Hello, sweeties! Happy Monday!

I'm going to be straightforward with you and tell you from the beginning that home decoration and home improvements have never been my thing. I'm really horrible at it!
That being said, towards the end of 2019, I reached a high level of discomfort with our living space and I decided to challenge myself and try to improve my home a little.

Today I'm opening a brand new section on my blog to somehow document my "learning" through Home improvement, decoration and organization. Hoping that in one year from now I'll be looking at my pictures of today feeling that I've improved a lot!

I'll start showing you our living room and what small changes we've introduced to make it feel more spacious functional and decluttered. I hope you like it!

In this new section of my blog I will periodically share with you the small changes and improvements we will be doing to our flat and I'd love to have your feedback.  I'll leave you the links to the items I mention at the bottom of this post.

Last year I started feeling uncomfortable with our living space! Too much clutter, too much stuff, too little space, I felt like suffocating!

We live in a not very spacious flat (to say the least), which is quite standard for Switzerland, with my husband and two children. Keeping things functional, tidy, and "somewhatnicelooking" while being family-friendly in such a limited space is a REAL challenge. I know it is going to be a long process to get things where I want, there is also a LOT to be learned in the way. I am well aware that things can always be better, but I'm pretty happy with  the way we ended up arranging our living room for now!

I am a total newbie to the "home decoration" world and I felt so lost when I started digging into videos and magazines. Although I can recognize when a home is beautifully decorated, with expensive (looking) furniture pieces and fancy taste, that is not me! I wouldn't feel comfortable living with expensive furniture and items. Besides, our life and our budget don't rhyme with "fancy", so I prefer my house to be a family and children-friendly place even if it is not the trendiest look. That has been my moto for many years now, but there is a slim line between "children-friendly" and a "ravaging mess" and at one point we crossed that line. Last year I started feeling uncomfortable with our living space! Too much clutter, too much stuff, too little space, I felt like suffocating!

Our family life and our budget don't rhyme with "fancy"so I prefer my house to be a family and children-friendly place even if it is not the trendiest look.

Some of the problems in our home don't have an actual solution. I say "if there is no solution, then it is not a problem, it is a fact!". In our case is the lack of space. The rooms in our flat are quite small. There's that. We cannot push the walls away, or add space in any way, so that's something we need to accept and work with.

Another problem is the lack of storage space. We don't have a garage, we don't have a basement, our apartment doesn't even have closets. Yes, you read correctly: There are NO CLOSETS, zero, nada. So where do we put our stuff? Good question! We needed some functional furniture that would offer storage space so that our mess, toy, books, etc. stopped being in the way in a complete disorder!

So here is what we did in our living room!

New Simple Modern White Furniture

  • Simple minimalistic design.
  • The white and glossy surface will reflect the light making the room more luminous, which is uplifting! It also creates the illusion of a larger space.
  • Not having handles or knobs, the furniture is safer for the kids moving in a small space and also much easier to clean up!
  • The table and the TV bench have huge drawers! A great storage solution so that the living room can always look tidy!
There is a slim line between "children-friendly" and a "ravaging mess" 

Storage Solutions

Our Christmas decorations found a place to stay until next December!

Our laptops, headphones and ipad were neatly put into this amazing Ikea box.

The white boxes are so discreet they almost mimetize with the furniture and everything looks so clean! I'm in love with those boxes and I can only recommend them!

 All our CD found their place behind a cabinet door! So it looks much more neat.

My photography material and set used to be a mess, always lingering around and never finding a place of its own. As I mainly take my pictures in the living room because I have good natural lighting, the drawer below the TV was the perfect place!

On this side I organized, after a huge purge and getting rid of a ton of old crappy stuff, the DVDs that made the cut. Don't ask me why we like watching old DVDs, for us it is like people that prefer reading paper books, or listening to old vinyl records!

On the other side we organized our game boards and cards, we usually play gameboards in the livingroom, so that was the natural place for them to be! I also put my children stationary in a basket (after a pretty deep purge!) because they also like to draw, colour and paint in the living room.

My workout mat and massaging roll found a place under this cabinet and I think they don't look messy. I usually do my stretching and some workout in the living room!
Alas, it is the only room where we have enough space 😩😩

As I said, the table and TV bench have large drawers that were great to put away all our stuff. Here is what I could organize in them using some really lovely Ikea boxes and baskets!
  • My material and photography set is all neat in the large drawer under the TV. YAY!
  • Our board games all neat and tidy in Ikea baskets
  • Children stationery! this was such a mess! now it is all in y basket.
  • Magazines 
  • Electronics, cables, chargers, headphones, laptops, tablets, etc.
  • Our DVD and CD! yes, we still have quite a few of those and we actually use them!!
  • Some of the Seasonal decorating items we are not using right now.

I love white colour and find it visually soothing, so my living room became a place where I can distress and feel relaxed!

The Armchair

We also bought a new armchair. We always thought with two large sofas would be enough sitting space. But truth is, the sofas are very low for elderly people to sit comfortably and our parents aren't getting any younger! So, it became necessary to have a solution for our elder guests. But because the walls are white, the sofas are white and the new furniture is white, we decided to get a coloured armchair!
Yes, I know, we do have too much white! I am still working on the "adding some colour" issue. That will probably be our next step, but the majority of white colours is bringing much peace to me right now. I love white colour and find it visually soothing, so my living room became a place where I can distress and feel relax.!

The Nested Side Table

I needed a side table to put near the armchair. I needed it to be really small, otherwise it would take all of the space we actually use to walking from one room to another. But I also needed it to hold my old HIFI CD player (don't judge, I'm from the past century, so deal with it). I decided to get this IKEA nested table because it is really genius! 
  • It can hold my old technology (LOL)
  • I can display my prettiest orchidee on it and save it from the curious little hands. It is small enough to leave plenty of passage space for the children.
  • It can also offer extra room for serving tea, coffe, lay a book I might be reading, etc.
  • It can even be used as an extra table if we were going to have a party or reunion (yes, all our meetings are about food, and that's the purpose of the table, holding food and bevrages, LOL).
I'm super happy with this table!

Bottom Line

What can I say? I know it is not perfect, it is not fancy and it is definitely not even remotely comparable to professional home decoration. But I'm pretty happy with the outcome. There are many things I want to improve further and I want to learn as well. Maybe I should have shown you some "before" pictures so that you could actually understand why I feel satisfied today!

What things you'd like to change that represent a real challenge for you? Why wouldn't you start with baby steps?