Friday, July 27, 2012

What Should I Put in the Corner of the Living Room? Reading Nooks, Bar Carts, Houseplants, and Feng Shui

The search terms people use to find me here crack me up. Some of my favorites are "How to paint poultry," "Badass cardiologist," "Hipster elbrooklyntaco," and "Kids medieval certificate of knighthood." What are you all doing?! I'm imagining you hunched over raw chicken cutlets, holding paintbrushes and clutching your hearts while children dressed in armor dance around you, clamoring for recognition.

But one search term I really like is "What should I put in the corner of my living room?" Good question! Empty corners look sad, but how do you dress a corner without creating a claustrophobic nightmare like this?  Take a look at these pretty corners for inspiration. First, consider a large plant. Yeah, it's a classic no-brainer, but that's because it works. Plants make a room look fresher, they bring positive Feng Shui to drab corners, and they filter the air. Even an amateur can keep these species alive.

I love the industrial lockers juxtaposed with bohemian textiles, and the contrast of red and green.
But imagine this room without the big green fern. Much less awesome, amirite? Source
That gorgeous painted hardwood floor is killing me. WANT.  But oh yeah, plants in the corner.
Here, I think the plant's rounded shape and height balance the low, square furniture. Source
This plant has such a great, sculptural shape. Imagine the room without it. Too sparse, right? It adds interest. Source
If you're like me and you accidentally kill every plant, a reading nook might work better for you. Duh, I'm a librarian. Of COURSE I'm going to tell you that you need a reading nook! Chair + shelf or end table with books = adorable vignette. I'll be honest: You won't read here much, if ever. But that's okay, because it means you can put a really cool-looking but uncomfortable chair here. Like one of these. Oooooh, what a pretty torture device! If you're like Keith and you have a chair-buying addiction, this is probably your best option.

I love the cluttered coziness here. This is what I imagine the Weasley family's house in Harry Potter might be like. Source
Don't you want to spend a rainy day curled up in this chair with tea and a good book? Source
I love this mix of old furniture and modern art. And look at the bird's nests they have on display! Source

What's that? You kill plants, and you don't read? Can I interest you in a cocktail (and a cart?) These pretty bar or tea carts could improve any corner. For those of you who aren't booze inclined, you don't have to place liquor on the cart. As the second photo demonstrates, a cart of prettily arranged objets d'art works just as well.
This is the "After" photo from a very impressive furniture makeover.
Follow the link to see the nasty rusted mess it was once upon a time! Source
No booze? No problem! Source
I love everything about this. Look, they have Rose's Lime Juice... I'll have a gin gimlet, please! Source
To complicate matters, corners are especially important to Feng Shui practitioners, who say the coners of a room and a house correspond to specific areas of your life. So those parts of your life might suffer if the corresponding space isn't arranged in a healthy way. Are you darting furtive, hateful looks at your corners yet? If you're going to work with Feng Shui principles, remember to check the Ba Gua and use the correct colors and images in your corners. For example, the Northwest corner of a room or home governs mentors and people who guide and help you, and it's associated with metal. So placing a picture of your hero (or most supportive friends?) in a metallic frame in the northwest corner of your home would be considered beneficial.


I'll leave you with this picture of my own living room corner in its current Keith-just-moved-in-and-stuff-is-messy state. This is the southwest corner, associated with relationships, so it has the things we love most that define us as individuals and remind me of good times spent together as a couple. It has Keith's chair and guitar, my craft supplies stored in suitcases, the dogs' toys, and posters for Beirut and Firefly. It's a little busy, though. Looking at this picture makes me want to get rid of the magazine rack! What do you think?

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P.S. All trolls will be fed to the bookworms.