The perfect living room set-up doesn’t have to be as elusive as a fairy tale. Even if you don’t much design experience, you can take whatever you know and put it together with dozens of ideas from Pinterest, and turn your living room into a wonderful sanctuary that has everything appealing to you.
To start, take stock of the elements that currently occupy and decorate your living room. If it’s missing the following five essentials, then you should head to the drawing board and devise some updates.
There’s nothing cozier than a fireplace in the living room. Just picture yourself on chilly winter days, curled in a chair with a book and a hot beverage, next to a glowing fire.
Some homeowners fear that if their residence doesn’t already include a built-in fireplace with chimney, the cost to install one will be prohibitive. But you can have an electric fireplace installed for both heat and aesthetics. Gas is another viable option.
Neither choice entails a chimney, though you can build a surround from floor to ceiling that resembles one, if you wish. Add a mantle to displaying collectibles, and you’ll have a complete, gorgeous package.
- Gallery Wall
Nothing says home like a gallery wall that carries photos, artwork, and other décor that’s specific to you and your family. What you may not realize is that a gallery wall doesn’t have to make functional design sense.
You can use whatever you want in whichever order you like, and it’ll still look great. According to design expert D. Chavez of the décor-centric publication Sizzix.com, the concept of a gallery wall has evolved into something quite simple yet utterly unique.
“The gallery wall used to be pictures strategically placed on the wall next to stairs of family members but has evolved into a working gallery that constantly inspires you, motivates you and just plain makes you happy,” she says. “This means that you can add pictures of family as much as quotes, funny sayings or just colorful images.”
Basically, Chavez encourages homeowners to use your imagination and let your personality shine with this creative art collage.
Bookshelves that actually contain books not only create the appearance of education and class, but they can also reveal more about you and your values. One may learn a lot about a person based on the types of volumes he or she reads.
According to Nashville designer Karrie Seaton, an array of books may often be the crucial missing element in many living rooms today. “You can never have enough books,” she says.
Along with exhibiting your personality and interests, books and bookshelves have a simple, yet essential design element that’s worth incorporating into any space, according to Seaton. “Books can add height, texture and color to a console or cocktail table,” she says.
“Need a boost of height to display a prized object? Stack some books, and you have an instant focal point. Books as décor are often overlooked, but they can be the foundation for a well-styled bookshelf.”
- Better Lighting
Lighting makes a world of difference. It doesn’t matter how beautifully decorated your living room is; if it doesn’t have good lighting, it won’t show well.
The best illumination for a living room is natural light, of course. Is it possible to add a window or broaden an existing one in your main room to boost incoming natural light?
A bay window, for example, adds dimension and extra seating while brightening the space. A skylight is also a possibility.
In the case of artificial light, avoid the common single overhead light fixture that tends to create a harsh glow. Instead, go for recessed can lights that simulate natural lighting. Add a few lamps, and you’ll have a warmer ambiance for your living space.
- Cityscape Lines
A room flourishes when it features varying dimensions of height and breadth that create visual interest and different proportions. Living rooms are often composed of low-standing furniture: sofa, chairs, end tables, and coffee tables all situated at similar heights, which presents little vertical variation.
If you add tall, vertical accessories and architectural elements, this can help. That’s the main reason designers recommend tall drapes, low-hanging light pendants, and mirrors.
The concept of designing with “cityscape” lines comes from designer Abigail Ahern. “Look at your interior like a cityscape,” she writes on her blog.
“You must have a combo of different heights to create an interesting ‘skyline’ in your space. If everything is the same level it will be the most boring room on the planet. You don’t want too many small things going on, in the same way you don’t want too many big things. You want a balance.”
The simple, yet effective elements above will unify your living space. You don’t know it yet, but this could be exactly what was missing in your otherwise flawlessly decorated room.