What to Consider When Buying Your Living Room Furniture
There’s nothing like coming into a welcoming home after a long day. Your living room is an ideal place to kick back and relax. With furniture you love, this room becomes your personal retreat or a gathering spot for your loved ones. At Pottery Barn, we’ve gathered our top living room furniture tips to guide your decisions and make sure you’re absolutely in love with the space.
How to Choose the Right Size Sofa
Grab some paper and your favorite pen. It’s time to start planning your new project. Start by sketching a floor plan of your living room, including notations for windows, doorways and columns. Keep these architectural features in mind as you think about where to place each piece of furniture. Measure the floor along the perimeter of the room. Write the dimensions on the paper plan.
Your sofa is one of the most important pieces of furniture in the living room. It’s the first thing your guests notice and the spot where you likely spend your time. It’s also a focal point, along with your fireplace. Choose one that fits in the room without taking up too much space. Ideally, you have 18" of room between the sofa and the coffee table. You should also have about 3' between the sofa and other seats in the room, including chairs and love seats. Use the dimensions of the room to determine what size sofa fits best.
Pay Attention to What Happens in Your Living Room
Think about how you use your living room. Do you eat there? Is the room reserved for company and entertaining? What kinds of activities will you do in the room? The answers to questions like these help you narrow your choices. That way, you can zero in on pieces that look good and suit your lifestyle. If you use your living room only on special occasions, you might select more delicate pieces than you need in a room where you spend a considerable amount of time. Likewise, if your living room doubles as a home theater for your family or closest friends, choose comfortable furniture with plenty of seating, like a generous sectional.
The way you live in your living room also influences how you select furniture fabric. Fabric sofas come in a variety of colors and patterns. The designs can make them easily blend in with the room’s decor. However, you’ll want one that holds up under the demands of your lifestyle. Tightly woven cotton and linen are strong fabrics that are easy to treat with a stain protector. Microfiber resists stains and tends to be easier to clean. Leather gives furniture a durable finish and adds a touch of rich, earthy tones to the room. Animal hair doesn’t stick to leather, making it a popular choice for pet owners. Velvet and silk are beautiful, elegant options. However, they’re not suited to high-traffic areas.
Note the Flow of Traffic Through the Room
Take a look at your paper floor plan again. Identify the room’s focal point. It may be a fireplace, a television or even a picture window with a fabulous view. Then mark how people enter and leave the room. Ideally, the furniture gives guests a view of the focal point. At the same time, it should encourage a natural flow of movement through the room. A sectional gives you plenty of space for everyone to sit. However, it may not be a practical choice if the only spot you have for it blocks the hallway leading to the kitchen. In that situation, two love seats may be a better option. You can separate them to create walking space. Likewise, think carefully about how many side tables you need so everyone has a flat surface nearby.
How to Choose Furniture Colors for the Living Room
When choosing wall paint or furniture colors for your living room, take a cue from the colors you use in adjoining rooms. This is especially important if you have an open floor plan. The colors don’t have to match. However, it’ll look best if they coordinate. One option is to stick with neutral walls and pick furniture in bold accent colors.
Alternatively, a monochromatic color scheme with neutral shades on the furniture creates a serene atmosphere. You can then add accent colors with rugs, throw pillows and other accessories. Light shades open up the space. Just remember to go for a fabric that’s easy to clean if you have pets and children. Dark colors are dramatic, but they can over power the room if it’s smaller.
How to Choose Furniture for a Small Living Room
Decorating a petite living room with furniture for small spaces can be easier than decorating a larger space. After all, there’s less room to fill. The key is to pay close attention to the dimensions of the room. Find furniture that fits within the space. Instead of a traditional full-sized sofa, consider a love seat or put together two end tables to form a coffee table. Look for pieces that serve multiple purposes, such as a coffee table with built-in storage or ottomans that work as chairs and tables. To give the room the illusion of more space, try raised sofas and chairs. Stick to rugs and accent pillows with small prints and a neutral color palette.
With these design tips in mind, it’s easy to transform your living room into a haven that’s practical and relaxaing.