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The Beginners' Guide to Decorating Your Living Room

Written by Andrew | Last Updated 2020-08-05

About Andrew

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.
The Beginners' Guide to Decorating Your Living Room

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Make your living room one of luxury and comfort with these simple tips.

How can you decorate your living room to make it look like something out of a magazine? How can you make your living room look like the best hotel? Here are a few ways you can do it, even if you do not know how to decorate. Using this guide, you can make your living room cozier and give it a touch of class and eclecticism.

Fusion has been in fashion for decades and it has remained constant in every aspect of lifestyle. It involves combining different styles but also combining low-cost items with selected pieces from popular brands or high-end collections.

Details that are well-chosen make all the difference. In the world of interior design, follow those same patterns. As they say, the secret is in the details.

If you've just started thinking about decorating your home, and the first place on your list is your living room, you may feel overwhelmed by the challenge of putting all the pieces together to make a harmonious and attractive ensemble. You should consider the paint colors for the walls, what type of furniture you already have and what you need, and how to organize and personalize them. But the first thing you should ask yourself is what is your style of decoration. Looking at photos of living rooms helps you do that. Knowing your taste gives you the signals you need during the decorating project to make decisions about furniture, paint colors, window coverings, flooring, and accessories.

Read these tips on how to get started with your decorating style in mind.

1. Choose the right furniture.

A common problem that people have is not knowing how to fix the furniture in their living room. Most of the time, people push a sofa against one wall, a couple of chairs against another, and that is it. But organizing the furniture is something that requires a little more planning. There are important considerations such as choosing a focal point, creating conversation areas, and considering traffic flow.

2. Rugs.

Carpets can be a big problem and a challenge to get directly to your room. There are several reasons why it is important to use them, but before you buy something just because you like it, make sure you know all the general rules for area rugs. The most important consideration with any area rug is size. When an area rug is too small, it can make the entire room look disjointed, so make sure you know the best size for your room and the way your furniture is arranged. All furniture should be sitting on top of the carpet, and ideally, there should be around 10 to 20 inches of bare floor between the edges of the area rug and the walls of the room.

The Beginners' Guide to Decorating Your Living Room

3. Art.

Empty walls are a sign of an incomplete room. This does not mean you have to fill every inch of your walls but decorating the walls with art is important. Also, although it is important, it does not need to be expensive to create a consistent and attractive appearance. What one person considers art can be drastically different from what another person considers art. The best thing to do is to follow your instincts when it comes to what you like and what will enter your room. Learn about the basic rules of what to hang and how to organize it, and then let your heart be your guide.

4. Lighting.

Lighting is a somewhat complex element of any room. In living rooms, there is usually less light needed than in more utilitarian rooms such as the kitchen, but there are still some important considerations that should not be ignored. Most importantly, you should include each of the three main types of lighting: ambiance, homework, and accent lighting. Light sources should be placed at different levels throughout the room.

The Beginners' Guide to Decorating Your Living Room

As you likely have heard many times, lighting can change a space, give it warmth, make it a cozy, and make it an approachable, endearing, and pleasant place. If good lighting comes from a few stand-out pieces, which do not leave anyone unimpressed, your look will impress. Choose unique, attractive designs, and indirect, warm lights that invite intimacy and confidence. Also consider ceiling or recessed lights, table and floor lamps, and wall sconces.

5. Paint colors.

Choosing the right paint color is something that many people struggle with, and if there is one thing that most people do wrong, it is choosing the paint color first. Painting is relatively easy (painting can be a hassle, but it is not difficult) and it is inexpensive, so choose the most expensive pieces first, then choose a color based on them.

6. Measurements.

No matter what part of the room you're working on, whether it's rugs, windows, or furniture arrangements, make sure you know your ideal measurements and the size of the space where you want to place the furniture. Nobody has everything memorized and nothing is set in stone, but it is a good idea to have a practical guide so that you can refer to it when necessary. Rules offer good guidance, but ultimately, you should do what works best for you in your space and is most pleasing to your eyes. That is what counts the most.

7. Modern paintings.

The decoration of your living room can arouse sensations and, based on this idea, the choice of your color palette can bring life to your home. Colors such as gray, coffee, beige, and even shades in darker tones such as black, all of which are considered neutral tones to a greater or lesser extent, will bring an aesthetic dominated by elegance and serenity to your living room.

8. Take advantage of the walls.

It is not the first time that we refer to the nature of the walls of your home as blank canvases. Taking advantage of them to decorate the living room is a practical resource as well as something that can give your home a dose of originality and does not represent a great investment. You can include photographs, paintings, or the like, or simply transform their aesthetics by including textures or patterns with abstract shapes to give them a unique look.

9. Turn your living room into a library.

Are you one of those who cannot resist buying a book every time you walk past the bookstore? Turning your living room into a space in the image and likeness of a library is a more than a feasible decorative option. Put some shelves and organize your books so that your literary passion decorates this oft-used space in your home.

The Beginners' Guide to Decorating Your Living Room

10. The importance of distribution.

When you consider the distribution of your living room, you should start with the largest furniture items such as the sofa, the TV cabinet, or the coffee table where you are going to eat your meals or enjoy snacks or drinks. You must also consider where windows, radiators, columns, and other structural elements of the living room are. These items cannot be moved. Note their location and size to determine the best place for the rest of your furniture.

Once the largest items are already planned and placed, you can go with the details, which will depend on your personality and the style you want to give to your living room. For example, if you are a book person, you will need to have one or more shelves to store all your books. Maybe what you need is lots of seats because you like to have gatherings at your house.

11. Fabrics also decorate.

For a tasteful decoration in your living room, we recommend that you use natural fabrics, such as linen or cotton upholstery, as they are warm in winter and cool in summer.

Remember that textures also make a difference. Who does not have in mind the image of a sofa, in front of the fire, in which to lie down covered by a soft, fluffy blanket? It is probably one of the images that are most clearly identified with comfort. Transfer that image from the small screen to reality and get a sofa, some cushions, and that desired blanket, all in soft fabrics. Alcantara and fabrics with similar textures are always a good choice for your sofa. Cushions made of Alcantara, silk, angora, or wool, and soft fleece blankets make a great comfortable, cozy, and luxe ensemble for your living room.

To complete the look, get a good carpet that also has a long pile in which you can sink your bare feet. This may not work for homes with children or pets because of the debris that can become stuck inside the carpet but in terms of looks and feel – as long as you can maintain cleanliness – long pile carpets are a choice option anywhere.

12. Colors are key.

Color is one of the most important decorative elements of any room. We recommend that you opt for a neutral base (a white ceiling, light walls, and soft tones) to make your furniture and other decorative items stand out.

13. Choose a counterpoint.

Among those details of your living room, there can be a piece that attracts everyone’s eyes, something that is radically different from everything that surrounds it. If you go to an antique dealer or a classy décor shop, treat yourself and choose an antique armchair, a secretary desk, or a small table for an additional place to sit that is not part of traditional living rooms but becomes a focal point different from the rest of your ensemble. Another option is to use some old family furniture. Just ask your mother to give it to you!

14. Sober and noble themes.

The weight that matter gives to an object is unquestionable. Solid wood is strong, a sober metal is too, but stone is possibly the star of all materials. And among them, marble is undoubtedly the king. If you ever walk past an open-air marble warehouse packed with rough iron, we advise you to stop and look at what they have. It is overwhelming! Those pieces in themselves are true works of art.

If you combine such an item with a simple, elegant design, you will have another sure success and a very trendy piece of décor for your living room.

The Beginners' Guide to Decorating Your Living Room

Final Thoughts

Thinking about the decoration of the living room is daunting because it is the center of social interaction at home. Its configuration must not only meet functional needs but must provide an attractive element capable of offering a pleasant environment full of charm. Captivating guests and yourself as well while promoting the practicality of your room are two of the concepts on which to base the choice of furniture, colors, materials, or lighting, all of which are key aspects to completing the decorative process.

To facilitate this task, we presented you with a selection of ideas to decorate your living room. All the options we have proposed will allow you to give your living room space a personal touch that is adapted to your needs. These tips and tricks can help you decorate your living room, whatever its shape or size. Now, some very well-defined decorative styles integrate characteristic elements. Some of these styles are Nordic, Pop, Industrial, Boho Chic, and Classic. A good option to be safe when decorating your living room is to choose one of them, the one you like the most, and follow it to the letter.

The decoration of your living room can arouse sensations and bring life to your living room. Colors such as gray, coffee, beige, and even shades in darker tones such as black, all of which are considered neutral tones to a greater or lesser extent, will bring an aesthetic dominated by elegance and serenity to your living room. You can also choose lighter colors throughout based on your taste, but do not forget to consider the rest of the points mentioned here to get your living room decoration project exactly right.

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