We just have a plain old living room. It consists of a couch, recliner, a rocker, side table with a lamp, our computer perched on an antique sewing machine cabinet (ironic combination, I know. What would my grandmother think?), a fireplace, and a TV armoire. (Which I LOVE because you can close the doors and the TV is less likely to be thought about.)
So I was thinking today...what is the purpose of this room? Well, it is a place where our whole family can "live." Now that my girls are no longer babies, we have managed to purge all the large, plastic, brightly colored baby items from this room. (Swings, block tables, play pens, exersaucers, etc. etc.) Those things are necessary for a time, and joyful to have. BUT, I do think our living room looks better without them!
I have tried very hard to keep this room looking like an adult space. All the girls' toys are stored in their rooms. Things that go together, such as Littlest Pet Shops, Little People sets, or blocks, are stored in plastic tubs that can be brought into the living room to play, and then carried back to their room to put away. All the tubs are labeled, with pictures added for Little Bit. This keeps the toys from becoming a permanent fixture in the living room, but still allows the girls to spend their time in here with us. Which is where we want them.
Our living room is mainly for our family. It is the one room I insist is picked up before Daddy gets home in the evenings. Getting out the vacuum cleaner is a pretty quick way to get those toys picked up!!! The girls scramble to pick up their stuff before the vacuum eats it--screaming the entire time! And this way we can spend a relaxing evening together minus a bunch of clutter. The one thing that stays in this room for the girls are coloring books (stored in a pretty basket by the computer) and library books (stored in a basked on the fireplace). These are the kind of quiet activities we like them to do before bedtime after all the other toys are put away.
Our living room is important not only for our family, but also for guests. This is the room people first see when they walk in our door, this is where we will soon have Bible studies with a couple from our church, and this is where we sit and visit with our guests. It is very important that this space be clean, simple, and comfortable.
I'd love to see your living room! How do you make this space wonderful for your family and guests?