‘We were honoured to be her parents’: The most touching Census time capsule contributions
‘We were honoured to be her parents’: The most touching Census time capsule contributions

Sarah Finnan

I tried the Shakti acupuncture mat for 2 weeks – here’s how it went
I tried the Shakti acupuncture mat for 2 weeks – here’s how it went

Grace McGettigan

Gaining weight for a part is good but wearing a ‘fat suit’ is bad? Unpacking the Emma Thompson backlash
Gaining weight for a part is good but wearing a ‘fat suit’ is bad? Unpacking...

Sarah Finnan

This surprisingly modern four-bed family home is on the market for €335,000
This surprisingly modern four-bed family home is on the market for €335,000

Sarah Finnan

Life Hacks: Three top TikTok tips to make your home smell incredible
Life Hacks: Three top TikTok tips to make your home smell incredible

Sarah Gill

This newly-renovated family home with lots of garden space is on the market for €312,500
This newly-renovated family home with lots of garden space is on the market for €312,500

Sarah Finnan

The Great Getaway: 9 things to put on your Belfast bucket list 
The Great Getaway: 9 things to put on your Belfast bucket list 

Sarah Finnan

How not to break up online: ‘My husband’s girlfriend trying to take the p**s out of me’
How not to break up online: ‘My husband’s girlfriend trying to take the p**s out...

Amanda Cassidy

Why we should all be swimming in the Irish seas this summer
Why we should all be swimming in the Irish seas this summer

Freya Drohan

‘Two decades as a vegetarian has left me ill-equipped to whip up a protein-rich meal for my baby’
‘Two decades as a vegetarian has left me ill-equipped to whip up a protein-rich meal...

Hannah-Louise Dunne

Image / Editorial

8 Secrets to Creating a Liveable Living Room


By Michelle Hanley
11th May 2015
8 Secrets to Creating a Liveable Living Room

How to make a lounge you’ll want to luxuriate in, whatever your budget…

Unforgiving armchair? Too-small sofa? Dearth of occasional tables? An uncomfortable living room is a terrible penance (we know; we’ve lived there). Scroll down to see the eight top tips that could transform the feel of your living space.


Image: Nathalie Marquez Courtney

1 Don’t underestimate the all-essential side table. Not having a spot for your tea or G&T is a disaster in the living room (you WILL spill that mug/glass/bottle if you use your floor as a coffee table). Stacking nests of stylish little tables can be picked up affordably and stored away when not needed if you’re tight on space. Don’t be afraid to move your furniture to suit your patterns.


Image: Doreen Kilfeather

2 Count on cosy blankets. Seeing as how we only get a few days of notable heat in this country a year, wrapping up warm is very necessary, so make sure your blankets and throws are long-lasting and manifold. If your furniture is less than stellar (rental people, we feel your pain), they can also drastically improve the look of your suite.


Image: Al Higgins

3 A ‘nap-able’ sofa. Having a seriously comfy sofa is key to any living room and, as far as we are concerned, peace of mind. If you can, make sure your couch is long enough to allow you to lie down fully and soft enough to melt into. Don’t forget that sofas are a good spare bed, so a great one is a wise investment in your social life!

 


Image: Mark Scott

4 Ditch the digital. To the best of your ability, try not to let any screen be the focal point of your living room. (The furniture should not all point at the TV, no matter what Joey Tribbiani says!) If life without a telly is not for you, try covering it up for times when you want to escape the screen. This customised TV cabinet by LyonsKelly is right on the money.


Image: Verity Welstead

5 Focus on the fireplace instead! Frank Lloyd Wright considered the hearth to be the centre of the home and it has been the congregating spot for families since the Stone Age. If you’re lucky enough to have a functioning chimney, light the fire, or install a wood-burning stove; if not, consider a convincing firefront to evoke that real-fire feel. If have an old defunct fireplace, try filling the hearth with candles for a similar evocative effect.


Image: Mark Scott

6 Let in light. If getting sufficient light into the room is a problem, consider inserting something like this high-level circular window. The one here was added to a 1930s cottage in Rathfarnham, and is strategically placed the catch the last of the evening sunshine.


Image: Mark Scott

7 Embrace the darkness. If tip number 6 is not an option, go back to black. Keep to a dark palette for your room and layer interesting contrasts of texture for a luxurious feel. Remember, dark blinds are a great way of cutting out the light.


Image: Simon Watson

8 Go multi-functional. Why not swap your coffee table for an ottoman; then, when you have to share the couch, you can still put your feet up in comfort. Win.

1 Fairview House / 2 Dark Beauty / 3 Earthy, Arty Apartment / 4 Rathfarnham Cottage / 5 Architect’s Refurb / 6 Bespoke Home / 7 Dublin 8 Apartment / 8 Scandi-Inspired Home

For more top homemaking tips, click through to 9 ways to keep you kitchen clutter in check.

Michelle Hanley for @Image_Interiors / @hanleymi