Don’t you just want to get away sometimes? Somewhere far, somewhere quiet, somewhere you can be alone with your thoughts? In the office, you are overwhelmed with noise and movements. There are bosses yelling orders, workers scrambling to get them done, people walking and chatting non-stop, and you are drowned in a stack of things to do. As soon as you leave work, cars honking their horns and people rushing to get home can just wear you out. Finally, at home, there’s some peace and quiet. Or is there?
Modern families are absurdly attached to technology. We live such wired lives. There seems to be a screen everywhere you look—from TV monitors to computers and cellphones. Wouldn’t it be nice to go tech-free in the condo? See, it is not just a spike in the electricity bill and subscriptions that you should be worried about. A study by Strategic Consumer and Media Insights Inc. found that for 39.48 million urban Filipinos or urban consumers aged 10 and above, TV is still the device to beat. But cellphone and tablet screens are not far behind. In fact, people have mastered the art of looking at multiple screens at a time.
You owe it to yourself and your family to have a living room design that lets everyone just sit back and relax. Here is a guide to create a tech-free living room and finally having that much-needed digital detox. You will be surprised at how invigorating it is to live tech-free.
Make room for catching up
Don’t you just find it rude when people are all busy with their phones while having dinner? It’s not just downright rude and impolite, it is also somewhat sad. In designing a tech-free living room, make sure to create real conversation areas. This means couches and sofas have to be comfortable and relaxing that you don’t mind lounging there all day. Adorn it with soft and squashy throw pillows. A throw blanket to keep you warm in the night would also be a good addition.
Invest in a high-quality rug or carpet. Anything that feels good and a little ticklish on the feet is a stress-absorber. Surround yourself with feel-good art, décor, and collections. It would be advisable to put up those decors that can be conversation starters such as an old family portrait or a framed drawing of your child. A potted plant in a corner will also make any condo look a bit more vibrant and alive.
Ditch TV for books, puzzles, and games
Instead of a huge, overly hi-tech home theater system, why not put up a book shelf? Stack up on coloring books too for your little ones. A tech-free condo design doesn’t mean a dull and boring one. Keep it interesting with diverse and exciting books.
Living with less technology can also be an opportunity to get re-acquainted with the things that we love as kids. For example, TV time could be turned into a session for puzzles and board games. Aside from the fact that no one will be fighting over a remote, you get to have the comfort of childhood and carefree living. If you have kids, then they too will appreciate non-digital ways to learn while having some fun. These activities also help a family bond and foster deep personal relationships—something that can’t be easily achieved with plain TV viewing.
Build nooks and hammocks
Keep things exciting while designing for small spaces such as a condo living room. A living room should not just be a place for bulky couches that no one seems to be interested to sit in. Why not try building a reading nook in a corner near a window. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. A comfortable chair or a chaise lounge (if you have bigger space) would do. You can also have a breakfast nook, which of course is not exclusive to breakfasts. All you need is a table set for two, a coffee maker perhaps, and coffee cups for a night cap. The idea is to create another space in the living room to make the place more dynamic.
If you have kids (or you are a kid at heart), a hammock would be perfect. Put it up in a corner and swing away. Not only are they fun, they are also very stylish.
Bring the outdoors in
One of the most effective ways to create a tech-free living room in the condo unit is by bringing the great outdoors in. Decorating with Mother Earth in mind. This will make the condo living room brighter and easier to breathe in. It is stressful to come home to a place that feels cramped and crowded.
Potted plants and fresh flowers are a feast to the eyes. A beach collection on top of a coffee table is also a good idea. Using twigs as frames or racks hints creativity and resourcefulness. Hang a portrait or artwork that shows a beach, garden or lake. You may also learn how to build your own indoor garden, a hit trend in urban design. And of course, an aquarium also naturally relaxes our senses.
By keeping your living room interesting and exciting, you won’t feel the need to turn on the TV and binge-watch instead of getting some rest. The noise, crowd, and hassles of the city can be maddening and exhausting, and going home to a cozy and quiet place is the best thing. You need to unplug once in a while and make time for things that are real—conversations, your thoughts, and relationships. Start your digital detox by designing a tech-free living room and reminding yourself that the best things in life are not up on that screen.