Here are 5 easy ways to design your living room. The living room is the one room that can change with every season, and reflects our evolving moods and overall lifestyles. Whether it’s the main entertainment zone or a low traffic art gallery, designing a comfortable living room with a lick of fresh paint and a few stylish accessories can help bring your décor up to date and keep your guests happy.
Generally, living rooms are used as a reception parlour to entertain in a more formal way, while some people prefer it as a more casual hangout. Here are 5 easy ways you can liven up your living room and keep your guests entertained. You can also see a step by step post on how I transformed my old living room here.
5 ways to design your living room
LIGHT IT UP
Whether you’re simply replacing your lampshades or redoing the lighting completely, make sure to avoid creating an eye-sore with harsh lighting. Regarded as the most relaxed room in a home, light your living room with soft and warm tones instead of heat intensive lighting. A low lit living room compliments the overall décor but you can install a dimmer switch to control lighting if you think you can’t make up your mind about the brightness. Replace lamp shades and play around with the placement of your lamps. Test out new angles of lighting to suit the overall look you are trying to achieve.
TRY A NEW SEATING ARRANGEMENT
Whether you utilise your living room or not, the seating should always be welcoming. Go for an urban lounge-like design or more traditional, cushion-heavy look that adds warmth to your living room. Mix and match chairs, chaises, ottomans and stools for a variety of seating options.
The occasional cushion additions make a world of a difference. Change up your pillows – sequins or beaded pillows add a modern touch, or you can replace your coloured cushions from reds and oranges to shades of green and blue. You’ll be surprised how impressed your guests can be by such a minimal change – they’ll walk in asking, “Did you get a new sofa?”
INSTALL A NEW FLOOR
Define your living space by replacing an old carpet with a new sleek floor. This might be best for those who are satisfied with the décor but want to lift their living space by removing an exhausted carpet.
Classic wooden or marble floors are ideal for living rooms. Even if you have limited space, new flooring will open up the room so it looks bigger. Build on your new canvas and steer clear of carpet. Instead, throw on a stylish rug under your coffee table or place a free-standing runner in the centre.
There are plenty of options out there so it’s easy to choose flooring that doesn’t harbour dust. If you’d rather not invest in expensive hardwood floors, I’ve used brown Wickes vinyl flooring for my living room since it mimics wood floors and is a low-cost alternative. Warm shades of flooring or white vinyl flooring works best for a whiter, light and airy look. Neutral shades like light-coloured timber or beech suit traditional décor, while darker shades like stained walnut provide a chic backdrop.
PAINT THE WALLS
Add an accent wall with a bold colour choice or wallpaper pattern to liven up your living room. This is a simple way to make, what often looks like, a drastic change. Go for different patterns like damask or marine stripes. Or if you prefer colour over prints, the cost is minimal if you just paint it yourself. See how to paint a room here.
This season’s wallpaper trends include geometrics, orientals, florals and metallics. Paint colour trends include modern neutrals with hints of electric blue and violet, as well as muted pinks, taupe and soft greys. Try painting an unexpected space such as a corridor leading into your living room, the ceiling or even behind a low-laying bookcase.
Lately another trend is to mount a framed wallpaper mould against a contrasting coloured wall, so if you can’t choose between the two options, go with both.
ADD A THEME
The living room is your ultimate showcase so why not give it a name? Whether you call it the French room or the Zen garden, here’s your chance to get creative with your exclusive living space.
You can create a quiet reading room or library to lay low, furnishing it with a bookcase and a day bed. If you’d rather it serve as a multi-purpose room, add in a piano, guitar and an HD TV for the wall.
Other ideas include a club room or corporate study or meeting room for intimate conversations or brief meetings, alongside a tea therapy bar which you can transform into a Zen-like meditation lounge. Furnish it with a cushion window ledge and add some artwork on the walls, and turn it into an art gallery. (If you need wallpaper for your redesign you can find some great deals at http://www.wallpapersales.co.uk/.)
About the author: Amna Alam is a London-based freelance writer who enjoys film, fashion and interior design.