If you're tired of looking at (and living with) the same old living room arrangement, it might be time to start fresh with a creative living room design.
Map Out What You Have
The first step is to take a visual inventory of your current living room arrangement. The simplest way to do this is by creating a map of your living room.
Using a tape measure, figure out the size of your living room and the location of all its features. Include things like windows, doors, outlets and ventilation ducts. Transfer this information to a sheet of ¼ inch graph paper, using a scale of ¼ inch = 1 foot.
Measure all of your furniture and transfer these to another sheet of graph paper at the same scale. Your drawings don't have to be perfect; simple rectangles will do for the furniture. Once you've copied all of your furniture to paper, cut the pieces out and label them.
At this point, you have the tools to experiment with all kinds of creative living room arrangements. Simply move the cutouts around your map as you play with different arrangements.
Living Room Design Basics
If the room has more than door, take your map and draw in loose lines that connect the doors to your room. These lines represent traffic flows. When you consider new arrangements, try to keep your traffic flow lines clear. You'll want at least two feet of clearance along these lines.
Look at the features of your room and try to pick out a focal point. A focal point can be a large window, a fireplace or an architectural detail. Try to consider a new arrangement that draws attention to the focal point. Having seating that faces the focal point from a number of different directions is ideal.
If you entertain at all, try to cluster your seating in "conversation nodes." Various combinations of coaches and chairs will give your guests a sense of freedom in how they gather. Try to provide a table at each conversation node to give your guests a place to rest food or drinks.
Try moving furniture away from the walls for a more open look. A long rectangular room can avoid feeling like a bowling alley if the furniture is angled away from the walls slightly. Moving furniture away from walls can also create new traffic flows or replace existing ones.
Many modern designs feature softer wall coverings and let the fabrics and furniture make the color statement. Another option for generating contrast is to paint moldings or other architectural features in lighter or darker shades. Sometimes, only a difference of a shade or two is all that's needed to provide visual interest.
It's important that the living room is designed properly since it sets a tone for the rest of the house. It says a lot of about you as a homeowner and as a person.
Here are some common decorating mistakes to watch for when decorating your living room.