The living room is the focal point of the house – it’s a central room that has to be suitable both for guests and family gatherings and that’s why designing it is not an easy job. Besides being comfortable and aesthetically pleasing, a living room should also be functional in order to serve for all kinds of activities – from having a cup of coffee with your friends to your child’s birthday to just chilling and watching TV after a long day. Ask any interior designer and they’ll tell you the same – these are the most common mistakes homeowners make when it comes to living room design and decoration.
Knowing your scale
Just because a piece of furniture looked good in a magazine or at the store, that doesn’t mean it’s suitable for your living room. The showroom was probably bigger and that room in the magazine had a higher ceiling or received more natural daylight – those are all the reasons not to get married to the idea you saw somewhere. Before you make any purchases, make sure you take measures and plan your shopping in accordance with it. People tend to burden smaller spaces with a lot of small furniture but experts suggest that having a few larger pieces will make the room feel less cluttered. Another thing that can make a room look smaller is having knickknacks scattered all around. Keep them on the shelves but try not to clutter – up to five non-book items per shelf is more than enough.
Choosing the central piece
Paint is the cheapest thing you’ll need in the process of designing your living room and there’s nothing simpler than repainting if you don’t like the color. Many people make the mistake and choose the furniture in accordance with paint but it should be the other way around. Instead, choose your favorite piece and decorate around it. It can be that designer sofa you spent a fortune on or that fireplace you wouldn’t change in a million years – just make sure you find that piece and choose the colors, patterns, and style accordingly. Also, don’t be afraid of the patterns – if used right, they can really make the room pop.
Mixing high and low
If you’re on a budget, mixing expensive and cheap items in living room design is a must but you’ll be glad to hear that interior design experts approve this, so just go ahead. The trick is in knowing where you should pony up and where you can save some money. Sofa, for example, is usually the focal point of the room, so that’s where you can splurge and get a good one. The same goes for your flooring and artworks while affordable throw pillows and trendy yet cheap rugs will complement the high pieces magnificently and make your living room look fantastic.
Arranging the furniture
Pushing all pieces against a wall will probably give your more space but experts claim it’s a mistake since that’s no way to create an intimate atmosphere for conversation which living rooms are all about. Also, think thoroughly what will be the focal point of your room. Usually, it’s the TV but it can distract you from the conversation when it’s on and make the room feel incomplete when it’s off. You can invest in movable cabinetry to cover it up when it’s not used or put in the playroom – the choice is all yours. As for the artwork, don’t hang it too high – keep it at the eye level or even lower so everyone can enjoy it without hurting their necks.
Designing the living room just the way you always wanted is the dream come true, so you’ll want to make an effort and do everything right. Be smart when purchasing, mixing and arranging furniture and accessories, and, soon, your living room will look better than the one you saw in the magazine.
Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She’s passionate about traveling, fashion, home décor and healthy living. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”