How to decorate your living room

How to decorate your living room

Private Property South Africa
Sarah-Jane Meyer

Of all the rooms in your home, the living room is probably the one you spend the most time in, so it makes sense to have it look great as well as be comfortable and functional.

A living room needs to be an entertainment centre as well as a place for curling up with a good book or enjoying cosy movie nights with the family.

The latest trend is mixing and matching furniture and furnishings from different eras, creating eclectic designs rather than sticking to one period. The idea is to allow the personality and preferences of the homeowners to dictate the design rather than to create a ‘period piece’.

If your formal living room is also your family room, make sure it strikes a balance between comfortable and presentable - a cosy family room you can quickly clean up when needed.

Furniture

Interior designers agree that furniture is the most crucial element in any living room. Also, the size – and shape – of your living room will determine to a large extent the style and size of furniture you choose.

Seating is usually the biggest consideration, followed by a place to put the TV and audiovisual accessories, storage space and occasional tables.

The outdated three-piece suite and set of matching cabinets and coffee tables have made way for a more personal approach to putting together a stylish living room. Carefully chosen modern furniture and older pieces can all work well together.

  • A corner couch can define the seating area of an open-plan living space.
  • Two couches at right angles to one another will give everyone a good view of the TV.
  • Arrange two matching sofas facing one another for a more formal feel.
  • Armchairs are great as accent pieces as well as solo seats.
  • Repeated details of colour or fabrics can help create a cohesive look.

Walls

Green has been a favourite wall colour for several seasons and seems set to continue its popularity. The particular shades of green in vogue range from sage through leaf green to blue-green and turquoise.

Other on-trend colours include combinations of yellow and grey, grey and white or beige.

  • A popular option is to contrast light and dark paint colours rather than painting a room in a single colour. Contrasting neutral colours also work well.
  • Wallpaper is available in a wide range of styles and materials to suit every taste.
  • For a soft, intimate feel, upholster one wall in a textured fabric.
  • Framed pictures on a gallery wall reveal your personality. Hang pieces that mean something to you - whether it’s your children’s artwork, your own, or a portrait of your pets.

Accessories

Well-chosen accessories will bring your living room to life.

  • Cushions, throws, strategically placed mirrors, an ottoman or two, standing lamps, rugs and glass and metal objects – the choice is endless.
  • Mix and match colours for a cosy atmosphere or choose monochrome items for a more sophisticated look.
  • With white walls and neutral sofas and coffee tables, a vibrant artwork or a bright carpet will bring in a surge of colourful energy.
  • An abstract photograph can complement the colours in your throws and cushions.
  • Backsplashes are not just for the kitchen. A tiled fireplace adds an arty personal touch to a living room without being overwhelming. Neutral or black and white geometric tiles work particularly well.

The guiding principle in styling your living room should be creating of a living space that reflects your personality - whether you prefer modern or formal spaces or an informal or rustic environment.

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