There are so many elements involved in decorating a living room and it’s a room that we spend a lot of our time in so you want to get it right. To make it more complicated, you need to consider the fact that you’ll spend time in a living room at various points of the day, so it needs to work as well at midday as it will with the curtains drawn and candles lit. Starting with the bones of the room, there are paint colours and flooring to decide on, which will set the tone of the space. We love the distinguished feel of wooden flooring, preferably with some rugs layered on top for softness. Consider putting in some joinery and bookcases that can help you make the most of the room’s height and provide valuable storage. If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace, make it a focal point, arranging your sofas and chairs to face it, and decorating the mantelpiece with pictures and ornaments.
How do you design a living room?
You should start with the space itself and map out where all your big furniture could go – so your sofa, any armchairs and freestanding bookshelves for example. Certain things are easy, such as an ottoman or coffee table will go in front of a sofa or in between two facing each other, but others depend entirely on the space you have. Once you have that in your mind, consider the light the living room receives and that will help you choose the paint colours. For how that might influence your decision, you can read Joa Studholme’s guide in our gallery of Farrow & Ball paint colours in real homes. When you’ve mapped your key bits of furniture and chosen the paint colours, that’s when you can add in the flourishes to make it cosy and choose cushions, a rug, storage and so on to fill the space out.
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How to choose your living room furniture
At that point, it’s time to consider how to choose your living room furniture, taking into account how you use the space, what kind of sofa you prefer, how many armchairs you can fit in, whether you need a sofa bed, and the importance of a coffee table or ottoman, and of course side tables to put a drink on. The right furniture can make a huge difference to the feeling of a room. Consider the scale of it – you don’t want tiny furniture drowning in a huge room, although small living rooms can often benefit from some oversized furniture. In an open plan living room-cum-kitchen, furniture can be essential for breaking up the space; a sofa with its back turned to the dining table is a handy way of differentiating between the living space and the dining space. And consider how you use your furniture before you make the final decision – do you prefer to lounge on a squashy sofa or is this a more formal room where you’d prefer to sit upright?
How to accessorise a living room
Finally you can get to the really fun bits, the textiles and accessories. The size and shape of your window might dictate your choices when it comes to curtains and blinds, but there’s a huge variety out there to choose from. Perhaps you like simple, elegant curtains in heavy linen or wool, or something brighter and chintzier for a more eye-catching feel. In a small room, you may well prefer to stick to blinds, but think about getting them in a fun pattern so that they become a decorative feature. Almost every living room will be in need of a good rug, whether you opt for rustic sisal, a modern Berber rug or a traditional Turkish carpet. And then what’s a sofa without some beautiful cushions? They’re essential for adding colour and pattern to a room.
The art of the living room
Turning our attention back to the walls, the final thing you’ll need is some art, so don’t miss our shopping guide to affordable art, as well as our advice on how to start a collection. And once you’ve assembled it all, find out the best ways to hang your pictures on the walls, with helpful tips for gallery walls, statement art and everything in between.
If you’re in need of inspiration, we’ve gathered the best living room designs and lounge ideas from the House & Garden archive here to help with your decoration, from country houses to studio flats and London townhouses.
Article source: www.houseandgarden.co.uk