“itty bitty living space”

The living room in this house is a challenge. It was one of the reasons I hesitated about buying the house. It has an awesome amount of character packed into a room that only measures 13 x 13. To quote Genie from Disney’s Aladdin, “PHENOMINAL COSMIC POWERS! …itty bitty living space”. That pretty much sums up how I feel about this living room.


Living Room: before.

Living Room: Before.

However, there are advantages. Think cozy and cottage and curled up with a book by the fire. Considering I grew up in a house with about 900 square feet in all, I can hardly complain. There is plenty of room for chatting and coffee and I have a few tricks up my sleeve as well. Maybe not cosmic powers like Genie, but still pretty good.

Living Room: After.

Living Room: After.

I painted the fireplace wall and bricks white for a punch of contrast and to help unify that wall. I also painted the brass around the fireplace surround black, to make it look less busy. The color on the walls is in the cool family, a trick to help them recede and not seem too close.

The coffee table is glass. This is important. It does not occupy any visual space, which helps the room seem less cluttered. I played around with some other options, but the glass table was perfect.

Living Room.

Living Room.

My crazy sis came and helped me unpack and when I realized she had reorganized the books by color, I suggested that perhaps subject might be a better way to organize the books. But she was right. The colors looked great. We had only minimal grumbling and eye-rolling from Stuart over this one and a suggested debate: Form or Function?

Stuart and I are too tired chasing the baby and unpacking to debate at all, so I win.

Extra seating tucked away.

Extra seating tucked away.

I have two ottomans tucked away next to the sofa for emergency extra seating. Very handy!

I hung my black and white photographs going up the stairwell to accent the farthest wall in the room. This helps create the illusion that the stairwell is just inside my living room, and helps it seem bigger. It also draws attention to the beauty of the staircase, which is a nice feature.



Staircase Wall with Black and White Photographs.

Staircase Wall with Black and White Photographs.

The room is not entirely done yet. I still need to hang curtains or wooden shutters over the windows that face the street. I want to install a runner going up the stairs and I am sure that the room will continue to evolve over time. But right now, it seems perfect. Mostly because it isn’t full of boxes.

 © copyright 2012 Mariam d’Eustachio.

9 thoughts on ““itty bitty living space”

  1. HI MARIAM, Great color in the living room, especially how Angela grouped the books by color on that one side of the bookshelves. Mirrors at different places work to enlarge and create more light. That was one of the satisfying aspects all along the south side of your old house. But what you’re showing us is delightful. The black/white pictures ascending the staircase wall give you a uniform look without being distracting. Look forward to visiting, now that I feel better. Thanks. Love, Aunt Patty

  2. Mariam, I personally love jewel box tiny spaces. I love the wall color and the fireplace white. Books by color? Mine wouldn’t stay that way long 🙂 but it’s a nice beginning. Staircase looks fabulous. So warm and inviting. Keep that decorating going, kids and all. Love your posts!

  3. Wow, I’ve been living in my house 4 years and it doesn’t look that nice. Amazing what some paint and some creative genius can do…..

  4. Congratulations Mariam. Love it! Loved seeing how your beautiful home evolved, and will no doubt, continue to evolve. I am sure that you will continue to derive inspiration from the often unexpected sources of beauty surrounding you. In turn you have become an inspiration to others!

  5. Pingback: The Evolution of a Living Room | Simply Turquoise

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s