living room can be a person’s sanctuary. Whether arriving home after a hard day at the office, or having a bad day or let’s hope a great day! Where our guests are concerned typically they will be tired after an energetic day out walking around the city sightseeing. The living room has to be very inviting, cosy and most importantly a place to relax.
Let’s put the decor to one side for a moment, for your guests there are a few basic requirements that it must have;
- Good lighting and a combination of lighting
- A comfy (clean) sofa/’s and cushions
- Coffee table
- Blinds or/ and curtains
Then in addition to this or an added bonus;
- Media player – this has become a huge hit with our guests and especially when travelling with children
- Air Conditioning or fans
- Bean bags/ extra seating
- Dining area
- Books and/ or magazines
- Sofa throws
- Magazines/ books
Your interior should be neutral, I have walked into many apartments where the bright painted walls hurt my eyes. Generally, this is not a good look and does not attract guests to your property online. Neutral colours such as off whites and creams are best for the walls. Don’t forget the woodwork here, we use satin finish white paint as this is easy to wipe down and does not have the high sheen. If they are natural wooden doors its time to get the furniture wax out. This shows off the real beauty of bare wood and yet protects it. Side note here to say thanks to Phil’s mum for advising us to use wax for wood instead of varnish. It’s much more natural.
Pictures – these are significant and I would recommend using your most expensive (or your best pictures) for this important living room. Not too many just enough to make it feel homely. A great tip here is to go to a flea market or garage sale and try and pick up some original painting or drawings, this can be inexpensive but look expensive.
Floor – in Barcelona nearly all the floors are tiles or wooden. This is more hygienic and better for us to keep clean however a rug in the middle of the room gives a comfy feel and can look great while at the same time works well as a buffer for sound. Neutral colours again are best however if you are feeling daring a bright and bold colour can look wonderful in neutral surroundings.
Ornaments – Well as a good friend of mine calls these.. ‘’dust collectors”, ok she has a point however I think within moderation they are a great touch and a nice idea to add some of your individuality and creativity somewhere in the living room. As regular readers know you will find us at the local flea market at least once a week to pick up unusual pieces. Some items for the living room might be; authentic old books for the shelf, light fittings, coffee table, pictures or photo frames, ceramic fruit bowls, candle holders, clocks, lanterns etc.
Cleanliness – I feel like a broken record here but cannot emphasise how important cleanliness is in the living room. On a regular basis I need to change the sofa covers and cushion covers, curtains and get them cleaned, on each clean don’t forget to check under the sofa cushions. We have had many a time there was coins, popcorn, crumbs and general rubbish under there!! This needs to be checked on each clean. Besides the obvious don’t forget to dust those pictures on the walls, and often forgotten.. the lamp shades. We’ve found a good old traditional feather duster that can extend is a must have!
Lights – Separate to the main light in this room it is important to have a table light or corner light for some ambiance in the evening time. On this note always good to have spare bulbs and batteries for remote controls where guests can access them
Flowers – oh yes how nice it would be to have fresh flowers in the living room all the time. However on a practical note our good friend Charles who is also a host here in Barcelona advised me that an orchid is much better. It is far better value, lasts about 2 months and looks fantastic.
On the table in the living room is perhaps the best place to have your ‘welcome guide’ with instructions for TV etc – I will talk about this again in another post
There are no rules just guidelines and remember what works for one may not work for another;) Be creative and enjoy!