Living room decorating ideas that help you express your unique lifestyle, design preferences and personality can be a fun, inspiring and adventurous learning experience, if you know the basics. So...here they are!
What mood do you want to create?
Most of us have some idea in our mind of what we want the living room to look like when it is completed.
Write down your living room decorating ideas and thoughts, using descriptive words and phrases such as 'fun and colorful', 'elegant and formal', casual, rustic, calm, bold and exciting, soft and feminine, etc.
There is no right or wrong answer and for this exercise, & don't be concerned about your budget. The more descriptive you can be with this list, the more helpful you will find it as you create your room design.
Along with the mood you are creating, there is probably a style that correlates to it. For example, if the mood is casual and rustic, the design may be 'Lodge Style'; if you are after the soft and feminine look, your design style might be 'Shabby Chic'.
It isn't absolutely necessary to give a name to the style, but it sure is helpful to have a direction, such as 'contemporary, traditional, cottage, and the like.
If you don't know what name to give your style, or if you want to confirm you are going in the 'right' style direction as well as generate more living room decorating ideas, read about Interior Decorating Styles.
What is the size & shape of the room?
It's important to create your living room decor plan within the framework of the overall size and shape of the room. Small living rooms should be furnished with pieces of a similar scale, and, depending on the style you are after, with lighter colors on the walls, as this will help to create a larger feel to the space.
If you are decorating a very large room, the furniture and accessories can be of a similar scale.
Bay windows, curved/angles walls, multi-purpose rooms such as Great Rooms, all play a role in your design plan. So, make note of these two important factors and add them to your list. (You are writing all this down, right?)
What elements are already in the room?
What are you working with as you develop your living room decorating ideas?
Also note if these elements will be remaining as is, or you will be changing them. For example, if you are planning on removing the carpet and installing a wood floor, that will change the overall look and feel of the room. But you already knew that!
What is the color scheme?
If you are starting with an empty room that has white walls, you are able to create your living room decorating ideas from square one. Some people find that situation a little overwhelming, but if you have given some thought to the first two questions, they usually lead into some type of color scheme.
Refer back to the file of magazine pictures you set aside and see if there are some recurring colors...you probably favor those!
Need some help with the color palette? Read more about color and how to incorporate it into your decorating and design.
If you are working with any existing furniture in this room, and/or there are other rooms in your home that have been decorated previously, you'll want to take into consideration the colors used in those rooms. Ideally, you want to tie the rooms in your home together using color, and also style to a point.
In any event, select two or three colors that will be your main color palette, and then one or two accent colors.
If you can find a piece of fabric that has these colors, perhaps paint chips, or anything to give you a visual, by all means use them. It makes your living room decorating ideas and decisions so much easier when you have this reference. Put your 'color cheaters' with your list.
What is the focal point?
Just about every room has a focal point. That is the area of the room that has the maximum visual impact. It may be a beautiful view out a window, a magnificent fireplace, a dramatic wall, an entertainment unit that includes the TV, etc.
Look around your living room and identify the focal point(s). There may be more than one, which is fine. You will put this bit of decorating wisdom into play when you arrange the furniture in this room.
If you have a traditional living room configuration with sofa and chairs, place them so that people sitting on them can see the focal point(s).
This may mean placing these pieces at an angle and not against the wall. That's a good thing, as it helps to create warmth and interest in the space.
Here are couple of other points to consider as you are developing your living room decorating ideas. First, pay attention to the natural light that you do, or don't, have in the room.
If there is a lot of natural light you can safely use bold colors on the walls if you choose, and they will look great. Rooms with less natural light may ultimately look their best with light to medium-light shades on the walls.
Finally, whatever decorating ideas you develop, make sure they are your own expression of what you enjoy living with day to day.
The magazine and online pictures can be beautiful to gaze upon, but remember to consider everything we have discussed to this point, as well as your lifestyle, and you will make good choices.
Have fun with your newly created living room!