The living room is the focal point of a home, so getting its setup right is important. As a family, you come together in the living room to communicate and interact with each other. It is where you watch television together, play games and spend quality time with each other after a long day of work and/or studying. It is vital to consider, therefore, what goes into making the ideal living room. What furnishings do you need, and what colors suit the space best? What kind of material should you put on the floors? How much light does the area have, and does it need more or less? 

The television set is typically the center point of your living rooms. As home entertainment options have multiplied in the digital age, some younger family members may have gravitated away from the TV, but for Mom and Dad, at least, the television remains an important feature that they will spend a lot of time in front of. With that in mind, the setup of any living room must take the television set into account, so there would be no point in having chairs or the sofa facing away from the TV. At the same time, you will not want to position the television where it will be reflecting the glare from sunlight. In this era of flat-screen technology, the aesthetics of television design have improved significantly, so you need not worry about some hulking mass of a set that undermines the style of your space by its very presence. 

Have a plan

If you are designing a living room setup for the first time or considering a makeover, then the first step is to draw up a plan. What do you want to achieve, and what is your timeframe for doing so? A key element is your budget. How much money that you have to spend will determine how much you can add to the area once the essentials are placed. Of course, working on a tight budget does not necessarily stop you from buying those extras that make the perfect room. Have a look in your local consignment stores or online for items that other people no longer want but might be perfect for your space. 

The basics

Invest in a good-quality sofa. You will want something that is both functional and lasting. Style preferences are another factor to take into account, but within reason. A single person living alone can invest in a beautiful white sofa safe in the knowledge that he or she is going to be able to keep it clean. A family with young children would be better to avoid white as a color for obvious reasons. This is not to say that a child-friendly sofa has to be boring. A vibrantly colored sofa with complementary patterns is a great for hiding spills and adds a sense of bold design to your space. If you prefer a deeper shade of sofa upholstering, then other parts of the room can be decorated in a bolder style to give a sense of contrast. 

Lighting up

Lighting in any room is a key consideration in its design, and the living space is no exception. 

Natural light should not be overlooked. Think about where your living area is positioned in respect to the trajectory of the sun. In that way, you can begin to think about how best to harness the sunlight to its maximum effect. If the roof space opens into the outdoors, then the installation of a roof light can help. Think about your walls, furnishings and floors. Do they help maximize the sun or hinder it? For example, lighter-colored window frames will better assist how well the light is reflected into the rest of the room.  

Referring again to windows, if you think that there is too much light entering the room or you just want some additional privacy then why not consider investing in a solution? For instance, if you have a large bay window that opens toward the outside, then bay window shutters would be ideal for minimizing light, lowering the level of noise and stopping nosy neighbors from snooping, if that is an issue. 

Other factors

Rugs can play a big part in making a living room the perfect space. Do not be afraid to go for an oversized rug because it will actually have the effect of making the area look bigger than it is. The color and pattern of the rug should be a match for your overall design scheme. A coffee table can serve as a focal point for or a contrast to other elements of the room. Mirrors and art can help complement your walls. Something quirky and unusual hanging on the living room wall can become a real conversation piece when guests come calling. Something that is personal to you can add a real sense of character to a room and help make it feel like the center of family life that it is meant to be. A personal item can be something such as a family portrait or an heirloom passed down from generation to generation.

Whatever accessories you choose, ensure that they are out of young children’s reach. At the same time, do not make your living room a child-free zone. A welcoming area for all family members is a space in which people can bond. Have part of the room relatively free of furniture, in which children can play while still feeling like they are part of a larger group. Install some color-filled storage solutions for the kids and buy a couple of child-sized chairs. Ensuring that the living room is a space for all the family does not have to mean clutter, and it makes sense to keep an area relatively free of this when every item has a purpose. Otherwise, the area can start to feel too lived-in and off-putting. 

Get the layout of your living room right, and you will have a welcoming space where family members will want to spend quality time together and guests will feel at home.

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