Living Room Decorating
The living room may well be the room that leaves the most lasting impression with visitors. You'll take them on a tour of the rest of the house, of course. But the living room is where you'll end up sitting and chatting. They'll have ample time to look around. This means you want your living room to be warm, comfortable and inviting. Here are a few things you can do to arrange and decorate your living room with this in mind.
Find a Focal Point
Every room has at least one focal point. That is, it has a point around which the rest of the room is organized. Unless the room is quite large, it's usually a good idea to have only one focal point. If your living room has a fireplace, this is a natural focal point. Or if you have a piano, especially, a grand, it may be natural to arrange the room around that. But the focal point doesn't have to be anything so dramatic. In fact, the focal point can be invisible. If you want your living room to be a place for conversation, you can arrange your living room with a couch on one side and armchairs facing the couch on the other. There can be a coffee table in the middle, but that isn't the real focal point. The real focal point is the space above the coffee table, right in the middle of all your guests.
Remember that colors can really affect mood and feelings. Blue colors tend to make one feel cool and calm. Reds tend toward the more passionate. Lighter colors are relaxing, whereas darker colors can feel more somber and serious. As you consider colors for the walls, carpet, and window treatments, remember to think about the mood you will create. Also remember that a dark color may look pleasant on a small carpet or paint sample, but it can become oppressive when it fills a room.
You want your living room to have plenty of light so that everything can be seen. Position lamps at the ends of the couch and behind chairs. Consider a single overhead hanging lamp that can draw the whole room together. (It can function as a secondary focal point, hanging over the primary one.) If you have art objects that you want people to be able to see, don't forget to add in accent lighting. Vases, statuettes, and crystal are just three examples of things that really benefit from being effectively lit. At the same time, you don't want the living room to be too bright, or at least not all the time. A dimmer switch may be the cheapest, most effective investment you can make in precisely controlling and endlessly varying the look and feel of your living room.
Mirrors are a great way to add depth to your living room. A large mirror over the fireplace is one obvious way to go about this. You can also position a large mirror behind the couch. Alternatively, choose two or three smaller mirrors and hang them up like pictures behind the couch. In fact, smaller mirrors with beautiful frames are good way to add an accent throughout the room.
Once you've got the large items sorted out, you can have endless fun with the small stuff. A glass end table or a small curio cabinet may be just the addition that your room needs. Vases, figurines, candlesticks, and pictures can be placed throughout the room. Just remember that sometimes less is more. If you get carried away with the small items, you can end up giving the room a cluttered and busy look. When there are too many elements competing to catch the eye, the eye sometimes doesn't know where to look.