During the winter months, and with a global pandemic continuing to rage, most of us now spend more time at home than we otherwise would do. This period can thus make us examine our properties and, in particular, living spaces more thoroughly.
If you’re keen to start the new year off with an updated living room, it pays to consider multiple factors in its design. Read on for some common mistakes to avoid as you style the space.
Pay close attention to color in this crucial part of your home. A common mistake many people make is either not using enough of it or mixing too many different shades in one area. Minimalism has undoubtedly been popular for years, but this doesn’t mean you always need to keep everything plain and stark when choosing paint colors and hues for other things. You don’t want this part of your house that you use so often to feel clinical. Add pops of color and brightness to a neutral palette with accessories such as rugs, pillows, vases, and art, among other things.
However, if you’re not afraid of using color, be careful not to bring too many different ones into the room because this can make it appear cluttered and busy and draw the eye in too many directions. You also need to be careful of being too “matchy matchy” with your selections since having everything in the room in the same shade can make it all blend together, which is unexciting visually.
It’s good to choose complementary tones in a room, particularly regarding your choices of wall color, furniture, and accessories, but don’t keep trying to match everything in the exact same hue, or it will be too much.
Lack of the Right Lighting Types
Lighting is a critical element of design and is something you want to get right in your living room. Avoid making the oft-done mistake of having too little lighting here or not enough layers of it. You need enough brightness that you can read a book and conduct conversations in well-lit areas when you choose to, as well as appreciate the art and other features in the space.
However, you also want to be able to set the mood at times by dimming lights or only keeping a select one or two on. When you’re winding down for bedtime or being romantic with a partner, for instance, you don’t want to have bright lights impacting you. As such, ensure your living area has numerous light sources to draw from. Hopefully, you will have some natural light from windows or a skylight, plus some recessed lighting, such as those on a dimmer.
It’s also handy to have some warm light built-in from a pretty farmhouse ceiling fan or a modern hanging pendant or striking chandelier, etc. Add in some floor or table lamps for additional illumination in the areas you want it.
Bad Furniture Selections
Interior designers often notice when they examine living rooms in client homes that people mistakenly buy pieces that don’t correctly suit the size of this part of the property. In living rooms, we use sofas, rugs, and other dominant furniture, and if we get the sizing wrong, we can, unfortunately, create a bit of an Alice in Wonderland vibe where things seem too large or too small.
Give yourself a better chance of creating a beautifully styled living room by taking your time buying the main pieces that draw attention. For example, when it comes to your lounge, think about how you plan to use the living space. That is, will you be lounging around casually and watching TV or looking to host guests and have deeper conversations? If the former, an L-shaped sofa or chaise might be top of your consideration list. If the latter, it’s often best to have two sofas facing one another.
Take measurements of your living room, including the size of doorways and any stairwells or other tight spaces furniture will have to get through to be set up. Plan out how much room you need to leave for foot traffic to get around sofas and the like and how far to sit pieces away from walls to give the illusion of a larger space.
When it comes to a floor rug, you need it to be large enough that it touches at least two legs of each piece of furniture it’s near to, although you can go bigger if you’d like. Place it in an area where people aren’t likely to trip over the corners of it, either.
If you’re like most people, you’ll have a television in your living room, too. We tend to position everything around this entertainment box; however, this doesn’t look the greatest or promote conversations. Instead, consider placing your TV off-center, mounted to the wall and the side somewhat rather than right in the middle of the room as a focal point. Alternatively, camouflage the television inside a hidden recess or behind a large cabinet or artwork that slides to the side as needed.
Our living rooms tend to be the spots in our homes where we spend much of our time, so these spaces need to be well-thought-out and planned. Think about all the above factors before starting work on your living room.