Each of us has our favorite room in the home. Some love the kitchen and view it as a central place to hang out, enjoy a meal, and have a pleasant conversation. Other people favorite the bedroom, for obvious reasons (and we mean sleep). Others may love the bathroom because a shower at the start or end of the day can be refreshing and revitalizing.
The majority of people, however, prefer the kitchen and the living room, followed by the bedroom. These rooms are where the most daily activity takes place. From catching your favorite television show to cooking (or maybe both if you live in a home where your kitchen and living room connect), a lot of time is spent on these two primary areas. And in many cases, furniture remodels occur more frequently in the living room as these items wear out faster due to excessive use.
Measuring your living room
If it is time for you to update or replace living room furniture, or if you are purchasing a home for the first time and need to fill the space, then this provides a great opportunity for you to create your own space, and one that you will like. So before you start buying furniture, take time to measure the space and consider the type of look that is important to you. Your living room is intended to be a place of comfort where you can relax, or feel good when entertaining your guests. Your living room is also a common place for you to place your Christmas tree during the holidays. Therefore, when selecting furniture, it is important to avoid making the room too crowded.
- Using your handy tape measurer, calculate the dimensions of your room.
- Sketch your floor plan and make a note of doorways, windows, and any obstructions that you will need to work around.
- Add the window and doorway measurements to your floor plan, and indicate.
- Stage your room if possible. A great way to do this is by using painter’s tape on the floor, as it will not cause damage to your walls, woodwork, floor tiles, or carpeting.
- Make a note of any unique architectural points in the room such as a fireplace, an antique stained-glass window, or anything else that you will want to ensure remains a focal point in the room.
- Determine the colors that you like the best.
If you have a small space, there are a few different things you can do to make the room look bigger. Hanging long curtains from your windows that reach down to the floor will make your ceilings look higher. If you would like to hang wall art, consider one large accent item instead of several smaller items. If you really want something small, then limit it to one wall, and leverage large scale pieces on the other walls as appropriate.
Selecting your living room furniture
Now comes the fun part – selecting the actual furniture pieces for your room. A great place to start is by comparing your sketched floor plan with the types of furniture that you need. In most cases, an armchair, couch, coffee table, and side table will be sufficient. Create this list and compare it to the room staging you did to see what works and what extra space you might have to work with.
During this phase too, consider the size of furniture that will work best in your space. If you have small walls to work with, consider loveseats instead of sofas, or perhaps a loveseat with two coordinating chairs.
Next, follow these key steps as your design guide for helping you choose the right furniture for your living room.
- Don’t go cheap on your furniture – Ensure that you are purchasing solid pieces that will last for some time. If you don’t invest properly, you will likely have to replace furniture items every few years. When possible, buy solid wood that has been handcrafted. Though we are all used to imitation wood today, it just doesn’t last as long as the real deal. Look for the durability that you can get in solid, handcrafted wood.
- Select stain-resistant fabrics – A fabric with high quality and an ability to withstand stains will provide you with more comfort, and will last longer than cheap materials. And, if you have young children, that stain-resisting material will be more important than ever.
- Purchase coordinating furniture – This doesn’t mean that everything needs to match exactly, but you should look to have some coordination. If you just grab this or that, your space will look like it was thrown together, and it will not create either the relaxing environment, or the space for entertaining that you might be looking for. Select a theme and stick to it wherever possible. Common living room themes include modern, traditional, old world, or casual.
Accents to complement your new living room furniture
Once you have your furniture selected, it is time to focus on some accessories. If you have too many empty spaces in your living room, it can look incomplete. But you don’t have to do all of this at once. Oftentimes, you will come across great accent pieces on travels, at random shops, and sometimes, quite accidentally. For additional interior décor trends, check out House Tipster.
Accent pieces will immediately bring a new look to the room, making it more of your own. And adding those pieces over time will allow your room to evolve with you. This also helps ensure that you can take time to pick up quality pieces and decorations rather than blowing your budget upfront. Plant stands (with plants) and decorative vases are great accent pieces. Adding bursts of color here and there will also help improve the look of the room and will bring energy to your space. Too many small knick-knacks will make your room feel cluttered. Use the rule of threes and symmetry when styling what you place on your coffee and end tables. And remember that you don’t need decor accents on every surface of the living room.