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.
Embrace Your White Walls. Can't paint your white walls? Consider embracing a white-on-white interior. Pairing your walls with equally pale furniture is an elegant and straightforward way to make any small space feel brighter and larger. For character add pops of colors and splashes of texture. Interior designer, Mercedes Daczi personalized this white living room with a range of colorful and textural accents including houseplants and wicker furnishings. If your walls are white and you enjoy neutral tones, you can always take a soothing approach… Layering neutrals in a space with white walls can play up the clean, refreshing look we talked about in the intro. White is arguably the most versatile of paint colors, especially when it comes to that which surrounds us—walls. Would you agree? Although I love a pop of bold color (or a dramatic dark, or a well-considered neutral...), even I have to agree that white can be seen as one-size-fits-all, serving as a backdrop for spaces overflowing with interest and personality. It seems that no matter the style, from classic and cozy to clean and contemporary, white just works.
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.
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