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.
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. Nothing is worse than living room layouts—no matter how attractive—where people have to perch against the walls, as if stuck there by magnetic force. Rather, push seating together so everyone can sit close and converse comfortably. How to arrange living room furniture in a rectangular room depends on the natural focal point of the space. In some rooms, this is architectural, such as a fireplace or a set of windows. In other living rooms, the focal point is a television. Once you determine this feature, orient the seating toward it. This feature now has the attracting qualities the wall is used to—let the furniture gravitate there. For a large living room layout, find ways to create zones in the space.
Problem #5: Not Enough Light. It's particularly important in the living room, where we often spend quite a bit of time. However it's a tricky space to strike the right lighting balance, thanks to the many different functions the living room serves. Small homes are often lacking natural light because of two reasons: Builders know that windows are expensive, and they also know that they take up valuable wall space, and well, there's only so much of that in a small space already. Solutions: Don't take up too much valuable floor or table space with lamps. Choose recessed, wall-mounted, hanging or shelf-mounted lighting. Floor up-lighting is also a great way to enhance a small space. When decorating a small living room that doesn't have a lot of natural light, choosing light shades of flooring, furnishings, walls and decor can do a lot to brighten your space.
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