The living room is possibly the most used room of any house. It is where we watch TV, entertain friends, chat over coffee, and throw ourselves about while playing certain computer games. We use it as a play room, a study -with our laptops on knees, a dining room – with plates on knees a reading area and a napping area. It’s one of the few rooms where the entire family will all be in at one time, and possibly plus a few relatives too. It is a true multi-purpose space, and therefore need to be designed and decorated to reflect this.
Once you have considered what your needs are from the room, it’s a good idea to evaluate the space you have. Is it a large room? Is it square or L-shaped or long and thin? How many people are in your household and how often do visitors come round? Once these questions have been thoughts about the choice of suitable seating and space division can be resolved. If your room is long then it often works well to have the TV and sofas down one end and an office/reading area with bookshelves and lamps the other, this way dividing the room by the noise level of the activities. Sofa choice is very important, it is one of the key pieces of the room and will dictate the overall style, choose the style and material that suits you best, whether a modern L-shape in leather for some contemporary luxury, or monotone floral 3 seater for a modern twist on the traditional look.
Most living rooms work best if they have a focal point. An area that the furniture can be arranged around and something that people notice when they first walk into a room. Often this is the TV or the fireplace but could be wall art or some sculptural piece depending on what works best for your lifestyle. For a contemporary style consider setting the fireplace into the wall, or having a large hung canvas, that would stand out from the simple colour scheme a contemporary scheme would need.
With so many activities happening in the space it is vital to include suitable storage. Considering there needs to be places to store CDs, DVDs, books, magazines, toys, video games, consoles taking over a whole wall with floor to ceiling shelving units is a good idea. This will help to maintain the overall streamlined look of the room (as opposed to having stand-alone shelving units dotted here and there) as well as giving you lots of storage. Other possibilities are purposed designed bookcases/shelves for alcoves either side of the fire place or concealed storage areas in coffee tables and footstools, ensuring the room always looks clean and clutter free.
With so much traffic going through a living room, floor coverings need to be practical. Carpets feel warm and nice on your toes, but if you are a family with children that often eat in front of the TV an easy clean wood laminate may be the better choice. Stone gives a modern sophisticated appearance but can make a room feel cold and clinical so rugs would have to be included.
No matter what style of room you are aiming for its the finer details that give the space character, the textures of materials, the amount of cushions, the style of Table Lamps, the pattern of the wall paper will change whether it is super sleek and modern, or homely and cosy.