How to design the perfect living room

Gone are the stuffy parlors from the past—living rooms are just that: The rooms where we live. That’s the beauty of the living room, it’s where we now do everything.

Here are her nine tips and tricks for making the living room the ultimate destination.


  1. Start with a plan, not pillows

The first step? Steer clear of purchasing pillows. Many people start by buying throw pillows and they end up with a space that has no rhyme or reason. The foundation [of the design] is a vision and a plan.

Since your living room might host all sorts of activities, whether that’s a cocktail party or family movie night – plan for real life. What does living mean to you? Will it be a space to entertain or mixed with work? How many places do you need to seat people?”

  1. Invest in the couch

Once functionality is figured out, the first piece of furniture that to buy is the sofa. It’s important to find a piece that’s going to stand the test of time and be a quality piece.

Take your time before making the purchase and think through a number of factors. The most important criteria is your budget.

Lifestyle is also a consideration, as it will determine how much use the piece will receive, and in turn, the best color family and fabric. For instance, something like white mohair wouldn’t work well with sticky children’s hands and muddy paws from pets.

  1. Punctuate with lighting

When planning the room’s furniture layout and window treatments, prioritize natural light. Make sure to have high and low lighting. Choose lamps that support the overall aesthetic and act as sculptural notes. Invest in some beautiful lamps and you’re going to have those forever in your collection.

  1. Define the room with rugs

Rugs are used to claim the territory. Make sure that the rug is much larger than the seating space as this make the room look bigger.

Go more oversized than you would think, just making sure not to bisect major circulation paths and keeping all the front legs of a seating group on the rug area. The rug needn’t always make a bold statement, just make sure the rug’s color, texture, and pattern balance with the whole scheme.

  1. Accent with tables

Coffee tables can become a focal point, since the eye is drawn to their shape as it contrasts with the larger mass of the sofa. Choose pieces that have strong lines and are timeless. Accent tables are also functional necessities, as every seat needs a place to put their coffee cup or cocktail glass.

  1. Layer different textures

To make the room inviting, juxtapose the textures of different materials, such as wood, metal, wool, silk, and glass. Texture is super important and the materials you use should feel good to the touch.

“Does something feel soft when it’s supposed to feel soft? Is it strong when it’s meant to be durable? Does your carpet feel good under your feet?” An easy way to incorporate texture is via throw blankets and accessories.

  1. Have fun with pillows

Pillows are another great way to bring in color, pattern, and texture, you should have fun when picking them out. The pillows you pick depends on the mood and style that you want and don’t fear to be bold.

  1. Add personality

Accessories are more than just trinkets or clutter. They are an opportunity to tell a story about the personality and life of the homeowner. By weaving these pieces into the overall design, the space will truly feel like your home.

Whether your pieces are gifts from loved ones or reminders of the places that you’ve been, they should be an expression of you. That’s what your home should be: is all these expressions of you and who you love.

  1. Select with purpose

Clutter stresses us out and the overall look should have some tidiness to it. Take time with the process and select items thoughtfully, so that every piece has a purpose and a place.

Technology has taught us that speed is so important, but art takes time. Really consider what you want the space to say about you and how you want it to make you feel…You’re curating your life. Everything that you look at should make you happy.

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