How to: create a living room to love
Ah, the joy of moving into a new home. The possibilities! See how a newly moved-in couple used inspiration, paint, and a bit of perspiration to transform brightly bare walls into a living room to go gaga over. Best of all: it’s easier than you’d think. If you’ve moved into a new home – or simply want that feeling – you can do the same. Here’s how, one step at a time.
1: The power of a coat of paint
Add the right colour, and a room is created that wasn’t there before. Simple yet so powerful. But which colour to go with? A good idea is to think of the feeling you want for your room. More to consider: Which of your existing furniture can you use? How does daylight enter (and move over time) in the room? Let these factors guide your colour choice. This couple wanted a cosy, earthy feeling. Paired with furniture and accessories in dark tones and natural fibres, their choice was this warm, brown shade (painted in a rich, suede finish).
2: Guide the light (and your steps)
Light is key in any room – especially the kind you can’t turn off and on. These sheer curtains offer control of the view, a beautiful filter for sunlight, and a ton of style. (How to get the crinkled look with linen curtains? Wash, tumble dry, hang. Easy!) Rugs do their part, too. Try to lay them so as to match how people will move in the room (and where you plan to plant bare feet on chilly mornings). Natural materials like jute have the added bonus – besides being renewable and a wise choice in general – of interacting with light in ever-changing, eye-catching ways.
How does daylight enter (and move over time) in the room? Which of your existing furniture can you use? Let these factors guide your colour choice.
3: The backbone of any living room
In a space revolving around everyday relaxation and family time, it’s hard to overestimate the value of a good sofa. And once you have one big enough for X sprawled bodies and with the right sinking depth, there’s the question of placement. Think of how you are going to use it: TV sofa, reading nook, lazy haven, all of the above? If it’s going to be the centre of attention – why not place it in the middle of the room?
4: Lighting, textiles, plants
Now for the finer points. The things that don’t necessarily grab everyone’s attention, but instead act as the glue holding the style together. Use cushions to echo the room’s colour scheme. The reading lamp adds function while its colour and slim silhouette work as subtle accents. To strengthen and complement the close-to-nature theme, our couple has also added a tall plant.
5: Make room for all
Time to fit everything and everyone, i.e. seating for people, storage space for stuff. Here the cabinets have great capacity, yet still go discreetly along the wall. Meanwhile, chairs and side tables form an inviting archipelago across the room. By using slimline, thin-legged furniture, the wooden floor and the lively light is still very visible. Even with several pieces in place, the room’s natural airiness is kept intact.
6: Ready and set for life
Home stretch! Filling cabinets and finishing touches: board games, books and art (as well as the things you’re expected to display when family visits). What goes where – on the top shelves for the world to see, behind glass, or safely stowed behind solid doors – is naturally up to you.
Show the style, store the goods
In a living room, many things compete for attention. Having the option to choose the level of display – from the see-me, top-shelf centrepieces to the stylish accents beside them, to the hard-to-dust heirlooms behind glass – tends to really come in handy. Not least as extra space for stuff best kept out of sight.
Accessories for a lively room
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