It’s been on my to-do list for a while now. I’ve wanted to write a little series of posts on different rooms within the home, and how to get the best out of them. So, I’m kicking off with the living room.
Now, I’m not an interior stylist or designer and don’t claim to be. I have a certain style and I research (a lot) in magazines and online so much of what I pull together is based on my own likes and dislikes. I’m not telling you this is exactly how it should be, but hope to give practical, family friendly ideas that are inspirational and stylish, that you could easily incorporate into your own home.
So let’s begin on how to create the perfect living room.
Decide on your Style:
Before you begin, take some time to find the look you want to create. You might want to try something new, or tie it in to the rest of the house. Whatever look you go for do your research. Take cuttings from magazines, create a Pinterest board, or even pull your favourite items together in a moodboard on something like Houzz or Polyvore. I have a tutorial on how to create a Polyvore Moodboard here if you need it. This will help prevent any costly design errors or choices, and keep you on track whilst you’re shopping.
Make it Family Friendly:
This part isn’t always easy but think about how to accommodate all of the family, particularly the young people, when designing your room. Give them their own seating; beanbags or little chairs are great, and ensure they feel part of the family. Ensuring fabrics and materials are washable or wipe clean will help keep the room looking good too. Have tables at the right height for play, and avoid sharp edges. Keep breakables out of reach for young children too.
Go for stain-proof carpets, and fill your living room with comfortable seating and lots of books.
Make the Most of the Light:
You can do this in several ways. If you have large windows allow as much light to flood into the room as possible, but if you aren’t blessed with such features, you need to trick the space into feeling lighter. Use light reflecting paints, gloss surfaces or glass and perspex furniture. Remember to add a mirror, opposite the window if you can to help bounce light around the room. And if you can remove a door, or create a walkway through to the next room this will also help.
Don’t forget to add lighting to your design too. Accent lighting, task lighting and table lamps all help to create an atmosphere in the room, and keep it cosy and welcoming. Harsh lighting will make the space feel uninviting and cold so try to avoid too many overhead lights.
Add a Focal Point:
I’ve talked about creating a focal point on the blog before, and a living room benefits greatly from this. Often it’s a fireplace, but if you don’t have one, it might be the window, or the sofa or even a light fitting from the ceiling. You might not want a huge stag head above, but create the wow factor with one piece, that draws the eye into the room, and helps to set the tone for the rest of the decor. It will really give your living room some focus, and can be great help in designing the remainder of the space.
Penny from A Residence says her Perfect family Living Room consists of:
A cosy corner with a lamp, space for notebooks, magazines and a mug of tea or a glass of wine. Small tables to put drinks and snacks on, a big coffee table to play around
It goes without saying that a great living room design needs comfortable seating. When you have a young family you don’t always want to spend huge amounts of money on this, knowing it might get wrecked in a few years. I’m a big fan of the high street for these pieces; take a look at the range of sofas from Argos for example, and seek out some stylish items at very reasonable prices.
You might also like to take a look at my definitive shopping guide. It’s a great resource of inspiring, on trend and affordable stores where I like to shop in order to create my own home.
You can get the Love Chic Living Shopping Guide HERE.
I talk about this a lot, but a well designed family home needs plenty of great storage, and the living room is no exception. There are lots of ways to incorporate storage into the room. Think about shelving for books and accessories, coffee tables with drawers, or even pouffes with hidden storage like these here. Be creative with your storage, upcycling old pieces of furniture and giving them new leases of life.
Amanda from The Ana Mum Diary (check out her living room makeover here) says:
Fill your living room with family photographs and memories in the collections you have on display. Fresh flowers, and somewhere to rest a glass of wine are essential too.
Above all of this, ensure the space reflects your personality, and the likes of your family. Add plenty of touches that showcase your lives, whether that’s with photos, books or Grandma’s silver collection. Make the space personal and it will, in turn be welcoming and warm. A wonderful family living room.
What do you think makes the perfect family living room? Would you add anything else?
And don’t forget to get your hands on my awesome shopping guide, packed full of exactly the right shops to explore when you’re creating your perfect living room.