What is the room's purpose?
The first thing you will need to consider for living room interior designs, is the purpose of the space. How will you use it? The term living room, means just that; it is a room you will do a lot of living in. Do you need a reading nook in the living room? Will you be watching TV or just movies? Will guests be entertained in this room, and will the family congregate in the living room?
If you have a family room as well, then the living room might be a more formal space where you will entertain guests. If so, will you be having parties? Parties mean spilled drinks and food walked into the floor so carpet may be impractical and a floor covering that easily cleaned would be a better choice.
These things are to be the main consideration of all living room interior designs so give it some thought and jot down notes about the room’s function.
Get the lighting right!
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Gone are the days where we had one electric light in the center of the ceiling! Thank goodness for that hey? Think about where you need lighting and consider just using recessed down lights to illuminate the areas that you really need to see things clearly; like the reading nook and over the electronic entertainment unit so you can see the buttons you need to press!
Dimmer switches are a great option for the down lights, in fact all lights in the living room, for a great ambiance and more practical for when watching TV and movies. A reading lamp is also illumination a good option for the reading spot. If you are going to include an art piece perhaps as a focal point, then a ceiling down light that you can direct toward it would be appropriate, but get expert advice on the type of light for art so it doesn’t change the colors.
If there is a dark corner of the room then buy a nice up-light floor lamp to illuminate the corner and ensure that no stagnant energy gathers there. See Feng Shui Beginners
Ensure that wherever you house your electronic equipment like the TV and stereo, that all the wires are hidden. Exposed wiring is ugly. A kill switch or allowing for all electrical items such as TV's, stereos etc in the living room to be on one Smart Strip LCG3 Energy Saving Surge Protector with Autoswitching Technology, 10-Outlet, is also a great thing for saving on electricity usage. You can turn it all off when it’s not in use with the flick of one switch.
If your living room is going to be a formal space, consider a chandelier to add sparkle and class to the room. If it is a smaller room, then go the smaller chandelier and always consider the height of the ceiling with chandeliers. You don’t want everyone to be hitting their head on it!
Natural light and air exchange
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Natural light from a window or glass doors will keep your electric bills down and if you want to go green. The last thing you want is to be switching the light on during the day. It is not only better for your pocket but is the best thing for your eyes too. Window and door design is something you should give focused thought to rather than just slapping a window in the middle of the outside wall. Ensure there are no dark corners in your design.
You don’t want glare interfering with your TV and movie viewing so think about the placement of windows in relation to reflections onto your TV or movie screen. Also in living room interior design it is a good thing to have a way of cutting out that natural light when needed, like curtains, blinds or shutters.
If the TV is not the focal point for the living room interior design, then make certain that your design does not all aim towards the TV! This is a mistake most people make. If the main purpose of the room is for entertaining guests then maybe you don’t need a TV in the living room or at least hide it in an armoire or mount a flat screen on a wall. But make sure you have art work on the other walls to take attention away from the TV.
The living room is often the introduction to your home and also introduces you to whomever walks through your front door, so the overall living room interior design should reflect your personal taste and style. Make a decision early about whether you want contemporary, minimal, traditional, country/casual, formal etc. Look through many magazines and tear out the pages of living room designs you like and then go through them and see if there is a theme running through most of the pictures. If there is, then that is your style! If not, then you have decisions to make, but a theme or style is really the easiest for you and your professionals and salespeople to work with.
This style for the living room interior design should complement the rest of the house and make transitioning from this room to the rest of the house easy and pleasurable. Remember, high impact designs might be a great wow for guests, but you have to live with it every day.
Soft furnishings like curtains, cushions, couches, lamps and artwork should reflect your personal style and add color and interest to the room.
Your Color Scheme
Painting the room is a major part of the overall ambiance and design. So firstly, choose a Zero-VOC paint so there is no smell and no toxic fumes.
The color is of course your choice and you will see that certain styles like traditional or country will have color ranges for you to choose from. Ask your paint professional or designer. A good choice is to run with neutral colors on the walls and add color with the soft furnishings and artwork. If you want more color then throw in a feature wall. Then you can change things around occasionally without having to repaint the walls!
Think of the room’s purpose in relation to the color choice. You would not choose a red feature wall if you want to use the room as a quiet, family, comfortable space but you might if it is a party, entertainment room. Those quiet, family, comfort spaces are best colored in warm, earthy tones. See my page on Feng Shui Colors.
Your Living Room Interior Designs Scheme
Make a sample board of all the surfaces and fabrics you decide upon. A sample board is simply a board, like a piece of cardboard, with all your choices of floor covering, paint color, wallpaper, curtain fabric, cushion colors, picture of your artwork etc all arranged like your room so you can see the colors and textures as a complete style. If they all work together then you are on the right track. If they don’t, change the things that stand out or don’t work. If it is the floor covering, go back to the store and try their samples on your board until you are happy with your choices.
Furniture placement is all about aiming toward a focal point in the room. If you live in a cold climate then the fireplace might be the focal point and the room and furniture will be aimed toward it. Get the drift? If you are really into art then your focal point might be that major art piece you want to display prominently. If just sitting and chatting with friends and family will be paramount, then have two couches facing one another with a coffee table in between.
So now you see why deciding on the room’s purpose first is so important! Always design around the room’s purpose and the rest just fits in around that function.
Feng Shui your Living Room
This is about incorporating specific elements into your room to create harmonious design. If you get all of the above right, then the Feng Shui is almost done. You are looking at the overall flow of "chi" (energy) in the room so ensure there is adequate space to move around the furniture without bumping into anything.
Imagine you are a soft breeze, and flow around your room. If you can do this then the energy will flow too, but if you have to dodge things or slow down to move around things, then rearrange the furniture or remove a piece so you can feel this flow around the room. Good gently flowing energy in your home will result in a more harmonious life. Never clutter up Never clutter up your living space! Keep it free of clutter and dust and dark corners.
If your room is very square and all sharp corners, add some curves with a round coffee table, round cushions or curves in the artwork to create balance.
A decorative mirror can be placed on dim walls or corners to reflect more light and lift the energy of that area as giving the illusion of a larger room. A distinctive sculpture with a lamp or down light highlighting it can also illuminate a dark corner.
Good energy and air in your Living Room
Beautiful, healthy indoor plants will promote the flow of good energy and improve the indoor air quality and should be included in all good living room interior designs.
KISS – Keep it Simple Sweetie!
The living room interior design theme is actually a template design for the other rooms of the home to follow. So get your living room right, and allow that harmonious energy to flow from there to the rest of your home.