If you have an open plan dining area in your living room (as many new homes do), ensure about 4ft distance between the table and the wall, or the dining space will feel cramped and lessen the dining experience. If you want to unify the different components of different spaces in an open plan living room, such as the dining area or reading nook, you can use area rugs to almost create “wall-free” rooms within the large room. Experiment! Move things around, measure them, look at your room from all angles and picture it from an aerial point of view for an idea on available floor space. What's important is that it's comfortable and feels like home. Having the bookcase there allowed me to display some family photos and a few more decorative items that would otherwise just be stored in a box. It also works well because there's no back on the bookcase which allows the light to shine through and not close in the space. Of course I would love to have something that fit exactly and looked more built in but this is just a rental for the year and I'm all about making things work and look nice, even if it's only temporary.
Identify your style… and your stuff,"First, you need to decide what kind of look you are going for," says Erica Lugbill of Lugbill Designs in Chicago. Do you envision a light and airy living room? Or do you prefer something calm and serene? Perhaps your style is simple and earthy, or bold and dramatic."Secondly, look at all of the items you own that need to be incorporated into the space," adds Lugbill. Consider your furniture, storage pieces and accessories, for example. Get inspired, Begin by selecting an inspiration piece. An inspiration piece typically has a palette of three to five colors. Try to envision those colors in your living room. "Choose something you love, such as your favorite outfit or a painting by your favorite artist," says Sehra Han, an interior designer at Scarlett Designs in Los Angeles. "Many people make the mistake of starting with a paint color," adds interior designer Robin Baron of Robin Baron Design in New York City. Instead, "find the one thing you know you want to put in the room… like a fabric," Baron says. "Even a favorite pillow is a good place to begin. Play off that item for your color palette.
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.
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