How to Design Your Perfect Living Room

Posted On Saturday, 10 October 2020 20:59

Scrolling on Pinterest or flipping through your favorite interior design magazine in search of that perfect living room can be overwhelming when you aren’t sure how to bring it to life in your own space. That’s why we collected these helpful step-by-step tips to make your living room vision a reality – from the sofa to the accessories – without all the extra stress of getting started.

Whether you’re looking to liven up your current living room design or starting from scratch in a blank space, these guiding principles will ensure your living room is both a place that brings you comfort and joy, as well as a functional space that suits your lifestyle.

1. Get inspired.

Start to develop a vision by creating a Pinterest board or a magazine clipping collage. This will help you (and any interior designers you’re working with) to understand what styles and moods you’re most drawn to (and just as importantly, what you want to avoid!). These vision boards can serve as a North Star to guide you throughout the process by prompting design ideas when you’re feeling stuck.

2. Plan for your lifestyle.

After all, it is called a living room. Consider how the room will be used on a daily basis. Is it a family movie night gathering spot (in which case – you may want to bookmark space for a sectional sofa, and reserve a wall for a mounted TV)? Is it your cozy safe space where you love to curl up with a good book (lighting is key!)? How about the last-minute-guestroom for the revolving door of friends and family (hello, sleeper sofa)? Whether it’s one of these or something in between, your living room should complement your lifestyle – not vice versa.

3. Map a layout.

With the usage of the room in mind, you can start to plan a rough layout. Furniture placement is important because it will ensure that you are considering the right pieces of furniture to suit the space, without making it feel overcrowded. It will also ensure that you’re designing a living room layout that flows and evokes the vibe you’re going for – whether that’s intimate, cozy conversation or wide-open airiness.

4. Start big.

When it comes to purchasing furniture for your living room, start with the focal point: the sofa. As the centerpiece of your living room design, the sofa is likely the piece that will not only get the most usage, but also be the foundational block around which the rest of your space is built. Choosing a sofa can be an adventure in and of itself, so before choosing your upholstery fabric (both the material as well as the color/pattern), make sure to pick something that suits your comfort and practicality needs.

5. Add accents.

Once you have the sofa locked in, refer back to your original layout to see which accent pieces will help complete your space. If you have a large sectional, you may have space for one accent chair or a pair of ottomans. If you opted for a smaller sofa, a well-placed pair of chairs with a coffee table or cocktail ottoman in the middle create an interesting-but-not-too-obvious balance. Other accents include rugs, wall art, window treatments, plants, and throw pillows – all opportunities to add depth, texture, and visual intrigue to your space so that it starts to feel like only yours.

6. Light up.

Light is an underrated and oft-overlooked interior design element. If you don’t have a wealth of natural light in your living space, some well-placed floor lamps that give off ambient lighting can truly transform the vibe of the entire room. If you’re opting to add vintage elements, antique table lamps are a great option that can add personality and punctuation to the space.

7. Make it yours.

We call this the ‘finishing touches’ stage. This is where you round out your living room with the truly personal – whether that’s photographs of loved ones or a favorite souvenir from your overseas vacation. However, decorator beware: this doesn’t mean that you should fill every open space with tchotchkes and trinkets, as you run the risk of overcrowding and actually detracting from the finished product. Finding that balance between personalized and cluttered is key.

8. Follow the joy.

Despite all these guiding principles, there’s one thing to remember above all else: your space should make you happy. If you start down a path that you realize just isn’t bringing you joy, it’s okay to pivot or make edits. The beautiful thing about interior design – like fashion – is that there really are no rules. You (and your loved ones) are the only people who will inhabit that space day-in and day-out, so if the living room feels like a place you love coming home to, then you’ve done your design job perfectly.

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