They typically say that the kitchen is the heart of the home, but arguably the living room is just as much the heart of any home. After all, it is a room in which people live; they share stories, they watch television late at night. They drink tea with company.
Indeed, the living room is certainly the soul of the house.
Practically speaking, the living room serves as an area of both relaxation and socializing. A room tasked with mastering both comfort and formality, or rather function and aesthetics, it is a room that is important to get right.
To that end, your choice of living room furniture becomes integral to the living room, shaping it and even imparting mood and comfort. With that in mind, here is how to choose living room furniture to make your living room beautiful and comfortable, and to do so like a pro, no less.
1. Planning: The Basics
When deciding on what furniture to purchase, the first step is deciding what you actually need. This is the starting point for a strong living room.
For example, if you don’t account for the fact that you tend to entertain a lot of guests at a single time, you might have to bring in kitchen chairs to accommodate your guests, which would take away from your living room.
Next, consider the function of your particular living room to guide your own needs.
While some people choose to spend every evening in their living room, others choose to have their living room serve for occasionally entertaining guests or for more formal affairs during the holidays.
Do you tend to entertain a lot of guests at once? Perhaps you need larger sofas or additional arm chairs to accommodate these guests.
In general, living rooms are rooms for conversation, so arrange furniture in a way that facilitates this interaction by having two pieces face each other instead of placing furniture against walls.
If you have a larger living room, you might want to think about having two separate areas for socializing.
Once you have figured out your unique needs, it is time to think about how these pieces should actually come together. Measure the following:
- Room size
You may also want to create a floor plan with a rough idea of how you will place your furniture based on the actual pieces you need. Ensure that you leave room for accent furniture, which we will get to in a moment.
2. Account for Current Architecture & The Rest of your Home
It is important to consider your living room’s current architecture, such as windows and other architectural elements of your home. Perhaps you have a beautiful window that could serve as the focal point of the room.
Remember: every room, the living room included, should have a focal point.
It is important that your furniture is somewhat cohesive with the architectural details of your home, otherwise your furniture can look off or detract from these architectural details rather than compliment them.
Here are some common living room design and decorating mistakes that you might want to take note of while we’re on the topic.
It is also important to consider the look of surrounding rooms; a living room’s furniture should not exist entirely independently of the other rooms in your home.
While pieces certainly don’t have to match with other rooms, they should, however, exist in harmony or complement each other in some way.
3. Design Around Colour and Theme (But Avoid Overly Matched Items)
Colour is an important aspect in mood setting. When deciding on furniture, you will want to think about how the colour of your furniture will convey your desired mood.
As far as theme goes, while every interior designer will tell you that you don’t need to stick to a rigid theme, broadly speaking, a living room theme serves to unify the room so that the room doesn’t appear entirely hap hazardous.
A modern theme? Contemporary? Old world? The choice is yours.
Remember that a room that is too perfectly matched is not a favourable look; feel free to mix and match somewhat.
If the rest of your room is symmetrical, you can feel confident exploring with more mismatched items because you will retain balance given the symmetrical aspect of the room itself.
With that in mind, here is some living room theme inspiration.
4. Add Accent Pieces
Once you’ve selected your core furniture based on your own needs, it is time to think about incorporating accent pieces. Accent pieces, while not the focal point of the room, serve to bring the room together.
Accent pieces are a great way to inject pops of colour or pattern into the room. If you have blank spaces in the room, you can fill in these gaps with stands.
Accent pieces provide you with a chance to experiment more freely with your furniture selection, to choose pieces with unexpected shapes or details, if you’re partial toward it.
5. Choose Luxurious, High Quality Fabrics & Solid Pieces
Choosing luxurious, high-quality fabrics for key pieces of your living room, like your sofa, will inject a cosy feel into your living room while still allowing it to retain a sophisticated appearance.
Since living rooms tend to get a lot of use, high-quality fabrics are key to ensuring that your pieces will remain durable after much daily use. If you use your living room regularly, you might want to consider choosing darker fabrics over lighter ones.
Here is a visual look at how to mix fabrics and patterns.
Similarly, heavy, solid furniture will add to that comfy aspect of your living room, such as solid wood frames.
In closing, remember the following when selecting furniture: let your needs dictate what pieces you choose, but remember to account for the unique architectural details in your home. Then, design around a colour and theme.
Add accent pieces to complete the look of your room and opt for luxurious fabrics and solid pieces. If you do that, your living room will end up looking like it was designed by a professional.