Lounge Rooms
The living room can be the pulsing centre of your home so think about how furniture provides a focus and how to integrate your home entertainment needs.

Formal or entertainment

What do you want from your living room and how many people use it?  Are you here for entertainment or do you want it to be a more formal space?

Most living rooms work well with a focal point and in the majority of cases, almost by default, this tends to be the TV. Before you renovate you have an opportunity to ask yourself whether this is that what you want. If you don't turn on the TV often, what about making the focal point special work of art or distinctive piece of furniture? 

If you are lucky enough to have a fireplace this might be a line-of-sight focus for other furniture and items in the room. 

Living Rooms










Fireplace


Consider painting the brickwork and tiles in a tone to contrast with the walls to highlight the feature or, alternatively, to blend with the wall colour for a more subtle effect.

If you use your fireplace keep it clean and above all, safe. Draw attention by hanging your best artwork or a large mirror over the hearth.

Make sure the mantelpiece does not simply become a parking space for knick-knacks and holiday souvenirs.

If you have an unused fireplace or an electric or gas fire and you're looking for amodern look, a collection of large candles will provide warmth, light and airy atmosphere. In summer, fresh flowers draw the eye.


Furniture

The sofa is likely to be the largest and most influential piece of furniture in the room. If you're looking to change the theme of the room, you don't always have to buy new furniture.

Scatter cushions can complement the room's theme through colours and textures. Single, large pillows are modern and minimalist, or a bunch of mixed colours and shapes can create a casual cosy feel.

Put a large throw rug or bedspread over the sofa to change its colour and texture.

A folded throw on the arms or centre back can disguise a dated shape.

Living Rooms








Accessories

Throw pillows are important highlights for lounge room dacor and can add splashes of bold colours to an otherwise muted colour scheme. They can add warmth and comfort to the space.

Floor rugs can be used to cover up unattractive areas of carpet and floors. They can also help define the seating areas of the room. In a large room they can enhance the feeling of welcome and hospitality.

Painting your walls in a neutral colour such as white or beige leaves more choice for defining the character of the room with furniture and furnishings.

Furnishings, curtains, blinds, cushions and padded seating can all be used to add colour, style and pattern to the room.

Living Rooms







Living room uses

Living rooms often serve as casual eating areas and occasionally as an office, playroom or media centre. If possible, it's best to separate these functions but if all the space has to be used, design accordingly.

Partition off part of the room to be uses as a dining area. Do some research on screens, especially elegant screens throughout Asia, some of which look so beautiful you'd hardly suspect them of actually doing a job, i.e. screening something.

If you work here, build sufficient storage to hold your work essentials.

If the room gets a lot of traffic, avoid placing furniture in areas that get used most. A large sofa blocking doors will become an irritant, so may a centrally placed coffee table.

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Electronic space

If your living room is also the home entertainment centre you need to factor this into the design, particularly if you have a widescreen TV and numerous speakers for your sound system.  Even bulky items can be screened, recessed and hidden away when not in use.

And don't forget the wiring needs. It's worth talking to a specialist in this area to make sure that you plan for the future by including your cabling requirements while you are renovating. Doing it later will be a lot more expensive and disruptive.

In the end, it's the balance that you can achieve between fashion, form and function that will determine the design's success. With thought and planning you should be able to create a space that is wonderfully pleasant to be in.

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