For far too long now, our living room has been lacking two major elements: storage and an area rug. But I am happy to report there has been progress on both of those fronts!
Let’s talk about the storage first. They’re Fjalkinge units from IKEA, and they’re honestly so perfect for what we needed. Since our TV is off-center on that wall, I have always struggled with how to add shelving/storage, but still keep it looking balanced. Lucky for us, IKEA offers the Fjalkinge in two different sizes that fit our walls exactly!
I also knew that whatever shelving I added wasn’t just going to be for pretty trinkets and perfectly styled vignettes. Let’s be real. I have an 18 month old and in a few short weeks, I will have a newborn. And, unfortunately, our house doesn’t have a space that I can dedicate as a play room so 99% of the ‘playing’ happens in our living room. Which means that 99% of the toys are in our living room. So, I needed to be able to accommodate toy storage in a practical way. The open shelving/basket combo we’ve got going on is perfect. No, it’s not necessarily magazine-worthy, but it’s what works for us.
I keep some of his favorite toys on the open shelf on the bottom, so that he has easy access to them. The rest go in the baskets above. And, truthfully, he rarely even gets inside the baskets. Out of sight, out of mind I suppose. He usually ends up playing with what he can readily see (the toys on the bottom shelf), and I can easily clean things up at the end of the night in about 10 minutes. I keep a stock of his books in a basket on the smaller shelving unit, and quite frequently, he ends up pulling that basket off and dumping books EVERYWHERE. But it’s not time consuming to pick them up and throw them back in that basket at the end of the night.
Right now, we’re not storing much in the hidden drawers – currently they’re just holding the video game controllers for JP’s Xbox, along with a couple of user manuals and some extra hardware we had after putting the shelves together. Side note: who else gets MONDO nervous when you have extra pieces at the end of putting something together?! I have nightmares about the whole thing just crumbling in the middle of the night because we forgot a screw somewhere.
And then the top shelves are alllll for momma to decorate any ol’ way I feel like! Everyone wins! I really need to get them all gussied up for fall, but right now the thought of restyling them makes my head hurt. Maybe I’ll just focus on redoing them for Christmas.
Obviously we didn’t want to just leave the space under the TV empty so we picked up a Ramsatra console to hold some of our electronic accessories, and it also offers more hidden storage for some of Roarke’s toys. I wish it was a smidge taller, so it could fill more of the dead space under the TV, but it does the job. If I lived in a childless home, I would style it up with some taller accessories (lamps, vases, etc.) to fill that space, but every mom knows that decorative accessories on a surface low enough for a kid to reach is just asking for broken windows. So empty it shall remain. And we need to hide our TV cords, but, again with the real life and stuff.
The second new element to our room is our glorious, makes-me-feel-like-a-grown-up area rug. I have eyes various rugs over the years, but never been able to pull the trigger because $$$$. Large, quality area rugs are EXPENSIVE y’all. So here we are, four years into our marriage and we’ve never had a rug in our living room. But not anymore! Over Labor Day, Rugs USA had some crazy good sales – I’m talking 70-80% off – and I got to pick myself out an early birthday present. The rug I got was originally $933 and I got it for $185! Crazy good.
And it’s gorgeous in person. It’s wool, so it’s still going through the shedding phase – currently I’m vacuuming it 1-2 times a week to try and cut down on the stray fibers. But most reviews I’ve read for wool rugs say the shedding stops after a couple months.
My only dilemma now is that I really want to replace our ottoman. It’s been awesome, but after 3 years of wear and tear, it’s definitely looking dingy. Plus, I don’t like the way the pattern competes with the rug. I’d still like to go with an ottoman over a coffee table, just because I’ve never had to worry once about Roarke falling and hurting himself on a sharp edge. I’m currently obsessing over the thought of a deliciously worn, camel leather ottoman with fabulous tufting. So, if anyone knows where one of those exists for not thousands of dollars, let me know J
So what do you guys think of the changes?