My Living Room Essentials - Steph Osmanski
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My Living Room Essentials

My Living Room Essentials


{West Elm & Thoughts From Alice}

Ever since I moved to Hoboken, I haven’t shared any pictures of my current apartment. It’s bit of a unique living situation in that it’s semi railroad-style and semi not.

When you first walk into our apartment, you’re in my room. Beyond my room is a small bar area and next is the kitchen. Once there, you have two options: a staircase that leads downstairs to my roommates’ bedroom and own bathroom. The alternative is to continue through the kitchen to a bathroom and a room we have now converted into a communal living space.  The room’s recent transformation had me thinking: What are my decor essentials for the perfect living room space?


 1. Textured Area Rug. I can’t even tell you how many times someone commented on my beige area rug from… *drumroll please* Home Depot. It’s an amazing piece that breaks up the monotony of the wooden floor and while it’s a great conversation starter, it’s not so flashy that it deflects from other staple pieces.

2. Neutral Lamp. Once at a yard sale in Cliffside Park, I spent about $8 on a gold lamp with a white shade. It’s shiny and textured, so if you’ve ever watched an episode of What Not to Wear, you know how glorious a combination that is and what it does to strengthen the aesthetic value of the room.

3. Glass Coffee Table. Call me a stickler but I have no interest in any kind of coffee or end table other than a glass one. The translucence of glass adds extra dimension and when it comes to a table, that’s extremely beneficial. Having a clear tabletop adds more visually than a surface that is a dark, dead space.

4. Pull-out Couch. This wasn’t a feature I had any intentions of negotiating on. We’re lucky in that I have enough space for a futon in my bedroom and my roommates also have one in theirs. It only made sense to expand our bandwidth by shelling out for yet another guest accommodation. Now if we have several guests at once, we don’t have to worry about running out of space. (And #sorrynotsorry but I have to brag about this: We split this secondhand couch so it came out to $66 each. Now that’s a steal.)

5. Greenery. I need there to be LIFE in a room! And plants are proof of exactly that: growth and breath (kind of). Greenery can really liven up a room and since it requires semi-constant care, it doesn’t feel like negative space. In fact, quite the opposite: positive space that is working toward something. Nourishing an herb garden or lining the windows with succulents and spider plants is a great way to bring a room to life.

6. Coasters. Another living room element I am not going to apologize for. Yes, I admit it; I am one of those crazy coaster people who shriek haphazardly and sneak a coaster under your condensation-ridden drink while you’re mid-conversation. I am not sure why because growing up, there were never coasters in my parents’ house, but I think it could have to do with glass coffee and end tables. Must protect glass!

7. Polaroid Camera. Keeping an Instax camera (available at Urban Outfitters) on a shelf in the living room or on a table is a great way to take advantage of any photo opportunities that may arise when hanging with the roommates or friends. Preserve these memories by hanging up string and using clothespins to adhere the instant photographs you snap onto the rope like a do-it-yourself garland. (I also suggest keeping some photo booth props nearby; mine conveniently sit on the stand by the camera.)

I would love to know: What are the essentials that make up your ideal living room?

Steph Osmanski
1 Comment
  • Great post! I especially agree with the need for some type of plants and texture, whether in a rug or in throw pillows, blankets, something! A flat room is a cold one. I also have an instax camera on my windowsill – it definitely comes in handy!

    October 31, 2015 at 4:32 am

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