House Beautiful/Rachel Whiting
The living room is both a hub of activity where people come together and hang out, as well as a space to relax and switch off. Getting the balance right and making it work for you takes careful consideration, but the end result is definitely worth it.
To ensure your living room revamp goes smoothly, House Beautiful‘s resident interior designer, Andrew Griffiths, founder of interior design studio A New Day, has shared five things you should always do before designing this multifunctional room.
First, take note of which way your living room faces. ‘This will influence how you need to work with the natural light. A north-facing room that gets little or no direct sunlight has to be treated differently to a south-facing one in terms of the colours and overall feel of the space,’ Andrew explains.
Secondly, consider what time of day you mostly use the space. If you find yourself using your living room mostly in the evenings, Andrew suggests introducing colours, textures and detailing that will look great in lower light and contribute to an overall cosy feel.
Make a clear storage plan. ‘Be realistic about what needs to be stored in the room – particularly if you’re not a minimalist – then make sure to introduce enough storage to keep it neatly out of sight,’ Andrew says. ‘Have this in mind from the start rather than as an afterthought.’
Budget is a key consideration for any decorating project, however big or small, and when it comes to redesigning your living room, Andrew says you should allocate a decent amount of your budget for good flooring. ‘While you can often make lower-cost furniture or accessories look great, if you have a cheap-looking floor, it can really bring everything down,’ he says.
The last piece of advice: Shape a room that’s right for you. For many, the living room became an office, school and gym during the pandemic, so really think about how you use your living room now. Is it all about TV viewing? Or are you more likely to watch TV in bed and use the living room to entertain? Or is it a space for calm and quiet?
‘If your living room is also your office, look at how you can zone it to have a different feel when you’re at work to when you’re trying to relax and switch off,’ Andrew adds.
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