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Living Room Furniture: How to Make the Most of It


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Whichever form your home may take, it is highly likely that the living room will be the most public of all the rooms, and as such it is important that its appearance is a reflection of your own or your family's personality. However, this is not always easy to do as the layman to interior design seldom knows how to optimize the space, and it is often the case that good furniture and good intentions end up in bad results. Here, Richard and Duschka Cardy gives some pointers on how to make the most of your furniture, lights and accessories to brighten up your living room and make it a functional, presentable and enjoyable area for you, your family and your guests.
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How to Decorate your Living Room
By: Richard and Duschka Cardy

Whether you live in a flat or rambling home, a cottage by the sea, or a house in town, your living room creates a lasting impression for all who enter. It tells your family and friends if you're formal and elegant or fun-loving and laid-back. It sets the mood for the home and should be a reflection of your personal taste.  A living room can be arranged in many ways. For some, this space is formal and perfect at all times, to be entered and used only when guests come to call. To others, it serves as a comfortable family gathering place for watching TV, doing homework, or visiting. Some have a cozy snug for sipping tea and curling up with a book.

Throw pillows make a room feel comfortable. They are an easy and inexpensive way to change color accents and add texture and colour warmth.  A formal living room, historically referred to as a drawing room or parlor, often showcases the home owner's finest possessions. The decor is often symmetrical?a sofa with painting above, flanked by two end tables topped by lamps. Formal window treatments of luxurious fabrics trimmed with braid and fringe, and perfectly set pairs of occasional chairs and tables follow traditional rules of decorating. Few homes these days have space for such a perfect (and often useless) room that is more to be looked at than used.

Home Lighting: Good lighting is the key to your decorating success. Attractive floor lamps with light colored shades provide ambient light for the entire room. Table lamps highlight small decorating objects as well as providing concentrated light for reading, working and study. Shades for small lamps can match your furnishings or be conversation pieces with a different color and style.

Large areas like walls look best with a lighter color. A darker or contrasting color can be used on one wall for a dramatic effect. Beautiful paint makes pictures and decor "pop" out of the background and increases their intensity. Try using warm colors like pink, peach or mauve. Or paint with soothing colors like blue or green. Remember, if you don't like it, you can always paint over it!

Balance your room by placing large pieces of furniture around your living space. If possible, tall items like bookcases and grandfather clocks should be across from one another to keep the room from looking lop-sided. Then add smaller pieces like tables in the spaces where they will be convenient and attractive. If you have small furnishings or decorator objects, group them in uneven numbers like one, three or five items together.  Decorating style has evolved to allow a less formal look. While retaining certain elements such as beautiful millwork or lush fabrics, the more casual living room has lighter window treatments and more comfortable furniture.

Studied symmetry has given way to softer lines, fewer rules, and more color. A more casual family room style of living room has a character of nonchalance. While furniture and fabrics should be coordinated, there are few rules. Choices are governed by practicality. Furniture selection and placement is less structured. Seating around a TV is often necessary, with a table for casual eating. In today's home, the living room may even have a computer centre, so a desk may have a place of prominence.

Regardless of what purpose your living room serves, the fabrics, colors, furniture, and accessories should be what you love. Whether it's serene and neutral, colorful and lively, or something in-between, it should reflect your taste.

After all, this is your room for living.


About The Authors
Richard and Duschka Cardy started renovating, remodelling, reconfiguring refurbishing property and designing home interiors in the 1990's in the UK.  In 2008 they started DecCardy Interior Design in the heart of Dorset UK, having moved from their respective homes in Wiltshire and Oxfordshire.



Date Posted: 2009-03-04
Posted By: Decor and Furniture
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