When you furnish the main living room in the house, you usually create one of two distinct looks.
It’s either a room that really is only for the family’s use – the place that you all crash at the end of the day, or at the weekend to watch a football game, or maybe have a movie night. The kids have a collection of toys in there and depending on how old they are, there might be some semi-permanent features in place such as a doll’s house or play tent.
On the other hand, it may be the space that you welcome visitors into, where it’s neat and tidy, and can function as a reception room at a moment’s notice.
The furniture and décor of the room will very much depend on which of these scenarios sounds more relevant to your household.
If yours has more of the ‘cosy camp’ feel about it, you’re likely to have a big modular or sectional sofa that you all curl up on together. Maybe there’s even room for the dog! You’ve got plenty of throws over the back of the sofa so you can snuggle up when the kids come down in their PJs, and when you’re tidying up, you’ll inevitably find a scattering of popcorn that’s worked its way underneath or down the back of the cushions!
But it is possible to have that warm and relaxed feel for the majority of the time, and still be able to quickly transform the room into a space where you can invite your work colleagues for drinks after work. You just need to be a little bit creative with how you furnish it.
Are you sitting comfortably?
While a modular might suit the family, it’s not always the best seating arrangement when you have company over – especially if you don’t know them that well. Sectionals can feel a little too close for comfort with some people! You don’t need to lose the intimacy of the family sofa, though. Simply choose a sectional that leaves you extra room for a couple of individual chairs, where a guest can have a little more personal space if they so choose. Italian furniture website Vivendo has some beautiful upholstered lounge chairs, crafted from natural ash, which would make a beautiful addition to any contemporary living room. They’re also stackable, so can be placed out of the way when you want more space.
Hide the clutter
Once you’ve got the seating sorted, think about storage. Many modular sofas have storage under the seats, which is great for stowing things like blankets and extra cushions. If the kids’ toys need to stay in the room as it’s their place to play during the daytime, then get some shelving with deep baskets on the bottom layer, where everything can be swept into when necessary. Use the upper shelves to display books and family photos, which give your guests a glimpse into your private life without feeling that they’re intruding.
Change the mood with lighting
As for the colour scheme, it’s probably safest to choose neutral colors for the walls and flooring. You can add bold colour splashes with your drapes or maybe the pictures that you hang on the walls. Clever use of lighting can allow you to transform the atmosphere of a living room – with just a few side lamps on when it’s you and the kids watching a movie, or using the main lights and turning up the dimmer switch when you’re entertaining and you want the room to appear lighter and brighter.
If you need a living room to be both a relaxed and at other times a more formal space, it’s perfectly possible. You just have to choose the right furniture and have a few storage and lighting tricks up your sleeve!