Ahh yes! The living room… it conjures up memories of my grandmother’s stuffy old house with plastic on her furniture to keep it looking nice. (I always wondered how she never got the irony of making her furniture ugly, in an effort to make it look nice, but I digress.)
Anyway, we aren’t talking about the living room that your grandma had back in the day. We’re talking today’s chic, contemporary, perfectly crafted living rooms that make your guests marvel, proclaiming how great your decorating skills are. We’re talking about constructing (no construction involved) the living room of your dreams. One that you’ll actually – you know want to live in.
We’re not going to tell you what colors to blend, or what type of couches or other furniture you should get. You can go to places like Pinterest for design ideas. The goal today is to give you the information necessary to implement all of the wonderful ideas that I’m sure you already have. And hopefully, you’ll find some helpful tips along the way!
Start your Base
Everything has a baseline, and the living room is no different. This is where we’re going to pick out a theme for the living room. Do you want a contemporary theme with low profile furniture characterized by sharp straight edges? Or do you like the more classic look with deep rich wood finishes?
Whatever your taste is, be sure to pick your theme and stick with it. Mix-matching themes rarely come out well.
My favorite part of decorating the living room is undoubtedly trying to decide what couches to get. Do I go with sectionals, single sofas, love sofa/single sofa combo, or my favorite, cocoon chairs? If you’ve never seen a cocoon chair, you should, their amazing looking pieces.
You need to take into account the size of your living room too. You want to walk that line of having enough seating for people and keeping the place free of clutter.
Another good idea is to try and use the furniture to accent focal points of the living room.
Also, there’s no need to keep all of your furniture stuck to the wall. The point of a living room is for people to spend time together, so try and place the furniture in a way that everybody is close enough to have conversations with their inside voices.
The living room is a place of living, and that means we’re doing more than just sitting and staring at the walls. There’s parties, game nights, movie nights, and Super Bowl parties. The point is, we’re going to need things to set our drinks on, the remotes, the wings, and pizzas for the party. We need tables.
Here is where it’s vital to stick to the baseline theme that you formed. If you went with large, poofy couches that sit two and a half feet in the air, a contemporary coffee table and end tables wouldn’t work. You’ll be sitting too high even to be able to use it.
And (this may sound trivial but) trust me it’s necessary. Before choosing one, you should define your needs for the coffee table. Do you only use the coffee table for storing remotes? Or are you like me and enjoy pigging out in front of the tv every now-and-again/all the time? It matters a ton when deciding what size table you need.
You may also want to get some end tables. They’re great for your books, drinks, table lamps, or anything else that can go on a table. Which – admittedly – is everything.
Oh, and console tables for flowers, books or any art you have to put on display is a nice touch too.
Alright, we’ve gotten to my favorite part. I could talk electronics and how to adjust them to fit your living room all day. But I won’t. What I will tell you is you don’t have to get the biggest tv that your local electronics store has to offer. You should, however, get one that is HDR compatible and has a refresh rate of no less than 120 Hz, 240 Hz is preferable if you can.
Before choosing the size tv, you get, determine how close the sofas are to it. It sounds like watching an 80-inch tv 5 feet from the screen would be awesome – it’s not. It’s much like sitting in the front row at an Imax theater, your neck hurts, you miss half the movie, and you’re eyes start seeing spots. I promise, it’s misery.
You’ll also need to decide whether the tv will sit on a stand or if you’ll be mounting it to the wall. Wall mounts look incredible, but be sure to set money aside for installation.
Artistic Focal Points
The living room is about bringing the place to life. Otherwise, it’d be a “dying” room (sorry, I like lame jokes). Show some flair and don’t be afraid to let your personality shine.
Art does a lot to add sophistication, and their great conversation starters too. The art doesn’t even to all that special. Just come up with a story behind it, and people will be intrigued (I’m not advocating lying).
Mirrors are also fantastic pieces for decorations. They have a mixture of elegance and strength to them that I enjoy. Plus they reflect light, making the room look more spacious. My favorite is the flat full-length mirrors, they go great over furniture and do a tremendous job at accenting the smaller decor that you put around them.
Now that we’ve gotten all of the big, important pieces, it’s time to pull it all together to make one gorgeous, cohesive, fabulous living room. This part is all about adding color, texture, and flair to the area – monochrome is not acceptable.
Ottomans are a great way to add a splash of color that contrasts the rest of the room, and they offer extra seating as well. Of course, you’ll need some draped for the windows, but don’t go too thick, light and breezy is the way to go when it comes to drapes.
Next, the final touches. Nobody likes a naked couch, so go to your favorite linen shop and get some accent pillows and throws. Places like ‘good and bed’ have lovely accessories for your furniture.
Your couch is a place of love and relaxation, and now you’ll be ready to snuggle up to your special someone and enjoy an evening with them.