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.
Gather Influences From Around the World. After deciding on a general style to follow for your design, further engage in photos and inspiration that spark your interest when it comes to influence and color. While each basic style can provide an individual and distinctive look, really getting into the details can make the difference between feeling like you're in a New York City loft and an Irish home on the coast. Consider influences like the following: French Country Style: French country decorating usually involves mixed patterns, symmetrical chairs, chandeliers, and a pop of color in an ivory kitchen. Tuscan Style: Tuscan decor combines natural stone, wood, and earthy colors. Think terracotta, open cupboards, copper pots, and rustic shutters. Swedish Style: Light, clean, white, and blue is the Swedish way. The casual look is key when it comes to minimalistic surfaces with gold and red accents, straight lines and gentle curves for furniture, and simple woven fabrics. Paris Apartment Style: Adding romance and mystery to your apartment can be achieved with a little bit of Paris. Think baroque, rococo, and neoclassical with rich jewel colors, luxurious silks, and large posters of French landmarks.
Look to other areas of your life for hints. What is an area you do know your style or tastes in well? Clothes? Cooking? Look for characteristics in these other areas to give you hints as to what you might like. If you like a minimal wardrobe, for instance, you might prefer a minimal interior, too. Take a walk in a neighborhood. Stop and pause at the homes that you seem drawn to. Are they traditional looking? Modern? An eclectic mix of both? Observe what catches your eye and feels nice to you, even the way folks decorate their porches and patios. Stop and pause in front of the homes that pull you in. If you like a traditional style of architecture, you might like clean lines and muted colors in furniture and accessories.
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