Arranging the Perfect Living Room: Five Classy Items to Consider
Written by Andrew | Last Updated 2020-03-05
Not only a home designer, Andrew is also the founder of BFA. He always have full enthusiasm for the industry and his job, and he enjoys to share some new ideas to others. His professional advice can help you choose furniture better and home style which fits you.
What does it take to create the perfect living room atmosphere? While there are many things that can add a touch of class, function, and elegance to your home setting, a few things simply cannot be done without. These include your sofa, coffee table, lighting, and floor accessories such as rugs or runners. If you have the space and budget for it, you can even go a step further and purchase a picture frame, have a bookcase to act as a room divider and a staging area for family pictures and décor items, or place trendy lamps and tasteful trinkets to bring together your room’s aesthetic.
For the sensible living room decorator, however, the emphasis is always on the sofa, tables, and overall theme that runs in the room. You need a place to sit down and for your guests to be able to comfortably have conversations. To enhance the functionality of your common space, a coffee table for setting drinks, magazines, or even board games for game night is a must-have. Decisions such as whether or not you need toss pillows, how much lighting is needed, where and how you can add an item that gives you some distinction that will catch the eyes of your friends and relatives every time they visit, and how to tie the room together with the perfect rug are all decisions that can be difficult to make because of the sheer number of products available on the market.
In this article, we review five sophisticated home furnishing items that can help you create the right vibe, look, and function in your living room.
We start with a sleek sofa that is long, flat, and comes with a stately look founded atop four slanted legs. It has two wide back pillows that give it a sense of width and breadth, more so than other three-seater sofas that have three back pillows. Two bolster cushions (not exactly toss pillows but their more functional cousin) add form by the armrests, and this item works great as a standalone piece so you do not have to worry about fitting an additional two- or one-seater with it.
Next, we have a hand-woven ivory rug that looks like knotted mesh. The fabric is not so fine that it is missed altogether yet it is not so coarse as to suggest a construction of subpar or low-quality materials. The color schematic of this rug is deep enough that you can easily see it on parquet, wooden floors, laminate, and even colored rugs, yet light enough to help keep your living space looking warm, welcoming, and open. It also sets the stage for your coffee table or nested tables that your guests will use to set down evening drinks of coffee, hot cocoa, or soda pop, whatever strikes their fancy.
The ivory rug makes the perfect place for setting a high-end, metal and wood coffee table that is anything but compromising in its looks and detail. Generally speaking, coffee tables should be lower than your sofas so that they are easy to reach and use. The coffee table we are recommending for this particular furniture setting is not very tall but it is still high enough to stand out from the crowd. It is at least as high as the average sofa, and its breadth and size (as well as its color palette) give it an imposing look of luxe materialism perfect for European pomp and decadence.
What can you place on a coffee table? Well, anything, really, from books and magazines to remote controls, potted plants, picture frames, feet propped up after a long day at work, and even school homework assignments if you have little ones in the house! Although your coffee table can be used for pretty much anything, why not go the innovative route and put a hand-made decorative bowl and candlestick holder? The item we have reviewed for you here is a lot pricier than many items (it is, in fact, not only the smallest item we’re reviewing today but the most expensive, and is almost two and a half times as expensive as the sofa mentioned above), but if it is the kind of thing you like, it will certainly be worth it. At the time of this writing, it is actually out of stock, and that is a testament to how popular an item this fruit bowl is. It is handmade using pure, flawless, white porcelain and has a brass lining that gives it a baroque and mid-century look perfect for creating a classy theme in traditional homes. However, since it is such a high-end item not everyone would buy, this item goes well in more modern and contemporary homes, as long as you don’t have too many grays and have the whites and browns that go well with a white porcelain décor piece.
Finally, we have twin picture frames that are currently available on a closeout offer. The pictures themselves are not very large; in fact, they probably make up just half of the actual real estate of the entire frame, but the layout and juxtaposition of two large, white, and serrated pictures within a larger frame that looks like gold or brass and hang next to each other on a blank wall create a look of space and abstraction that can give your living room (or an adjacent dining area, if you have one connected to the main living area) a look of calm appeal and tasteful harmony.
Read on below to learn more about these items and how they can complement your living room, enhance its overall look, and help you create an enticing, original, and stunning visual display for your home’s common area.
Mcelhaney 70" Round Arms Sofa
This sofa is the perfect combination of traditional design and mid-century flair, making it the perfect anchor piece for any living room. It is very elegantly styled and has a sleek and contemporary feel to it as it exudes a tuxedo-style rectangular frame. It boasts two back cushions and a bench-style seat cushion that comes with a layer of foam for additional comfort. There are two bolster cushions as well, strategically placed right next to the sofa’s track arms. These cushions add an extra dose of style to the sofa. All of this construction sits on top of a manufactured wood frame that has splayed legs to round off the look of this truly classy piece.
In terms of what is included with the item, you get the two bolster pillows, legs that are made of manufactured wood, and a sofa that has looks to last you years, as long as you make sure to care for it properly. To do that, we recommended that you clean the sofa’s upholstery at least once a week. What you need to do is pre-brush it using a soft brush. This will help with dust removal when you get to the stage of vacuuming the sofa. If you leave dust and dirt to accumulate, the color of your sofa will start to fade and become dull and wear and tear may even accelerate.
If you or little ones around the home accidentally or intentionally place wet objects on the sofa, remove them at once and dab the surface dry in order to eliminate excess moisture and to prevent the formation of water rings and spots. If it is given time, liquids spilled on the sofa can seep through. However, if you blot excess moisture out, any water that seeped through the surface will eventually evaporate and any water rings that formed will also disappear.
Avoid placing sharp or pointy objects such as toys, buckles, studs, or otherwise on the upholstered parts of the sofa to prevent puncturing of the cloth. Avoid the same objects near or on the legs to avoid cuts, nicks, and scratches. Also, you should avoid sitting on the arms of the sofa or on the edges of the cushions since doing so can cause premature wearing and distortion of the padding inside the sofa or arms, as well as the exterior fabric of the cushions and seats. Be sure to also avoid having direct sunlight or excessive heat touch the sofa as this can cause the sofa’s color to fade. The fabric of the sofa can also disintegrate over time as a result of heat or sun exposure. Finally, do not bleach the sofa or any part of it, and do not use harsh chemicals to clean it. If you need to, just use warm water to remove dirt from the sofa’s fabric using a mild detergent.
All in all, this is a standard design sofa that measures 32.25'' H x 70.11'' W x 32.25'' D and weighs a little over 70 pounds. The arms are round, the sofa has loose back cushions, and the sofa itself has a maximum weight capacity of 675 pounds. It is made in China and requires partial assembly. It is quite comfortable, not too firm nor too soft, is quite easy to put together, and has many 5-star reviews.
Almodovar Coffee Table
This coffee table is the perfect occasional piece for your living room, den, or family area. It suits homes that are outfitted to look traditional, mid-century, or industrial. It features a very modern style and has a lot of rugged character that makes a great accent piece for any living space.
The top and base of this item are made of solid wood, and the wood has natural variations in it (knots, lines, and whorls) that make it truly unique and unlike any other product that anyone else has ever purchased. The top of the table is espresso brown, and the base is antique brass. The wood used in the construction of the table comes from the mango tree, and the base is made of solid wood. The wood is, in fact, reclaimed wood, and the table is made in India. It is intended and approved for residential use but the great thing is that assembly is not required; receive the table and just set it where you want it and you are ready to go!
This table has a maximum weight capacity of 200 pounds – more than enough for any item you would likely want to place on it. It comes with a 30-day warranty and comes from Foundry Select, a design home that takes inspiration from the comfort and character of mountainside dwellings. It takes cues from modern cabin designs where rustic sophistication is found to be effortlessly chic and it transposes those styles to more urban settings.
In terms of reviews, most buyers said that they really love this table. The gold band at the bottom (which is actually made of brass) adds a unique touch to the table. As mentioned above, it comes fully assembled so there is no work whatsoever involved in making it functional once you receive it. One downside is that some people said the material used in the table’s construction did not feel like real wood. To them, it felt somewhat like an inexpensive veneer or plastic used to cover the base. It is also very light. Depending on how you look at it, you may be able to see how and where the top of the table looks to be glued to the bottom, a construction or design flaw (or approach) that gives the table a somewhat cheap and low-quality feel despite the cost of well over $400. Overall, it is a pretty good table, but the glue issue is one that is a downer.
Other reviewers felt that the table was a little too stocky and chunky-looking. It is a great size for average living rooms and it is really a grand statement piece. The longer you have it, the more you will love it! It is baby-friendly since it has no sharp corners or edges and it is also quite sturdy and heavy so a baby or toddler will not be able to push it over. All in all, it is a beautiful and functional piece of furniture that is highly recommended.
Elbridge Hand-Woven Gray/Ivory Area Rug
Before we get into describing and reviewing this item, here a few important usage points we’d like to cover first.
Make sure to use a rug pad with this item. Doing so can prevent slipping. It can also protect your floor and give you an extra layer of cushion and padding that will add to the comfort of your rug. To deal with curls and creases – two types of defects that are common with rugs of this type that develop during shipping – roll out the rug in the opposite direction or upside down and let it sit like that for some tie (usually a day or two would be enough) until the creasing and curls have decreased. This method works because curls and creases usually come about as a result of gravity and the rug becoming warped as a result of standing during delivery.
For cleaning, be sure to immediately clean up any spills. Doing this will help to prevent the development of stains. You need to spot-clean any wet or stained areas by applying pressure on the affected area with a damp cloth or a white paper towel. Tissue can work as well, although it might leave bits of tissue all over your rug until you get a chance to vacuum it up. Use a mild detergent as well to help remove dirt and other debris or substances stuck to the fibers of the rug. Dab your cloth or tissue in the direction of the pile. Also, be sure to work from the edge of the spot inward so as to prevent the stain or spot from spreading further across the rug in other directions. Once you are finished, blot the area using a clean paper towel until most or all of the moisture has been removed and refrain from walking on the spot until it completely dries up.
Now that we know how to care for this classy rug, here is what you need to know about the rug itself.
This rug is made of a specially spun polyester yarn that both looks as well as feels just like wool. This is what helps it create a high-end felted look even though it is made of polyester. The polyester fibers simulate natural wool and viscose that create a luxe item for a great price.
This rug is handmade and is woven using the special polyester described above. It has cotton backing materials, is primarily gray and ivory in color, and is intended for indoor use only. It is safe for use on floor heating surfaces and you need to regularly brush, broom, or vacuum it to keep it clean and tidy. This item is also made in India, as is the coffee table reviewed above. It comes from the house of George Oliver, a brand that exudes playful sophistication from the modern world, coupled with artful inspiration and heavy use of striking styles. These items have clean silhouettes and geometric patterns that give them their contemporary designs despite traditional values noticeable in their construction.
Handmade Candlestick Fruit Decorative Bowl
First, let’s talk about what exactly this item is since it is not really a common or mainstream item.
This is an exquisite and handmade porcelain candlestick fruit decoration bowl. Two materials are used in its construction: porcelain and brass. The porcelain used in the item is pure white without any flaws. This gives it clean lines and a classy, glassy look. There are no stray marks or gratuitous patterns on it, just the simple lines of the porcelain itself. These simple lines and the overall simplicity of the bowl’s design are what give this bowl its enduring elegance. Even the brass used for making the bowl is, at least in the designer’s estimation, different from brass used in other home or furniture items. It is bright in color, not a dull or brownish-gold, and the brass is actually used to support the vase and provide it with some ornamental décor, not just round off the design without any real function.
Even the base of the bowl is quite simple and has a few concise patterns. The bowl’s two candlestick holders will also definitely attract your eyes. With candles inserted in them, they become candlestick holders. Without candles, they become two elegant lotuses. Having such a delicate and refined fruit bowl is a great choice if you have the money (and the overall theme in your home) to support such a daring design choice.
Here are a few additional features of this fruit bowl and what you need to do with it to extract maximum utility from your purchase.
To use this item, simply display it on your tea table, dining table, or coffee table. You may want to keep it out of the reach of children to prevent damage to this $650 piece! Place oranges, bananas, avocados, and other large fruit in the bowl for a visually striking ensemble on top of your tables or counters. Smaller fruits such as grapes or strawberries can also be placed in it but please note that larger fruit may damage fruit lower in the bowl, and fruit at the bottom may not be visible anyway because of the depth of the bowl so this item is best used for larger fruit items as often seen in Renaissance paintings. Just be sure to eat your fruit and not waste it!
This item goes very well with the coffee table reviewed earlier since both incorporate bronze into their respective constructions and both go well with opposing themes of brown/wood against white/porcelain. The golden and gilded looks of both items also compare and contrast with each other, and if you pair both items with shiny mugs or a background picture frame (as we will review next), you can create a stunning visual display that screams elegance, sophistication, and on-trend luxury.
'Sophia' 2 Piece Framed Painting Set
In our review of the handmade fruit bowl above, we said that you could create a striking visual display by placing the bowl in front of a classy picture frame. Here, we would like to review just the perfect frame for such a setting.
This two-piece picture set is a romantic color-scape called the Sophia set. It is comprised of a contemporary collage of various materials. It has raw edges that remind one of the jagged edges of a postage stamp, a design cue that immediately makes one thing of travel and far-off lands. The printed surfaces of the pictures are a blur of brushstrokes in subdued yet sober shades of peach, sky blue, and purple. Each pinewood frame in this set sparkles in a finish that looks like champagne silver, a color choice that perfectly complements the color palette of this abstract piece.
The surface of this item has a glass finish that comes with classy collage accents, and it also has iron mounting hardware, complete with two hooks for easy installation on your wall. Each piece in the set measures 36'' H x 30'' W x 2'' D and each piece weighs about 24 pounds. These frames need to be oriented vertically and the shape of the frames themselves are rectangular. There are four wall hooks in all for putting the frames up, and the pictures have an embellished effect for added visual impact. Made in China, this item is approved for residential use. It comes from Bungalow Rose, a design home that incorporates distant luxury into a bohemian-chic collection of furniture and décor that ooze in opulence inspired by global trends. Many of their items feature tribal prints, have Eastern influences, and come with old-world charm, all of which help you create a home that is uniquely yours.
This item is currently available at a closeout price of almost 70% off the list price of about $750, which is a killer deal regardless of the fact that the paintings were probably overpriced, to begin with. The Sophia set is a classy pair of vintage wall art that would really tie your home together, and even though it has no customer reviews as such, from the online pictures that are available, as well as the product descriptions and current discount price, it is a real bargain and we recommend it if for nothing else then for the fact that it can help complete the look of your living room and make the perfect background to the brass and wood coffee table, handmade porcelain fruit bowl, and classy straight sofa that are all part of today’s recommended design ensemble.
What is the conclusion? The reviews presented herein are based on product specs but the products themselves will only work in your living space if you have the budget, design skills, and room layout to make everything work together. Design is one thing, and function is another. A room that is functional will always be welcoming; you know you can get things done in it and it will be a happy go-to place whenever you need to get things done. Design is something else and design can be welcoming and comfortable and it may not be. A home that has the perfect corner lamp, strategically-placed wall adornments, and fancy fruit bowls may look visually stunning, but if you come home after a long day at work and want to prop up your feet on the coffee table for a few minutes of well-deserved rest but you cannot do so because a high-end fruit bowl has been placed there, such a room may not be as welcoming as you’d like.
Design, function, and a happy home do go hand in hand, but how you make your living areas yours is up to you. This guide provides a blueprint for bringing together a few handpicked items that can be used together to create a room that not only looks nice but works well based on your needs. If you tend to entertain often, you may want to add an additional sofa to accompany the three-seater we reviewed above; you may also need to add an additional side table or a set of nested tables to give your guests the place they need to set down drinks or small snack plates. If you need lighting, you can light the candles on the porcelain bowl for a romantic setting, or you can choose to purchase a standing lamp with a button footswitch for easy on/off access during busy times in the home.
It is important to keep the size, dimensions, look, colors, and shape of your living spaces in mind before purchasing items for those very spaces. You also need to consider how you will use these spaces, who will use them (family members, small children, pets, guests, at-home kids or working professionals), whether or not you will eat on the coffee table or use the living room or dining area strictly for entertainment purposes, and whether or not you have other home furnishings such as bookcases or credenzas in place because they will also determine whether you need storage space, entertainment space, an open space, or a family gathering space.
If you put together an ensemble that has a classy sofa, a decorative picture frame or stand-alone item, a warm and inviting rug, and a flexible and function-rich coffee table, you will likely have what you need to have the welcoming living room we talked about earlier. Don’t just go for looks; go for what works for you, and everything else will take care of itself. Let us know what you think about the items we’ve reviewed here, what items in addition to (or in place of) these items you would rather have at home, and what kinds of items you consider to be the most important for creating a fashionable yet functional home living area. We’d love to hear from you and can review additional items for you based on your feedback!