Creating a balanced living room

When done properly, a living room can be the heart of the home. Here we look at a few things to consider when reaching for the design you’ve always wanted.

When it comes to design, the living room is perhaps the most important area to get right. This is where you and your family will come together each day to catch up and to hang out. Setting up the room in a balanced way will help foster an atmosphere that lends itself to spending quality time with your loved ones.


The first place to start when trying to transform your living room into the homely, community space that you’ve always wanted is to focus on decluttering. Most of us simply have too many things, collected here and there over the years, and now they’re populating every nook and cranny of our homes. By streamlining the objects in your living room, you’re adding a layer of intention to every piece that you choose to keep. You don’t have to throw away too much. Instead you can donate some things while storing others in a different area of your home. This isn’t about minimalism either, it’s about finding a balance that suits you. So trust your judgement and consider how many items you need as you declutter.


Light and air are two things that we simply cannot live without. Yet we often exclude them from homes. Pulling back the curtains and moving furniture to allow natural light in will create a sense of life in your living room. When possible, open windows to allow air to flow in and out of the room. Many rooms can feel somewhat stagnant and this is often due to a lack of airflow. The motion of air through the room can act as a reminder of the world beyond the four walls and that any stresses we may have will come and go as easily as the air flows. Similarly, seeing the light create different shadows in the living room as the sun moves across the sky, can remind us that time is passing and helps us to ground ourselves.


Colours can have a dramatic impact on the mood of a room. The colour you choose is ultimately up to you. However, consider it carefully. What kind of living room are you trying to put together? Is it warm and cosy? Or is it light and bright? Everyone has their own preferences and that’s completely allowed! Simply bear colour in mind when approaching your living room design. Tie it in as closely as possible with the mood that you’re aiming for and you’ll find that the whole room will feel a lot more congruent.


The sense of smell is a powerful one and it should be taken into account when trying to generate a specific atmosphere for your living room. Again, it’s mostly up to personal preference but some care should be taken to ensure that it’s in line with the overall feel that you’re going for. Scent is an exciting aspect to experiment and play with. Don’t be afraid to change things up – trust your judgement. Candles, incense and aromatherapy oil diffusers are all great ways to introduce beautiful smells into your living room. Also, be sure to take the necessary precautions when it comes to having a naked flame in your home.


Another straightforward technique to attract each member of the family to the living room, and to produce the kind of vibe that you’re looking for, is to have a comfortable seat for everyone. You can mix and match (there doesn’t have to be rigid, assigned seating) but it’s nice for all the family to feel that the living room is a place where they can sit back and relax.

When it comes to arranging the furniture, consider doing so in a way that encourages conversation. Centre the seats around a focal point such as a coffee table or a rug and maintain space between them so the room doesn’t begin to feel cramped.


Introduce plenty of plants into your living room to add a natural element. We are all living beings after all and spending time around plants does wonders for us. Plants are often an exception to the cluttering rule. They don’t necessarily have to be limited in number or placed in an ordered arrangement. Take your time and place them where instinct tells you. Of course, pay attention to what they need when it comes to light and shade. The feeling of life that is brought in by a collection of plants is unmatched and will add to the vibrant, alive nature of your living room.


To really set this room off, invest in some pieces of art. These don’t have to be expensive at all. What’s more important is that they fit the dynamic that you’re trying to create and add to it. This can be a tricky part of the process – it’s difficult to imagine a piece of art in your living room before placing it on the wall. You’ll find your way with it and, when you get it right, it will truly complete the space.

When it comes to putting together the living room of your dreams, don’t overcomplicate it. Less is often more, and a few well thought out and intentional additions will have a big impact. Once all the hard work is done, gather your loved ones, find your seats and relax as you chat the night away!


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