Furniture that is upholstered with fabric or leather is the most comfortable, but mixing in some non-upholstered furniture, such as a wooden arm chair or rocking chair, will create a more eclectic room. Seating can include:
Sofa (sectionals and modular sofas are versatile pieces)
Loveseat, chaise lounge, settee and chair-and-a-half (perfect balance for a sofa or use several instead of a sofa)
Armchairs (wooden or upholstered in fabric or leather)
Ottomans and benches (use as seating, foot rests, or coffee tables)
All seats should have arm-length access to a table surface for drinks, books, magazines, remotes, etc. Also, tables are a foundation for lamps and accessories.
Types to consider:
Coffee table or ottoman with a tray.
Side tables or end tables.
Consoles or sofa tables.
Task lamps (required for proper reading light in the room).
Ambient or general room lighting (this should be on a dimmer or adjustable so you can go from soft low-level to brighter for parties).
These should be in keeping with the theme or style of your living room furniture. Many custom fabric draperies will feature fabric that complements the upholstered pieces in the room.
Depending on the decorative and functional needs of your room, hard and soft window treatments can be used alone or in combination with each other. Hard window treatments include blinds, shutters, screens and specialty glass applications. Soft window treatments involve the use of fabric in draperies, curtains, shades and valances.
Color and Texture
Add color and texture to your living room with:
Wall treatments (paint, wallpaper, f aux finishes).
Fabric on your furniture or pillows.
Flooring or rugs.
Accessories and artwork.
Basics of color design include choosing monochromatic, analogous or complementary color palettes.
Many living rooms feature a fireplace as a built-in focal point of the room. However, this architectural feature is often ignored with poor furniture placement or by placing large items in front of the fireplace. If you have a fireplace, arrange your furniture with this focal point in mind. Placing your sofa or largest furniture piece so that it faces the fireplace is a traditional classic.
Most living rooms are comfortable spaces for family members to gather and watch their favorite television programs. Options for supporting and housing the television range for simple carts to elaborate armories and wall units with bookcases attached. As with any focal point, your furniture arrangement should focus around this entertainment center.
Views of Nature
Those who are lucky enough to have an incredible view from their living room windows should consider allowing nature to be the focal point of the room. In order for the outdoor view to be a focal point, the living room will require large windows, preferably floor to ceiling length. If privacy is not an issue, the windows can be left bare so the view is always on display (a cityscape view is especially nice at night).
Stimulating social interaction and conversation is vital for family members and for visitors as well. Therefore, creating a comfortable conversation area is probably the most important element in interior design for living rooms. This is easily accomplished by placing furniture near each other instead of having large distances between pieces. An arrangement of sofa and chairs in a U-shape or L-shape is a great start. A pair of chairs can be placed in a corner or off to one side for an additional conversation area.
Tie It in to the Home
Remember that no matter what type of living room your are designing, to keep it tied in with the rest of your home's design. A room out of keeping with the rest of the home's style can be jarring, so remember to work toward a unified look for both your living room and your whole house.
Partitions for Privacy
Partitions can be used to give a space a sense of privacy. A drawn curtain or decorative screen can be used for a sleeping and dressing area to separate it from a living area.
Dividing for Purpose
Quarters can make a home more relaxing. For example, if you are able to see your cluttered desk piled with work from your bed, it may be difficult for you to relax at night and get to sleep. A divider for this purpose can be made by hinging wooden panels together and painting them in a favorite color with a special picture or design.
StylesStyles can range from contemporary to international. A screen can add a decorative flair and reflect a theme. For example, a divider with an Asian design can set the theme for a room. A photo divider, similar to a collage picture frame, can make a statement sharing family memories through special photographs
Old window screens and windows can make dividers by hanging them from the ceiling with large chains. They can have pictures or designs painted on them to create a homier atmosphere
Dividers with three to four sections can be very portable for changing a room's arrangement and appearance. Attaching casters to the dividers can make rearranging an easier task.