A Living Room Featuring Playful Shapes And A Dash Of Colour

Here's how we maximised function in our living room while sticking to our playful and quirky nature.

When we embarked on updating our flat at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, we didn't have plans to touch our open plan living room (apart from the updates we were making to the kitchen). There were aspects of it that we didn't love as much anymore, but overall we were still quite happy with it. All of that changed when we broke our marble dining table into two pieces during our efforts to veneer a sideboard for our bedroom. I soon fell in love with a travertine table I found on Ebay, but this one was much bigger and rectangular so we knew we would have to rearrange the layout. We decided to buy it anyway. This one decision put a whole array of decisions into motion.

First, we found a new purpose for some of our living room storage in the office as we felt it was more useful there. This meant we had to come up with new storage solutions for the living room. Cue an update to an existing Ikea Ivar cabinet à la Kelly Wearstler and the creation of our very first AKUKO furniture piece, the wavy cabinet, which we designed and built completely from scratch.

We then realised we needed to repaint the walls as the beige of the Travertine stone from the table was too similar to that of our walls. After that my husband put in a special request for a sofa with a backrest—a very reasonable request as our previous daybed (which I LOVED) only allowed for one person (obviously me!) to watch TV at a time, meaning that he usually had to lie on the floor to watch Netflix. Not ideal, especially during a pandemic when, let's be real, Netflix played a massive role in our daily routine. We fell for the beautiful curved arm rests of a DS-2011 that we found on Ebay.

Finally, we figured that an additional workplace in the living room might be a good idea as being on calls in our 7 sqm office at the same time was starting to drive us both (mainly me!) crazy. The challenge was to find something that would not make the living room feel like a place for working: a bureau, but it needed to feel (post-)modern like the rest of the room. Taking our inspiration from one we discovered on 1stdibs, we repurposed a 1990 Ikea version that we picked up an hour out of London from a Facebook marketplace seller.

To pull it all together we invested into a few contemporary design pieces that we loved, such as a Kristina Dam side table and the Gropius Chair by Noom, and most importantly, kickstarted our lifelong dream of becoming art collectors by purchasing a pair of Caroline Denervaud's paintings. They came with authentication certificates, it was a very special moment for us.

The most important objective that we kept in mind while decorating this room was that everything needed to be incredibly functional, while also serving as long term investment pieces, either to be enjoyed for the long haul or hold their value and could be sold on at a minimal loss.

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