How to Improve Your Living Rooms


As its name suggests, a living room is different from a sitting room, a drawing room, a study, a parlour or a den. It is a family room where you should be able to live and relax in comfort, with friends and family, reading or listening to music. It should feel cosy in winter and bright and cheerful in summer, and it should not be so precious that you dare not take your children in there for fear they will cause chaos.

Two atmospheres in one

Your living room should also reflect the different seasons. In winter you will want a warm and intimate room, filled with soft, welcoming objects and lined with thick, heavy curtains. A lit fire surrounded by comfortable chairs and a furry carpet to lay your feet on will complete the picture. In summer you need a room which works as an exten­sion of outdoors. It should be cool yet sunny, plant-filled, light and airy.

Living Rooms

The simple answer

In winter, seating can be focused around the fire and, in summer, around the windows. In winter, chairs and sofas can be covered with rich velvets, cor­duroys and brocades and, in summer, a loose plain or floral chintz cover can be thrown over them. In winter, windows can be covered with thick curtains, which are taken down in summer to reveal cream-coloured roller blinds. Floors can be strewn with beautiful warm rugs which can be taken up and stored in summer and flowers can be dried in winter and fresh in summer.

Creating a relaxing room

As you are mainly seated, rather than standing, in the living room, make everything low level. Hang pictures low: if you own a few small pictures rather than one large one, place them to the side of the mantelpiece rather than directly above it. Keep arrangements intimate, rather than grandiose.

Chairs should be a pleasure to sit on and each piece of furniture should have a function, even if it is just to delight the eye. There should be enough tables so that everyone can have somewhere to place his drink without having to put it on the floor where it can easily be spilt. Tables are also essential for siting lamps, as well as ashtrays and other bric-a-brac.

A change of plan

The layout of your living room will be determined by the floor plan and the position of doors, windows and fire­place. It will also depend on the use the room has. Plan the room so that as many different activities as are necessary can take place at the same time. One person should be able to read, while another watches television, or your entire family plus a few guests should be able to sit down together and talk or play a board game. Access to the television, stereo, doors, light switches and windows should not be impeded.

Living Rooms

Creating more space

You may want room for a piano, a stereo, a drinks cupboard, bookshelves, a desk or even a game of indoor croquet – so keep areas clear or make it easy to push a sofa out of the way when friends come round. Put furniture on castors so it can easily be moved. Do the same with the television – keep it out of sight in a cupboard, so you do not automatically turn it on when you go into the living room. You can roll the television and video out when there is something on that you particularly want to watch or record, or if repairs need to be made.

Filed Under: Home & Maintenance

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About the Author: Jason Prickett loves to write about home maintenance and stuff you can do yourself instead of hiring any professional. His step by step guides will assist you in completing your home maintenance tasks.

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