It’s Time to Design Your Living Room for Living
What is the Living Room?
Your living room should be exactly that – a room for living in. It should be inviting and make everyone feel “at home” in it, at any hour of the day or night. Whether one is alone or with family or friends, your living room should be comfortable and welcoming, have the flexibility to cater for several different activities, and reflect the interests of its occupants.
When designing and decorating a living room, you need to consider the growing, ever-changing needs of its users. For example, your young children will grow into teenagers who have different needs and require bigger spaces, or if your children have left the nest, then there might be grandchildren in the future – if you’re lucky!. A retired couple may develop new interests and hobbies in their “golden years.” Therefore spaces and layouts need to be adaptable and flexible.
Why is the Living Room Important?
Today a lot of homes have several living areas. Still, one of the main activities of any living space is communication with family members and friends, so an inviting, comfortable seating area is essential. Generally, most living rooms need a couch or two to “anchor” the seating area and will require additional seating to accommodate several other people. Look at the size and shape of your room to find a combination of couches and other seats that will suit the room. A coffee table on a scale fitting the seating arrangements is usually a well-used piece of extra furniture. The main conversation area is often the main center, and no through traffic should cross the area.
How to Design Your Living Room
Of course these days the television has become an essential part of people’s lives, and it does have a vital role to play in bringing the world to us. If possible, incorporate the TV in a wall unit, so it becomes part of a group rather than an isolated, dominating item. It is essential when locating the TV that it is on the conversation axis. If the fireplace is the central focus of the grouping, then the TV should be placed beside it, because if the TV is placed on an opposite wall, then the room becomes pulled apart and unfocused.
There must, in a good room, be an area of significant interest. If a room is large enough to have two seating areas, then one must dominate, and any other area becomes secondary. Traditionally, the fireplace formed a focal for the main arrangement in a living room. If there is no fireplace, then accent the main conversation area with a rug, a table, color lighting, etc., because on entering the room, you should immediately be drawn to the main center – the focal point.
The choice of other furniture in the room will depend on its scale, the requirements of the family and of course your budget! Other furniture to consider would be cabinets for storage, a TV center unit, footstools, and ottomans, side tables, a chaise, sofa table, and shelving for displays and additional storage. But any furniture should be chosen for its design quality and its proportion to the room. Be careful about the placement of furniture because if it’s just dotted around the room instead of grouped, it will not give a feeling of visual harmony or unity, and the room will appear disconnected.
The more activities that happen in a room, the more vital and “alive” it becomes. The key to giving life to a place is not through decoration but by using it for living. A memorable room is alive and welcoming and describes its inhabitants and their personality.