5 elements to consider when designing your living room

Date Monday, 22 June 2015 12:00 AM

There's a good chance you'll spend most of your waking hours in the living room of your new home.

Some people will want their living room to act as a cosy oasis, a comfy nook where they can curl up with a book or watch TV. Others might want to design their lounge to be a place of entertainment where they can socialise with friends. 

Before you start ordering every piece of furniture that catches your eye, have a careful think about how you want the space to look. Get inspired by picking up some interior decorating magazines or, better yet, visit display homes to see a range of lounges laid out in different styles. To help you get started, we've put together a list of five principles to keep in mind when designing your living room:

1. Balance

Have you ever entered a room that somehow felt "just right"? Well, a space that resonates with you for no apparent reason could be due to its balance. This refers to the overarching layout of the room, as well as the positioning of the furniture and other features.

A focal point creates a sense of balance.A focal point creates a sense of balance.

You want to have a focal point that draws people's attention the moment they enter the room - think feature wall, piece of artwork or beautiful view. Arrange tables and seating to create a centre point (not necessarily in the middle of the space) where you can sit and relax with guests.

2. Less is more

As noted, a well-placed feature piece is an excellent addition to any living room and can add a sense of playfulness and drama to the space. On the other hand, a room of mismatched zany furniture is likely a recipe for design disaster. Make the most of standout features by using them sparingly.

3. Stick to one style

Variety might be the spice of life, but that's one adage that doesn't ring true of living room design. Follow the aesthetics of a single style to create a sense of unity and the appearance that everything belongs. 

Your palette should comprise two main tones and one accent colour.

4. Streamline the colour palette

To tie the room together, select a palette that makes use of two main colours and an accent that either complements or contrasts the former two. Of course, these colours will be used predominantly on your living room walls, but to solidify the look, ensure they're reflected in your choice of furniture, rugs, artwork and other decorative pieces.

5. Light up your life

You shouldn't rely on light fixtures alone to provide your living room with the illumination it needs. Carefully positioned lamps can create a beautiful ambience, while also throwing light in interesting ways and drawing attention to different parts of the room.

Adopting these design principles will help you improve both the aesthetics and mood of your new home.

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