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I was a stay at home Mom for over a decade before I created Sanctuary. My living room was filled with stacks of building blocks, rolling colored pencils, piles of backpacks and coats and gloves that I can’t believe used to fit on my twenty-something childrens' hands.

While I have always been one to keep a tidy home, my home has always looked lived-in. There seems to be this notion that a space can either be beautiful or heavily used, and today I want to talk about why that is so not true.

Here is my recipe for an extremely beautiful, highly-functioning living room. We aren’t talking about big drama-rama here, but just some simple changes that will alter the game within the space you use the most.

  1. A huge coffee table..... like, the biggest one you can fit through your doorway. This makes the space functional, serving as a gathering area, a surface for eating, or a place to put up your tired feet (but not at the same time!). Don’t worry; I’ll help you fill it up.

  2. Collection of boxes..... What a great thing to put on that giant coffee table! (See, I told you I would help you.) I like cigar boxes, personally; you can fill them with photographs, or a deck of cards, or individually-wrapped chocolates. Find some that you truly love, as they serve not only as decoration, but as perfect conversation pieces.

  3. A Plant..... This is an important one, as it brings literal life into the space. My preference would be something like a big beautiful fern, but a vase of white daisies on the coffee table would be stunning (I did it again!).

  4. Candles..... are the best and easiest way to add some mojo to any room. I like simple, unscented white pillar candles, personally. Arrange them all together or spread them around the room, but either way light those babies up and watch your space transform.

  5. Cozy throws..... You want to feel like an all-powerful superwoman? Get some cozy throws. My kids are still stuffing these things in their suitcases when they come home, and their roommates fight over them in their apartments.

I hope you enjoyed this tips! Now go and light some candles, snuggle up on your comfy couch, put your feet up on your awesome coffee table, unwrap one of those chocolates and play a game of 21 with your kiddos (or your friends, but I highly recommend torturing your kids with card games, you can even hold the throw as collateral ;)

Tag us @sanctuarydesigns on Instagram to share your creations with us. We can’t wait to see! Also check out our new Instagram page called Sanctuary Before & After, which shows you our creative process from the beginning to the finished product. You can check it out here.

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