Design, without a doubt, impacts our day-to-day interactions and experiences, particularly in our homes. A place of safety and comfort, the home is often defined by the pieces found inside, the designs we live in.
The day is done, you’ve just walked in the door, and it’s time to wind down. Switching on the table lamp that sits atop your entry console, your home is filled with warm, welcoming light. You pour yourself a glass of red, and pop it down on your travertine coffee table (coaster first of course), sit down on the sofa, and feel the soft texture of your living room rug between your toes.
There’s a knock on the door, it’s the food delivery service with tonight’s dinner. Serving up is easy, and you quickly take a seat at the dining table, appreciating the soft leather upholstery and smooth timber arms of your dining chairs. A quiet cup of tea, along with some smooth music for relaxation concludes the evening, leaving you ready for bed and the eventual start of a new day.
The way we interact and perceive our home is very often dictated by the pieces within. Feelings of comfort, ambience, and enjoyment, stem from the designs we choose to fill our spaces, the pieces that we live in.
And so, to encourage these positive feelings and experiences at home, investing in longterm design is something we recommend. The pieces you can visualise as being part of your everyday, and having the qualities to last a lifetime, is what we like to call Designs We Live In.
This blog post isn’t going to tell you what to buy, but it will point you towards 4 key pieces found in every home that are definitely worth the investment.
01. Coffee & Side Tables
We thought about starting this post off with a look at a selection of sofas that are 100% worth the investment. But we already did that here. Instead, we chose to kick things off with the sofa’s best mate, the coffee or side table.
Holder of mugs, platform for decor, and a secondary dining table in many households (absolutely zero judgement here), coffee tables are the work horse of the living room and a signifier of relaxation time. Though providing a functional aspect tends to be the crux of a coffee table’s purpose, it’s also a really strong styling moment, especially when you start looking at those which bring sculptural elements, rich materiality, and graphic silhouettes into the mix.
Its little brother, the side table can function similarly, especially when space is limited. Arguably a little more mobile, they’re easy to move around when the occasion calls for it, or if the layout of a room is feeling a little stale.
The coffee and side table can both be considered anchors, central to both the functioning and aesthetic direction of a room. They’re pieces you’re likely to hold on to for a really long time, proving themselves to be a worthwhile investment.
02. Floor Rugs
Is there any greater experience than getting home from work, kicking the shoes and socks off, and feeling the soft high pile of a rug between your toes? Arguably yes, but for the sake of today’s post, the answer is a definite no, there is no greater experience.
A versatile styling element, and a grounding feature and base, rugs create mood and help tell the visual story of your space. Through rugs, there’s potential for pattern, or the introduction of a new texture to the room, and almost always an increase in the sense of hygge.
We like to call rugs, ‘the followers’ – and this is for two reasons:
1. You can move house 2, 3, 4 times, and that rug you had in home 1 is likely going to be there with you. A bit like an old friend that stays by your side, following you from one abode to the next, carrying with it a burst of personality, texture, and zoning potential.
2. Word on the street is: when selecting a floor rug, make sure you’ve got your sofa confirmed first (this tip taken from our afternoon chat with the very lovely Bea Lambos, which you can watch here.) This would also apply to other large furniture items depending on the room (eg bed or dining table). In shorter words, the rug follows the furniture.
03. Dining Chairs
Another highly ‘lived in’ furniture piece, is the dining chair, especially now that in many work-from-home situations, we see it functioning as a desk chair too. They’re the signifier of our favourite times of the day (meal times 😉 ) as well as a place for conversation and gatherings with friends – they also play the role of temporary seating for group movie nights very well.
Similarly to coffee tables, dining chairs are often seen as something focused on function, and for the most part we agree. Comfort is definitely at the forefront. Meals with friends can extend into the hours, and there’s nothing worst than sitting on something that induces bum cramps and pins and needles. HOWEVER, dining chairs also offer the potential for making a stylish statement, with plenty on offer featuring unique silhouettes to create interest and focus throughout the room.
04. Table Lamps
Table lamps may not seem like something we live in, but they definitely make spaces more liveable, and therefore have earned a position on this list. These ambient making gods are without a doubt, an essential for creating a homely, lived in feel.
We spoke a little about how the Scandinavians have really nailed the art of bringing life to dark interiors, in our JWDA Table Lamp post. And so our advice is to sniff out Danish designed lighting in your mission to create a warm and welcoming environment. They just do it so well, never failing to create that feeling of cosy we all love in our homes.
Classic plug-in lamps provide a stationary source of light, and are definitely more common in contemporary homes. Portable lamps, however, offer a little more flexibility. Being able to physically transport that mood and ambience you’ve created, is super handy, and with many portable options looking like pieces of art, your lamp can double up as a decorative piece too.