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6 Things Every Living Room Needs According to Interior Designers

June 12, 2024

6 Things Every Living Room Needs According to Interior Designers

The living room is one of the most important rooms in the home. It’s where we gather with friends and family, catch up on our reading (or streaming), and just relax. A living room's design should be inviting and cozy—but that involves a bit more than just finding a super comfy couch. Designing a beautiful and comfortable living room is about balancing both large and small touches to create a warm and cohesive ambiance. Here are six things every living room needs, according to interior designers.

A Focal Point

The Best Focal Points For Your Design Scheme

Designers Shawn and Tina Taylor of Dacotah Studio tell me that every well-designed living room needs a focal point. “Whether it's a stunning piece of furniture or a captivating piece of artwork, this focal point draws the eye and anchors the room, giving it a sense of purpose and cohesion,” Shawn Taylor says.

However, the focal point should not be a television according to interior designer Barrett Cooke of Arterberry Cooke. “A focal is not a television," she says. "It should be either a fireplace or a nice piece of art that lets the room be more than a space for watching television.”

A Color Story

Choosing a Color Scheme: 60-30-10 Rule

The Taylors say a color story is crucial for a properly decorated living room. “Follow the 60-30-10 rule to create the perfect balance," Tina Taylor says. "60 percent of a dominant color, 30 percent of a secondary color, and 10 percent of an accent shade.”

That 60 percent may be the color of your walls or sofa, the 30 percent could be your curtains or rug, and the remaining 10 could be smaller accent pieces or decor items.

A Variety Of Seating

Top 10 Accent Chair Living Room Ideas to Transform Your Space - Decorilla  Online Interior Design

While your living room needs a primary form of seating, like a sofa or sectional, additional options are also a must-have. “Whether it's a sofa, sectional, or a combination of chairs and ottomans, it should invite relaxation and conversation,” Shawn Taylor says. 

Interior designer Francesca Grace of Francesca Grace Home explains that a variety of seating not only adds visual interest, but also gives your guests more choices, so they can make themselves feel at home in your space. 

A Rug

18 Living Room Rug Ideas That Will Tie the Whole Space Together

Rugs not only anchor and define the seating area in a living room but also create a soft touch underfoot. “A cozy rug is essential for every living room, as it’s the room you’re going to spend most of your time gathering in," Grace says. "You want this space to feel luxurious and warm. I like to use a high-pile rug in the living room just for that added extra coziness."

Remember to measure (more than once) and make sure your rug is more than big enough to fit your sofa and coffee table. 

Good Lighting

14 Living Room Lighting Ideas to Create the Right Mood

Even if your living room space has a generous amount of natural light, you still need additional lighting, especially if you use the space at night. “Adequate lighting is also crucial for both functionality and ambiance," Tina Taylor says. "Incorporating a mix of overhead lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting allows for flexibility in setting the mood and highlighting key elements of the room." So, don’t be afraid to consider everything from lamps to sconces and chandeliers. 

Personal Touches

Five Easy Ways To Add A Personal Touch To Your Home - MY UNIQUE HOME

A living room is for living. It's not a showroom. So, the Taylors suggest adding personal touches to make the space feel like your own, such as artwork, decorative objects, and plants.

Grace particularly likes candles. “[Candles are] an essential for every room in my opinion, but if you’re going to have them anywhere in your house, the living room is a great place for them," she says. "I filled my faux fireplace with tons of pillar candles and I love coming home after work, lighting them all, and curling up on the couch. It warms up the whole space and creates such a romantic environment without the hassle of a real fireplace.”


Source: Real Simple, Amanda Lauren

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