It is one thing to want the perfect living room, and another to actually create it. Definitions of perfection in the context of home décor are always dicey to work with, and particularly so in the case of living rooms. Being the primary “public” area of a house requires a certain level of luxury and sophistication. At the same time, hosting informal gatherings demands welcoming vibes and comfortable appointments. Plus, with modern homes rapidly shrinking in size, living rooms are where people spend most of their waking hours.
So how exactly do you solve the mystery of the perfect living room? How do you style your space such that it impresses your guests, encourages tête-à-têtes, and doubles up as your workspace and lounge all at once? The answer lies in a combination of design choices that you can make on any budget and with any aesthetic preference in mind. Keep reading to discover our top tips for designing the perfect living room.
- Pay close attention to your furniture choices
When you want your living room to make good impressions, you need a certain amount of space to work with. Before committing to a specific style of furniture, make sure you have the right sizes in mind. To put it simply, the size of your living room will decide the ideal size of its furniture. If you love plush sofas and winged armchairs but are low on square footage, consider opting for a Mid-Century Minimal look with lighter legs and cleaner profiles, or indulging in just one statement piece. If the austere Modernist look is your cup of tea but you have a sprawling living room to decorate, make sure you get enough seating to fill the space or invest in bold accents and wall treatments as counterweights.
- Create conversation-friendly layouts
The purpose of your living room furniture is to encourage and support interactions. Position sofas, chairs and coffee tables adequately close to one another, and away from the walls. In small rooms with just a handful of seating options, invest in a few accent pieces such as poufs or folding chairs that can be brought in when you entertain a large group of people. More spacious living rooms can be loosely divided into two or more seating pockets for multiple groups to hang out in. Though there are no fixed rules about furniture placement, aim to seat 2-6 people in each pocket that you create.
- Layer your lighting
Poor lighting choices can doom even the most beautifully designed living rooms. Lighting is a crucial aspect of your room’s ambiance, and everything from the temperature of the light to its intensity plays a vital role in how you perceive everything in it. Discussing the nuances of lighting design will need a dedicated article at the very least, so we’ll only touch upon one important aspect here: creating layers of light. Besides a general wash of light for your entire living room, create at least a couple of layers using lamps and fixtures placed at varying heights. Floor lamps are great for illuminating corners or artworks, while smaller table lamps placed around sofas and chairs will encourage people to take a seat and relax.
- Invest in accents and artwork
Your living room is anything but a strictly functional space. Detailing it with just furniture and lighting will give it too austere a vibe. Liven it up with well-chosen accents and decorative elements. A large piece of wall art can serve as a great focal element, backdrop, or conversation starter. You can also go for multiple pieces of wall art placed at different heights to break the monotony of a blank wall. Artwork also helps you reinforce or enrich your living room’s colour palette without introducing overbearing furniture or fabrics.
- Asymmetry can be fun!
There is no harm in aiming for symmetry, but too much of it can lead to a boring living room. To add interest to your living room, opt for balance rather than symmetry, and remember that balance is often found in unlikely pairings! Instead of two-of-a-kind armchairs, go for a single statement piece and some quirky floor seating. Pair a tall, sleek vase with a chunkier accent or houseplant. Or hang a piece of wall art a few feet away from the centre of your wall, laying the foundation for a reading area or coffee nook.
Here’s hoping that these suggestions were able to spark some new ideas for your living room decoration project. Stay tuned to our blog for regular articles on styling your home for sophistication and comfort in equal measure.