If you watch TV in the living room, choose the surrounding lights carefully to avoid television glare. It can be distracting to have a bright overhead light above or in front of a TV set, so ensure ceiling lights are dimmable, or use offset wall sconces or floor lamps instead. Specific task lighting, such as reading lamps, are important if you read frequently, have low levels of natural light, and especially if you ever work in your living room. A floor lamp spaced between two armchairs can also count as task lighting, as conversation is a task, too (at least in living room terms). Low-level table lamps and floor lamps help to create a cozy atmosphere in the living room, especially at night. Evenly space these throughout the room, usually toward the walls, to create an even, warm glow that bounces inwards. Think creatively about this type of lighting: groups of candles even fairy lights count.
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.
Problem #1: Clutter Control. Even large living rooms won't look beautiful with a lot of clutter, and small spaces easily become overwhelmed by too much stuff. Owners of small homes have to be especially diligent about clutter control. Solutions: Small spaces are usually short on storage. When decorating a small living room, adding hidden storage and areas is a necessity. Maximize space under coffee and end tables. Even small nooks can become a place for wall shelves. Consider a section of faux built-ins. Wardrobes, closet storage systems, and even stock kitchen cabinets are an affordable way to add a custom look at a budget price. But be careful – storage containers and cabinets can quickly fill up a small space, leaving you right back where you started. I know you love your stuff, but no matter how organized you are, sometimes there's just not enough space to put everything. If so, it may be time to take a long, hard look at your room and remove anything that is unessential, is getting in your way or just doesn't work.
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