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Living rooms often end up being the cleanest, most organised and most well-laid-out room of the house, the place where everything looks like it is in its place. But this isn’t always because it’s being cared for adequately. Instead, especially in Indian homes, we sometimes leave it as a for-guests-only space. A room the kids aren’t allowed to mess about it in, the room you simply walk through on your way to the front door, a place that’s only for receiving and entertaining guests, but not a living room for ‘living’ in. Sometimes this also happens because the room is too big or far too small, or because it has been left without the effort to make it an inviting space. If your living room isn’t being used as a ‘family room’ to bring the members of the household together then it’s a terrible waste of space.
To return home and plop together or individually into a comfortable, cosy room where things are as you like it, is a fabulous luxury. Whether you’re just lounging around or entertaining guests, this set of items and ideas will make the space cosy and perhaps pull you in to spend more time here. We’re thinking of a small living room design space in this case, but many of these ideas work just as well for larger spaces.
A selection of layered rugs, throws and pillows instantly fill up a space, and all these items are useful. Adding a rug under the coffee table carves the room up visually and gives everything its own place in the scheme of the room. Even if you live in a part of the country where a carpet feels appropriate, you could still use a rug under the coffee table. But keep in mind that a rug under it would mean a slight elevation for the coffee table. sure to keep that in mind. Floor pillows are very hardworking accessories. They create great visual points in the room, but also work well as extra seating that can be moved around as guests wish.
When you’re choosing the paint colour for this room, remember
Make sure the space has a throw, some cushions and textures that cosy up the space, and make you want to spend time there and not leave.
that neutrals are always best. And depending on the colour scheme of your furniture, you could opt for the right shade that accentuates the accessories and other elements in the room. Only, keep in mind that paint colour reflects differently depending on the time of day. It is always best to try a sample on the wall at different times of day before deciding on the colour. The colour will also reflect differently, depending on the part of the room which has more natural light streaming in. These are all points to keep in mind.
PLAY WITH LIGHTS
Task lighting is crucial. Table lamps, warm-coloured ones, will add a sense of cosiness and provide extra lighting to the areas of the room where you’re likely to need it. It’s a great idea to create the space with provisions for various sources of light—ambient, task and accent. These sources of light must be in different heights of the room throughout the room. And of course, choose bulbs with a soft, warm glow.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT WOOD AND POLISH
Warm hues like gold and chestnut create an inviting, appealing atmosphere in the space. However, don’t overdo the gold as too much of it will look intimidating. Rooms with metallic accents usually present better in the evenings, so if you’ve got too many then during the day, the space will seem out of place.
ADD DIFFERENT TEXTURES
Always keep a throw handy, for when the air conditioning gets too chilly. Throws also add doses of cosiness and invokes an inviting feeling. Be careful with the material you choose, so that it’s not too warm during the summer months. Linen and wool will be too warm for the summer. If there’s a bit of a window seat in the small living room then create a reading nook here, with a pouffe and textured pillows. Different textures of pillows united by a single colour scheme works wonderfully.
They say coffee-table books are out, but really that just means coffee-table books will make a comeback soon. Ensure you don’t have exceptionally large unwieldy ones that can’t be picked up without strength training. These books can be arranged in strategic spots, and within the space provided by a coffee table, or even on a side table or on the floor. Another way to add books is by creating a side table with a stack of books, either next to the armchair or the sofa. It is always a good idea to maintain a commonality of themes as far as the subject of the books is concerned. A picture-heavy book is a good idea for guests to just pick up and browse through.
INCLUDE A TOUCH OF LEATHER
If you prefer a minimalist colour scheme, just one leather item like an armchair or a single-seater sofa can add warmth to the space.
Potted plants and vases with flower bunches help bring in a touch of homeliness while adding freshness.
USE PICTURE FRAMES
Photo frames with images of your favourite memories, whether they be black and white or colour, instantly adds a personal touch to any space.
MIX THE NEW WITH THE OLD
Mix up your old pieces with new contemporary furnishings to create a sense of familiarity.
LIVE WITH WHAT YOU LOVE
Surround yourself with things you love to look at—add collectibles from your travels, pieces that are inherited, curios that have a story to tell and friends and family to share the love with. If you have collections of Polaroids, create a scheme out of them on the coffee table or side table, because they tell stories about you to your visitors and become interesting points of conversation and reminders for the family of time passing. What could be better than that?
Make sure you keep coffee-table books that are easy to pick up and browse through quickly.
A collection of images that matter, in an interesting series of frames, and even posters will ensure the walls of the living room are worth paying attention to.
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