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Planing Your Living Room 101

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 23 August 2017 12:32

To have a living room that functions for your family and house, consider these crucial things when designing and building it.


1.     Location

The location of your living room in the house impacts the design and how it’s used. When it’s connected to your kitchen, the two rooms need cohesion through design. If it’s more isolated, the living room can take on its own independent style. Location may impact how it’s used too. An isolated living room can be a playroom for kids to kid the toys, and an open concept living room may be the perfect entertaining space.


2.     Lighting

Lighting is one of the most important aspects of a room that gets overlooked. How much natural light will be in the room? What exposure do you get? Where will the overhead lighting be placed? What about dimmers? All of this should be thought through. A cohesive lighting plan can keep your living room functional no matter the time of day. Interior design elements like paint color, flooring, and furniture will also impact whether a room looks light or dark.


3.     Function

Before you even start sitting down to plan your living room, ask yourself what you think the room will be used for most often. Will it be an adult space or a family-friendly one? Will there be a TV in there? How often will we be entertaining? When you know what the room will be most often used for you can plan better for that function. How often do you see a living room with a massive fireplace and windows only to see people struggling with where to put the TV and trying to kid-proof it all? Avoid these crucial mistakes by thinking through the function from the beginning.


4.     Flow

Flow is something that is hard to define but easy to notice when a home doesn’t (or does) have it. A room should flow internally and externally. Inside the room, you want people to be able to move around furniture, have walkways, know what the space is for, and are able to make easy conversation. All of this creates good internal flow. External flow is about how well your living room works with the rest of the house. Is the living room in a logical location? Look at how close it is to other areas of the house like the kitchen. Think about the powder room that guests will be using too. You want it far enough away for privacy, but close enough that guests don’t have to wander through the whole house.


5.     Furniture

A common mistake people make is to not think about furniture when planning a living room. If you will be using existing furniture, make sure you take measurements so that it all fits. Every piece of furniture should have a home in the room. Think about where furniture will be placed too. You don’t want the TV above the fireplace due to the height, and you don’t want couches to block the walkways. Make sure there are outlets where you need them too. Think about all of these things before it’s too late to make changes.


6.     Small Details

It’s the small details that make or break a room. Items like light switches, outlets, and air conditioning vents can make a big difference in how a room functions. They should be in convenient yet discrete locations. The last thing you want is to have no outlet for your TV or have the air conditioning vent right where you want your couch.


7.     Privacy and Noise

After kitchens, living rooms are probably the rooms that see the most action. Whether you’re using them for some adult wine time or for a family movie night, you want to make sure you thought about noise and privacy. Will your kids blaring cartoons be too distracting while cooking? Do you want the option of closing a door? This is where the debate between separates rooms and open-concept comes into play. Open-concept living rooms are more popular today, but if a closed off living room makes more sense in terms of privacy and noise for your family then go with that.


8.     Size

Size matters, but not in the way you think. A living room should be proportional to the rest of the house. There’s nothing worse than having a massive living room that is just too big to function properly. Finding the right size may take some thinking through. You want it to be large enough to fit everything you want, but small enough so that it feels right.


9.     Future

There’s a reason we always preach to think about the future. You want your living room to work now and in the future. There’s nothing worse than creating a beautiful space, only to not having it function anymore in a few years. Kids play a big role in this. If you have children, you want the space to grow with them since living rooms are where they spend a lot of their time. Make sure you think about future resale value too.


Contact a Custom Home Builder to get started on building your new Toronto custom home, or to get more tips on designing your living room.


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