Corners of the Living room

We live in an apartment building dating from the early 1900s in an apartment which has some good bones. We have high ceilings (about 3m) and hardwood floors, big windows, a large kitchen and a relatively spacious living room. Since we rent, we’re restricted in what we can do to make the space our own, but after nearly a year here it’s starting to feel like home.

Taking good pictures in here is something of a challenge, mainly because I’m not likely to win any prizes for my photography skills any time soon. My current approach consists of vaguely pointing the camera at my chosen target and then panicking mildly about whether my hand is steady enough before I press the button.

Some of my favourite things are in this room. The teak coffee table (which we recently had restored and refinished by a pro -it had a broken leg which was beyond my skills to fix) and the side tables belonged to my grandparents. They were manufactured by Danish company France & Son and bought in the early 1960s (we still have the original receipts!) The side tables had some glass rim and water marks on them so I spent an afternoon refinishing them a few months ago. Elbow grease, sandpaper and teak oil. But it was worth it.

In the back you can spot our 1970s teak bar cart (thanks mom and dad!) which is one of those items few people would think of owning nowadays, but which are surprisingly useful. At the moment it’s housing our, um, alcohol, an ever-changing display of my many fleamarket ceramic finds, and some art books that won’t fit into our BILLY bookshelves. The lamps on our side tables are from TK Maxx, the sheepskin on our sofa foot stool is a present from New Zealand that keeps the cats snuggly in the evenings, and the glass votive is Kosta Boda’s snowball design from 1973 designed by Ann Wärff. The design is older than me but apparently holding up better.

The painting above the sofa was a wedding present from a childhood friend of mine who also happens to be an artist. I love it when that happens. The basket/bowl was a birthday present from my parents, chosen by me on a family trip to Provence over 10 years ago. I still love it. It makes me think of happy times and warm weather. And good cheese.

The green paint in the living room was my idea. I’d previously only ever lived in apartments and houses with white walls. There are days when I love this green (it’s fresh and cheerful on a gloomy November morning) and days when I think I should have stuck with white. It’s so easy. This photo also makes me think that if I ever buy a house and/or win the lottery, I’ll splurge on custom built bookshelves. Finding a reasonably attractive, practical and budget-friendly way to house our growing book collection (I think they breed), not to mention work files and folders is an ongoing project.

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