Lounging is such a gloriously languorous word. It connotes long lazing and curling up on comfy sofas with chocs and a mug of tea to hand. I love to lounge at home, but in truth I rarely find the time to do so. After a quick poll of family, friends and colleagues, it seems I am not alone. And yet my living room, and probably yours too, is the largest space in the house. So have we got this all a little wrong? Is the answer to make our lounges smaller and our kitchens bigger, or to simply spend less time buzzing about ‘doing things’? I think it’s probably a combination of the two.
We’re certainly seeing a trend at the moment for larger cooking zones that are, essentially, also dining rooms and lounges, as the walls between these spaces have literally tumbled down over the last few years. But while this means we can now cheerfully whizz around the kitchen in full view of the rest of the family, it doesn’t address the fact that we’re collectively not finding time to push the pause button and just sit. But is it really a matter of lack of time? Or are we simply filling whatever spare time we do have with things we don’t need to do? It certainly seems to me that life is fuller than ever before. For me it’s the boring but essential admin of life that has become my major time hoover. Checking bills and statements (should I change the mortgage now or later?), laundry, housework, keeping up to date with nursery or vet schedules, remembering to pay the dog walker, and so it goes on, all on top of generally maintaining the house and garden and attempting to fix things before they become problems (great in theory, but hard in practice).
Ultimately then, my sofas (two very loved and rather aged ‘Forum’ sofas by Robin Day, sadly no longer in production), artfully strewn as they are with an assortment of lovely cushions and cashmere throws, are a symbol of a desire. I love them. I want to spend more time on them. I want to lounge on them. I’ve even successfully banished the dogs from them (nothing spoils a relaxing sit like the odour of damp dog and a layer of shed fur). So they must remain in the heart of my home as a kind of aspirational talisman for a balanced life, and I implore you to do the same.
First published as my Editor’s Letter in the October 2015 edition of ELLE Decoration UK