A Not So Formal Living Room


Posted by Rebecca, May 24th, 2011

I’ve already declared my love of bookcases, but I’ve been scheming some more. Mike and I wanted to add some bookcases to the sitting room portion of our master someday, but lately I’ve been thinking about the giant wall in our formal living room. Yes, the room we never mention because it is completely empty.

I didn’t consider adding bookcases here because of those 2 skinny windows on either side of the room. We actually paid extra for those windows, as everything with new homes is an option. We added every optional window they had. Those two skinny windows are the only windows in the entire house that face that direction. Mowie is very appreciative of the morning light 🙂

I also thought we’d have to save that longest wall for a couch. Here’s the view from the dining room.

Here is a better view of the windows overlooking our porch.

At the moment, I am thinking of using my master bedroom idea for this room. We need some serious cookbook storage. Yes, we have a million vegetarian cookbooks we’d like to easily access, those count as books, right? 🙂

Mike and I were thinking of buying some Ikea bookcases. More specifically, maybe some sort of Hemnes combination.

There are a bunch of different sizes and styles we could chose from to make it look more custom. To round off our sitting room, I wanted to add two leather chairs, also from Ikea.

Okay, I’m panicking, they’re not on the Ikea website anymore! I hope they’re not gone! I first spotted them in Katie Bower’s formal living room.

Hopefully Ikea still has them since they were just $199 each. Otherwise this post is foiled. Whamp whamp! But I was thinking of putting them in front of the big double windows, with some bookcases on the large wall. We’re going for the effect that Sandra has in her living room.

But with two skinny windows we’ll manage to work with. Adding some bookcases would give me the opportunity to paint the back of them a fun color like I’ve been dyiiing to do! Here are some of my current favorites from the blogosphere…

John & Sherry of Young House love painted theirs a teal color

Jessie from Cape 27 went with a bright yellow (which is a Target bookcase btw!)

Megan from Honey We’re Home painted her built-ins a soothing blue

Depending on how accessories and what not go, I also like the idea wallpapering or lining the bookcases with fabric to add some more pattern to the room. Here’s an example of a fabric lined bookcase, also from Megan at Honey We’re home.

My fears of not being able to add a couch to this room if we had bookcases were alleviated this week when I spotted this image on Pinterest which is originally from Houzz.

Hey look, you can layer furniture! So even if I have a bookcase against the wall, I can then put a couch in front of that. I didn’t think of that 🙂

But after looking around, I think I want just a few chairs in this room. We still want to be able to extend our dining room table comfortably and we more than likely won’t be spending a lot of time in this room. The cats love this room though, so we want to keep the upholstered furniture minimal and animal friendly.

We shall see how this works out. Afterall, we should probably finish our entryway project first 🙂

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10 Responses to “A Not So Formal Living Room”

  1. Joon says:

    love that last one! just saw it on pinterest! all great ideas! i can’t wait to see what you go with!
    Joon recently posted..Tennessee Thrifting!

  2. Cait @ Hernando House says:

    I love this idea! We had our couch with its back to the bookshelves for a while, and that is still the plan for when we have the budget to do our build-ins.

  3. ALittleBite says:

    I love the Hemnes collection! It’s quite new here in Spain; if they’d sold it when we were looking for bookcases for the living room we probably would’ve gone with that instead of what we finally bought.
    ALittleBite recently posted..Kitchen Organization

  4. LD says:

    Love it! Bibliophiles unite! That room is so elegant – even empty. Bookcases would be a great formal yet functional touch without overwhelming the space! Can’t wait to see what you design 🙂

  5. oh… how I LOVE built ins! I am fantasizing about them for two different areas in my home right now, but sadly… they’ll have to wait while we focus on more important projects. Can’t wait to see what you end up doing!
    Ashley @ DesignBuildLove.co recently posted..6 Tips for First-Time Landscapers &amp Front Yard Landscaping – Stage 1

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  7. Treva thigpen says:

    What distance do you recommend be between the back of the couch and the book shelves if the shelves have books to the floor?

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