I am sure you have noticed how the concept of the “living room” has drastically changed over the past ten years and if you have not embraced the changes its time to jump in and enjoy! The days of creating elegant living rooms that are rarely” lived in” other than the occasional grown up cocktail party are long gone. We have learned that it is OK to use every room in our home and that it is acceptable for function to come before aesthetics. It doesn’t mean you have to compromise the aesthetics, it means that you can live your life and enjoy your living room in the process.
Recently I have noticed more and more of my clients looking for casual elegance in a livable space, almost like a compromise. So where do you start designing your ideal living room or renovating it? Begin with the layout, especially if you have never given it much thought or lived with the same furniture layout since you moved into your home. It is amazing how a fresh outlook on furniture placement can make even your old furniture look and feel better.
Decide what the functions of the room will be to fit your lifestyle; reading, areas to converse, television etc. The big decision these days is to flat screen or not flat screen LOL. If television watching is a main function in the room I have no problem keeping it out in the open. In the first room you can see how beautifully it can be designed into the molding plan. Having said that, most of my clients want to keep it on a secondary wall that is not as prominent or even cover it. Read more about how to disguise a flat screen in your living room here. The next decision I like to make is if there will be one main seating area or several. Shown to the left is an example of how simply this concept is achieved, a cozy area to converse and a separate area for reading (love the central light fixture when creating separate seating areas). Read more here on how to design multiple seating arrangements.
Creating casual elegance is not as easy as it sounds. One rule I follow is that the upholstery must be super comfortable. I really like Kincaid Funriture, custom select for a mid-priced line, Century Furniture for high-end and Rowe Furniture for budget with quality. Tip- Use painters blue tape to create the actual pieces on the floor, live with it a couple of days to see if you like the flow. Consider adding a couple of glam pieces like this mirror coffee table or turquoise beaded sconces to bring in the touch of elegance.
Window treatments and accessories can also add to the atmosphere you are trying to create. In contrast to the glam mirror coffee table above, here is a vintage rustic one coupled with elegant window treatments and a chic area rug to bring in a touch of elegance in a casual setting, love it!