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.
Living Room Basics. There are a few important things to remember when arranging living room furniture. Establish the focal point of the room and arrange furniture around it. In some rooms the focal point will be an existing feature such as a fireplace or window, and in some it will be something you bring in to the room such as a television. Use the furniture to create conversation areas. People should be able to comfortably talk to each other without straining their necks or shouting. If the room is particularly large you might want to create a few different conversation areas. Don't forget about traffic flow. Leave enough room for people to walk around furniture so they can easily get from one side of the room to another. Pull furniture away from the walls. Having all the furniture backs touching the walls is one of the biggest mistakes people make in the living room. If the pieces are closer together it will create a more intimate setting. As long as the backs of the pieces are finished, there's no reason not to show them off.
If you want an intimate seating arrangement that allows your family or guests to converse with one another comfortably, keep the seating positions within an 8ft radius to ensure a natural distance (and volume!) between people for conversation. There should be an obvious surface that is easy to reach from every seat in the living room, in the way of side tables or a coffee table or both! Nothing's worse than sitting down in somebody else's home not knowing where to put down your cup of coffee. Just make sure that there is sufficient leg room when you have a centre coffee table. In the diagrams above, these simple living room furniture layouts show different ways that you can arrange furniture in context to where the room's entrance or entrances may be. A living room should welcome you in from the moment you step foot through the door, so ponder on that as you arrange your furniture. If you arrange your living room furniture asymmetrically, your living room will feel a lot more casual.
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