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Home makeover: a living room to really live in

01 April 2015

Meet the Hammarlins. Dad Lasse, Mum Mia-Marie and kids Uno and Ira. They bought their country cottage five years ago as a ‘doer-upper’ and like many other families, life just happened and the ‘doer-upper’ is still being done up. The last room on the list is the living room. And that’s where we come in. Find out how we create a living room for all the family.

This side view into living room, showing the piano and double base to the side of the colourful green sofa quickly reveals this is a living room for music lovers. This side view into living room, showing the piano and double base to the side of the colourful green sofa quickly reveals this is a living room for music lovers. This side view into living room, showing the piano and double base to the side of the colourful green sofa quickly reveals this is a living room for music lovers. This side view into living room, showing the piano and double base to the side of the colourful green sofa quickly reveals this is a living room for music lovers. This side view into living room, showing the piano and double base to the side of the colourful green sofa quickly reveals this is a living room for music lovers. This side view into living room, showing the piano and double base to the side of the colourful green sofa quickly reveals this is a living room for music lovers. This side view into living room, showing the piano and double base to the side of the colourful green sofa quickly reveals this is a living room for music lovers. This side view into living room, showing the piano and double base to the side of the colourful green sofa quickly reveals this is a living room for music lovers. This side view into living room, showing the piano and double base to the side of the colourful green sofa quickly reveals this is a living room for music lovers. This side view into living room, showing the piano and double base to the side of the colourful green sofa quickly reveals this is a living room for music lovers. This side view into living room, showing the piano and double base to the side of the colourful green sofa quickly reveals this is a living room for music lovers. This side view into living room, showing the piano and double base to the side of the colourful green sofa quickly reveals this is a living room for music lovers.

“Home is where real life just happens.”

LASSE

What do the Hammarlin family really want from their living room makeover? Watch the video to find out.

With the colourful green sofa, the two grey armchairs and antique daybed in the background, this is a living room where everyone in the family gets a comfy seat. With the colourful green sofa, the two grey armchairs and antique daybed in the background, this is a living room where everyone in the family gets a comfy seat. With the colourful green sofa, the two grey armchairs and antique daybed in the background, this is a living room where everyone in the family gets a comfy seat. With the colourful green sofa, the two grey armchairs and antique daybed in the background, this is a living room where everyone in the family gets a comfy seat. With the colourful green sofa, the two grey armchairs and antique daybed in the background, this is a living room where everyone in the family gets a comfy seat. With the colourful green sofa, the two grey armchairs and antique daybed in the background, this is a living room where everyone in the family gets a comfy seat. With the colourful green sofa, the two grey armchairs and antique daybed in the background, this is a living room where everyone in the family gets a comfy seat. With the colourful green sofa, the two grey armchairs and antique daybed in the background, this is a living room where everyone in the family gets a comfy seat. With the colourful green sofa, the two grey armchairs and antique daybed in the background, this is a living room where everyone in the family gets a comfy seat. With the colourful green sofa, the two grey armchairs and antique daybed in the background, this is a living room where everyone in the family gets a comfy seat. With the colourful green sofa, the two grey armchairs and antique daybed in the background, this is a living room where everyone in the family gets a comfy seat. With the colourful green sofa, the two grey armchairs and antique daybed in the background, this is a living room where everyone in the family gets a comfy seat.

It was really important for Lasse and Mia-Marie to create a room where the entire family enjoys being together. So we began by thinking about all the things they love doing: socialising, listening to and playing music, drawing, reading and watching films. And then, working outwards from the stunning original fireplace – the room’s natural focal point – we created ‘activity pockets’ around these activities. Once the activity pockets were in place the room had some structure. Every space had a purpose and it started to look and feel welcoming.

“The room’s orientation has completely changed. We now get space for the things we love. And our passion for music gets its place.”

Lasse

To make sure the room takes care of Uno and Ira, we created plenty of areas for play – calm play that is. (We wanted to take care of Lasse and Mia-Marie too.) Games on the tablet computer happen inside the tent or in the cosy reading corner. Drawing takes place under the windows and puzzling happens on a pull-out wheelie-board made from four castors and a kitchen cabinet side panel. Cleaning away is easy as well, with plenty of storage within a small-arm’s reach.

This gif shows how flexible furniture like side tables and benches between the seating area can be used to transform your living room to suit what you’re doing. This gif shows how flexible furniture like side tables and benches between the seating area can be used to transform your living room to suit what you’re doing. This gif shows how flexible furniture like side tables and benches between the seating area can be used to transform your living room to suit what you’re doing. This gif shows how flexible furniture like side tables and benches between the seating area can be used to transform your living room to suit what you’re doing. This gif shows how flexible furniture like side tables and benches between the seating area can be used to transform your living room to suit what you’re doing. This gif shows how flexible furniture like side tables and benches between the seating area can be used to transform your living room to suit what you’re doing.

The rest of the room still feels grown up. It’s an adult room with space for kids rather than a kids’ playroom. And there’s now space for
socialising with a few, or more than just a few, friends.

This gif shows how a roller blind can be used as a cinema screen in front of a photo collage wall in a family living room. This gif shows how a roller blind can be used as a cinema screen in front of a photo collage wall in a family living room. This gif shows how a roller blind can be used as a cinema screen in front of a photo collage wall in a family living room. This gif shows how a roller blind can be used as a cinema screen in front of a photo collage wall in a family living room. This gif shows how a roller blind can be used as a cinema screen in front of a photo collage wall in a family living room. This gif shows how a roller blind can be used as a cinema screen in front of a photo collage wall in a family living room.

“We all actually want to be in there now. We can do different things, but at the same time. And we all get our own space, but we’re still close to each other.”

Mia-Marie

“We get an adult space finally”, said Mia-Marie. “But it has room for the kids too.” 

The rest of the room still feels grown up. It’s an adult room with space for kids rather than a kids’ playroom. “We all actually want to be in there now. We can do different things, but at the same time. And we all get our own space, but we’re still close to each other”, said Mia-Marie.

A picture ledge has been added behind the ceiling beam as a secret storage and display area for the family living room. A picture ledge has been added behind the ceiling beam as a secret storage and display area for the family living room. A picture ledge has been added behind the ceiling beam as a secret storage and display area for the family living room. A picture ledge has been added behind the ceiling beam as a secret storage and display area for the family living room. A picture ledge has been added behind the ceiling beam as a secret storage and display area for the family living room. A picture ledge has been added behind the ceiling beam as a secret storage and display area for the family living room. A picture ledge has been added behind the ceiling beam as a secret storage and display area for the family living room. A picture ledge has been added behind the ceiling beam as a secret storage and display area for the family living room. A picture ledge has been added behind the ceiling beam as a secret storage and display area for the family living room. A picture ledge has been added behind the ceiling beam as a secret storage and display area for the family living room. A picture ledge has been added behind the ceiling beam as a secret storage and display area for the family living room. A picture ledge has been added behind the ceiling beam as a secret storage and display area for the family living room.

Of course, we wanted to add some playful touches to suit this creative, musical family too. So, there’s a secret shelf hiding behind one of the beams stocked with tiny trinkets. And the ‘wall of fame’ photo collage has clipboards for some hand-drawn art from the younger (or young at heart) members of the family. 

The living room has now become a room the family wants to be in. As we walked out the door Uno was busy piecing together a puzzle while Ira was reading in the tent. Lasse was catching up on the news on his tablet and Mia-Marie was just about to pick up a book. Family life was just happening. “The focus of this room has completely shifted,” said Lasse. “We don’t look from the outside anymore. We look from the inside.” 

Light bulb! Light bulb! Light bulb! Light bulb! Light bulb! Light bulb! Light bulb! Light bulb! Light bulb! Light bulb! Light bulb! Light bulb!

How to ‘familify’ your living room

Create ‘activity pockets’
Multiple activites can happen at the same time in one room. But prioritise what you love doing.

Use flexible furniture
Think benches, lightweight side tables, chests, footstools. Anything that can easily be moved about and has more than one use.

Make space for ‘calm play
Leave the loud(er) play for the playroom and focus on quieter, less energetic play in the living room. And make sure it’s easy to clean away too.

Add a personal touch
Make the room yours. Family portraits, heirlooms, bits and bobs from days on the beach and LBK (life before kids).


All the home furnishing solutions shown in this idea were created by IKEA for this family. What you see here is their home. Some of the featured solutions include products that are not part of the IKEA range, for which we can take no responsibility whatsoever. Remember to read and follow the assembly instructions and safety advice that accompanies all IKEA products.