Ever since Scandi became the new "cool", "must-have", "hipster" you name it, everyone's Instagram and ideals of beautiful interiors shifted towards a more clean, sharp and overall light look.
It's very easy to say "I would love my flat to have a mixture of Scandi and Mid-Century Modern furniture", the difficult part is sticking to it.
I say this because I experienced first-hand how my South-American roots totally sabotaged my plan to be minimal and Scandi. I don’t really mind it that much since it became clearer that part of my personality and love of colour was being infused into my living room’s decor without me noticing. At least, I managed to keep the bedroom safe from it.
I recall my parents making fun of me and saying the living room is far from minimal. “There’s crap wherever you look” – and that was when we didn’t have a sofa…
Yes, it may look a bit cluttered, but it looks like a home, and that’s what’s important to me. It doesn’t have to be “Pinterest-perfect” or “Instagrammable”.
Perhaps that’s what drove my subconscious in the first place. The idea of a home, not a picture-perfect place. Having said that, I had a lot of fun playing interior designer, choosing and making things from scratch.
1. The Real & The Ideal
Like I mentioned before, you may have an idea of what you want your living room to look like in the form of a Pinterest board. I love Pinterest because I can explore different looks and it’s a great source of inspiration. However, you can get carried away and forget that here, in the real world, not everything looks picture perfect. You may not find exactly what you want and that beautiful sofa you pinned can be thousands of pounds over budget. I don’t know about you but I’d never pay thousands of pounds for something that will have my butt indented on it throughout the weekend.
Learn how to make the wall hanging decor on the left, here.
2. Invest in Good, Long-lasting Furniture
When I say invest, I don’t mean max your credit card, I mean invest within your means. Yes, you can always trust IKEA to have pretty appealing prices but not everything there is made to last. With most good furniture companies now trading online, it’s a bit difficult to actually touch and see furniture yourself before buying, which can make it tricky. Before buying online, I always make sure I take measurements and see how that fits in a room, I look at colour swatches and try to read as many reviews as possible. I have personally found that MADE.COM have a great range of good value for money pieces.
3. Accessorise it
If you are working with a small living room, take advantage of styling with accessories. I like to hit up charity and antique shops. My tip: go to charity shops in affluent areas, you will score some pretty good finds. I’m always finding original crockery from Portugal, Italy and France in my local one which make great prop pieces for recipe articles.
Don’t underestimate the power of a beautiful rug, it can make the room look completely different.
Another way I like to add colour to the room is with cushions, which is also why we choose such a neutral sofa. Those two lovely cushions are from Urbanara. The red matches the rug while the greys and neutral beige match the rest of the living room’s palette. Find the Ponda Cushions here. Check out the Funchal Blanket here.
4. Urban Jungle
One of the first things I did when I moved into the new flat was to fill it with plants. It’s still a work in a progress, there’re many more kinds I’d like to get. For me, plants make any room feel complete, they tie all the components together.
My collection consists of a range of cacti and succulents, a Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum), Aloe Vera, a Ligustrum Bonsai, a Fern, a Montsera Deliciosa (Swiss Cheese Plant) and a tiny Eucalyptus tree among other. If you are looking for affordable plants, IKEA has a huge range to choose from. Make sure you have a look there to kick-start your collection.
Marcos Table from Made.com
Canton Ladder Bookshelf from Lombok
Ponda Ikat Cushions from Urbanara
Funchal Blanket from Urbanara