Living rooms are often the most-used in our homes, so balancing comfort with utility and aesthetics is an important consideration. Whether you use the room for relaxing and socialising, doing exercise or even working from home, here are some of our favourite ideas to help you create a space that you will love spending time in.
Fireplace in focus
To begin, an obvious focal point is a fireplace; depending upon your preference this could be a countryside-appropriate log burner, gas or an electric faux-flame to add a warm and homely ambiance. Fireplace surrounds could be rich and deep woods for a cosy atmosphere, whilst brighter colours can make the room airier, yet still benefitting from the inviting orange glow come autumn and winter.
Whether you add a television above, an elegant mirror or exquisite artwork, all eyes will be drawn to the heart of the room.
Sofas can take the traditional approach of being backed against a wall to face a ‘main wall’ or other focal point of the room, but they can themselves be made into a feature by sectioning off space to zone the room. Add a coffee table in front decorated with candles and luxurious books, or place a console table behind featuring elegant lamps, a vase of flowers or special artwork/statues to create a dramatic effect.
Additionally, the material your sofa is made from can make a statement all by itself. Rich velvets, bright colours or bold patterns will immediately draw the eye to the sofa, as will adding scatter cushions with intriguing designs that will surely cause a stir with guests.
But a sofa doesn’t have to do all the work by itself, as mixing in different sizes or adding an armchair or two will produce a more dynamic environment ideal for entertaining guests, as well as allowing you to find comfort in experiencing different views of the same room.
Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, a section or an entire wall, can add a majestic quality to living rooms, particularly if you can’t have or don’t want a fireplace. Combine with an armchair and lamp, the shelves can be packed with ornaments, photographs and anything else special to you, not just books.
A simple option is to alternatively paint an accent wall which will draw the eye towards floating shelves for a more modern take, or cover a feature wall in framed artwork or photographs of different sizes.
Let there be light
Lighting can make or break a room – too bright and it can be harsh on your eyes, too dark and you can’t enjoy the space; the sweet spot is the warming and inviting ambience you can appreciate each night. If you’ve the space and it matches your style, then a statement chandelier could be the answer, hanging from an elegant ceiling rose over a coffee table will certainly add ‘wow factor’ to a seating area.
But a simpler affair could see individual standing lamps that have ornate bases or lampshades that create flare – don’t be afraid to go bigger than you think you need as they can play a starring role.
Whatever your space considerations and individual style, interior design is all about expressing yourself to create an environment in which you feel safe and happy. Taking your time to create just one of these elements will hopefully make a difference.