deconstructed living room

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Are you redecorating your living room? Or perhaps you’re decorating your new living room for the first time? Regardless, here are a few crucial design tips to help you make your living room the most loved spot in your home.

Feel free to print out this graphic and check off each step or take notes as you go!

Step 1: Existing Resources
Whether you’re redecorating your living room for the tenth time, or decorating it for the first time in a new place, it’s important to take stock of everything you have.

Theme: First, determine a rough design theme, décor concept, or color scheme for your living room. Are you going for something light and airy? What about something more refined, with minimal color and a number of modern details? Or perhaps you’d like something more sumptuous, with lots of dark colors, leather furniture, and so on?

Furniture: What kind of furniture do you have available? Will it fit your theme? How many new pieces would you need to accomplish your desired design or decor theme?

Accessories and decorations: Maybe you own art pieces or accessories like lamps and rugs – do those fit with your ideal living room décor? If so, then include them, if not, then try to place them elsewhere in your home or replace them.

Budget: If you need to buy new furniture or accessories, what can you spend realistically? Or, if you’d like to add some decorative touches – new paint, wallpaper, a new TV, paintings – how much are you willing to spend?

Size: How much space do you have to work with? The smaller the space, the less creative freedom you will have – though you can still accomplish a great deal with a compact space.

Family: Is your family or partner on board with your decorative ideas? If not, then try to compromise.

Time: How long, roughly, will this decorative effort take? Do you have enough time for a quick makeover, or is this a longer-term project that requires more planning?

Step 2: The Future

Once you’ve established a budget, a time frame, and a design theme, it’s time to look towards the future.

Goal for the room: Is your living room going to be a family space – one where you expect your entire family to sit together after a long day to catch up?

Or is it going to be an entertainment room – one that’s packed with a large TV and an entertainment system. Or is it going to be a quiet space, one that’s meant for reading and talking?

Focal point: Once you establish a goal for the room, you can pick a focal point. The focal point will be the specific point within the room that pulls in all the attention. For example, if your living room is going to be a game or movie room, then the couches will be arranged around a TV, which might be positioned high up on a central wall.

Or, if you want the room to be for reading and talking, then you can arrange couches around a large central coffee table – one that’s perfect for arranging books, drinks, and snacks as a family converses with one another from the surrounding couches.

Storage: Make sure to incorporate storage into your living room. If the room is going to be used for reading and conversing mostly, then you’ll need plenty of table space and bookshelves/bookcases. If it’s going to be used for watching movies and playing video games, then you’ll need the proper space to store and display all of the visual and audio equipment.
Step 3: Start Decorating!

Remember, take stock of everything you have. If the items in your living room, or the items you brought to your new house (e.g. lighting, furniture, TV) fit your goals, theme, and design choices for the living room, then incorporate them. If not, then replace them.

Lighting: If you’re hoping to transform your living room into a reading room/study, then you’ll need plenty of lighting. Replace existing lights in the ceiling, add new lamps, and consider investing in some decorative, artistic lamps as well.

Furniture/seating: If you’re looking to make the living room a family room, then you’ll need plenty of seating. If the room will be primarily for reading and conversing, then you’ll need a number of large couches, all arranged in a way that encourages conversation. Or, if the room will be used for watching movies, then you’ll need seating that can be placed around a TV – you might want to invest in some reclining seats too!

Walls: Transforming your living room into a study? Then go with some dark paint choices – like burgundy – for the walls. Or, if you’re looking to create a space that can be used to greet and entertain guests, then go for something light and airy – paint your walls a lovely light blue, and add plenty of lighter colors (like throw pillows) around the room.

Added decoration: Consider investing in artwork (paintings, prints, small statues), or if you’re going for a more natural look, consider placing plants throughout the room.

Storage and table space: Coffee tables are a must, especially if you’re creating a space for your family to sit and converse over dinner, drinks, or light snacks. Consider investing in a large central table, or a series of side tables. Also, bookshelves are important, especially if you plan on using the space for reading and conversing.

Entertainment: Creating a movie den? A large TV, along with speakers, should be incorporated into the design of your room. If the TV will be a focal point, consider placing it high up on a wall, allowing for maximum viewing from all angles. Arrange the TV so it doesn’t receive any glare from nearby windows as well.

Accessories: Need a few extra touches? Consider adding in a nice rug, a coat stand, a toy chest for children, or anything else that might add a little extra life to the room.