Consult your mood, ask yourself if this color palette will make you happy. "This is really and truly the most important question," says Han, "and it's a gut response." Baron agrees. "It's always a good idea to start by thinking about colors that make you happy." So don't over think it. Pick a wall color, now that you've selected your inspiration piece, decide which of its colors might look good on your walls. Pick up free paint color samples from any paint store and tape them to your walls. Experiment with different shades of your original color selection. "Remember, your favorite color comes in many different shades," says designer Sophia Stone of Chateau Sophie in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. "Selecting one that compliments all seasons is my first step in picking a color palette for the living room — you want to love it all year long and for years to come.
Gather Influences From Around the World. After deciding on a general style to follow for your design, further engage in photos and inspiration that spark your interest when it comes to influence and color. While each basic style can provide an individual and distinctive look, really getting into the details can make the difference between feeling like you're in a New York City loft and an Irish home on the coast. Consider influences like the following: French Country Style: French country decorating usually involves mixed patterns, symmetrical chairs, chandeliers, and a pop of color in an ivory kitchen. Tuscan Style: Tuscan decor combines natural stone, wood, and earthy colors. Think terracotta, open cupboards, copper pots, and rustic shutters. Swedish Style: Light, clean, white, and blue is the Swedish way. The casual look is key when it comes to minimalistic surfaces with gold and red accents, straight lines and gentle curves for furniture, and simple woven fabrics. Paris Apartment Style: Adding romance and mystery to your apartment can be achieved with a little bit of Paris. Think baroque, rococo, and neoclassical with rich jewel colors, luxurious silks, and large posters of French landmarks.
Living Room Basics. There are a few important things to remember when arranging living room furniture. Establish the focal point of the room and arrange furniture around it. In some rooms the focal point will be an existing feature such as a fireplace or window, and in some it will be something you bring in to the room such as a television. Use the furniture to create conversation areas. People should be able to comfortably talk to each other without straining their necks or shouting. If the room is particularly large you might want to create a few different conversation areas. Don't forget about traffic flow. Leave enough room for people to walk around furniture so they can easily get from one side of the room to another. Pull furniture away from the walls. Having all the furniture backs touching the walls is one of the biggest mistakes people make in the living room. If the pieces are closer together it will create a more intimate setting. As long as the backs of the pieces are finished, there's no reason not to show them off.
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