The dimensions of my living room and the general layout of the architecture made it hard to decide on an acceptable furniture arrangement. It’s kind of a long rectangle, with high ceilings. The steps and a doorway to the studio/basement breaks up the space, and the black doors that lead outside are in the middle of the opposite wall. The cutout of open shelves leaves basically only one logical place to put a TV (what would be our family room is actually my studio, so the living room space has to be multi-functional, housing both the TV, our piano, and lots of toys). Storage is well managed, but with where I had to place the couch and the TV, we had this one super awkward wall that’s tall, but not too wide, that has posed problems from the day we moved in. I settled on this art arrangement for a good while, but it always felt a little off.
A lot of our neighbors put the TV on that bigger wall, and then they have either poorly placed couch that’s way too far away (on the opposite wall, across the room!), or they put the couch where I have mine, but get a creak in their neck when they watch Jimmy Fallon on the late night because the couch isn’t across from the tube. Anyway, I like the TV on the small wall, because it doesn’t attract all the attention in the space, and it’s an appropriate viewing distance from the couch, so we didn’t have to buy an embarrassingly huge flat screen. But it leaves this really difficult wall to manage. The sconces felt too silly, fussy and formal before, and I had always wanted them to add a little contradictory informality and quirkiness. So here is the wall now, with additional art pieces incorporated. It isn’t perfectly symmetrical, but more of an offset mix of work. Feels much better to me.
(The art: from bottom Left to Right, by Heinrich Toh, Bonner Sale, Allison Reimus, and Erin Raedeke. The top left corner piece is a vintage painting, and top right corner is an antique etching. It’s an eclectic mix of some of my favorite artists)
Anyone else struggle with a competing TV and large wall? My suggestion is to please forgo the whole DIY wall art/decor b.s. and live with it as is, until you can build a collection of actual artwork by artists you want to support, or find out what’s happening at your local non-profit art organizations or small scale local galleries, and buy work from those venues. Art can be more affordable than you’d expect, and even so, supporting the arts helps the economy exponentially. The arts and culture industry generates $166.2 billion in economic activity each year (according to the non-profit advocacy group Americans for the Arts). Arts education programs provide so many opportunities for children in your community, fostering creativity and self-esteem, teaching problem-solving skills, and ultimately inspiring kids to stay in school. If you’re willing to spend the big bucks on TVs and furniture that don’t give back, then maybe it’s time to reconsider!
It’s almost Friday! My boy starts Preschool tomorrow morning, and it feels like such a big moment in our house. You may or may not find me sitting in my car across the street from the school in the Grocery store parking lot. Yup.