The living room is the heart of a home. It is where the kids go after school to unwind before they start their homework, where you host your book group or coffee mornings, and where you gather as a family for some much-needed downtime in the evenings and at the weekends.
When a room fills so many different roles, it can sometimes be difficult to know how best to design and decorate the space. Here are a few ideas here to get your creative juices flowing and help you start creating a living room that everyone can enjoy.
Pick furniture that fits with your lifestyle
Every family is different, so every living room should be different too. Think about what you like to do during your family time – do you all like to snuggle up on a big sofa together and watch a film? Do you prefer playing cards and board games? Or would you rather let the kids get on with it while you watch from a safe distance?!
Let your family guide how you plan your space.
Consider some flexible pieces of furniture that can help your room fulfil all the roles it needs to. A couple of beanbags will go a long way if your sofas are all facing in one direction, allowing you to create a little circle for family meetings or chats. A small table for playing board games on can be neatly tucked away in a corner when it’s not needed. Don’t feel shackled by the furniture in your room; make it work for you.
A log burner can create a cosy nook
There is nothing better than relaxing in front of the crackle of a real fire on a cold winter’s evening. The addition of a real wood burner to any room can instantly transform it into a cosy getaway, where you can relax with a cup of tea or slice of cake.
The cost of having a log burner installed can be anywhere from a couple of hundred pounds up to a couple of thousand.
If you think it might be a nice fit for your home, it is important to consider a few things. What kind of log burner would you like? Does your house already have a chimney or will one need to be installed? Does the house have a hearth or a backplate, or will they need putting in? All of these are things to consider and will affect the price you end up paying.
There are also safety implications to be considered, especially if you’ve got younger children and pets running around. Although many cats and dogs want nothing more than to curl up in front of a nice warm fire of an evening.
How you choose to decorate your living room can really set the tone for the space. Looking for something comfy and snug? Consider warm colours for the walls and perhaps some earthy-toned throws for the sofas. Hoping to make your living room a place for tranquil reflection after a long day? A mirror on the wall will make the room feel more spacious, while neutral paint will enhance the natural light and create a relaxing environment.
This is your space, so decorate it in a way that matches your family’s vibe. Zany modern art on the walls could reflect keep your kids’ madcap energy, while a placid lakeside scene would be a way lose yourself. You might choose cushions to match the colour scheme of the room or pillows with funny family photos. These little touches help to create a room that feels like you.
Lighting sets the mood of any room, so have a think about how you want to illuminate your lounge. Sometimes a large overhead light that is good for the daytime can be overwhelming when you want to relax in the evening. A few well-placed lamps can really brighten up a room, while still keeping a subdued, evening tone. Candles can be a great choice for creating a laid-back ambience, but not so much with young children and lively pets.
Bear in mind too how much natural light your living room gets. If the room is not blessed with a lot of natural light, it can quickly feel cramped and stuffy. Mirrors and light colours can really help expand the space and make the most of the natural light you do get.
Don’t tread on me!
Who doesn’t love the feeling of a plush carpet beneath their feet? Kicking off your shoes at the end of the day and letting your toes sink into a thick carpet is one of life’s little pleasures. But it doesn’t always work for busy families with young children and pets. As lovely as a carpet can be, it is not for every family, and it is something to consider when planning your room.
A sleek wooden floor might work better for you. Putting a rug down can help keep a space feel warm and can add another touch of personality to your room. With the right rug, you can always chuck it in the wash when the inevitable spillage or dirty footprints happen.
It doesn’t really matter what you decide to do with your living room, as long as it works for you and your family. Create a space that reflects your family’s personality, interests and lifestyle, and you’ll have a room for everyone to enjoy.
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