On the face of it, it doesn’t look too difficult. After all, it is a square or rectangle room (or it might be an awkwardly shaped room!) and all you need to do is place the chosen items of furniture in it. Job done.
But then, it doesn’t look right or feels right. There is something missing, or there is too much packed in… it feels cluttered and disconnected. Since when has it been so hard to put furniture in the living room!
Help is at hand…
Use what is already there
What features are in your living room? From the fireplace to the sweep of the bay window, work with what features you have rather than working against them.
This is a great tip – place the sofa and the armchairs like they are having a conversation with each other, just like you will when you spend time with friends in the living room. Connect the items with clever bridges such as luxury rugs that act as ‘pathways’.
Create a ‘centre’ to the room
This isn’t about the centre of the room being the spot around which all else revolves but finding or creating a natural spot in the room around which life circulates. Highlight this with the use of furniture around this ‘centre’ and create pointers so that the eye can make sense of the room. Hanging modern pendant lighting, for example, is a great way of drawing attention to and defining the ‘centre’.
Don’t put things against the wall
Leave a gap behind the sofa and pull the armchairs away from the wall. This stops that look of everything following the boundary of the wall. You may think this takes up space but with a well-chosen armchair, your living room can seem more spacious with gaps around and behind key items.
Don’t let the TV and fireplace compete for attention
On one hand, the fireplace is a natural focal point and yet, the cinematic TVs we are purchasing are the actual focal point of many a living room. Resolve the dispute by placing the two side by side, or wall mounting the TV on the chimney breast.
Use a coffee table as an ‘anchor’
As well as a focal point, the room needs an anchor, a piece of furniture that allows the eye to make sense of the room. A stylish coffee table is an ideal choice for this role. Choose one that complements your chosen style, from the rustic to the uber-modern, and why not be a little more daring in your choice…?
Add a rug
An under-used accessory, we always think, but that may be because you are unsure how to use the rug. The right size is essential and so carefully measure the floor space and decide on how much of this you want the rug to cover. It can frame the room well, especially if the rug finishes at or just under items of furniture, like the sofa.
And finally, wooden shelving is an addition that is practical and understated, essential for so many living rooms. And for hard to dress corners, the floor standing mirror is not just for the bedroom, you know…