How Sheltering in Place Inspired Me to Find a New Set-Up for Our Living Room

A space better suited to our new habits...
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Until recently, our living room hadn't changed since we moved into our current apartment last fall. The couch, which curved towards the kitchen, was placed with game nights, dinner parties, and casual Sunday hangouts in mind. It was an open configuration that literally made our home feel warmer and more inviting. But then, like everyone else, we stopped having friends over. The open plan made less sense as we closed ourselves off and craved a cozier space to spend our quiet evenings in

Configuration #1

Configuration #1

Three weeks into our quarantine, Jonah walked into the living room to find me pushing our couch across the floor, closing off the L-shape so that the first thing a guest (if we had any) would see would be the back of a couch. But in the center, I'd created a small oasis: Our couch faced my favorite reading chair and the new placement opened up the 1920s windows. I loved the new configuration... for approximately one week. 

Configuration #2

Configuration #2

Last week, Jonah and I sat down to map out the ways in which we're really spending our time now to find a configuration that more accurately reflects those habits, free of judgement. Before sheltering in place, we barely spent any time in our living room outside of weekends. If we didn't have plans after work, we'd usually go to our gym together, get home around 7, make dinner together, then read in our small guest room before going to bed. Where our living room was once an afterthought, it's now where we spend most of our time. In the end, we landed on an arrangement that breaks the room into three distinct, smaller spaces:

1. Reading Area: Jonah works from the reading chair during the day, then I take it over in the evenings, settling into it with a book and a drink as soon as my work is done.
2. T.V. Area: Because we're watching a lot more T.V. (every night, compared to around two nights a week), we brought our set down from our guest room into the living room.
3. Workout Area: I replaced the area where my purses once hung from the front door with a small "home gym" set that includes weights, resistance bands, and a basket that holds my yoga mat, so I can easily do a home workout from my iPad. 

Configuration #3 (what it looks like now!)

Configuration #3 (what it looks like now!)

The new configuration includes some of the things I'd once resisted in our home, namely having the T.V. be the focal point, and placing the couch in a position that cuts the room in half. While we'll probably move it back to its original arrangement as soon as it's fully safe to have friends over again, it's exactly what we need right now, which is to say: A place to watch The Office, a place to move, and a place to read. 

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Furniture Sources:

Anthropologie Magazine Rack
Cost Plus World Market Console
IKEA Lamp
Sonos Speaker
Vintage Dog Doorstopper
Urban Outfitters Mirror
Urban Outfitters Purse Rack
West Elm Couch
Brass Coffee Table
Lulu and Georgia Throw Blanket
Suay Sew Shop Pillows
IKEA Lamp
Lulu and Georgia 'Roz' Chair
Target Bar Cart
Snakeskin seats from our old office