The Beginner’s Guide to Living Room Design

If you have just started decorating your home, one of the first rooms you’d jump to tackle is your living room. It is the most commonly used room, the first room people see, and frankly, the room that you want to stand out the most. Before taking into consideration furniture, layouts, the colour of paint, how to accessorise it, you need to close down on your decorating style. Do you want your living room to screaming multi-colour, art, and accessories? Or do you want it imbibing colours of nature that bring about a sense of tranquility? Once you ask yourselves these questions, half the job is done.

“Gone are the stuffy parlors from the past—living rooms are just that: The rooms where we live. That’s the beauty of the living room. It’s where we now do everything,” says Portland, Oregon, designer Lynne Parker of Lynne Parker Designs.

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01. Start with a plan

The foundation of any spatial design is a vision and a plan. Your living room is a space that’s used to host all sorts of activities – from movie night, a sit down dinner to a cocktail party. You must create a list of things you do in the room and then develop a layout and furniture plan on that basis. For instance, if your living room also turns into a media room then you need to have a comfortable couch along with a large flat screen. Televisions can also be beautiful and add immense value to the design of a room. From flat screens to projectors, television design has come a long way.

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02. Focal Furniture 

A common problem that you might face is not knowing how to arrange your living room furniture. More often than not, you tend to push one sofa and a couple of chairs against a wall and then plan the rest of their furniture around it. That isn’t wrong but arranging furniture requires a little more planning. For instance, consider choosing a focal point and a focal piece, create conversation areas and consider traffic flow in your living room to avoid cramped unused spaces. Such planning will help the way your living room design unfolds. Once functionality is figured out, the first thing you must invest in is a good couch. Find one that will stand the test of time and be a quality piece in your living space. 

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03. Area Rugs

Defining your living space is a rug that’s much larger than the seating space is quite often a fun way to start decorating your room. Adding a larger-than-life run ultimately makes the room look bigger. A pro tip from the experts –  All furniture should sit on top of a rug and ideally, there should be about 10-to-20 inches of bare floor between the edges of the area rug and the walls of the room. There are going to be lots of elements that come into the room so make sure your rug’s colour, pattern and texture balance out with the scheme you’re following.

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04. Punctuate with Lighting 

Lighting is quite a complex element in every room. Since it’s so subjective and utilitarian, important considerations mustn’t be ignored. You must include each of the three types of lighting: ambient, task and accent lighting. When planning your living room’s layout and window treatments you must prioritise natural light. This also helps with efficiently using energy in your home. You must then make sure you have good overhead lighting and low lighting. Light sources must be placed at different levels throughout the room for a powerful impact. Lamps are a great source of light and also support an overall aesthetic in a room.

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05. Personality Art

According to experts, the sign of an incomplete room are empty walls. That said, you don’t need to fill every inch but decorating the walls with art has a certain cache to it. Art doesn’t need to be expensive but does need to create a cohesive and enticing look. Go with your instincts and not anyone else’s opinion when it comes to picking art because you’re going to be looking at the piece you choose – art is subjective. Add bits and pieces of your personality or how you think your personality can be translated in a piece of art to make the room as you as it can be. 

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06. Paint Me Happy

Choosing the right colour in a living space is something most people struggle with. A pro tip is to never choose the paint colour first. Choose your layouts, your furniture, your accent pieces and the colour scheme of the room first and then base your wall paint on those factors; never the other way around. Painting can be a pain for sure but it isn’t difficult and there are a plethora of choices.