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Living room planning tips

The living room is often the hub of the home. It’s where you relax, spend time with family or entertain guests. It should be a space that functions well and reflects your personal style.

But planning an inviting living room isn’t just about choosing a sofa or where to hang your TV. There are lots of moving parts and things to consider that will impact how functional and aesthetically pleasing your living room space is.

To help you create a living room you want to spend time in, try these 6 living room planning tips.

1. Identify your needs

When designing any room in your home, it’s important to identify your needs within the space. This is especially relevant when planning a living room as it often needs to be multi-functional and is one of the hardest spaces to get right.

Think about the purpose of your living room. Is it purely for sitting back and watching TV? Are you big entertainers? Do you have a young family and need to accommodate play as well as relaxing? Would you like to house overnight guests or integrate a workspace?

Once you identify all the functions of your living room, you can start planning the details like whether you want to embrace open-plan living or need to zone the space. Do you need to have additional power points or some room dividers? How many people do you need to seat?

Working through these details will also help to inform your living room furniture layout and shopping list.

2. Find a focal point

A well-designed living room will have a focal point. For many, this is the TV or a fireplace. You may be blessed with a beautiful view that you want to highlight or an eye-catching piece of art.

The focal point can inform your living room layout and design. Decide what you want yours to be and then continue your living room planning from this point.

3. Start with large furniture pieces

The most dominating piece of furniture in a living room tends to be the sofa. Using the sofa as a starting point can help you ensure you have the living room layout right in order to accommodate your needs and suit the dimensions of your space.

You may choose a modular lounge for ultimate comfort like those found at Adairs or a sofa bed from Urban Rhythm for greater flexibility. If your space is limited, something more petite, yet still inviting, such as those in the 2-seater range from Provincial Home Living may be more suitable.

Once you’ve found your perfect sofa, work through the other large pieces you need to house in your living room for comfort, aesthetics and functionality.

4. Consider the scale

What is the scale of your living room? Have you got the luxury of tall ceilings and a large amount of floor space? Or is your living room a little tighter with low ceilings and not much room to circulate?

If space is not an issue, selecting living room furniture and accessories varying in heights can help emphasise the amount of space. Think tall bookshelves, large artwork and floor standing lamps. Whereas, choosing low-line furniture pieces, such as your sofa or television cabinet, can help to give the illusion of more living space and room to breathe.

5. Embrace negative space

Talking space, it’s important to decorate your living room with intention and restraint, particularly for smaller homes. Embracing the negative space surrounding your furniture pieces and objects is just as important as the pieces themselves.

Rather than fill the interior with bulky items and over accessorise, consider how much space there is to circulate around the pieces. For example, choosing a sofa that sits off the floor will create the illusion of more space. Leaving visible gaps within a bookcase rather than filling it entirely with your library collection will lighten the interior.

Likewise, using a restrained colour palette, whether it’s of neutral tones or splashes of bright colours, will also help create the feeling of balance rather than over or underwhelm.

6. Spend on big-ticket items

Budget plays a big role in living room planning as it can affect the look and useability of your home. When planning your living room, it’s important to invest your money wisely especially if you’re working with a tight budget.

Think about the items that you use often or have the greatest impact on your living space – both visually and functionally. Flooring, rugs and sofas often endure the most wear and tear so you don’t want to skimp on quality here.

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