5 Choices to Make Before You Design Your Living Room
Planning a living space revamp? Don’t decide on décor until you’ve considered these key decisions
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If your living room redesign is part of a larger project, it’s worth considering whether you want it to be an element within an open-plan ground floor, or a separate, private room.
There are pros and cons to both – some homeowners love a connected space where everyone can be together, while others prefer to create a more intimate area away from the hubbub.
Can’t decide? The compromise pictured here might help. Chris Jones of Jones Associates Architects connected the living room to the open-plan area at the back with a sliding pocket door. The opening is large enough to create a connection between the spaces, but it can be closed when the owners want more privacy in the living room.
Tour the rest of this family home that was rejigged without being extended.
“We’d talked about putting a metal-framed glazed door in,” Sami says, “but when the owners saw the opening, they decided to keep it this way, as they loved the connection between the rooms.”
The beauty here is that they can add an internal door if they change their minds at a later date.
See more of this broken-plan space that feels light and connected.
Find local architects and building designers for your project.
It’s tempting to choose a large, L-shaped sofa to spread out on, but consider your options first. The type of sofa you choose will depend on the size and shape of the room, as well as your budget, of course.
It’s easy to assume you don’t have enough room for a corner sofa, but that’s not necessarily the case. In this small flat, the large grey sofa works perfectly.
The designers at WN Interiors have chosen a contemporary model with slim legs, which looks less bulky in the space. The corner section is ideal in the open-plan apartment, as it helps to separate the seating area from the kitchen-diner.
Visit this open and sociable flat with small-space solutions.
Here, the team at Otta Design have chosen a pair of sofas instead. The large one is spacious enough for a few people to lounge on, and the two-seater provides a perfectly centred extra seat.
Take a peek around this Edwardian semi that gained space and style.
The prominence of a TV screen is a very personal preference, with some loving a large monitor on full display on the wall and others hoping for a more concealed design.
A happy compromise is to leave your screen on show, but without drawing attention to it. Here, for instance, Bunny Turner of Turner Pocock has positioned the TV at the side of the fireplace in front of the inky blue walls. “Dark walls are very useful for hiding screens,” she says.
Discover how this Victorian terrace was given a modern twist.
The screen, cables and other additions are positioned inside the central cabinet. It can be opened when the owners want to watch a programme or film, and easily shut behind closed doors at other times.
Visit more of this tiny cottage given a vintage makeover.
For some homeowners, the coffee table is non-negotiable, for others it’s a nuisance. What’s true for most, though, is the need for some kind of surface near the sofa for a drink, book or bowl of popcorn.
Here’s an idea for those who prefer a central station, but are worried it will make the room look cluttered. “We replaced a big ottoman in the middle of the room with a glass and brass coffee table,” Beth Dadswell of Imperfect Interiors says. “It feels lighter in the small space.”
See how soft tones freshened this beautiful Georgian home.
In this living room, the owners didn’t feel they needed a central coffee table. “We chose some small side tables, which add to the fresh, uncluttered feel,” Jessica Preston of colour + shape says.
Take a look at this open-plan living area in a self-build home.
If you’re planning a full renovation and redecoration of your living room, now’s the time to think about lighting. It might be worth incorporating some wall lights or shelf lighting into your room to add a soft ambience.
However, if you want a more flexible lighting scheme, a few freestanding table lamps and floor lights could be a better alternative.
Wall lights can be a feature in their own right, or a subtle element that merges into the space. In this room, for example, Celine Erlam of Indie & Co has fitted discreet white wall lights that blend right into the white surface behind.
Visit the rest of this Victorian home with natural finishes.
Have you considered these key questions? What did you decide? Share your thoughts in the Comments section.