10 Tips for Creating a Comfortable Living Room

written by:
September 3, 2013
A comfortable living space is about layers, creating conversational seating, and building a sensible room that’s both visually and functionally stimulating. A perfect living room teases and pleases the eye in a manner that feels edgy and fun while simultaneously catering to one’s need to pile up or curl in in the most casual way. Here, ten tips to help you on your way.
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  Tip #1Focus on the architecture first. If the envelope isn’t right, there’s no way you’ll ever get it furnished properly. Built-ins are a great trick for shoring up rooms into nice squares and rectangles. Follow the natural circulation of a space to understand how expanding or narrowing passages can create a more usable space as well. Study dead corners to figure out how you can utilize those spaces.Click here to view this entire house.Photo by: Drew Kelly  Photo by: Drew Kelly

    Tip #1

    Focus on the architecture first. If the envelope isn’t right, there’s no way you’ll ever get it furnished properly. Built-ins are a great trick for shoring up rooms into nice squares and rectangles. Follow the natural circulation of a space to understand how expanding or narrowing passages can create a more usable space as well. Study dead corners to figure out how you can utilize those spaces.

    Click here to view this entire house.

    Photo by: Drew Kelly

    Photo by: Drew Kelly

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  Tip #2Personally, I think circular seating arrangements are the most inviting. They ebb and flow so easily and I love centering a room on a central axis. This creates movement, access, great sight lines and, most importantly, conversational seating. A living room is about living, so make sure it acts as a good host!Click here to view this entire house.Photo by: Mark Mahaney  Photo by: Mark Mahaney

    Tip #2

    Personally, I think circular seating arrangements are the most inviting. They ebb and flow so easily and I love centering a room on a central axis. This creates movement, access, great sight lines and, most importantly, conversational seating. A living room is about living, so make sure it acts as a good host!

    Click here to view this entire house.

    Photo by: Mark Mahaney

    Photo by: Mark Mahaney

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  Tip #3Salon style art hanging is an easy trick for adding comfort and ridding yourself of clutter around the house. Choose a big wall and make a statement, then let the rest of the space breathe.Click here to view this entire house.Photo by: Alexi Hobbs  Photo by: Alexi Hobbs

    Tip #3

    Salon style art hanging is an easy trick for adding comfort and ridding yourself of clutter around the house. Choose a big wall and make a statement, then let the rest of the space breathe.

    Click here to view this entire house.

    Photo by: Alexi Hobbs

    Photo by: Alexi Hobbs

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  Tip #4Books create warmth in every space. They also show personality and add intrigue. Stack them, shelve them, sculpt with them—just make sure your living room has them by the dozen!Click here to view this entire house.Photo by: Kent Dayton  Photo by: Kent Dayton

    Tip #4

    Books create warmth in every space. They also show personality and add intrigue. Stack them, shelve them, sculpt with them—just make sure your living room has them by the dozen!

    Click here to view this entire house.

    Photo by: Kent Dayton

    Photo by: Kent Dayton

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  Tip #5DMc-style requires that every room must have at least one mirror. Period, no question. It’s about light. It’s about creating a window in the space. It’s about vanity. It’s about reflections. It begs a question. Find a stunning mirror that offers both reflection and visual interest, then pay close attention to how you can use it to expand your space, or even to make it feel more intimate by creating even the smallest “moment.” I love large scale mirrors in living rooms because they simply act as “doors” and “windows” that make the space feel so much larger. Over the fireplace, behind the sofa, wrap a corner—just be sure to pay attention to what’s being reflected and use that to your advantage!Click here to view this entire house.Photo by: Chris Tubbs  Photo by: Chris Tubbs

    Tip #5

    DMc-style requires that every room must have at least one mirror. Period, no question. It’s about light. It’s about creating a window in the space. It’s about vanity. It’s about reflections. It begs a question. Find a stunning mirror that offers both reflection and visual interest, then pay close attention to how you can use it to expand your space, or even to make it feel more intimate by creating even the smallest “moment.” I love large scale mirrors in living rooms because they simply act as “doors” and “windows” that make the space feel so much larger. Over the fireplace, behind the sofa, wrap a corner—just be sure to pay attention to what’s being reflected and use that to your advantage!

    Click here to view this entire house.

    Photo by: Chris Tubbs

    Photo by: Chris Tubbs

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  Tip #6Layers of light. Layers of light. Balance a central ceiling fixtures with wall washing art lights and a mix of lamplights all around. I love lamps. Big lamps on sofa sides are great. I also love large scale swing-arms on walls. Next to painting a room, adding the right lamp can create an instantly differentmood. Living rooms need different kinds of task lighting as well. Everyone forgets to drop reading lamps here and there. Assess your lamps and add, add, add.Click here to view this entire house.Photo by: Justin Fantl  Photo by: Justin Fantl

    Tip #6

    Layers of light. Layers of light. Balance a central ceiling fixtures with wall washing art lights and a mix of lamplights all around. I love lamps. Big lamps on sofa sides are great. I also love large scale swing-arms on walls. Next to painting a room, adding the right lamp can create an instantly differentmood. Living rooms need different kinds of task lighting as well. Everyone forgets to drop reading lamps here and there. Assess your lamps and add, add, add.

    Click here to view this entire house.

    Photo by: Justin Fantl

    Photo by: Justin Fantl

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  Tip #7Spend on rugs. A stunning carpet will transform your space (and your appreciation for fine living). You can go in a million directions on rugs, but be interesting. This is an opportunity to add a real sense of elegance to your living room. Don’t be boring. A bit of shimmer is great.Click here to view this entire house.Photo by: Floto + Warner  Photo by: Floto + Warner

    Tip #7

    Spend on rugs. A stunning carpet will transform your space (and your appreciation for fine living). You can go in a million directions on rugs, but be interesting. This is an opportunity to add a real sense of elegance to your living room. Don’t be boring. A bit of shimmer is great.

    Click here to view this entire house.

    Photo by: Floto + Warner

    Photo by: Floto + Warner

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  Tip #8Dressing the windows should really be Rule #2 in my book. Everyone stops before they properly treat windows. Draperies make every room feel more amazing—especially living rooms. Bedrooms are the next most important room for draperies. While they may be expensive, they’re also worth every penny. There are many affordable ways to treat your windows if the custom route is too daunting. Bottom line—do it. Clean Roman shades are always tasteful as well.Click here to view this entire house.Photo by: Dustin Aksland  Photo by: Dustin Aksland

    Tip #8

    Dressing the windows should really be Rule #2 in my book. Everyone stops before they properly treat windows. Draperies make every room feel more amazing—especially living rooms. Bedrooms are the next most important room for draperies. While they may be expensive, they’re also worth every penny. There are many affordable ways to treat your windows if the custom route is too daunting. Bottom line—do it. Clean Roman shades are always tasteful as well.

    Click here to view this entire house.

    Photo by: Dustin Aksland

    Photo by: Dustin Aksland

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  Tip #9Containing clutter in boxes, trays, baskets, built-ins or cabinets is as much about self-discipline as it is about good design. Assess your living room and askyourself what’s lying about that needs to go into a tray.Click here to view this entire house.Photo by: Roger Davies  Photo by: Roger DaviesCourtesy of: Justin Reid

    Tip #9

    Containing clutter in boxes, trays, baskets, built-ins or cabinets is as much about self-discipline as it is about good design. Assess your living room and askyourself what’s lying about that needs to go into a tray.

    Click here to view this entire house.

    Photo by: Roger Davies

    Photo by: Roger Davies

    Courtesy of: Justin Reid

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  Tip #10What’s your bold statement? Where is your personality shining through in your living room? Sometimes people try so hard to design a perfect space that they lose sight of the charming sense of “home” that comes from the “perfectly imperfect.” Living rooms have an inherent right to be semi-casual, if not all the way. Let yourself shine in this room. Be yourself. Find a bold moment and go for it!Click here to view this entire house.Photo by: Pia Ulin  Photo by: Pia Ulin

    Tip #10

    What’s your bold statement? Where is your personality shining through in your living room? Sometimes people try so hard to design a perfect space that they lose sight of the charming sense of “home” that comes from the “perfectly imperfect.” Living rooms have an inherent right to be semi-casual, if not all the way. Let yourself shine in this room. Be yourself. Find a bold moment and go for it!

    Click here to view this entire house.

    Photo by: Pia Ulin

    Photo by: Pia Ulin

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