When decorating your living room, determine your decorating style—not your best friend's, your mom's, or your next-door neighbor's. Finding furniture, accessories, and colors that reflect you, your tastes, and your life story are key to a successful living room design because you'll end up with a room that you love to be in and that others love, too.
If you prefer posh cocktail parties to casual game nights, let it be shown in your living room decor. Your living space should be a room that you are comfortable in and accommodates the activities that will take place there.
Ask yourself, "What does my living room need?" Easy-to-move seating to accommodate extra guests and an army of cocktail tables for drinks and plates? Or how about plenty of storage for games, electronics, and DVDs? By factoring in the necessities, you'll make the room's design even more functional.
Just go for it. If you've always wanted a living room dressed in pink, or a gigantic gallery of photos on the wall, do it. If the idea seems a little out there, seek out inspiration from other living rooms done in a similar fashion to find looks to mimic.
One trick to a beautiful living room, no matter what your style, is layering. Place smooth textures on top of nubby ones, layer different colors of accessories together on a bookshelf, pair shades with curtain panels on your windows, or, like in this living room, place one rug on another. The larger sisal rug spans most of the living room, while the animal-hide rug serves to define the seating area.
To give your living room design panache, pay attention to the details. Whether you paint the ceiling, repeat a pattern or accent color, or simply edit out the superfluous items in the room, little details can bring about polish to your design.
To save money, look to what you already have. Use a few dishes from a set of dessert plates you no longer use as artwork. Repurpose pillows from a bedroom in your living room. Also, look to what other people have, or used to have, by shopping secondhand and thrift stores.
When you're buying accessories or smaller pieces of furniture, identify items that you can use several places within your home. What is a dining-room centerpiece for a dinner get-together one week can be a coffee table display in your living room the next week.
Try out a symmetrical design in a formal living room. Mentally divide the room in half at the room's focal point and plan a mirrored arrangement on both sides of the axis. Here, the dividing axis runs down the middle of the fireplace, where a window, lamp, armchair, end table, and even throw pillows are arranged to mirror the arrangement on the other side.
There's no hard and fast rule of where symmetry can be used or not used, but typically, an asymmetrical look is more relaxed.
Whether you choose asymmetrical or symmetrical, arranging furniture for easy conversation is ideal because guests and family can better enjoy each other's company. Evaluate the size of your room and the types and sizes of your furniture to determine the best arrangement. As you are arranging, sit in each spot to get a perspective on how it relates to the other seats in the room.
Above all, have fun with your living room design. Start with things that you like and look for ways to tie them altogether for a living room design that is perfect for you.