How to Design a Living Room for Living

It’s in the name: Living room. A room used daily by every member of the household. It’s a room where we relax after a long day and also the space where we welcome friends and family. So how do you design living rooms to be both beautiful yet functional, comfortable and durable? Our River North Design District designers have the ultimate list of design tips.

Don’t Sacrifice Comfort for Style

Never underestimate the power of a comfortable chair. You can instantly create a cozy space with a luxurious, yet comfortable chair.  Curl up by the fireplace, read a book, or just relax. Custom Furniture Company (CFC) offers the Omar Chair – both stylish and cozy – in a variety of fabrics and leather. Handcrafted in the USA and available through Casa Bella.

Shop more from Casa Bella here.

Follow the Right Design Format

When designing your living room for living, Sarah Jacquelyn Interiors lives by this format:

First, Find your focal point. Every room has a natural center point, whether it’s the fireplace, TV, or picture window with an expansive view. Plan furniture around this center line. Sometimes a room can have two focal points, like a TV wall and a fireplace. This is trickier, but with the right sectional, anything is possible. 

Next, think about function and traffic flow. Do you host parties and need seating for 8-10? Maybe the kids need it to be cozy, while you need it to be easy to clean. Perhaps it’s just you, your partner, and your dog relaxing after a long day of work. How are you and your guests entering and exiting this room? Are two points of entry needed? Does that point of entry cross the path of the TV? Can you avoid that? Knowing how you will use the space will determine the direction of the design. 

Once you’ve addressed the function and flow of the space, you can now bring in color. Start with the rug. Use the colors of the rug to influence the palette for the rest of the room. Your rug should be large enough that the front two feet of the sofa sit on it comfortably. And always paint last! With so many nuanced options, you’ll want to get it just right.

See more designs from Sarah Jacquelyn Interiors here.

Keep things Functional Yet Aesthetically Pleasing

When Centaur Interiors (CI) is designing a living room, the main focus is always function. No matter how beautiful a space is, if it isn’t functional for your every day life, then it’s simply not a good design.

Sure, aesthetics are important. Which is why CI often utilizes hidden storage and fully integrated AV systems with lighting and drapery controls. Everything looks clean and tidy on the surface yet is still functional.

It’s also important to make sure the space makes sense for your lifestyle. If you have kids or pets or entertain often, using luxurious yet durable fabrics (including outdoor fabrics) that live well and are easy to clean is highly important. Modular seating can be rearranged quickly and easily to accommodate parties/gatherings or just a cozy night in. And don’t forget about the power of intentional ambient lighting which can instantly transform a space and set the right mood.

See more designs from Centaur Interiors here.

Invest in High Quality Pieces that will Last

Too often we spend hours upon hours carefully curating and styling our homes; and we seem to forget that we’re supposed to actually live in these meticulously crafted spaces. Start living in your living room again with these few simple tips from Ligne Roset.

Make sure your furniture works for you. What do you really use your living room for? Lounging? Working from home? Entertaining? All of the above? Having functional and convertible furniture can help you do it all. Ligne Roset’s Plumy, designed by Annie Hiéronimus, is deceptively versatile. Plumy’s backrest and seat cushions fold out to create a chic chaise lounge. This plush sofa was inspired by the 1980’s and is constructed entirely of blocks of foam in varying densities.

Stay true to your personal style. Make your living room a place you enjoy spending time by incorporating your personal style. If you love color, don’t be shy; bring on the bold blues and vibrant yellows! Let the space be an extension of your personality and interests. Plumy is available in a multitude of colors, textures and patterns- there is sure to be hue that speaks to you. Every detail down to the backs of the cushions and zippers are able to be customized to your liking.

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Invest in pieces that will stand the test of time. Feel good about the furniture you fill your space with. When purchasing high-quality pieces you can be sure they will be with you for the long haul. Not only is well-crafted furniture more durable than it’s cheaper counterparts, but it’s also better for the environment- buying less equals less waste. Do good while living well with designs that are made to last.

Whether you’ve lived in your apartment for years or you’re just moving into a new place; remember your living room should be livable, because that’s what makes it feel like home.

Shop more from Ligne Roset here.

Get Creative and Push Yourself 10% Past Your Comfort Zone

When you are designing your living room, be real with yourself about what you plan to keep, what you love to do and how you want to use the space. Always incorporate the items you love into the scheme first and you can build the room with those things in mind. Think about the way you want the room to make you feel. For instance, maybe you want a room to relax and unwind in with a glass of wine and a good book or perhaps you want a bright cheery space to motivate you and entertain friends in. You can use things like color and print to achieve whatever vibe you are going for. In this case, the client wanted her mothers piano to be the starting point of the design so Jasmin Reese Interiors designed the whole room around it using rich colors that accentuated the beautiful wood piano. 

And stop obsessing about resale! Paint colors can be repainted. You live in the space and it can be a source of joy and pride when you make it uniquely your own. Try to always push yourself 10% past your comfort zone. If you commit to a bold color bring it onto the trim and crown in a different finish to really complete the look. Jasmin Reese Interiors always recommends bringing in experts to pick the color and finish. Do the research on your designer or contractor and once you’ve made the decision to hire a designer – trust their vision! They have done this before and there is a reason their work spoke to you and you chose them. Be clear about what you like and don’t like and trust them to guide you to create a space you will love for years to come.

Jasmin’s biggest piece of advice? Get creative! Why not wallpaper your ceiling? In this case the clients have very young children so the furniture will most likely be replaced in a couple of years where as the window treatments and the ceiling wallpaper are high-quality and will stand the test of time.

See more designs from Jasmin Reese Interiors here.

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