Let’s Talk About My Living Room Some More

So, the living room actually has two distinct areas, which is part of what makes it so frustrating to furnish. There’s this little, corner, I guess? Right when you walk in. Right now this corner is where we have all the kids toys, which is an ok use of the space, but it means that the kids have a tiny little corner to play in and toys are always all over the place right when you walk in my house. Anyway, as soon as Katie is out of her crib, the giant IKEA toy shelf is going in the kids room.

Here is a terrible Iphone picture of the corner. That arch is the entrance to the dining room which means this little space isn’t useful for much of anything.

So, questions.  First, when did your (still napping) toddler transition to a twin bed? I can’t remember when Eli did it, but I am thinking right before Katie was born, so three ish. Sound about right? That’s when I’m planning on it, so that would be this summer.

Secondly, that space, confounding as it is, will probably become the desk area.  I am of two minds about how I’d like this to look. At first I pictured something fairly minimilist so the desk is not sticking out into the room any more than necessary. So maybe a shag rug, and then a long board, stained dark, attached to brackets running the length of the wall.  In my MIND, it looks really good. Something like this:

Or this

Source: cankulagi.com via Elizabeth on Pinterest

The main problem I see with this is that

1. I am worried it will look terrible and sort of…sterile? Or odd? or sort of…not like living roomy but more…I don’t even know.  Just strange, I guess, in my living room, and I am also not sure where Eli’s desk would go. I also don’t love the idea of sitting at a desk with my back to the living room, but I can’t see a way around that.

The other option would be something more like this.


At first I dismissed this sort of layout entirely but now that I see this picture, it’s really grown on me. It looks more “intentional furniture in a living room” somehow, and I could paint my desk grey really easily, since I am not that crazy about the color anyway. And then we could have my desk (a basic parson’s style just like this picture) and Eli’s desk next to each other.

Do you think this look is dependent entirely on having that sort of plush chair as a desk chair? I kind of think it might be. I am trying to dissect it so I know how to do it successfully. I think 1. gray parson’s desk 2. wall color 3. art or bulletin board 4. floating shelves with things on them 4. art to the side 5. upholstered chair 6. decorative items on shelves 7. light colored rug with tones of the wall color in it 8. bright colored file cabinet (I have that).



10 Responses

  1. I like the second plan better. (Although you don’t know me from Adam and probably could care less what I think. LOL) I do think for it to look more a part of the living room, the upholstered chair is necessary. Because it is at the entrance to your home, you don’t want it to seem to be a lot of hard surfaces in a “waiting area” or like a kinda of “go to your room and study” kind of space. Bonus: When you have extra guests that need seating in the living room, the chair can be turned to join the group…or possibly even used as a head chair at the dining room table for extra seating.

  2. I swear you have the best taste ever. We have our desk in the living room with shelves above it and I actually think the shelving (which is new) makes the whole thing look a lot more “on purpose” than it did with just a desk in the corner.

    but we also have an office chair, so what do I know?

  3. Our rental house has a space in the teeny tiny living room for an even teeny tinier dining area. Since there is a DR addition, we use that area for a desk. I love it even though the user’s back is to the rest of the room. The girls use it for drawing and homework. It also solves the issue of no computers in their bedroom. (we need to start that young as the 9 year old go caught trying to log on to pottermore without permission).

  4. I’m a fan of the third option. I don’t think it’s necessarily dependent on that kind of chair to work either. (But you’d probably know better than I would. Engineers aren’t usually known for their sense of style.)

  5. I like the free standing desk!
    My desk is in my kitchen. Its an old desk I painted. I love it! Not the normal place for a desk. But it’s PERFECT!!!!

  6. FYI I love that you are a fellow Nebraska Blogger 🙂

  7. I transitioned my oldest into a toddler bed at 3, the middle one at 4, and they were both still napping and it was easy. Princess gave up the nap at age 2 (!) and she just went from a crib to a big girl bed a few weeks ago and ohmylord that was a mistake but I already sold the crib.

    As for the living room, I like both options–which do you prefer? The shelf desk would probably have a slimmer profile–will the deeper parsons desk and a chair fit in the nook without blocking that door to the left? I like the look, I don’t think its sterile.

  8. To answer a question that was in there….we put our kids in regular beds at age 2.

  9. Both of my boys moved to beds early. R was only about 18 months, but that’s because I didn’t want to buy a second crib for W. W was about 22 months when we moved his crib mattress to the floor and about 2 1/2 when we got bunk beds and he moved into the bottom bunk.

    As for the desk, I like either option, but I feel like the shelf desk might look more intentional and built-in.

  10. i transitioned my girls to big beds at 18mo and 2 years (oldest napped until 3.5 youngest is almost 3 and still napping).

    hmmm, what if you went with a longer free standing table (as long as the desk in picture 1 but a table like picture 3). something about an actual table seems more living room like…just my 2 cents. yes to a softer (upholstered) chair.

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