The living room is the center of the modern home. It is the place where the children play, where friends talk, where sports are watched, and where romances are kindled. When a room has that much meaning and importance, it is critical that it be properly decorated. There are several keys to properly decorating a living room. While there are many different opinions about the "rules," there are seven things on which just about everybody agrees.
First, size matters.Your furnishings need to fit the size of your room. If the furniture is too small for the space, the room looks bare and uninviting; if the furniture is too large, the room looks cramped and uncomfortable. The sofa is usually the largest piece of furniture in the room, so it is important that it be selected carefully with the size of the room in mind.
Second, pick your focal point and stick to it. There should be a main point of interest in the room. In days of yore, it used to be the fireplace (in some homes it still is). In most modern homes, however, the television is the central attraction in the living room. In many mountain or beach view homes, the view out of large picture windows is the central focus. Whatever your focal point, the furniture and accessories must be chosen to highlight this feature. For example, if the view from the windows were the focus, you would not want to put large high-back chairs or a decorative screen in front of them, no matter how nice those furnishings were.
Third, contrast is key. It's okay to purchase a nice living room set that comes in one color and texture, but, if you do, then you need to accessorize the love seat, sofa, and chairs with pillows or throws. You also want to add an accent chair or table to break up the color pattern. Colors are not the only way you can contrast furnishings; you can also change patterns and fabrics. Without contrast, too much of one color, pattern, or material can make the room feel boring and stuffy.
Fourth, proper lighting is essential to a well-decorated and inviting living room. Natural light is the best option for any living area, but it is also the most unstable. Light varies with the season, weather, and time of day. It can also create too much glare or heat, so the curtains or blinds are closed, cutting down on the light. The answer is a lighting system. Notice, the answer is lighting system and not "a lamp." With lamps, you will run into the same problem you do with the sun. Sometimes your lamps will be too bright, and other times they will not give off enough light. Granted, you can add a couple of powerful lights or lamps on dimmers to achieve the best of both worlds. But, you can also invest in a few different lighting sources and add or take away as the situation changes. It's the same concept as the dimmer, but you have a lot more choices.
The placement of your lighting is important. Just putting lamps and light fixtures all over the room may not provide light where it is needed. Remember your focal point? The light should be placed behind the people so that it shines toward the focal point. Too much light in front can make it hard to see; not enough light in the back is bad for your eyes. A good balance is best, but, when in doubt, add more light behind where the people will be sitting so it will shine over and past them.
Fifth, you've got to have a place for your feet, but this rule is highly cultural. Americans love to put their feet up. In other countries this is considered rude, so judge accordingly. In America, if the chairs do not recline, you need an ottoman for your feet. Being able to stretch out is not only good for your circulation, but it just feels more comfortable. Individual ottomans are fine, but you might also consider purchasing a larger piece that can be used by several guests.
Sutton Large Square Ottoman
Sixth, find your balance. Balance does not just refer to the grouping of the furniture, although that is important. Balance also refers to the vertical space of the room. People's eyes will be drawn to the highest objects within their line of sight. Sadly, this is often the top of the sofa. To add height to a room and stretch the vertical space, add wall art. It doesn't have to be any particular type of wall art, but it should reflect your tastes and the theme of the room.
In the same general sense as adding art just above the eye line on the walls to add vertical space, the horizontal space of a room can be expanded as well. This isn't done with smoke and mirrors – just the mirrors. Mirrors not only reflect light and space, but they draw our eyes to them. If the mirror is also a piece of art, you hit the daily double.
In the world of living room accessories, next to lighting, the mirror is about as near to the top of the "must have" list as you can get.
Seventh, don't forget flat surfaces. People need a place to put their drinks, books, and so forth. The experts claim that a coffee table should be about a foot and half from the couch. Because of the myriad coffee table designs on the market, this is another area where your personality can really shine through.
Coffee tables are not the only flat spaces needed in a room. If you are going to have knick-knacks around, keep them organized. A display unit also serves double duty if you can pick up a piece like this Arete display unit. Finely crafted from gorgeous reclaimed wood, each unit is a piece of eco-friendly artwork.
There's actually one more thing that most experts agree on when it comes to decorating your living room: Vendors make a huge difference.. Choose a vendor that does more than just take your money. The best vendors are able to pair you with the furnishing you desire, and they take care of the logistics. If your vendor does not help you find the curated pieces you desire, isn't it time you found somebody who does?