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The living rooms is the common space of the home – it’s the space everyone in the home uses and it’s where we entertain. The area needs to be comfortable and functional because it is also usually the room with the television. When I shifted into my own home, the living room was a bare shell and I couldn’t wait to get started on decorating it. I soon realised how tricky it was. For me, the problem was too many ideas swirling in my head and too many options to choose from. I wanted comfort and practicality but also that element of style that represented my tastes and had a designer feel to it. Most people want similar features for their home interiors so read on for our style hacks for designer living rooms. We’ve broken our tips down into different elements of a living room so you can easily incorporate one or more in your home.
Go big on the sofa
When it comes to designer living room furniture, the sofa is without a doubt the primary piece. It takes up the most floor space and serves as the main seating, so choosing the right one is critical. The key points to keep in mind while deciding are size, shape, layout or orientation and, of course, comfort. However, equally important elements are the design, materials and colour. While it may be the safer bet to go in for a neutral colour for this large piece, we suggest the opposite. Check out how by picking a bold colour for the sofa, the designer has enhanced the space in the image.
Style tip: If you are not sure how to style a bold coloured sofa, follow the 70:20:10 design guideline. Keep 70% of the room a muted or neutral scheme, 20% in the colour family of the sofa and 10% a complementary or contrasting colour. Here, creamy white is used on the walls and ceiling and a soft grey carpeting forms the neutral base. The bold sofa with an accent area rug and throw
Image courtesy, Next
cushions stand out against the neutral background with metallic highlights from the wall décor and side table bringing in just the right amount of drama.
Image courtesy, dfs
Break the monotony with accent chairs
When designing the living room, if a bold sofa is not your thing, then shift your focus to accent furniture like the armchairs. Instead of getting a set of a three-seater sofa with matching one-seater chairs, bring in different colours and styles with your armchairs. It’s an easy way to bring in that designer living room element without having to re-do the entire room.
Style tip: Don’t be afraid to mix and match styles, colours and materials. The designer has used the extra seating around the main sofa to bring in both pastels and bold colours as well as different materials and designs. A plush, velvety, soft pink chair pairs beautifully with a more structured, wood and burnt orange one.
Use your centre table well
Maybe you’ve chosen a neutral sofa or you don’t have enough place to add accent chairs, but you still want to bring in that designer element in to your living room. This is when you could look at unique yet functional centre tables. While still adding functionality in terms of a horizontal surface to work with and sometime even storage, designer living room furniture like centre and side tables can be the perfect furniture pieces to play around with. They can be sculptural, colourful and artistic pieces that add so much to any décor style.
Style tip: Check out this predominantly white and black living space; it would look just fine with a pop of colour from the framed wall art and the interesting plants in the corner. However, the design is taken to the next level by adding a hammered copper centre table – an element one doesn’t necessarily think off in a minimal, monochromatic space. Yet, not only is it a beautiful addition, it is the one piece that completely elevates the design.
Image courtesy, Abstract
Image courtesy, Sanjyt Syngh
Soft furnishings to the rescue
While we’ve touched upon designer living room furniture you can work with, sometimes buying new pieces may not be viable. This is where your soft furnishings come to the rescue whatever your preferred décor style like minimal, modern, contemporary, traditional, maximal, bold, mid-century, art deco, colonial-style, mix-and-match – the list is endless. When scrolling through designer living room ideas, notice how every décor style uses elements like throw cushions, rugs and curtains to accentuate and tie the room together.
Style tip: Take inspiration from this gorgeous living room by designer Sanjyt Syngh. You can replicate that designer feel by swapping out your soft furnishings for unique ones. For throw
cushions, don’t be scared of layering different sizes, patterns, colours and fabrics. Your area rug can be an innovative and abstract shape and design that ties the seating areas together. Layer thick, rich curtains with sheers for that luxe vibe. A tried-and-tested designer tip is to hang curtains closer to the ceiling and have them drape till the floor – this give the illusion of higher ceilings.
When light becomes art
Living room lighting can be a little tricky – the key is to layer and use multiple sources at different heights. This allows you to control the amount of light, the ambience and set the mood. However, the visual appeal of items like floor and table lamps should not be underestimated when designing living rooms.
Style tip: Task lights like floor and table lamps not only light up a corner, but they can also add a luxurious sculptural layer to your living room. In this image, the artistic floor lamp complete transforms that corner. The lamp stands out on its own with no need for any other element to accentuate the space. On a side note, you can dress up an empty solid-coloured wall with wainscoting to add subtle visual interest as in this image.
Image courtesy, A Square Designs
Image courtesy, Beyond Designs
The walls are your oyster
Blank walls are a wonderful canvas to add that designer edge to your living rooms. Wall décor like installations, wallpaper, artworks and even shelves filled with decorative items are a great way to bring in that additional visual element. While talking about décor for the walls, think about creating a feature wall decorated in a bold colour, interesting wallpaper or unique décor items placed on wall shelves. You could definitely turn your TV unit wall into your feature wall for that designer touch. As most of the seating furniture is already pointed towards the TV wall, this turns into a natural focal point.
Style tip: However, take a cue from this spectacular maximal
living room by Beyond Designs and use the wall with the sideboard or credenza (whether fixed or freestanding). The wood panelled wall and side unit in black with a touch of gold accents is beautifully elevated by the striped table top. Decorate a sideboard with pieces like large vases, candle hurricanes, ceramic urns or planters.
Plant(er)s are your friends
I’ve found that one of the easiest ways to uplift a living room – or any space in your house for that matter – is with plants. This simple hack is one of the best ways to literally bring life in the room. When designing the living room, consider decorating a corner with a tall, potted Areca Palm or use a Boston fern to bring life to a side table. Look at hanging creepers like Pothos near a window or succulents to decorate the TV unit or centre table.
Style tip: While plants are the focus, don’t forget about the planters as a décor element. Bring in colour with unique ceramic or even cement planters. Add visual interest with different shapes and designs. Consider layering with a freestanding plant stand or even a beautiful hanging shelf like the one in this image.
Image courtesy, Abstract
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