Living rooms are usually the focal point of every residential interior design project. Your guests would probably never see what your bedroom looks like, and hence the living room is where their impressions about you and your style are created. This is also the space where you enjoy a cosy chat with your family, unwind with a good book after a long day, and spend lazy weekends watching movies on the television. So naturally, your living area must be a visual delight and an oasis of aesthetic pleasure. How to go about it? Here are some simple design tips to create an elegant living room that will leave your guests impressed, and you will be overwhelmed by their compliments.
Wall sconces alone are not enough for a living room. To accentuate its best features, a living room needs three levels of lighting; ambient light, task lights and accent lights. Wall sconces or tube lights take care of only the first level of lighting i.e. ambient lighting. Introduce task lights if you have a writing desk or a reading nook in your living room, and add accent lights for focusing on artworks, sculptures, curios etc. Other decorative lighting and recessed lighting on the ceiling can be employed too. If you want to be able to create different moods in your living area, then go for lights with dimmers.
Avoid matching all the prints and textures in a living room to keep it from looking flat and boring. Mix and match colours and textures of upholstery fabrics, wallpapers, curtain fabrics and throw cushions to create depth and add interest to your living room design. However, ensure that there is a thread of continuity that binds the different prints together. Also, don’t shy away from layering metallic finishes against each other either.
Even though you want the world to admire your taste, your privacy must also be maintained. Install curtains or blinds that can be opened and closed whenever needed, over all your windows. Curtains not only add elegance to a room, but can also create illusions of space when chosen cleverly. To make your living room look larger than it is, install curtain rods just below the ceiling and let the curtains fall all the way down to the floor.
Choose one wall of the living room to act as a feature wall. Paint this wall in a different colour or use decorative wallpaper to highlight it. This simple change will create a big impact on your living room décor, and will instantly draw the attention of your guests. When choosing a wall to focus on, consider how your furniture will look against it. Slim walls are ideal as feature walls. Alternatively, you could choose a wall that houses a window or doorway. This snug and earthy living room with a bold red feature wall, was designed by Tocomadera, interior architects from Guadalajara.
Carpets and rugs add warmth and cosiness to living room décor and also help frame areas. This is of added importance when it comes to large living rooms or homes with an open floor plan. When choosing a carpet for your living room, pay attention not only to the design but also the size of the carpet. Your carpet should ideally be sized such that, all four legs of the sofas and armchairs around it can fit along the carpet or sit on it.
Wall art does not have to always be big to make an impact. Frame small pictures in coordinated frames and display them in the form of a tight grid, for them to have the same impact as a large art piece. You could also try a random arrangement, and intersperse the frames with masks and other such small wall mounted curios. For showcasing sculptures or antique vases, go for wall mounted shelves, corner tables or slim console tables which don’t use up much space.
Mirrors add glamour to a living room and must not be missed out on. Using a large mirror in a living room can also create the illusion of space and make the room feel brighter. Along with picking the right size and style of mirror, also pay attention to where it should be mounted and what it will reflect. Ideally, place the mirror in such a way so as to reflect the outdoors, or an interesting statement decorative piece.
A well designed living room should not only look great, but also smell enticing. Add aromatics in the form of potpourri, infusers, scented candles or oil burners to have a living room that your guests feel comfortable in. You could also try creating your own spiced candles for the living room.
Lastly, add a vase of fresh flowers to add the finishing touches to your living room. Alternatively, place a potted plant in the corner of your living room to bring nature inside. For organic look and feel, you can also adorn your living area with dry branches, pebbles, driftwood and so on.
Now that you know how to lend that jazz to your living space, don’t wait to get started. Make the most of our tips while you are at it. Here is another ideabook you can check out for more inspirations - These Living Room rules needs to be broken now.