This is just one article in a series entitled “The Best Wedding Registry”. Each article in the series focuses on different rooms of the house. The links to other parts in this series are found at the end of each article.
Think about your wedding registry as a list of items for each room of the house. Your list should reflect the essential items and style of each room! With a list of living room items this lovely you will feel accomplished as a new wife running her home.
Living rooms are meant for beauty as well as comfort. Emphasis on the comfort. Emphasis on the beauty. You can have both. Register for items that reflect your personal style, but these items will be the same for everyone no matter how different they look.
Hopefully you have your personal Bible that you do your daily reading in, and your soon-to-be-husband has a Bible of his own. But now that you are getting married, it is good to have a family Bible that can go in the living room for family reading. Maybe that means you want a large print Bible for easier reading as you age and for children to read from. Maybe it means getting a hard cover Bible that will endure many years of use, or a beautiful leather bound one. It is the most beautiful item to have on display on a table or shelf and one that will nurture the home throughout your lifetime if you pick it up and read it and let it teach you. Having a family Bible is important so that you can gather as a family after dinner to read it together.
Look at any well-designed living room and it has candles, candlesticks and candle holders. Be it on the coffee table as a centerpiece, on a side table, on a mantle, on a shelf, on top of a cabinet, etc. This is not just a focal point of beauty to the room, but it is a way to create ambiance. The scent of a candle, the look of a candle, a beautiful holder, as well as the actual light and flame of the candle, will be a point of beauty and gathering for that room. The importance of having some beautiful candles in lovely candlesticks or holders cannot be overstated. This is one of my favorite ways to decorate and make a house a home, which is exactly what a wedding gift is meant to do.
Every room where people gather needs coasters to protect furniture from drinks being set on them. This is an essential that you will probably be purchasing if you do not receive it as a gift. So important to keep your beautiful furniture free of condensation marks. There is nothing like a glass being set on a surface without a coaster to make me cringe for the well-being of that piece. Place coasters everywhere, and yes, register for a beautiful set!
Curtains have nearly become a relic of the past. Modern decor has not emphasized window treatments. Having moved and decorated countless times as a new wife and beyond, I am here to champion a return to beautiful window treatments. This instantly gives the room some structure, some romance, and a decor item that does not clutter or require you to ever move it. Let’s make this room a place that beckons you to sit and read, have a cup of tea, watch a movie or just sit and visit with people. Living rooms should feel cozy, not bare. Curtains are one of the best ways to achieve this without spending money on a ton of stuff to fill the room. Even gorgeous curtains can be affordable. Be sure to register for the longest length so they can puddle on the floor for added elegance or just barely graze the floor (but avoid high water curtains that are too short! EEK! Not good!), hang the curtain rod 4-6 inches above the window and use hefty, larger rods for a high-quality look. Just be sure you have done your measurements and register for the exact length of curtains you need for your windows. As a new bride, this was one of the most impactful things I did to decorate my home.
Women love throw pillows, but throw blankets are more important. There is nothing like having a clean snuggly blanket for when you are cold. Even when I am not cold, when I sit on a sofa or chair to really relax, a throw blanket makes that experience so much more snuggly and comfortable. Watching a movie? Throw blanket. Kitty wants to knead you, throw blanket is your armor. Need to pass gas undercover? Throw blanket. Hilarious but true.
You need multiple blankets for one living room so that anyone can have one. One of the best ways to make a living room look more inviting is to drape a throw blanket over a sofa or chair strategically to invite someone to cuddle up into that corner. They are visual signals to get comfortable. When they are pretty and draped or folded strategically, they also act as a decor piece in the room. Go for high quality throw blankets and they will last wash after wash. I like mine to all go together, but not necessarily match. Register for at least four. Stay away from anything that is “just for looks” like knitted throws made from “chenille”, it disintegrates in the washer and dryer. I avoid tassels because they get tangled in the wash and look terrible. Look for oversized throw blankets that have larger dimensions, these will cascade more elegantly and will cover a tall person as well.
I am going to caution you against something I see designers and decor enthusiasts say, but I could not disagree with more. People will advise you to get feather, (down) throw pillows. They say you can karate chop them and they look higher end. Have you ever sat against a feather pillow? Feathers stick out and prick you! It is uncomfortable. Not to mention I have heard a story of a toddler swallowing a feather and it getting lodged in her throat and caused pain and infection until the doctors realized what it was to surgically remove it! That could happen to babies and pets. I am staunchly against the feather pillow. I have never sat against a comfortable feather pillow and as a new bride, the most important thing you can do is infuse quality into your home and quality is not just the look, but the function. My rule for throw pillows is that every throw pillow should be comfortable to put weight on. If it’s sequined, thickly embroidered, hard, prickly, or any other decorative but uncomfortable thing, it is not the right throw pillow. This is such an important item not just for decor but for comfort. As a short person, I need to lean against a pillow when I sit on a sofa to talk with people or else I have to perch on the edge of the sofa without back support. Register for polyester filled throw pillows in fabrics that invite you and your guests to USE them not just look at them.
Whatever blankets are not draped or folded over a seating area need to be accessible from the seating area. I like to place a large basket next to a chair or sofa with the extra blankets rolled up to grab one. It looks beautiful to have a basket of rolled blankets, but it is great storage especially if you do not have a cabinet in the room to store something like this.
STORAGE BENCH/BASKET/OTTOMAN WITH LID
Another great storage item is a bench/basket/ottoman piece of furniture. This is a very specific item that you will not always find at a thrift store to buy for yourself on a budget. As a smaller furniture piece, it is a wonderful gift registry item because it’s not a massive piece of furniture like a chair or a sofa. It is a realistic price and size for someone to gift to you even while it is one of the bigger ticket items. You can close the lid and use it as a “coffee table”, or a footrest in front of the sofa if it’s a long, large one, or in front of a chair if it’s smaller one. You can also use this item as a side table with a lamp. I recommend the ones that are as deep and large as possible to get the maximum storage space. If you live in a small house or apartment as a new bride, this piece will be valuable space to store off season decor which is what I used it for.
Wall art is not cheap, even the mass-produced wall art. If you are not a fan of mass-produced art, you can register for large, beautiful frames that you can frame your own art of photos in for your rooms. Wall art or framed photos is a way to personalize a room and showcase something that you value or find beautiful. You may want to register for the frames you want to display your favorite wedding portraits in, which will instantly decorate your new home with your special beginning.
A beautiful vase can be a piece of art in and of itself but if you love a good flower arrangement like me, you will benefit from having some vases to decorate your home. This is a good gift because large vases even at affordable stores can be quite pricey. It would be a wonderful decor piece to have to start your home looking well designed.
These items will get your new home off to the best start! With a living room this lovely you will feel accomplished as a new wife running her home. Click on the links below for the other articles in this series!
Happy House Building!