Facing the decor of the living room upon arrival in Dublin was a very enriching task that I wanted to share with you. Step by step I want to teach you how to organize furniture and deal with your purchase and decoration through my own experience.
When we moved to Dublin all the furniture we had came along with us.
The truth is that they were not very valuable, but they were “our furniture” and we thought this would make it easier for the house to feel like home.
We did not have many things either, but the most important things were the sofa and the bed. And a few more inherited, borrowed and low-cost furniture: bedside tables, chest of drawers, dining table and chairs, coffee table, etc.
All together there were a potpourri of things of different styles and colors, which in our previous stage in Madrid had been useful but now that we were married (although we were still renting and around the world) we wanted to start improving and making more ours.
The starting point was the living room.
We decided to keep four things, which came from Charlie’s bachelor flat:
Its most important attribute is that it is comfortable and has a very unique color that would determine the decoration: COLOR BORDEAUX with white stitching.
2- The table and chairs.
Although they were not the style I had in my head for the living room we would keep them temporarily because the color would suite.
3- The classic console that Charlie’s aunt gave us.
At this point I still had to decide what kind of transformation I would make to the console since the mahogany color did not fit my idea.
Below you can see the link to the transformation, where I will also recount how I came to decide the color.
4- The big star: THE ANCIENT RADIO of Charlie’s grandparents, it still works!
It needs few explanations. It’s an old element that we love because it’s a family relique and because it says a lot about Charlie in that he’s always listening to the radio at all hours.
Include things that reflect your personality or you like very much for whatever reason will make your decoration unique.
On the other hand we had to study the organization of the furniture in space.
For this, once we had the apartment, the first thing I did was to draw.
This step is fundamental to see the scale of furniture with respect to its space. If you make simple drawings on a scale of how the distribution could be, you will see clearly what fits and what does not. From there you can draw a concrete list of furniture and maximum measures of each thing and avoid to buy more than is necessary.
Not knowing how to draw on computer is not an excuse because you surely have a meter, a paper and a ruler at home and with that, it is more than enough to draw rectangles in a piece of paper, simply taking care that the proportions are appropriate.
If you really do not want to do it yourself but would help if I did it for you so that you could decide clearly, you can contact me and ask for this service: Contact
Here I introduce my little Dublin flat:
Not too big but small either, we had improved a lot in size compared to our Madrid flat. This apartment has about 82 m2 (useful) counting the terrace, with two rooms and two bathrooms (a bit small).
It is important to locate the doors, windows and radiators because that will impact the circulation and the location of the furniture.
The room is quite large: more than 7 m by almost 4 m. On one of the walls is the chimney, a must in every house in Ireland. It is also important to position the TV socket.
I leave you some photos of the empty apartment (they are photos of the real estate ad and they do not correspond exactly with our apartment because the radiators are not in the same position, it must be another very similar).
And another in the middle of the moving when we arrived with all our precious items.
Seen this way it seemed to have no solution. How awful!
Well, the first thing I said was to see the possible organization, drawing the room and all those furniture that we already had with their actual measurements.
I quickly realized how big the room was, because on our previous floor in Madrid these pieces almost filled the room, while here they seemed “alone”.
(Yes, the living room door opens upside down … these Irish …)
Once this is done, we can complete the drawing with other furniture we need such as armchairs, shelves, tables, etc. Seeing where they are going to go, we will see which are the maximum measures that we need
It is important to take into account the natural circulation that occurs in that space. For example, in our case, the circulation to the terrace is important and that the door to the living room is in a corner.
With these premises we decided that we would add an armchair since the couch was short when friends came, and we would buy a new TV stand, a shelf, a dresser or auxiliary furniture and a coffee table more in keeping with the style.
But how to organize it? Here I show you the four options of distribution that shuffled and its advantages and disadvantages:
Following what seemed like the obvious position, since the TV connection was on one side of the fireplace, we put the sofa in front (in fact this is in the picture of the move).
The living area would clearly be on the side of the window as it was the brightest area (all that light can be a flat in Dublin).
The dining area would be in the darker area of the lounge since it is the area we use the least and least important in our lifestyle. Always keep in mind how you live the living room, not the standard.
The problem here was that the couch covered a piece of the radiator. As you see in the image the solution would be to put a narrow shelf on the radiator that reaches the terrace door behind the sofa.
This is a good resource to give greater sense of space, especially in small halls. On the shelf you can place books, a lamp or whatever you find useful to have when you are seated.
In addition the armchair would be by the fireplace making a cozy reading area and being located in the center of the room would visually divide the space between living and eating area, which is quite important in a large room so it does not look disorganized.
. OPTION 2:
In the second option, the position of the TV and sofa changes, which are still facing but now the TV is under the window and the sofa divides the living room into two clear areas.
The big advantage is that the division is very clear and you obtain sub-spaces within the room that are more proportioned. In addition it is possible to keep a corridor of circulation to the terrace from the access.
Another advantage I liked is the focal point: from the entrance the view goes diagonally to the opposite corner and what we find is with a shelf that would fill the wall in height and the window with all the splendid Dublin green as a curtain background.
Keeping the sofa in the middle to continue with the division of areas, this time the TV would be seen from the side from the sofa and the armchair.
We still have the free passage and the focal point of the shelf and the window.
However here we be a problem with the TV since the connections are on the opposite wall and it would be somewhat complicated to take it there without the room being all full of wires.
Following with the idea of the TV in that wall, but reversing this time the position of the sofa and armchair.
The armchair next to the fireplace seems like a good idea and the sofa at the focal point along with the window. Although honestly the sofa would take a lot of prominence to the green and the shelf because it has a lot of visual weight.
Another disadvantage is that the armchair does not really do the division of space as well as the sofa itself.
And let’s not forget the issue of bringing the cables to the TV. It’s a shame because for me the TV on that wall is the best place to stay. It would not be seen directly from the entrance to the living room, leaving the protagonism to the rest of furniture that are always much more interesting.
In conclusion, after analyzing all the options, the first two are the ones that convinced me and especially Charli that did not want to give up having the TV facing the sofa (for me they are not important because TV is not my passion but his Opinion also counts and much!). We decided to choose OPTION 2, especially for the division of space. This radically changed the proportion of the spaces of each use within the room and was understood much better.
Given the layout, I had clear what furniture I needed and its location, so I could know the maximum dimensions that they should have. With that and a fixed maximum budget of 2000 €, I started searching online.
My idea was to introduce neutral colors and natural materials like woods and metals. The style is industrial-rustic with vintage touches that would be brought by the radio and the console.
How to determine your style, if you do not have a clear idea, we will talk about it in a specific post later, but what you can start to do is to see a lot on the internet and magazines and keep on a Mood board everything you like for whatever reason (although one thing may have nothing to do with the other).
Bearing in mind that the table and chairs were black with glass, I chose the coffee table to match. Everything else would be in light oak with touches of black.
This is the furniture that I chose along with the sofa I was going to reuse:
You will see that only the cabinet and the furniture of the TV are really at play. The rest does not respond to the same set, but are combinations of single items. This gives personality and dynamism to a decoration and does not look like page 56 of the catalog of that store / brand.
Although it may seem more complicated it is something that I clearly recommend and if you look at all the halls that you like in Pinterest or in the magazines, you will see how everyone meets this criterion.
You can see the armchair in this post in which I spoke about decoration with branches and I tried in my reading corner: A very natural decoration at zero cost
As for the color, I would let the protagonist be the sofa, betting for softer colors.
To determine the color palette, starting from the color of the sofa I went to the chromatic circle and looked for the possible options.
In the chromatic circle we can look at each complementary color (opposite of the wheel) or its complementary (opposite and on each side), analogous colors (on each side of the color itself), tiradic (three equidistant colors, etc.).
From the color burgundy, I chose the divided complementary ones.
Based on this I decided what would be the color of the mahogany console, whose transformation you can see in this link: Makeover of a classic console with Chalk Paint
This was my approach, and it only remains to be executed.
As you can see, based on certain conditions, if you follow certain guidelines you can get to analyze objectively what is the best way to organize and decorate your room.
Surely you are dragging furniture you want to keep and others you want to renew, but in my case it was also like that, I did not start with absolute liberty.
If you want to see the final result of my living room leave me your email and I will notify you in a few days, as soon as I finish it: Leave my email here
(Reedited: You can see the final result of my living room decoration here: My living room decoration: result)