It has always perplexed me how this room has over the years adopted so many names. The kitchen is always the kitchen despite the sometimes added appendage of ‘diner’ or ‘breakfast’. The dining room is the dining room and the bedroom may on occasion, tongue firmly in cheek be referred to as the love nest but invariably it is just a bedroom. The living room on the other hand could be a lounge, a sitting room, the drawing room, I have even heard it referred to as the family room. I think many of the titles that this room receives is due to the many functions it provides.
How you use a room really does have an impact on the decor you choose for it, and in the case of the living room the title it holds. I tend to opt for living room as it is more of an all encompassing title than the alternatives. For me the living room is multifunctional, I want to lounge around in it, I may use it to entertain in so then it would have a more formal purpose, I also want it to be the family room where board games and jigsaws can be played in front of the fire. Speaking of the fire you can see in the top picture that the room has a wood burning stove and a very large marble fire surround.
The wood burner is great, they actually throw out more heat than a fire and reduce the fire smell on your upholstery. The marks on the fireplace tells me I need to get the chimneys checked, in an old house it may need lining. If you move somewhere new always get chimneys swept and checked.
The surround has to go it is not to my taste and is far too large and ostentatious for the room. Below I have been hunting for some alternative ideas.
Having a simple beam is beautiful and I would consider it in the kitchen but in the living room I really want to have a mantle piece, and at Christmas I want to cover that mantle in holly and pine cones.
These two simple limestone surrounds are much more in keeping with the feel that I want for the room.
As the room will serve many functions I don’t want any one thing to dominate the space. I want the furniture, colours, artwork, accessories etcetera. I am having fun putting a mood board together and will share it with as soon as it is finished. Below is a photo of the room from another angle this is taken with my back to the fireplace. Both of the doors open into the hall. The one on the left opens in the hall in front of the staircase. The door on the right opens by the cellar door in the hall. I have decided that I want to remove the door on the right hand side. I don’t need an entrance to the room that is closer to the kitchen an therefore more convenient for servants, I do like the fact that the house has real Victorian functionality but it is not needed for a modern home. By removing the second door the room becomes less prescriptive as to where furniture can go. Also it lessens the amount of doors opening right by one another.