In the 20th century, a living room was the place where all the family used to gather in the evening to have dinner, watch TV and talk with each other. Today, it is hard to predict how a particular person would use this space. Some families never have meals together because their daily schedules are way too different. Others turn their living rooms into offices because they work remotely. When people want to watch a movie, they will be likely to do it in their bedrooms because different generations of the family have different tastes. However, the living room still plays an important part in the planning of the house.
It might be the only space that does not belong to anyone in particular and can be rather versatile in its usage. In this article, you will find smart tips on how to furnish this room to make it comfortable and accentuate its unique character.
General Tips to Get Started
Before buying the furniture, try to plan its arrangement in the room:
- Avoid lining up all the furniture against the walls. This would look boring and old-fashioned. Such an approach makes sense only in case the backs of the pieces are not finished and you do not want to show them.
- Create conversation areas. When guests come to see you, they should be able to comfortably take a seat and talk without shouting from all corners of the room. If the space is big enough, feel free to create multiple conversation areas.
- Leave enough space between furniture items. People should be able to walk around freely, without moving chairs and tables.
- Detect the focal point of the room and arrange furniture around it. A focal point might be initially present in the room, such as a large window or a fireplace. Otherwise, you can invent it yourself — it might be a TV, a dining table or an art installation.
On the Internet, you can find many programs that will help you to visualize furniture arrangements in your living room. This will be much more visual and precise rather than using only a measuring device and your imagination.
Mix and Combine Your Textiles
In a typical living room, there can be many varieties of textiles: curtains, furniture upholstery, a carpet, a tablecloth… To make sure they form a harmonious ensemble, stick to these rules:
- Avoid using more than 4 colors. Normally, 3 colors should be enough.
- Select 2 plain fabrics.
- To add accents, choose a fabric with a big scale pattern, a small scale pattern and a stripe.
When picking a rug, discard those with big figurative designs. Your guests and family members might find it a bit uncomfortable to walk on a large picture.
Get a Second Seating
In most living rooms, there is a sofa. Usually, each house owner has a very clear vision of which type of sofa they want and where they will place it. But it should not be the only piece of furniture where one can take a seat. Think of a cozy armchair or a daybed. If there is a bay window in your living room, put benches or window seats there. If all the seatings in the room are upholstered, add a chair with a wooden seat or a bench. To avoid resemblance with a conference room, buy seatings of diverse sizes, silhouettes and color palette.
Make the Most of Your Tables
Ideally, there should be a table next to any seating. If the living room is large enough, tables are indispensable for zoning its space. For instance, you can put one behind a sofa or purchase a vintage desk for an alcove. A coffee table needs to be not only elegant but also pragmatic. Place upholstered pieces on its surface or use a tray so that your guests can safely put coffee cups on it. Consider buying a table with low shelves or drawers underneath — there, you can store magazines, slippers, napkins and other similar items.
The coffee table should be slightly lower than the seat height of the sofa. Its length should not exceed two thirds of the sofa — but at the same time, it should not be smaller than one half of the sofa. The optimal legroom between a table and the seats that surround it varies from 14 to 18 inches. There should be as many tables in the room as there are conversation areas. People should be able to put their drinks on them without leaving their seats. Apart from coffee tables, you might also consider side tables: these can be nearly just as high as the one that is used for meals but shorter and narrower.
Install Wall Lights
Сeiling lighting alone will not create enough comfort. A table lamp might look too conservative and its light will not reach the corners. For evening mode, wall lights would be an optimal solution. Depending on which system you choose, you might need to call an electrician to mount it or just plug it in and attach it to the wall yourself. To recreate the natural warmth of the sunset light or live fire, opt for lamps with golden light.
Purchase Either Custom-Made or Vintage Storage
Ideally, the storage should precisely fit the dimensions of your living room. The only reasonable exception is a stunning antique piece of furniture. Even though there might be gaps between its surfaces and the walls, it will add character to the premise. When ordering a custom storage, do not forget about cable holes and a bank of plugs behind.
To make your living room unique, it is not necessary to buy only designer furniture for it. You can opt for rather basic items and create colorful accents by adding just a couple of truly catching components. You might want to order a fancy chaise lounge, sideboard or wall unit from a shop that specializes in classy interior pieces, such as Room Service 360. Plus, consider adding works of art.