Whenever a designer is commissioned to decorate a space such as the living room, it is important that the whole process of arranging furniture, accessories and lighting is undertaken with particular care and eye for the client’s personality traits. To achieve something spectacular that can keep true to the family who lives in the space, there are three basic principles to follow: function, mood and personality.
In design and decorating, what you do has to work as well as being appealing, so it is better to take into consideration the elements you will have to combine one by one. First of all, you should always create a focal point, even though this is usually already there such as a fireplace, a TV/media set or a bay window. If the room doesn’t have a clear focal point, create one with a bookshelf or a statement piece of art.
Secondly, you should work out if the furniture you already have or that you intend to use, satisfies the functions that you have planned for the room. This means you need to check the size of each piece and, for example, if you have chosen a colorful ottoman to inject the space with quirkiness, make sure it actually does the trick.
In terms of lighting, you should always understand the function of the light you want to have, either direct lighting from a lamp or indirect lights that simply brighten the room for conversation or watching TV. With accent lighting — floor spots, track lighting or recessed spotlights — you can enhance texture, color and room details for example.
When it comes down to arranging the furniture, draw your graph on paper, measuring and marking electrical outlets and switches, vents, windows and doors. Balance high with low pieces as well as heavy and light ones.
If you don’t want to get lost in the huge variety of options in terms of colors and style, establishing a theme through the selection of an inspirational piece can help you with narrowing down your choice and creating a uniform space.
The inspirational piece could be anything, from a pillow to a rug and it will be the basis for your decoration, on a theme, fabric, texture and color scheme point of view. For instance, if your inspirational piece is a lamp with a golden leaf stand, your theme could go ‘golden botanical’ or baroque.
After choosing your theme, you should think about colors, usually it is a combination of three: a dominant color, used for walls, carpeting and fabric backgrounds; a secondary color, for fabrics and accessories; and an accent color, used sparingly to give energy to the room. With colors come patterns: stripes, checks, florals and plaids are just a few to consider as you continue supporting your theme. It’s all right to mix patterns as long as you keep the background color the same, make sure all patterns share the same colors and vary the scale or sizes of the patterns.
Finally, you should also look at the texture; too much of the same feel is boring, so use a variety of smooth/shiny/rustic to keep it interesting.
As well as the family’s personality, you should be able to put your stamp on the room you are decorating. Accessorize with pictures, vases, pillows and area rugs, play with whimsy as following guidelines too strictly could create a sterile effect. Finally, dare with the unexpected.