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.
Coffee Table - Coffee tables are practical pieces that are often found in the center of conversation areas. If you choose to use one remember that the height should be slightly lower than the seat height of the sofa and chairs around it. The length of the table should also be roughly one half to two thirds the length of the sofa. If you don't want to use a coffee table you can try using a couple of smaller tables or benches to achieve the same look. Just make sure they're not too small. People sitting around them should be able to lean over to put down or pick up a drink without having to get up from their seat. At the same time be sure to leave enough leg room between seats and tables: 14 to 18 inches should do the trick.
Living Room Accessories. Once the furniture is in place it's important to think about where to place the accessories. No doubt you will have some window treatments and artwork, and maybe a television and some sconces. Give just as much thought to placing living room accessories as you do the furniture. If you're unsure about what will work try using an online room planner to create an arrangement. Test out some different looks and see what looks best and what works for your lifestyle. If you're not too computer savvy you can make up a living room floor plan using graph paper. Just make sure to use all the appropriate measurements so you don't face any unwelcome surprises when you actually put the furniture in the room.
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