Do you ever wonder spend weekends rearranging the furniture in your living room? Does it feel like you’ve never got it quite right? I know I often feel dissatisfied with the way I’ve designed our living room, but now I have the sofas there’s little I can do with it. Before you go out and buy yourself a brand new sofa or armchair, think about the layout and how the pieces will work in the rest of the room. Will you be able to rearrange at a later date, or like me, will you be stuck with one particular design? If it’s the latter, you need to ensure you get it right first time. So what are the things you need to take into consideration when you’re planning the layout of the room?
Consider the lighting from different aspects. In terms of daylight, will it reflect off surfaces like the tv or a gloss coffee table and make sitting uncomfortable? Will you need to diffuse the light to protect your fabric sofas or chairs? Or conversely will you be blocking natural light in anyway with your current layout? As well as planning out the design on paper, spend some time in the room at different points of the day to see how the light falls and what issues it might cause.
You’ll also need to think about how to light in the room in the evenings. Can you add table lamps? Will you need a standard lamp? And how will you spread the light across the room? We often need to read when sitting in our favourite chair or on our new sofa, so don’t forget to create different types of task lighting as well as the more general ambient light.
When designing your layout, it’s imperative to consider the storage requirements of the room. That way you can plan the types of furniture you need and where they’re going to sit. If you have a smaller room, you might need plenty of clever storage, like drawers in side tables or coffee tables, bookshelves, magazine storage and possibly even a desk area too if you need one. Think about the size of these pieces and how they’ll work with your sofa. If you need to reorganise the space, could they be repositioned and will they work in different areas of the room. Make them as flexible and adaptable as you can.
Above all else, the room needs to be practical and comfortable. What’s the point in designing a living room that doesn’t offer itself as a sanctuary at the end of the busy day? So bear in mind that you need to make the room easy to relax in. Add lots of cushions and throws, a place to rest your feet and easy access to a drink. If you love looking at wall art, add it in places you know you’ll easy see it. If you love family photos, line them up on your mantlepiece. if you want a coffee table full of trinkets to remind you of your travels, go for it. Whatever it is that makes your house a home, ensure you add some of that to your living room.