In many ways, the living room is the most important room in the house. It’s where we go to relax, read a book and watch TV as well as where family and friends congregate when they visit. Making it look and feel like a place you want to spend time in, however, can be more difficult than you think. That’s where quality interior design comes into play.
Here, we look at seven common mistakes people make when it comes to living room design.
The sofa is often the first thing you see when you walk into a living room, and it can make or break a room for several reasons. Size is the first of these. If your sofa is too big, or too small, it will make everything else in the room look out of proportion. Then there’s the look.
When buying a new sofa, or if you’re redecorating and planning on keeping your existing couch, you need to ask yourself if it fits with the colour scheme you’ve chosen and any other furniture or furnishings you are using.
Magazines are full of beautifully designed living rooms, as are furniture showrooms, making it easy to fall in love with a look and trying and recreate it. This rarely works, however, because what looks great on the shop floor can end up looking cold and sterile once it makes its way into your home because it lacks your personal touches.
The best way to avoid it is to take inspiration from the looks you like but buy your furniture and furnishings at a range of different stores, so you get a mix of styles.
One of the problems of trying to recreate a look is that it can lead you to trying to make everything perfect and losing sight of what living rooms are for – to live in. You could, for example, end up constantly cleaning so nothing is out of place and everything looks like it did in the pages of a magazine.
While everyone likes a nice, clean and tidy house, taking it to the point of trying to create a perfect living room can stop it from being somewhere people feel comfortable spending time in.
Even if you aren’t trying to recreate a look, you could end up doing this by mistake if you buy nothing but one style of furniture. So, while it’s better to have one predominant style, you should still add different styles, colours and textures to create interest.
We’ve already talked about how the size of a sofa can make a huge difference to a room, but other pieces of furniture and furnishing can too. Rugs are a perfect example. They provide a great accent, adding colour and texture, at least if they’re the right size, which for an average size living room means 8 x 10 foot.
Everything in your room could be the right size, but if it isn’t in the right place, your living room won’t look right. The layout is really important when it comes to getting your living room design right. If you mainly use your living room for watching TV, for example, you will need to make sure that this is in a place where it isn’t obstructed by other pieces of furniture and can be seen easily when you are sat on an evening.
However, if you see your living room as a place to spend time with family and friends, your seating should be laid out to create opportunities for conversation and make people feel at home.
It’s not just your TV that might be hanging on the wall; you may have pictures or works of art too – without them, your room could end up looking like, well, a blank canvas. And, just like furniture placement, getting the positioning of artwork and pictures is key to making your living room look good.
It used to be the rule of thumb that artwork should be hung at eye level. This isn’t the case anymore, but it’s a common mistake people make. Instead, art and pictures can be hung in a way to make a statement and draw people towards them. Imagine, for example, a grouping of smaller pieces that create a whole; this can add character to a room and if they are photographs, a really personal touch.