The living room is the centre and heart of the family and the main area where first-time visitors will form an impression of the home. The perfect living room is within reach of most budgets and can be fitted into even the smallest space, with judicious and careful colour scheme selection and the right furniture.
Measure your living room and decide how much seating is needed and where it should be placed. The space left over needs to be allocated into provision for storage; other necessary furniture and some space should be left to allow easy movement. Decide on the look for your living room and then begin to plan the whole effect.
Choose a colour palette to be used in the living room, and do bear in mind that a palette can consist of more than one colour; two or three complementary colours can be used together to achieve a cheerful, and harmonious effect. Some thought should be given to whether leather, fabric or wood will be used and in what proportions. Once you have decided on the theme for your living room, the first piece of furniture chosen should be the sofa as it is usually the largest piece of furniture.
The sofa is not only one of the strongest focal points in a room, it also where the family spend much of their time, relaxing and watching television or socialising and entertaining friends and visitors. As a result, it is vitally important to choose the correct sofa, maybe even increasing the budget if necessary to be sure of getting the exact piece to set the tone and mood of the living room while providing comfort to the whole family.
Sofas come in a vast array of sizes, shapes and styles, from plump traditional sofas with two or three seats, to modern modular sofas which come in various pieces – individual seats, corner pieces and arms that will fit on where needed so as to allow you to place them in the room where you think they look best, instead of being bound to classical sofas which may not fit into a room with unusual dimensions.
If the sofa comes as part of a package deal – one three-seater plus two single seats, or the modular sofa as mentioned above – there will be little need for other seating. If the sofa is a single piece careful thought should be given to extra chairs. Signature piece stand-alone chairs can really ‘make’ the look of a room, but can also take up a lot of space as they tend to need room around them to display their full impact. It might be wiser to choose simpler fireside-type chairs which serve the same seating purpose but have a smaller spatial footprint. Sideboards and cupboards come in unusual and compact designs and even a relatively modest cabinet can contain a useful amount of storage space. Coffee tables can add to the overall look and enhance a colour theme if chosen wisely.
Walls and Ceilings
Walls and ceilings provide a canvas for displaying themes and colours, without taking up any extra space. It is possible to create fantastic optical illusions with paint or wallpaper; stripes to lengthen or widen a room; an intricately decorated ‘feature wall’ to really offset the décor or strategically placed blocks of colour to draw the eye. A useful tip while still at the planning stage would be to stock up on wallpaper samples, tester pots of paints and colour charts.
Once the theme is finally decided make a large board or piece of card in the colour that will be used and leave it in the room overnight, or even over a weekend to see how the changing light at different times of day, and even different weather affects the chosen colours. This will ensure that you are totally satisfied with the scheme before you commit yourself to it. Ceilings are often ignored in redecoration schemes but they offer an excellent opportunity to display creative flair by using the space. Ceiling roses can be picked out in a contrasting colour to enhance and display the plasterwork in older buildings. Even simply painting the ceiling a contrasting colour to the walls can beautifully pick out theme colours.
Fitted carpets, layers of rugs or elegant wooden floors the choice of flooring is almost limitless. Decide what type of flooring suits your needs best – pet lovers often opt for easy to clean laminate, while parents of babies and toddlers avoid thick-pile cream carpeting! Whatever your preference companies such as B&Q, Wickes and other DIY specialist companies and carpet suppliers are sure to have a wide choice of products to choose from.
It is important not to rush into proceedings once you have decided to renovate your living room. Take time to plan a timeframe for the transformation and make sure that the whole family is aware of what is happening. Liaise with workmen and make sure that they have confirmed dates, before planning on taking days off work or arranging for the next step – you don’t want your wonderful new lounge suite arriving before the carpet-layers have finished! Make extensive lists of everything that needs to happen and tick off items as they are successfully completed. With all this preparation and planning it will not be too long before you are enjoying your new and elegant living room.
Sources: channel4.com; freshome.com; stylist.co.uk
This is a guest post from the people at sofa.com, your online go-to for luxury interior goods, including beautifully crafted sofas, sofa beds and other such items including comfortable cushions.