So, you’ve been tasked with giving your new living room some spice! You have set aside a decent budget to splurge on new accessories. Plus, you’ve already planned which furniture- and decoration stores you’re hitting first. There is just one problem: you have never done this before!
Feeling a little overwhelmed at the thought of giving a room a new look is quite normal. And if it’s a social space which you know guests will undoubtedly see, like the living room, you might even be experiencing some full-blown stress. But before you get a panic attack, keep reading.
If your budget doesn’t allow you to bring in a seasoned professional (like an Interior Designer and Decorator), then consider this guide just for you. Because we’re going to show you what to focus on first, which colours to prioritise, and how to work with what you’ve already got!
The furniture pieces take up the most space in any room. Thus, you’re going to need to know how to arrange them in your living room for an effective layout.
Don’t commit the décor blunder where people push a sofa against one wall, a few chairs against another, and call it a day. Plan ahead. Consider the focal points in the room, like a fireplace or television. Create conversation areas where people can comfortably sit and chatter without straining their necks to see one another. And always keep traffic flow in mind.
Size is crucial. Make sure your living room’s rug is large enough so all the furniture pieces can fit on it. Ideally, there should be about 25 – 50cm of bare floor between the edges of the rug and your living room’s walls.
Although you don’t need to fill every available millimetre of your walls, you don’t want them to look naked either. And always remember that art is subjective: what is considered beautiful to one person may not be the same for the next. That means you don’t have to resort to expensive paintings for your living room walls.
Follow your instincts. Consider what you like. Perhaps a gallery wall of framed photographs of family and friends can add character to the space?
Always include each of the three main types of lighting: ambient, task, and accent. And layered lighting is the best way to ensure there are no dark areas, especially if you plan on using your living room for a variety of actions (such as watching TV, reading, socialising, working, etc.).
Place your light sources at different levels around the room (i.e. your wall sconces should not be the same height as table- and floor lamps).
Never pick your wall colours before you’ve chosen your furniture. Ensure your more expensive / bigger furniture pieces (like sofas and TV units) are sorted before sifting through paint palettes.
And here’s a hint: neutral colours (such as off-white, grey, beige, etc.) can go a long way in making any room seem bigger and more inviting. Plus, neutral hues naturally fit in with any additional colour, regardless if it’s cherry red sofas or a forest green floor rug.
Measure that living room from top to bottom (and from side to the other side) before you carry so much as a side table in there. Take these measurements with you to the store to help you plan properly instead of buying furniture that end up being too bulky.
In the end, your living room needs to reflect your personal style and be comfortable and practical. And instead of seeing it as a chore, make choosing living room décor fun, because that’s exactly what it is!
Take what you’ve learned here and then continue with How to personalise your home via colours.