It’s the heart and soul of any modern home. The living room, with easy access to the kitchen and dining area, is no exception.
For some time now, the living room has served as a place for everyone to meet. It’s where kids can play and tinker around, whilst parents get on with their work. Furthermore, it’s where the family gets together for dinner and friends meet for a cosy evening. Ever since apartments have started to feature open plan spaces where your kitchen, dining room and living room have been merged into virtually one space, people’s habits have changed as well.. The living room has been transformed into a stage for all kinds of everyday activities, from the interactive, to the homely and functional.
Read on to find out how we should embrace this new, universally functional space, while meeting the new demands posed by this change…
Temporary home office
For an increasing number of people, living rooms double up as workspaces. Working from home is becoming more and more common, but at the same time living space is becoming increasingly scarce. Many professionals find themselves and their laptops struggling for space and taking over the kitchen table. A recent Forsa study into this trend revealed that 25% of Germans occasionally do work in their living rooms. That’s why many more people are shopping for comfortable dining room chairs: Highly functional models with flexible backrests or half armrests, such as the “Amelie” model from the German manufacturer Freifrau or the “Långfjäll” chair from Ikea, are very pretty and can also be used as lounge chairs.
Old friends, new faces
Through various developments over the past few years, some of our cherished pieces of living room furniture will soon become extinct: Endangered pieces include: wall units, coffee tables and TV tables, for example. This is because younger generations hardly ever sit down to watch TV. Instead, they prefer to surf the net and want to have charging stations everywhere to ensure their smart phones and tablets are ready to go. This means charging outlets are being added to lamps and other pieces of furniture. Despite all these changes, old time classics such as framed pictures or books will still have their place in the living room. These items allow people to express themselves and their personality and add a special touch to homes. And that’s exactly the reason why companies such as Whitewall, Lumas or Ixxi are doing so well.
The sofa of tomorrow
If you want to understand how our homes are changing, then look no further than the sofa: Back in the 60s, the sofa was just a compact, upholstered creation. In the 70s, fringe detailing and teddy-coloured covers came into fashion. The 80s saw the onset of (fake) leather and bright chrome legs and the 90s was a truly Italian affair with the arrival of narrow, luxury couches. At the dawn of the new millennium, the sofa had become a large, sprawling landscape. XXL dimensions, soft foam upholstery, and crumpled cushions galore. Today’s u-shape sofas have stolen the show with all kinds of adjustable elements and storage solutions, as well as transforming into a bed for guests. The modern sofa is ready for anything and everything.
New tips and tricks
If your home is open plan, then it’s essential that you “zone” your living space. That’s why design professionals and stylists have recently returned to putting carpet down under sofas and armchairs. Lush indoor plants and multifunctional coffee tables are also charming additions that help shape the space. Instead of the classic, square coffee table, where you can rest your coffee mug and pile up your books and newspapers, open plan homes now offer numerous solutions such as small tables with handles and padded pouffes where you can rest a wooden tray for your cups, mugs and snacks. Floor cushions or stools are also an increasingly popular addition. These interactive “seating options” adapt to you and your lifestyle, and can be easily moved around. Now you are prepared for the future.
An article by Janina Temmen