SO MANY RECTANGLES: the current state of the living room


It’s fine. It could be worse. It has the three main things (I think) a room needs to look finished and intentional: something on the floor, something on the windows, and something in the walls. Here’s another angle:


I took these pictures to put on Craigslist when I was looking for a new roommate (why didn’t I move that coffee mug???) and it was at least cleaner and brighter than most of the other apartment pictures I saw.


Here are the things I like about it:

  • The sofa. It’s an Ikea Kramfors and it’s basically the best sofa in the entire world. This one was purchased in eight years ago from a French guy in Long Island city for $300 and I’m absolutely dreading the day I need to replace it. It has a flat back so I never need to fool around with adjusting cushions and the arms are the perfect width  for a laptop and a bowl of cereal. Also the cover comes off for cleaning which is super vital in a roommate situation.
  • The brass lamp! I have four of these, which is an absurd amount for such a small apartment, but they just kept appearing at this little thrift shop for like $15 each and not buying them was a physical impossibility.
  • My TV, cuz TV is rad.
  • The white curtains. I’m on the ground floor so the windows need to be covered, but the hideous plastic venetian blinds that came with the apartment make me really sad. The white curtains let some light in but spare my neighbors from the sight of me walking around pants-less all day.


Here’s the stuff that is just super not working

  • Omg THAT RUG. I like the idea of it–kilims have totally been A Thing for a while, I love pink, and a flat weave is theoretically easier to clean than something with a pile. What I found with this one, though, is that despite two cans of Scotchgard, it is an absolute dirt magnet. You can smudge it by just looking at it while wearing a pair of shoes. It’s a nightmare. The pink is cute, but I think it’s just too much in such a small space. But mainly, IT IS WAY TOO FUCKING SMALL. WHY DID I THINK SUCH A TINY RUG WOULD WORK? Seriously, there are like zero living rooms that need a 5×8 rug. I thought I was “splurging” by upgrading from a 4×6, but it makes the room look smaller and is probably worse than no rug at all.
  • The blue chairs. My mom snagged them for me from a neighbor who was getting rid of them, and I’d just moved into this apartment from a much tinier place so I thought I’d have the room. They are SUPER comfy and having non-couch seating felt very grown-up, but with the current living room configuration they just make everything cramped and claustrophobic. Also, they are SO DIRTY now. It’s taken me a few years to accept it but it turns out that my lifestyle is just not compatible with velvet upholstery. (But look at how pretty they were when I got them!)
  • The coffee table. It’s that same Pinterest-Ikea-hack coffee table everyone has (paint it gold! throw down some marble contact paper!) and I’m pretty over it. I like that it has a glass top and a shelf for my pretty picture books but it’s just soooooooo boring.
  • The bookcase. It’s actually not even a bookcase so it looks kind of dumb, it has a ton of wasted vertical space, and the detailing on top is just so not my style.
  • The purple curtains. These are a failed “pop of color.” They make the windows look smaller and the fabric is a really thin loose weave so they look super dinky when they’re closed. No  thank you, dumb purple curtains.


So that’s where I’m at with the living room! I’ve been pinning rugs and coffee tables and chairs all week and I might actually pull the trigger on one or two of them soon! The main contenders are  an all-glass coffee table, and 9×12 jute rug, and one of those round string chairs. (But obviously not that exact one, because it is $350.)

Anyone have any other suggestions? I have literally NEVER been happy with the rug and coffee table situation in any of my apartments so spending money on something new is always so anxiety-inducing.

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