Think about it: when you have guests over, where’s the first place you direct them to? If you’re like most people, it’s your living room — which is why you should make it a priority to have that room be the epitome of form and function.
Whether you’re looking to update your living room or redesign it completely, we’ve got a few pieces of advice that will help you create the space of your dreams.
1. Plan How You Want to Use Your Living Room Space
Most likely, your living room will be a multi-use space — an area for hosting and relaxing. However, it may serve as a strictly casual TV room or elegant room used for more formal affairs.
The purpose of a room will determine everything else about it — what furniture it’s filled with, how durable that furniture needs to be, and what kind of flooring will be most appropriate.
2. Take a Picture and Measurements with You While Shopping
It’s hard to believe, but you don’t know your living room as well as you think you do. The next time you visit a showroom floor, take a picture of your living room with you. Make notes regarding how large the room is and how big certain pieces are (like your current sofa, TV, and wall unit), as this will help ensure your new pieces fit well.
3. Don’t Purchase Everything from the Same Store
Your living room should reflect your style, not look like a showroom floor. Mixing vintage and modern elements can create an interesting look that is anything but run-of-the-mill. If you’re looking to spice up a room, pay special attention to accent pieces — they’re what will elevate your space.
4. Consider a New Layout for Your Furniture
If you're redesigning the living room you’ve lived in for years, simply changing up the sofa may not be enough to fully revive the space. Just because your last sofa was always on the southeast wall, that doesn’t mean your new one has to go there, too. Consider where people enter and exit the room, what function it needs to serve, and how many people it needs to fit.
5. Install Your Lighting First
Yes, even before you’ve painted the walls. Because paint can look different depending on the lighting of a room, you want to have your ceiling lights, lamps, and any other light fixtures in the room first. Of course, once it comes time to paint and decorate, you can temporarily move lamps and other removable fixtures to another room in the house.
6. Build from Your Largest Piece of Furniture
It’s always easier to work largest to smallest, rather than the other way around. If you’re designing a living room, your largest piece will likely be a sofa. From there, work down in size order. Consider adding a wall unit, coffee table, end tables, area rugs, throw pillows and, lastly, decorative accents.
7. Incorporate Your Window Treatments into Your Design
With a seemingly endless array of styles, textures, and patterns to choose from, window treatments should enhance your space, not simply conform to it. In addition to their beauty, window treatments are also one of the most practical elements in a living room. With the ability to control light, temperature, and privacy, it’s important to budget quality window treatments into your design plans.
8. Don’t Overthink Your Design
As you begin to add more elements to the room, it’ll quickly become clear what needs to be added and what needs to be changed. A solid couch can always be jazzed up with funky throw pillows. A patterned area rug can be added to a bland floor. Intricate curtains can be hung on a blank wall. When in doubt, think simplicity!
9. Keep Your Design "Livable"
The days of formal sitting rooms are over. Nowadays, living rooms are a place for people of all kinds to celebrate everything from Christmas morning to Sunday football. Buying a couch and rug that can handle the wear and tear of everyday life is so important.
10. Consider Motorized Window Treatments
From 1990 to 2015, more than 16,000 U.S. children were treated in emergency rooms for injuries sustained by window cords — an average of almost two a day. If little ones will be running in and out of the living room or playing in it, motorization eliminates the threat of cords altogether. Even if you don’t have children, motorized window treatments are still a better option because they’re safer for pets and easier to use.
11. Be Willing to Think Outside of “Your Style”
Most of us tend to fall into one category of design style, whether it’s coastal, contemporary, modern, traditional, or transitional. While you can always have a favorite in your heart, it’s never wise to base an entire room off of one style. Especially if other rooms in the house have already been decorated, it’s important for your living room to look fresh and new but to still blend with the rest of the house. Mixing time periods and styles is also a great way to avoid the “department store showroom” look.
At Gotcha Covered, we pledge to do so much more than help you find window treatments you’ll love. With high-quality products and services that will exceed your expectations and add beauty and value to your environment, we’ll help you create the space of your dreams!
About the Author: Brooke Carr, Gotcha Covered
Brooke joined the Gotcha Covered family in 2018 as the Social Media Coordinator. She works closely with our corporate teams and our Gotcha Covered franchisees to develop insightful and helpful content for our brand.