We’ve learned a thing or two about designing living rooms. Here are some tips!
Step #1: Choose the right fabric content for your family.
If you have kids or a pet, considering what fabric can allow you to live a comfortable life. Nothing is “life-proof” but good choices can help extend the life of your furniture. Crypton is always a go-to fabric for families. A nice full-grain leather can also withstand a lot of wear. Dark fabrics can help hide marks. Cats tend to hate scratching velvet (but their fur loves it)!
We love the look of beautiful linen and if you can have nice things then we say go for it, especially in sitting rooms and master suites!! A slip cover is also a good option for linen, since you do have the chance to easily clean and get a fresh start.
If you want to “go crazy” and not consider fabric choices, we say do it on chairs. They are usually protected by throw pillows and blankets and are relatively inexpensive to get recovered.
Step #2: Less furniture doesn’t make your space look bigger.
Smaller furniture or less pieces doesn’t make it look like your room is any bigger. In fact, when pieces are to scale, they show off the dimensions of the room and help make the space feel full. Don’t be afraid to anchor windows with a bench vignette, layer in consoles, etc. to make a space look full.
Step #3: Watch your legs!!
Look at your design board and ask “does everything have a leg?” This is really easy to miss when designing a living room with coffee tables, couches, chairs, stools, etc. it can start looking “leggy” real fast. Mix in solid pieces to break it up!
Step #4: Make it feel walkable, but don’t skimp on seating!
Layering in benches and stools is a great way to add seating to your space that’s also easy to move around and fit with the flow of a room.
Step #5: Breaking up table and floor lamps.
It’s really important to layer your lighting! Use accent lighting to your advantage by mixing both table and floor lamps. In an L-shape configuration we love either a floor lamp or table lamp on a side table––just make sure it’s a really big floor lamp to fill the space!
Step #6: Picking the right coffee table.
Pay attention to the other shapes going on in your living room––if you have an L-shaped couch, go with a round coffee table to break up the angular lines and make it easier for walking around tight corners. If you have a lot of round shapes (e.g. side tables and lamps) go with a rectangular coffee table for balance.
Step #7: Make Compromises
Sometimes not all the “rules” fit and you just need to make the best decision for the space. Just do your best and don’t be afraid to break a rule if it accomplishes the greater good. Make life beautiful in YOUR way!