There must be a reason why someone called it the “living” room. It is not as if other rooms in the house exude an aura of the dead. The living room borrows a bit of something from every other room in a house, brews it to perfection and creates an ambiance where all conversations and essential household activities converge. While other rooms might have defined purposes, the living room remains largely undefined, unrestricted. This translates into two, ambiguous realities—it is difficult to create a very specific theme or terms of usage for this space. Secondly, choosing decorative or functional stuff to help the living room retain its essence becomes rather difficult. In today’s discussion, we resolve this issue. For starters, we correct the usual flaws in perceptions about a living room. More importantly, we talk about some living room essentials that cannot be ignored.
Correcting the Living Room Mindset
Yes, people make assumptions about you by judging your living room. For a moment, keep aside the style factor we associate with home décor. Now, think about what defines these spaces—kitchens should be highly functional, bathrooms should be spotlessly clean, and the living room should be PERFECT! Yes, this is where the challenge lies.
A kitchen can afford a limited dining space, study rooms can tolerate limited seating space and bathrooms can be cut away from natural lighting but living rooms need to be tuned to perfection—functionally and aesthetically. Living rooms do much more than create first impressions. Overstuffed living rooms make you look like a hoarder. Too much art creates the risk of making you seem desperate. Lack of snugly seating space means you are an uncaring host. Phew!!…the challenges are endless!
Understand this—living rooms are not meant to be experimented with too much. Yes, you can explore designs and textures but ALWAYS stick to the living rooms staples discussed below:
1. Devote a place for that Inner Geek
No matter how outdoorsy you are, please believe that there is always someone who likes to read or enjoys the presence of reading material in the room. So, invest in a bookrack or a single shelf devoted to some books and magazines. This gives a cerebral dose to the living room.
2. Let Windows Do Something More
Try to think beyond curtains for windows. Empty windows tend to give an incomplete look. Dressing window frames with drapes adds to the vertical presentation of the room. Further, you can add some glamour with colored glass panes. Change the draperies often, mixing the choice of prints and colors.
3. Coffee Table: More than Just Countertop and Caffeine Fixes
Cannot find that perfect spot for your coffee table? Don’t worry. Living rooms were not meant to be perfect. Just place a table where you feel there is a lack of countertop space. Suit your style and you can even place two smaller tables rather than one, conventional coffee table. Ensure the coffee table looks refreshing without clutter. We recommend putting some board games and interestingly quoted mugs and coasters on the coffee table.
4. Canvases Await You, Add Something on the Walls
We see many living rooms without anything interesting on the walls. Work your imagination. Try something different. We recommend attention-grabbing prints, posters that are more humorous rather than informative or oversized mirrors. The other extreme lies in rooms where colors have been splashed across the walls—as a part of DIY wall designing, bright colors just wildly splashed across demure walls!
5. Add a Dash of Color, Minus an Overdose
Having your whole living room covered in pale colors a not good idea, nor is adding too many flashy colors. Finding that balance should take precedence—use a contrast of brighter and subtle colors to create an interesting mix. Adding some colorful vases, bright colored cushions or a colorful lamp should do the job for you. The trick is to use brighter colors minimally, space them out across the room.
6. Don’t Sideline Side Tables
Do not let your hand wave aimlessly in the air to find a space to place that remote control or coffee mug just because you are seated away from the dining table or coffee table. A side table tends to add convenience and character to the living room. Try side tables that are dissimilar to each other, helping to break the monotony in the ambiance.
7. A Personal Touch Matters
Like we said, living rooms make a persisting first impression. You need to invest some time in giving the décor a personalized aura. This means doing something that is not found in a brochure or DIY articles displayed on Google. For instance, if you adore classical watches, you can place a watch winder on the side table. If you are obsessed with purple, the color, ensure all curtains are in a deep, satin finish of this shade and some living room items are similarly color-coded. This is something you need to decipher for yourself.
8. Different Light Fixtures to Suit the Mood(s)
You have the luxury of finding lighting fixtures engineered with precision for every possible lighting requirement. Ensure you have different lighting set-ups or a few options to change the lighting as per the requirement. Movie-watching sessions with family don’t need bright lighting while kids preparing their scrapbook need dedicated task lighting. Try to invest in easy to maneuver lighting fixtures and those with dimming controls for creating the relevant degree of illumination.
We don’t want to advocate too much because home décor is never about following a code of conduct. However, we do insist on ensuring that you have most of these living room essentials in your home. This gives you solid grounds to explore and do something magical…just get the basics right and you are half way there!