I LIKE TO HAVE A TIDY KITCHEN BUT I AM NOT TOO BOTHERED ABOUT MY ROOM OR LIVING ROOM ETC. MY THEORY IS THAT WHEN IT’S UNTIDY I FEEL COMFORTABLE, LIKE IT FEELS LIVED IN. Dominic Monaghan
The main purpose of the Sitting Room is to provide somewhere comfortable for people to sit – to provide a space to sit down and relax. It might be to have a good chat with a friend or two over a cup of tea, or to provide a place for people to sit down after dinner, or to watch a good film, or to curl up with a good book. Consequently, it should be a space which is comfortable, relaxing and inviting.
Somewhere to Sit
As with the other ‘rooms’ in my living area, the Sitting Room is an area of the open-plan living space which I have sectioned off using two sofas at right angles to each other.
One sofa is from IKEA and has a lovely, old-fashioned, red cottage-rose pattern all over it, which the big, white walls can handle.
This red cushion came with the second sofa I bought (below), but I thought it looked a bit plain. I hand-stitched a red felt heart onto a left-over piece of Laura Ashley and then stitched this on to the cushion to create a unique cover which complemented the red tones in the IKEA sofa.
This second sofa is a sofa-bed, which I was really pleased to find in a Charity shop. I thought that the solid colour was a bit boring, so I covered the seat cushions with a thick pink blanket and the back cushions with this gorgeous crocheted blanket, which was also a brilliant Charity shop bargain at just £3.
This wooden toybox provides a brilliant space to store blankets and board games and the cosy quilt on top creates an excellent extra seat when needed. I found the toybox in a Charity shop and bought the quilt on eBay. Both were excellent bargains and add to the country cottage feel of the sitting room.
Something to Read
I love getting stuck into a good book and find slipping into someone else’s story for an afternoon and seeing the world from a different perspective a brilliant way to unwind. For a selection of some of the different books that I have recently enjoyed reading, have a look here.
Along with books, I love a good magazine, especially when it is filled with ideas about how to decorate or furnish my home. The paper basket was a bargain at 20p at a Village Fete a few years ago and I have tied a head scarf around the rim to make it a bit more interesting. I have filled the basket with catalogues of beautiful fabrics and furnishings and magazines which inspire me.
Two of the magazines I love are the bi-monthly, Vintage-inspired Pretty Nostalgic, which is full of British-based businesses and includes gorgeous images and inspiring ideas to help you return to “vintage ways”, and The English Home, a gorgeous glossy mag which has beautiful images and interesting articles about the “essence of English style”.
Arts and Crafts
As well as reading, I love turning my hand to anything arty or crafty as a way to unwind and relax. As such, I have saved a corner of my sitting room for my sewing endeavours. The wooden sewing box was a recent birthday gift and the sewing basket is one that I have had since I was a child (I think it was also a birthday present from my 6th or 7th birthday!)
I love Cath Kidston and Kirstie Allsopp’s range of sewing books for excellent ideas and inspiration. Have a look at my latest handmade projects here.
Pictures and Paintings
I have several pictures in the sitting room which I have painted myself. I like displaying my own artwork, as each piece is unique and reminds me of a particular place or a time.
This picture is one that I painted of the moors in Northumberland, which hangs in my Sitting Room as a reminder of one of my favourite places.
This is another of my paintings, which reminds me of the sea, where I love spending as much time as possible in the holidays.
These pictures are from a variety of different places – look out for your own pictures in unusual places and save images that you like, from cards, postcards, magazines, newspapers, calendars, even wrapping paper. Clockwise from top left: the first picture is a postcard I picked up in London; the two pictures in the next frame are pictures from an old Edward Hopper calendar (one of my favourite artists); the third picture was from a National Trust magazine, and the fourth vintage-style photo was from a fashion-shoot in ‘Elle’ magazine. The frames were all from Wilkinsons and cost no more than £1.50 each.
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