The first step when lighting any room is to ask yourself: what happens here? Different activities require different types and levels of light. A well-lit living room will have three different types of lighting: general, task and accent. These are used at different times of day and for different purposes, and key to a functional lighting scheme it to know how and when to mix and use them. Not all homes have a ceiling fitting in the living room, and if you have lots of natural light during the day, you might not need overhead light at all. But if you have the fitting, a central pendant or chandelier helps to zone the space and create a focus. Similarly, potlights or angled spotlights will create a even layer of overhead lighting. In the absence of any overhead lights, a large, arced floor lamp will do the trick.
If you have an odd shaped room with irregular angles or alcoves, you can use these unique features to your advantage by highlighting them with interesting furniture or decor. A bookcase or some shelves can fit nicely into an alcove to display your books or other knick knacks attractively whilst making the most out of the space. Sharp angled corners can be visually softened to appear less harsh looking with the help of something circular or spherical, like a circular coffee table or a spherical sculpture of some sort. If you have a tight corner, try to de-clutter the layout to make the corner less heavy on the eyes. Aim to minimise the clutter in certain spaces, and add clutter in others. Much like using contouring cosmetics to sculpt someone's face in order to highlight their best facial features and distract from their less flattering, you want to be thinking about your living room in the same way.
If you want an intimate seating arrangement that allows your family or guests to converse with one another comfortably, keep the seating positions within an 8ft radius to ensure a natural distance (and volume!) between people for conversation. There should be an obvious surface that is easy to reach from every seat in the living room, in the way of side tables or a coffee table or both! Nothing's worse than sitting down in somebody else's home not knowing where to put down your cup of coffee. Just make sure that there is sufficient leg room when you have a centre coffee table. In the diagrams above, these simple living room furniture layouts show different ways that you can arrange furniture in context to where the room's entrance or entrances may be. A living room should welcome you in from the moment you step foot through the door, so ponder on that as you arrange your furniture. If you arrange your living room furniture asymmetrically, your living room will feel a lot more casual.
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