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How to plan the design and layout of your Living Room

When planning the layout of your living room the best and most tried and tested place to start is with a piece of graph paper. Measure your living room taking particular care to accurately place windows, sockets and doors (including the way they open and how far). Then measure any furniture you are going to keep and cut out the shapes, again measured to scale, on a another piece of paper so that you can move them around easily.

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Consider what is the focal point of the room. Is it a fireplace or perhaps a view out of a window? The TV can be incorporated in to the focal point (eg. above a fireplace) but should not dominate, although it does need to be positioned so it can be viewed comfortably. All sofas and chairs so then point towards this focal point. The focal point needs to draw your eye when you enter the room so it may need a little help such as paint or wallpaper to create a "feature" wall (see our article Accent Colours and Feature Walls for ideas and advice ) or perhaps a painting, mirror etc. By definition it needs to stand out and differentiate itself from the rest of the room. 

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Arranging sofas and chairs will of course depend on the size of your living room and how many people you need to seat on a regular basis. If your room is large enough you can have 3 sofas in a "U" shapes. Alternatively, consider replacing one of the sofas with 2 armchairs. Sofas do not always need to be at right angles, they can simply face each other or even be across a corner (although this should only be if your have space to spare!). Modular sofas are perfect for utilising space to the maximum as well as creating a contemporary look. Just remember bringing sofas together adds a cosiness, ideal for entertaining. Do not be tempted to push all your furniture to the back of the room against walls as this can make your living room seem disjointed and rather than make it look larger it can often have the opposite effect. 

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A very important fact to consider carefully when planning the layout and design is you need to have lighting in every part of the room. Look at where the primary light source is coming from and consider the light in the room at different times of day. Then link this to the functionality of the room which again may differ from daytime to evening. A central light fitting can create a dramatic effect but you still do not want to leave any dark corners. Consider plugging in uplighters behind a sofa or table lamps are an excellent way of throwing soft light in to a corner as well as being practical for reading as an excellent ways of adding a designer accessory. You may like to read our post "Lighting Matters" for more detailed advice on lighting design.

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You also need to consider movement around the room. This means a clear path from the door to the sofas, movement around a coffee table and between sofas. When designing a living room this is often sketched out first before drawing up the position of the furniture to scale. Leave a minimum of 75cm around furnishings as a walkway and around 50-70cm between a sofa and a coffee table.

Most importantly keep rooms free from clutter. See the article on "Organising Shelving and Bookcases" for ideas on this. Any item on view needs to be placed there for a reason, mainly decorative. Practical storage for magazines etc should be out of sight.

Use accessories to add interest such as this large floral display or use an accent colour or an individual chair in a contrasting colour will add interest without being overpowering.

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In terms of a colour scheme use a maximum of 2 colours that are complimentary such as taupe and oatmeal or light and dark shades of the same colour. Then use an accent colour for your accessories. This should compliment your personality, so bold colours such as bright reds, oranges, blues and greens if you are outgoing and perhaps more muted tones, mulberry, aubergine or even black if you prefer a less dramatic effect. For more detailed information see the article

"How to choose a colour scheme for your home" if you are unsure of where to start and the article "Accent Colours and Feature Walls" will give you lots of ideas and inspiration.

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Patterns should be either on sofas or curtains not on both! As mentioned earlier a feature wall works well and can link in with the fabric pattern used for curtains and sofas. My preference is to mix together different textured fabrics such as linen, velvet or crushed velvet in a single colour which then allows for the use of fabulous cushions as accessories. Reflective surfaces such as metallics and glass also add interest to a room especially with subdued lighting. This can transform a room from a daytime look to an evening one perfect for entertaining or simply relaxing.

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At Kizme we sell a wide range of products from bespoke upholstery to accessories for the home and garden. Click on the links below for more details:

Statement Furniture



If you liked this article please follow me on Facebook and Twitter for more updates. Thank you for reading and happy designing!

Lesley Lawrence for Kizme





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