Home for Now By Joanna Thornhill

Even if yours is just a couple of old chairs and a makeshift coffee table in a corner, there’s no reason your seating areas shouldn’t be comfy and stylish.

Forget the rules about matching furniture sets and the notion of spending hours in soulless out-of-town furniture depots. When you’re setting up a new home, be it your own or landlords, adopting a more fluid approach will allow you to create a far more interesting space, in a way that’s flexible to your finances. And after fees and deposits, it’s likely your funds will have taken a bit of a battering.

Whilst it may take a while to get everything as you’d like it, creating a sitting area – however modest to begin with – will give you somewhere to relax and entertain guests coming to visit your new place. Regardless of whether you already have furniture or it’s a totally blank canvas, spend some time assessing your needs before making any purchases: what do you need to store in the room? How do you need to prioritise the accessibility of these items? Does the space need to double up with another use, such as a home office, or a guest bedroom when friends come to crash? If space is limited, make the most of every inch by running shelving right up to the ceiling, using every last inch of space for storage – such as under and behind the sofa – and employing multi – functional furniture, like chests of drawers in place of sideboards, or a stool as a coffee table which can be used as additional seating when guests visit.

Instead of a side table a storage cube with liftoff top provides a handy spot to store occasional items.

Style Your Storage

If you need to use the space under your sofa for extra storage, keep things neat and chic in pretty vintage baskets.

Modern Vintage

Whilst with an undeniable vintage feel, this room still feels modern thanks to contemporary textiles and quirky objet, such as this porcelain hand.

Setting Boundaries

Placing a chair in the middle of the room, like this one in the foreground, visually defines the seating area in this large multi-use room.

Home for Now, Making your rented space or first house beautiful By Joanna Thornhill. First three Photographs by Emma Mitchell  & last image by James Gardiner. Published by Cico Books.