A living room is likely the focal point of your home. And while you may dream of a living room that looks sleek like those you see on TV, the ideal living room is inviting to guests—and your own family. By adding personality to the room, you’ll create a warm, cozy space for yourself and others. Read on to discover how to create an inviting living room your guests will love.
Decide on the Layout
The layout is the foundation of the room and will guide what you put in it. To determine the layout that’s right for you, think about all the ways you use your living room:
- Watching TV at the end of the day?
- Play space for the kids?
- As your home office?
- Something more formal?
- At-home yoga studio?
Sketch out the room—and its varied uses—and think about how to arrange your furniture to meet your needs. Some ideas:
• To create spaces for conversation, consider arranging a couch and two chairs so that they’re facing each other. Experts recommend keeping seats relatively close together and easy to access to make guests feel comfortable. If you place furniture too far apart or put too many objects in between people, it can disrupt the flow and energy of the room.
• If you have an open floor plan, consider how people will move from the living room to the dining room and kitchen, and make sure you have enough places for people to put down their refreshments.
• If your family is known for its Super Bowl parties, place your couch opposite your television.
Balance Form and Function
If you have kids or pets, you’ll want to consider their needs, too, when planning your living room. However, that doesn’t mean wrapping the couch in plastic. With the right design, you can balance function and fashion—and Dakan Homes can help.
For example, a kid-friendly design can include a leather couch or one with a washable slipcover, a durable natural fiber rug or an indoor/outdoor rug, and quick storage solutions like baskets or fabric bins. For younger children, consider tables and other design elements with rounded corners.
Keep it in Proportion
Proportion is a crucial piece of interior design, according to the experts. This means making sure the scale of your furniture and living room decor work together. Measure pieces and consider how they’ll fit in the space. Is one piece of furniture much larger than the rest? Is the side table too tall for the chair next to it? Does your 70-inch TV dwarf your media console? And, avoid overcrowding: Too many pieces can make a living room appear smaller than it is, making it less appealing to guests. Make sure there’s plenty of space to walk around or relax with company.
An area rug can add color and warmth, and is a great way to inject some personality into a space. However, finding the right size for your layout can be difficult. If you buy a rug that’s too small, it makes the room look odd and out of proportion. If it’s too large, the room may look cramped. In general, you want a rug that runs 6 to 10 inches farther than the outer edge of your furniture. Choose something that brightens the room and makes you feel happy and relaxed.
Figuring Out the Right Furniture
It’s important to think a bit practically when designing your living room. You want to have seating options that suit your needs and reflect your style. Since a couch is the largest seating option in the room, let that guide the rest of your decisions. Decide if a sectional, regular couch, couch-loveseat
combo, or couch-chaise is right for you.
Then it’s time to select a coffee table. Start with the shape first: Do you like a rectangular table? Something round or oblong to eliminate sharp edges? Or maybe you want something in a more organic shape, like an artsy piece of wood or a boho leather poof. Then, think about how the table will interact
with your couch. You don’t want a coffee table that’s too large or too small. Make sure the length of the table you choose is one-third to two-thirds the width of your couch. And, the surface of the table should align with the height of your couch and accent chairs. The tops of your side tables should be the same height as the arm of the couch.
Adding Color to Your World
The color of your living room will set the mood. From walls to decor to furniture, you want to have a cohesive color scheme throughout. Whites and creams will keep things bright and crisp. Gray or blue living rooms are classic and offer a soothing vibe. Maybe you want a vibrant accent wall or a high-contrast, black and white look. No matter what you choose, keep it consistent throughout the space, especially if you have an open floor plan. Another option is to add a playful pattern or eye-catching texture to an accent wall using wallpaper. Read our recent blog on how to choose interior colors.
Stash Your Stuff
Studies say that clutter can affect our productivity and mental wellbeing. Incorporating storage options into your living room will help you stay organized and make the space look more polished. Think about built-in storage when designing your custom Dakan Homes beach house. Or, purchase furniture pieces with storage, like a media console, bookcase, or coffee table. Consider adding baskets to corral blankets, toys, and other clutter, especially if you have kids or pets.
Add Warm and Welcoming Touches
Your living room is your sanctuary after a long day. Since living rooms are for living, show a bit of your life in the room:
• Layering pillows and soft throws helps create a cozy space. Use pillows to add pops of color or whimsy and bring in an extra bit of comfort to your couch or chairs.
• Keep blinds and curtains open to allow invite in natural light. Use large mirrors across from a window to reflect even more light.
• Use dimmers on your lamps to soften lighting in the evening. For more lighting ideas, read our blog about choosing interior lighting.
• Photos of family, friends, and pets add warmth and personality, and can boost your sense of joy after a stressful day.
• Add paintings and artwork to further illustrate your style and personality.
• Use scents to make the space more inviting. Try warm vanilla-, coffee-, or tropical-scented candles, wax melts, or plug-ins to complete the vibe you’re trying to evoke.
• And, don’t forget to bring in nature. Natural elements like seashells, sea glass, and plants will bring life to your space, making it more welcoming.
My last tip—and the most important rule of home design—is to stay true to your own unique style and personality. Your guests will feel welcome in a space that looks and feels like you! Have fun with it!