Side Tables - Side tables tend to be an afterthought but they're actually very important. The number you need will depend on how much seating you have. Everyone should be able to comfortably set down a drink without having to get up and walk over to a table. Try to have one on either side of the sofa (unless there isn't enough space – in this case people can use the coffee table), and between pairs of chairs. The key is to have enough surface space without overcrowding the room. The tables should be approximately the same height as the arm of the chair or sofa they're next to. From family game nights to book club gatherings, the living room is a social hub. The proper placement of the room's furniture goes a long way toward making the space feel welcoming.
Furniture Sizes and Placement. When it comes to living room furniture, size matters. Sofa and Chairs - These are often the big-ticket items so it's important that they suit the space. The most important thing to do is measure the space before buying any of these pieces. You don't want them to be too big or too small, so it's best if you draw up a floor plan ahead of time. Sketch out the room on a piece of graph paper using all the appropriate measurements. Try putting the sofa and chairs in a few different spots and see what works best visually and in terms of leaving space to accommodate traffic flow. Rug – Using area rugs is a great way to define seating areas, but the number one mistake people make in the living room is using an area rug that's too small. Remember that all of the furniture should be able to comfortably sit on the carpet. If space doesn't allow it, make sure that at least the front legs of any large upholstered pieces are on the rug. Small pieces like side chairs and tables should always have all four legs on the rug.
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.
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