Your living room should be decorated in your own personal style, not that of a decorator. The living room is usually the first room that your guests see so it is usually a little more formal than the rest of your home. It should also reflect the style preferences of your family members.
There are many decorating styles that you can choose from. The most popular are traditional, country, contemporary, and transitional. You probably prefer one style over another. If you don’t think that you have a style preference, look through some magazines and catalogs to see which ones you like. While you are looking, also look to see which color schemes you like best.
When I decorate a room, I try to mix and match furniture. I do not like to purchase furniture as a suite. I believe that this makes the room look boring and unwelcoming.
For instance, if you like the traditional style, choose pieces of furniture that can build that look for you. By choosing furniture a piece at a time, you will come up with a unique look that is all your own. Use your ingenuity and imagination to create a rare look that reflects your own style. This can be easily done on a limited budget.
Let’s talk about some of the different styles:
Traditional decorating covers many periods and can include furniture designs from the very elegant to those of the more simple American tradition. You can find good reproductions that look as beautiful as the hard-to-find antiques.
Accessories are more elaborate. Portraits and paintings have double matting with carved or gilded frames. Tables are made of dark wood and have a good number of accessories and floral arrangements. Lighting in the room emphasizes the warmth and richness of the furnishings.
Country decorating is informal and cozy. It can be more romantic, like an English cottage, or spare like a Shaker farmhouse.
Antique furniture is usually handcrafted and fabrics are plaid, tweeds and prints. Accents include quilts, old toys and dried flowers.
A contemporary style is more dramatic. The furniture is usually low profile and sleek. Simplicity is key in a contemporary living room. Low furniture arrangements are used to give the room and open and uncrowded feeling.
Room accessories usually include one-of-a-kind art pieces that are dramatic and colorful. Indirect lighting is deflected from the ceiling and walls and can add to the drama of the contemporary living room.
Transitional decorating brings furnishings from different eras together. This creates a room with a unique flair and is usually not limited to just one style. Window treatments are more simple, and often, window treatments are not used at all. Furniture is larger and has simple, straight lines to compliment smaller pieces that have soft, curved lines.
Room accessories are limited to just a few outstanding pieces. Use recessed lighting to keep it low key and to feature architectural fixtures for drama.
Whether you are decorating the entire living room, or simply just sprucing it up, you need to start with a plan. Get your inspiration from books and magazines and by visiting different high-end furniture stores. Decide on your basic style and color scheme and go for it!