The living room in an Indian home is a tricky space—while most design it as a space that’s meant to be the heart of the home bringing everyone together, it’s often rarely used on a daily basis, serving only as a connecting space to the main door and being spruced up when hosting guests. While we may end up finding a cosier retreat in our bedrooms, we can also make the living room more useful in our daily lives while also staying styling and aesthetic at the same time. We’ve rounded up the key essentials for every living room that can maximise this common area in the home for each member of the family.
A COFFEE TABLE
While the sofa holds a grand spot in a living room design, it needs a coffee table or side table to complement it. Blending both form and functionality, the right coffee table not only ties the entire room together, but also serves as a platform for styling your décor accessories, creating conversation starters for guests and also being a space to rest a cup, mug or anything you’re eating on the sofa.
STYLE TIP: How does one pair a sofa with a coffee table? Often, an entire sofa set comes with a matching coffee table (and sometimes even side tables) which will make your job a lot simpler. However, if the job is left up to you, consider the function it will
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serve in your living room. If you like to display a lot of items such as books, candles, and objets d’art, choose a a larger table which will also leave room among your accessories for usage. If your living space is small and constricted, you can do away with a coffee table and instead place side tables in the nooks around your sofa which often get ignored and stay unused.
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THE RIGHT STORAGE
In modern Indian homes today, irrespective of its size, storage has become a growing need day by day. While, conventionally, our cupboards always served as a place to store our belongings, now, our storage solutions extend to the rest of the home—even within the living room furniture. With more and more pieces of furniture serving multiple purposes while also having storage spaces within them, it is wise to pick couches, coffee and side tables and sideboards that utilise every inch of space they take up.
PRO TIP: In a small space apartment or studio, planning the living room furniture can be tricky. While you may want to
include all the elements of comfort for the space, fitting them in can prove to be a bit harder. For maximising every nook and corner, make sure each piece of furniture is one that will definitely be used and may also be used for another purpose. Items such as foot stools can be pulled out for seating when you have extra guests, can be moved to another part of the house when needed, and also serve as a space for storing extra cushions, pillows and throws for the living space.
CURTAIN DESIGNS AND PATTERNS
The right lighting and ventilation can open up an entire room, especially if the space has plenty of natural light. But all sources of light, whether through windows or lighting fixtures, need to be moderated and controlled to create the right mood. With the correct curtains, blinds or sheers, you can create mood lightening for every occasion—if you prefer the living room to be bright and well lit but would prefer your privacy at the same time, use sheer, diaphanous drapes or blinds to generously illuminate the room. If you screen movies in the living room and would like to block out any disturbances, a thick layer of blackout curtains will do the trick. Your curtain designs can use two or three layers of drapes to control the lighting based on the mood and illumination you are looking for.
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One of the most underrated elements of the living room that takes up all the floor space (quite literally) is the flooring. While we don’t realise it, the material, colour, style and texture of the flooring we choose in our living room design quietly commands the aesthetic and mood of the entire area. When choosing your flooring, think about the weather conditions you’ll face through the year and the care and management your floors will require. If you live closer to the tropics and face hotter, humid months, there’s nothing like a cooling marble floor to make your home an oasis in the summertime. However, houses at a higher altitude or ones that get drier seasons and a long winter can opt for wooden flooring, which nowadays also come with the option of heated floorings.
STYLE TIP: If you’re on a budget, you could also incorporate tiles on your floors which come in a variety of designs and patterns, some even replicating natural materials such as marble and wood. Homes that want to create an element of brutalism can consider concrete floors. If you’re looking for some more intricate and extremely durable, our favourite option found in most heritage homes is always terrazzo flooring.
The main purpose of a living room is creating a warm and welcoming space for a family and their guests (when visiting) to kick, relax and spend time together. Whether it's an intimate or informal gathering with the ones closest to you or a grand celebration where you're hosting a large number of people, the living room design is meant to allow and create space for everyone to be together. And, probably, the quintessential piece of furniture that would allow this or tie and entire living space together would be the sofa set. By and large, when someone thinks of a sofa design, they immediately place it with the living room furniture in their minds. Often serving as the focal point of the living room design, the style, colour, pattern and area its placed ends up
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defining the theme and mood for the entire room. Even the size of the sofa of the entire sofa set can set the tone or idea of what your living room stands for.
STYLE TIP: When choosing between the latest sofa designs, consider the size of the room and the purpose your sofa set will serve. You don’t want the entire console taking up all the space leaving no room for moving about. However, if you’re hosting regular movie or game nights at your home and would like to create a space that’s cosy for everyone to unwind and have a good time, an L-shaped sofa set or armchairs that recline or have pull-out footrests may be a cleverer option.
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ACCESSORIES AND ART
The accessories you include in any space defines it’s style and purpose. Bright, colourful and eclectic accessories, cushions, throws and linens around the living room furniture immediately serve as a reflection of its owner’s personal style which could be outgoing or maximalist. For a minimalist, muted tones and textures will echo the tranquility you choose to incorporate in your daily life. Also, an abundance of cosy pieces around the room immediately signal the idea of the space serving as a spot to kick back and relax. Similarly, art and photographs hung or placed around the room can infuse colour into the area and even tell a story of the family’s history and heritage.
STYLE TIP: You can swap your accessories based on a season or ongoing festivities. Not only will this bring in a theme into the room but also allow you to regularly spruce up the area with a quick makeover.
For a living room to look tied together and well-thought out, you should think of a rough theme when planning its design. Whether it’s minimal and muted, brutalist, bright and eclectic or extravagantly opulent with every element of modern luxury, the theme you select initially will help you plan out the rest of the furniture, furnishings, fixtures and accessories you choose for the entire space. In this way, instead of looking like an unplanned jumble, your living room will tell a story or project a uniform style; and in the long run, the theme serve as an easy guide for more additions as well.
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