No matter how many times décor lovers visit Domaine or how many shelter magazines they pore over, there are certain pitfalls that even the most savvy home decorators fall victim to. We’ve identified nine such issues when it comes to living room design and are sharing our tips for preventing these design sins.
|We tend to gravitate toward rooms which give off a collected air, spaces that feel as if they have lived a life. When the sofa and chairs are perfectly matched or the side tables, coffee table, and armoire are all the same, the space loses that unique, personal feeling — literally, anyone could have bought the same set and have the same space. We encourage switching up your furniture selection to create a unique mix.|
|Artwork of all kinds reflects your specific taste and adds personality and sophistication to a living room. A variety of artwork in different mediums — paint, photography, sculpture, etc. — further personalizes a space and acts as conversation starters and focal points.|
|Some home decorators tend to focus their attention on the commonly accepted statement pieces like a sofa, coffee table, or hutch, and then add in lighting at the last minute to fill in any gaps. We encourage you to think about the lighting scheme from the beginning of the design. Whether opting for a statement chandelier, a pair of sculptural table lamps, decorative sconces, or lofty floor lamps, paying attention to the lighting you incorporate into your décor will create a more cohesive overall look.|
|While it’s not a pitfall often seen in large spaces, pushing all of your furniture flush against a wall may be doing you a disservice. A furniture plan featuring floating pieces is more conducive to conversation both when hosting guests and when just enjoying family time at home. Place a console behind a floating sofa to give it additional heft or position a side table between floating lounge chairs to provide a sense of permanence.|
|A large sofa will dwarf a small painting hung above it, while mega-wide armchairs will look silly when flanking a petite side table. When purchasing items for your space, make sure to pay attention to not just the overall size of a piece, but how it will relate to the other elements around it. It’s just as important to make sure your coffee table is a good match for your sofa as it is to confirm your sofa will actually fit into your space.|
|A variety of fabrics, finishes, and textures is key when designing a layered, dimensional space. If your side tables, console, and coffee table are all wood, consider subbing in a glass or metal piece to create more variety. Similarly, if your sofa is linen, we recommend switching up the fabrics on your draperies, lounge chairs, and throw pillows to create more visual appeal and keep the eye moving.|
|You may have grown up in a space with a standard seating formula of a sofa paired with two lounge chairs, but why not switch things up and really evaluate the best arrangement for your particular space? Perhaps a daybed connecting two smaller seating areas will be more conducive to your entertaining style. If two sofas work better for your large family who is always clamoring for a spot on the sofa, you certainly don’t have to have lounge chairs. When your space optimally functions for your needs, the entire room will look more natural and cohesive.|
|We’ve all heard that it’s ideal to have your furniture touching some part of an area rug but what happens when you’ve purchased one that is too small? Your furniture arrangement will look crowded rather than planned and you’ll lose valuable useable square footage by cramming everything close together. Take time to measure your space to see what the ideal size would be, and invest in a rug that is suitable for your room.|
|Hesitation when it comes to using oddball pieces, unique art, and unusual color combinations prevents your space from truly reflecting your personality and tastes. If you’ve always wanted a high-gloss yellow ceiling or blue velvet sofa, go for it.|
Let us know! What do you think of these new design rules? Would you use them to design your living room?
Photographs: Miles Redd photographed by James Merrell for House Beautiful, Sasha Adler photographed by Paul Elledge for Elle, Minnie Mortimer photographed by Claiborne Swanson Frank for Vogue, Emma Reddington, Palmer Weiss, Melanie Turner, Daniel Romualdez, Peter Cook photographed by Paul Costello for House and Garden, Wick Design, Martyn Lawrence-Bullard, Daniella Witte, Pauline Suaco-Juan, Ashley Whittaker, Kristen Buckingham, Justin Coit, Robert Passal, Daniel Romualdez, via Nuevo Estilo