Breathe new life into your living room space today
Some people call it a living room, others, a sitting room, but however you refer to it, there’s no doubt this room’s main purpose in your home, which is to be a comfortable space where the household can relax and where you can entertain visitors. Whether you’re looking for inspiration to completely redecorate or just want to give your space a new lease of life, there are living room decorating ideas and styling tips to help you choose the perfect sofa or find the ideal colour for your walls.
A good starting point is to think about how many people you need to fit in your living room on a regular basis. This will help you to choose the right living room furniture. A large family will need a sizeable sofa and a couple of armchairs at least to make sure everyone has somewhere comfortable to sit. If space is tight, poufs are a smart way to sneak in extra seating, and can be stowed away easily at times when there are fewer people in the house. If you like to entertain in your living room, it’s a good idea to have a few lightweight side chairs that can be moved into more sociable arrangements when people come to visit. Small side tables are another handy addition, giving guests a place to put their drinks. These living room ideas will help you create your dream space however much you have to spend.
How to position your living room furniture
This depends on the size of your living room and what the room is most commonly used for. Small living rooms may require you to place furniture against the walls to ensure there’s enough space for people to move about without sidling around chairs or falling over the centre table. Ideally you need at least 50cm between each piece of furniture to allow for optimum traffic flow. If you have a bit more space to play with, bring the furniture away from the walls to create a cosy sitting area. This works especially well in open-plan living spaces, helping to zone the relaxation area from the dining, cooking and study areas. If the back of your sofa isn’t much to look at, hide it behind a low console table topped with decorative objects.
A good rug can also help to zone a living space, making it feel more intimate. Place the front legs of sofas and chairs on the rug, leaving the back legs off, to give mismatched furniture a more unified feel. If your living room is your main TV room, it goes without saying that seating needs to be positioned to give a good view of the television, and that it isn’t so far away that viewers need to squint. If you do have a TV but don’t want it on show when you’re not watching it, you can always hide it away behind the doors of an attractive TV cabinet.
Living room storage ideas
Good storage is almost as important as a good living room layout. Clutter can build up quickly in a space that’s used by the whole household everyday, so it’s important that everything has its right place. A coffee table with drawers or a hidden shelf is perfect for keeping remote controls within reach but out of sight. Footstools that open up to reveal a secret storage compartment are another neat tidying trick, especially in small living rooms. Open shelving is great for books and ornaments, but it’s useful to have some kind of drawer or cupboard storage in your living room as well, where you can tuck away things like laptops and other items that you don’t want on display. Remember to leave plenty of room for any furniture with doors or drawers to open properly.
How to light your living room
Living rooms are multifunctional spaces, so they need lighting for all the different tasks they need to perform. First, you’ll need a general light source, a ceiling pendant light for example, that will light the room at darker times of day when the household are milling about. Wall lights and table lamps will give a softer glow when it’s time to relax. An adjustable reading lamp next to a comfy chair will allow readers to focus on their book without over lighting the rest of the room. A formal, parlour-style living room demands decorative lighting to impress, whether it’s a statement standard lamp or a statement chandelier. You might also consider adding accent lighting, such as a picture light to draw attention to a favourite work of art. It’s a good idea to have at least two electrical circuits for your living room lighting, one for the main light, and one for softer lighting, as well as dimmer switches so you can control the level of light to suit the time of day, task and mood.
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