When was the last time you rearranged or revamped your living room? If the answer is never, you might benefit from updating your arrangement with more modern style rules. While picking the right pieces is important, it's also vital that you understand how to design a gorgeous living room from the ground up. Your chosen design should suit your lifestyle and the room size itself. Curious about how to do it just right? Follow these three insider tips for best results.
If Your Living Room is Really Large
If you're lucky enough to have a living room that could be considered vast, you'll need to compartmentalize your design ideas in order to make it work. Rooms that are really large are best split up into a number of different sitting areas, be that two, four, or even more.
The issue with creating a single conversation area in a long living room is that it can feel a little like you're miles away while chatting. It isn't conducive to a friendly, social atmosphere and it doesn't work quite as well as an open-concept home does.
Start with a couch, two armchairs and a coffee table–this is a timeless standard. From there, group armchairs, couches, and loveseats into cozy half-circles or place them against wall corners.
Try to create subtle differences between each area. Consider having one of each of the following:
- A reading area
- An area for watching television
- An area for crafting, knitting, or playing
- An area for people to gather to have drinks or tea
It's important to remember that everyone's lives work a little bit differently, so feel free to veer off the path from the list above. The idea is to integrate small portions of your social and recreational life within the same room, with a small degree of separation.
Helpful Tip: Overdoing separation can be just as bad as not doing it at all. Try to balance the amount of space so that it feels airy and bright, but each smaller area has a cozy, inviting feel. A good rule of thumb is that every 12' to 15' or so should have at least one sitting area.
If Your Living Room is Very Small
If you are all-too-familiar with the "joys" of living in a small flat or apartment, you may find that you don't have very much room to work with at all. You may even realize that your big, old comfy couch simply won't fit while moving in.
This is really common in dense urban areas like New York or downtown Los Angeles, where space comes at a premium.
Don't panic—there's a few ways to make this work while still creating a cozy, relaxing sitting area. First, judge exactly how much space you have. Consider working with benches along the room; it's even possible to make these more comfortable with the use of bench cushions.
Choose furniture that focuses on smooth, clean lines and airy designs. A bench without drawers is better than a bench with, as it will give the illusion of space. Further, it also provides you with a place to store small items in a box.
The same is true for armchairs, regular chairs, small loveseats, and anything else you choose to put in the room. Make sure all of it is minimalistic in design, as this won't overwhelm the room.
Using the 60-30-10 Rule and Picking The Right Colors
Before you purchase your new furniture, or even before you revamp what you have, you'll need to lock down a color palette. This sounds relatively easy at first, but can be a bit confusing for the average person.
An understanding of basic color theory can help you to start the process, but an excellent way to jump right in is to find an item that has several colors you absolutely love. Look for scarves, houses, and even paintings in the world around you for inspiration.
You almost always want to start with three basic colors–a dominant color, which will be your main, and then two additional shades or tones to complement it. Most interior designers use the 60-30-10 rule; that is to say that your main color should comprise at least 60% of colored surfaces, your secondary should comprise 30%, and your final color should be used as a highlight for around 10%.
If you are still lost with finding the right colors, start with visiting a paint shop. Find your favorite color and go from there with varying shades and tones. This can then be translated into living room furniture upholstery, fabrics, and paint.
Finding the Right Living Room Furniture
If you've read through this and you have come to the conclusion that new furniture is the way to go, you've got a whole world of options available to you. Contact your local living room furniture store for advice on how to best furnish your surroundings. As a helpful tip, bring a picture that shows your living room to the store or showroom if you can. This will help employees to point out what will best work with your space.