Because the living room is the place you go to unwind and watch TV, chat with family, and entertain company, that space has the sometimes difficult task of balancing style and functionality. So how can you make your living room welcoming and comfortable without sacrificing aesthetics and design? Here are some helpful tips for adding polish to your living space so it’s a place you’re happy to hang.
There’s a reason carnivals use funhouse mirrors – they are excellent at creating illusions. In the case of your living room, the illusion is space: expand the look of the room with a massive mirror. A large mirror is almost like adding another window to the room, making it feel lighter and more spacious, and reflecting whatever you put in front of it. Try positioning lamps or green plants in front of mirrors so they cast more light and reflect your greenery. Candles also look much more romantic in front of reflective glass.
Is Your Rug Big Enough?
In the living room, an attractive rug underfoot in a plush material is welcoming and cozy – and the bigger the rug, the better. Your furniture should all fit on the rug, but if it doesn’t, at the very least the front feet of each large piece should be on the rug. And if the existing rug in your living room is too small, don’t worry: you can add texture and keep the rug you love by layering it over a larger neutral carpet in a natural color or fiber.
Curate your Surfaces
It’s hard to decide what decorative elements to put on flat surfaces, beyond the ubiquitous stack of coffee table books. A classic decorator’s trick is to use a mix of three elements — flat, vertical and organic —to create arrangements that are attractive without being too cluttered or fussy. Try using this trick to style your console or coffee table, or even your mantel.
For flat, think of laying books, a tray, or a favorite platter next to something taller/more vertical, like a vase, sculpture, or candle on a pedestal. Add an organic element like a plant or flower arrangement, or a cool bunch of shells or piece of driftwood from a beach vacation.
Try a Dramatic Accent Wall
Painting a single wall in your living room charcoal, navy or black can bring the space into focus, without being overwhelming. A true black can look too intense, but a deep charcoal gray or a blue-black, Like Benjamin Moore’s French Beret, reads black but isn’t quite so stark. One benefit of a dark accent wall is that if you hang your flat-screen TV in front of it, the TV virtually disappears when it’s not on. And if your black accent wall still seems too dark once you’ve taken the plunge and painted, try placing a lighter, bulkier piece of furniture in front of it to tone down the drama.
Refresh an Old Sofa
Instead of splurging on an expensive new sofa, try giving your old couch a makeover instead. Many manufacturers make slipcovers for their sofas, so if your couch still has good bones, check to see if any slipcovers are available. And even if you aren’t that lucky, most local upholstery shops like ours can create a custom slipcover for less than the price of a new sofa. Or, for an inexpensive quick change, try swapping out your throw pillows and using a beautifully textured blanket or textile to drape over the back of your couch.