Decorating 101: Planning and Design Guide for Living and Family Rooms

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Decorating 101: Planning and Design Guide for Living and Family Rooms

Planning:

Start with a furniture layout plan that includes these considerations:

1. First task

Start by listing all the things that happen in this room? For example, in a living or family room, you may need a multi-functional space that can be used to watch television, listen to music, read, use a laptop, etc. Determine how many people you need to seat (including guests). How much storage will be required? Does this room need task lighting for reading and computer use? By evaluating the functions of the room, you will have a better idea of ​​what furniture you need.

2. Furniture type

What kind of seat and how many pieces?

Sectional sofas have become very popular and are more “friendly” than separate pieces. They work well in recreation rooms and are considered somewhat casual. The trade off with sectionals is that corner seating replaces an end table which is a much-needed surface to hold lamps, drinks, etc. If you choose a separate sofa, the general rule is that a sofa and two chairs are more versatile than a sofa and loveseat (especially if you move into a new home with a different room size).

Storage/Cabinetry: One of the hardest decisions to make is where to put the TV, especially if the room already has a dominant fireplace as its focal point. In any case, you will need a multimedia cabinet, wall unit or built-in cabinet (even if you put the TV above the fireplace, but this is a whole discussion). Remember to consider tables and ottomans for potential storage. Coffee and end tables may have drawers or bottom shelves, and some coffee tables have lift-up surfaces for dining or laptop use. Ottomans can come with hinged lids to store toys or games etc. and of course, you can comfortably put your feet up.

3. Scale (size matters!)

One of the most important considerations when purchasing new furniture is finding the right scale for the room. There is nothing worse than walking into a room that is crowded with furniture. Here’s where the floor plan comes in. In a living or family room, the size and placement of the sofa is probably the most important decision, and it usually works best on the longest wall. Sofa length should be considered for tall people who like to lie down to watch TV. A sofa with skinny arms like 7 feet. Sofa with thick arms. A standard 36″ deep sofa fits most people and most rooms or condos. A deep sofa should be considered for larger spaces or taller people, but don’t forget to measure the doorway to make sure the furniture will fit.

Consider the size and shape of your coffee table or ottoman. You need about 18″ of space between the coffee table and the sofa to allow people to get up and move around. A square or rectangular coffee table works well with a sectional sofa. A round coffee table is more interesting with a contemporary blend of straight lines, seating, and shins that wrap around it. Allows for easy movement.However, with a round coffee table, you will need more end tables due to the increased reach distance.

4. Traffic flow

Now that you have your shopping list with the size and type of furniture you want, you should have figured out the best furniture arrangement for your space. But just to be sure, let your fingers “walk-through” your floor plan. Have you left enough room for traffic? If there are two entrances to the room, is the path from one to the other a simple, easy way, or a convoluted one? How easy/difficult is it for people to get up from their seats and leave the room? Make sure you don’t have too many tables blocking the exits.

5. Balance

The last thing to consider on your floor plan is balance. If you divide the room in half by placing the center of the room on the dividing line, both sides should have roughly the same weight – I’m talking visual weight. Half of a symmetrical room is basically a mirror image of the opposite side. However, in an asymmetrical room (which most of us have), the weight of each side is determined by things like the color and size of the furniture. Consider a room with a focal wall painted dark red and a large piece of art with a wide, dark frame. This may be enough “weight” to balance the dark wall unit on the opposite side of the room.

In small spaces, keep the space light and airy. Use furniture with light colors, thin legs, transparency and reflective surfaces. So in this case, the visual weight is kept to a minimum.

Design:

Now that you’ve completed the planning phase, the next step is design. The design includes the following aspects:

6. Style

When you finally get to the store, you’ll want to “test drive” the seat for comfort. Hopefully you won’t find yourself in a situation where the most comfortable sofa comes in the wrong size or style, or vice versa, where the most stylish sofa is the least comfortable. You don’t have to choose – wait for a seat that meets all your criteria.

More about style… , your pieces shouldn’t match – it’s more interesting to have a sofa in one style and a pair of chairs in a different, but coordinating style. why Because gone are the days of matching furniture suites. Truly inspired rooms are rarely achieved through this type of formulaic design. And of course, you’ve all heard the term “machy -matchy” – a definite “no no” in design. If your style is contemporary, try mixing in some mid-century classic pieces. If your style is traditional, try mixing in some contemporary pieces for an updated look.

7. Pattern and texture

When putting a room together, consider texture. A room with a mix of different materials and finishes is a more interesting room that was thoughtfully put together. Consider mixing leather, velvet, silk, wood, glass, metal and natural woven materials such as grasscloth and abacus. This gives you some shiny, smooth surfaces and some rough, matte surfaces for contrast. Add some pattern with an area rug and throw cushions, or if you’re a little more daring, try it on drapery fabric, dining chairs and/or wallpaper.

8. Color

You’ve heard it before, “Stay neutral with the most expensive pieces like the sofa,” and add color with throw cushions, art, and accessories. You can also add a lot of color by painting your walls, which is definitely cheaper to replace if you do it yourself. But, how to choose the right color? Well, you need a starting point, like an area rug or a piece of art you like. Then, you draw color from this piece to decorate the rest of the room. Sounds simple enough, right?

9. Lighting

A room with various sources of balanced light is a welcoming room. General or overall lighting that is typically installed in the ceiling works best with dimmer switches for maximum control. Task lighting is located where light is needed for a specific function, such as reading or kitchen cabinet lighting. Accent lighting highlights focal points and adds drama and interest. These can be directional pot lights focused on artwork, or “up lights” that sit on the ground behind an object like a tall plant to cast light and shade in a corner. A balanced lighting scheme ensures that there is a relatively even amount of light around the room. Different light sources at different heights ensure that there are no dark areas and provide an interesting layered effect. A successful lighting scheme requires a combination of architectural and portable lighting.

There’s a lot to consider when decorating a space properly, and that’s why it’s important to consult a professional interior decorator if you want a space that truly inspires. A mix of classic pieces that will stand the test of time means you can redo your space down the road, but keep your investment pieces for a long time. It makes financial sense and think of the joy you’ll get from coming home to a functional and stylish space!

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