As the living room is the main reception room where you do everything; from entertaining your guests, watching TV and playing games with your family to simply eating dinner, you want it to stand out and represent everything that you are as an individual, couple or family.
There are a number of ways that you can make your living room stand out and this can be a very personal thing. However, typically this all centres on how you can style the room so that it makes best use of your space whilst fitting in with the overall interior design effect that you desire.
Below you will see the top 5 tips that we feel it is essential to follow when designing and decorating a living room.
Setting up your sofas
Although the buying and positioning of your sofas is often one of the last things you do when decorating or renovating your living room, it should be something that is always in the back of your mind. Without doubt, your sofas are going to be something that takes up the majority of floor space in the room, so their positioning should always be planned out in advance.
Choosing the right spot for your sofa can truly make the difference to whether your living room looks cosy and inviting or unwelcoming and awkward. One way that you can ensure you create the former is to position your sofa so that it is facing towards the door.
Remember that you can always angle the sofa so that it does this and that it does not always have to be straight up against a wall.
When you come to decide on the paint that you want on your walls, try to remember that you have more options available to you than just paint. As well as wallpaper, you can also choose anything from art, photos and mirrors to wall hangings and sculptures.
Having something like a photo, art or sculpture wall will most definitely do the job of making your living room stand out, as well as also creating a talking point for visitors. This does not have to be too expensive either.
You can pick up a range of interesting frames for reasonable prices these days for photos, as well as use auctioning sites to pick up sculptures and art at a low-cost. You might even be able to find a willing art student who will paint a mural on your wall for a small fee.
The creation of a focal point
If you choose to create a feature wall, as in tip 2, then this could well be your focal point. However, if none of your walls are particularly eye catching than you should try to create an interesting focal point somewhere else in the room.
A fireplace is a very popular focal point choice and you can either refurbish an old one, sprucing it up so that it looks as new, add some new tiling around it or even install a brand new one. Alternatively, you could also put up a large piece of art, a photo or a mirror which stands out because of its peculiarity.
If none of this sounds appealing, then try painting just one of the walls a different colour to the others, as this will create a certain edge to the room and give you an easy and inexpensive focal point.
Lighting in a living room is really important, especially if you use it for multiple purposes. For instance, if you have a family and use it for playing games, you might want to have the choice of bright lighting so that everyone can easily see what they are doing.
If you are watching a film or eating dinner with your partner, you might want the option to dim the lighting. If you have guests over, you may want the room to be dimmed but for your lighting to also highlight your focal point, some artwork or photos.
Having a strong overhead light is therefore essential in a living room and you should choose an open light fixture that allows this. For dimming, you can incorporate this into the overhead fixture, so that you can vary it as and when you like. Alternatively, you could install extra light fittings around the room which operate on a dimmer switch, separately to the overhead lighting.
Installing track lights or picture lighting can be a good idea if you want to focus light on art or a specific point in your living room, not forgetting, of course, how helpful it is to also have a range of lamps in the room, which can create a lovely ambience.
Wooden floor or carpet?
Deciding whether to have a wooden floor or carpet in your living room can be a difficult choice. A lot of people wouldn’t have a wooden floor because they feel it will be too cold and perhaps more dangerous for children if they were to fall over. If you do feel this way, then by all means choose a carpet.
Keep in mind that it should be a hard-wearing carpet and not light coloured. Having a light coloured carpet is just asking for red wine spillages, chocolate stains from kid’s sticky hands and all sorts of other things that cause hard to remove stains. Your living room is going to be used a lot, hence why you need a carpet made of sturdy material. Also remember to lay down underlay, which will provide increased durability and comfort.
Having a wooden floor is a lot easier when it comes to removing stains. If something is spilled, you can just mop it straight up. If you are concerned about it being cold then don’t be; these days’ floors are very well insulated. You can also always invest in a good rug or two.
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James writes for designer radiators company Jaga Home Heating. When he’s not blogging about interior design he’s outside with his dog, braving the icy cold winter that won’t seem to leave…