There are many names given to the living room - lounge, drawing room, sitting room for example, but whatever name you give to it, it is usually the heart of the house, a room for relaxation. Consequently the way the room is decorated and furnished should reflect this.
In these days of high land prices, property developers seem to get away with building smaller and smaller properties, and indeed, the living room may have to perform more than one function; it may have to include the dining area for example.
Here are six tips to help get the beat from your living room space.
Tip 1. Furniture Planning
The first thing to do when designing the layout of your living room is to make a list of all the items you want to include - the hi-fi, TV, sofa, tables, bookcases etc. Then measure your room and draw a scale plan on paper. By drawing a scale plan you can then add the items (having measured them or having got their dimensions from a catalogue), and see how exactly they will fit in the room.
You should focus on the seating first, as this is the primary function of the room, and you need to make sure you can fit your desired choice of seating in the room before you purchase it, then arrange the secondary furniture around the room.
Tip 2. Create a Focal Point
Years ago, the focal point of the room was the fireplace. Fireplaces are now often a thing of the past and it is often the TV that is the main focal point about which everything else, not least the furniture, should be arranged.
Tip 3. Correct use of Colour.
Most experts will tell you to avoid the use of bright primary colours on large open spaces. Bright colours have become quite popular in recent years, but bear in mind that if you choose to use them you may change your mind about them in the months to come, necessitating redecoration, with all the inconvenience it causes. Bear in mind also that bright colours are more difficult to eradicate with paler shades, requiring more coats.
Try and choose a neutral shade, one that you like, and then use similar shades for the rest of the room. Brightness and colour is then added by the use of cushions, curtains, lampshades etc.
Another way of adding colour to your living room is by adding plants. Try and avoid having large free standing plain foliage plants, instead, add two or three other plants grouped around it. Plants also make a room feel less sterile and add some "life".
Tables are essential to a living room, and the size of the room will determine the type of table or tables to have. A nest of tables is very useful as they take up a small amount of room when stored, but can be used to put drinks and meals on as required. A gate leg table similarly takes up little room, but can be opened up for meals - particularly useful if one has to use the living room as a dining room as well.
An ornamental table can make a good focal point to a room, but can also be heavy to move and therefore inappropriate for a smaller room.