Create a Living Room you love

The name says it all doesn’t it… Our living room is a place where we ‘live’ daily, a place where we can really relax and feel comfortable. From watching a favourite series on Netflix, to snuggling in to the sofa with a good book, to lounging around with friends, to dare I say, even eating a few sneaky TV dinners – so much time and so many different activities take place in this one space. It’s easy to see why it’s so important to carefully consider the layout of the space and the furnishings you choose.

An ideal layout for the main living room, especially for families, is to have an open plan flow from kitchen, dining and living. This allows parents to keep an eye on children’s antics while they are in the kitchen cooking or prepping meals, but is also a functional flow for every-day living. Even better, is having the living room then leading directly out to outdoor living, such as the deck or a terrace, not only for the additional living space but also so the visual flow carries on.

As the Living Room is such a multipurpose room, ample and functional storage is a must. Consider having built in cabinetry designed to suit your needs and installed by a professional, as this creates a seamless and high end finish that is also customised specifically for your needs. While it can be a more costly option, it’s an investment that will pay off and is considered valuable in terms of re-sale. Storage for Media paraphernalia and the ability to hide the TV is a great option, as these items can really overtake the space, becoming the central focus. Allowing storage for children’s items such as board games, books and toys is essential, as they will be living under (and on) your sofa if there’s no designated home for them!

Comfortable and quality furniture, especially the sofa, is equally important. In fact, the sofa is the most important piece of furniture in this room, so don’t go budget on this piece. Sit in lots of options to check comfort, work out what style you like and how many people you need to accommodate and look at textile quality before making a decision. These factors are all important in how functional and practical your sofa choice will be for your lifestyle and needs. If you have a young family, don’t go for a white linen sofa – seriously. Even if it’s a slip cover that you’ve been told is washable – you’ll be up to your elbows in Nappy San every weekend!

The coffee table is also an important piece and the function of this should be considered carefully before purchase. I consider 2 types of people here – those that like to put their feet up and those that don’t! Honestly – it will give you an immediate sense of the style and function required! Consider also whether you’ll be storing items on the coffee table or under as additional storage may be an important requirement. Then there’s the size of the living room to consider – round coffee tables are great for flow of traffic, 2 smaller nesting tables are a good option for tighter space considerations and large square coffee tables fabulous if there is ample room.

Other important considerations are natural light and air flow, which is important for comfort. Does the room get enough natural light? If not, is the solution simple, such as changing window dressings or a bit more complicated, like widening windows or doorways. Both are possible, it will depend on budget and location. If there is too much light, window furnishings will be essential. There are many options here, so be sure to explore what will function best for you and the light that you’re addressing (for example, Western sun will require blockout considerations).

Mood and task lighting is important and should be factored in to your design. Table and floor lamps are a lovely way to add interest and create soft lighting, while overhead lighting, whether it be a feature pendant if you have high ceilings or recessed lighting for something more streamlined, are perfect options.

A rug is also a great addition and can really help anchor and soften the space, particularly in a large open-plan style home. Try to use a rug that is big enough to fit at least the front legs of your sofa and armchairs on it, as it will make the space feel larger. A ‘floating rug’ which sits in front of the sofa can actually make the space feel smaller.

The most important factor to remember when addressing this room is – does the room feel comfortable to you? Does it make you happy? Does it function well for you and your family? Anything else is just superfluous!