After the bedroom, your living room is the place most people spend most of their time. It is also, where you are most likely to entertain guests and spend time with your family. Therefore, getting the look and feel of this room right is important.
The fact that this room gets such heavy use, and is used in so many different ways makes it particularly tricky to design Sometimes it is hard to get the balance right.
Plan the layout first
The best way to approach things is to sit down and note down the different ways you and your family currently use the living room, and are likely to do so in the future. Doing this will help you to identify what items of furniture you will need to fit into the space you have.
If you need to work in the living room or have a hobby you want to indulge in you will need to set aside a small corner of the room for a desk. You will also need access to plugs and may want to set up some sort of independent lighting for that area of the room.
Once you know what you need to fit into the room sign up for a free online virtual room design programme like this one. This will enable you to draw up a to-scale outline of the space that you have available.
You can then create outlines of the key pieces of furniture you will need to fit into the room, and move them around the floor plan to work out where to put everything. In some programmes, you can upload photos or add texture to each image, and see how it will look, in 3D.
These programmes are great, but for some the learning curve is steep. If you are not particularly tech minded, you can do this part of the design process using a paper template of your room and paper cut outs of the footprint of each piece of furniture.
Choosing the style of your room
Once you have worked out the basic layout of the room you can move onto the fun part, which is choosing your colour palette and finish. For this part, the first step is to get inspiration and see what you like. That means visiting sites like this and maybe buyin some interior design magazines to flick through.
When you see a living room that you like the look of, save that image. The idea is to start to put together a stylebook. After a few weeks of searching go through those images, and choose the look you want.
Realising your dream
This will naturally lead to the next stage, which is to choose your paints, fabrics, wall coverings, flooring, lighting and furniture. Once you have done that you are ready to go shopping for your oak laminate flooring, Scandinavian furniture and artwork.
The best approach is to identify everything you are going to need and go out and get samples. Add these to your stylebook. Onc you are sure that you can source everything that you want, it is the time to go out and physically make your purchases.