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Living Room Design Tips

Whether you have a huge living room or a tiny one, decorating it can feel overwhelming. The living room is the centerpiece of many homes, providing space to entertain guests or simply relax with the family, so you might feel a great deal of pressure to get it “right.” Fortunately, following a few simple design tips can help you achieve the living room of your dreams.

Color Scheme

The colors you choose will set the ambience of the room. Do you want to make a bold statement? Choose bright, intense colors. Are you seeking a restful vibe? Select muted tones and darker colors. Stark black and white can give the room an elegant “designer” look, but they can also feel sterile. Spend some time perusing paint chips while thinking through what you want, and then bring home your favorite chips and stick them on the living room wall for a few days. Notice how the colors look at various times of day, under changing lighting conditions.

Furniture Placement

It’s easy to stick a couch along one wall and a chair or two against another, but true living room design requires a bit more planning. Consider giving a smaller room a singular focal point, or breaking up a large room into conversational areas. Make sure you have at least 18 inches of walking space between furniture pieces, and even more room along major pathways.

Measurements

Once you have decided how to arrange the room, take detailed measurements and write them down. Measure for everything—area rugs, individual furniture pieces, window treatments, etc. If even a single piece is a few inches too big or small, it can throw off the entire design. If you do fall in love with a piece that is oddly sized for the room, make sure to update your design plan to accommodate it.

Area Rugs

Area rugs are an excellent way to break up a room, to add soft texture to a hard floor, and even to add a pop of color or a bit of visual interest. Ideally, all furniture within a designated portion of the room should be sitting on top of the rug, and 10 to 20 inches of bare floor should be visible around each edge of the rug.

Lighting

There are three basic types of lighting that should be incorporated into your living room: ambient lighting, accent lighting, and task lighting. Ambient lighting contributes to the overall mood of the room, as well as providing general illumination at night. Accent lighting adds drama and highlights specific parts of the room’s décor. Task lighting provides brighter, targeted lighting for specific activities such as reading or eating.

Make sure to place light sources at different levels throughout the room. For example, you might choose an overhead chandelier, a few table lamps, a couple of wall sconces, and a dramatic uplight behind a potted plant.

Accents

Accent pieces, including wall art, help make your living room feel finished. Choose high-quality yet inexpensive pieces that you can change out whenever you want to refresh the room. Accents are a particularly nice way to bring in seasonal décor, additional textures, and trends that could quickly become outdated. Let your imagination run free, choosing items that truly fit your unique personality. Be careful not to overdo it, though. Eclectic is not the same as messy. Instead, seek a harmonious blend of items that make sense together.

Ready to Get Started?

AFA Stores offers a wide variety of quality furniture for every room in your house. Browse our collections, and then contact us at (800) 617-0106 to learn how we can help.

Decorating Your Bedroom Like a Pro

Your bedroom should be your oasis, the place that you can go to deeply relax and shut out the rest of the world. Yet that doesn’t mean it should be drab and boring. Instead, it is the perfect place to let your unique personality shine. Here are some pro trips to create the bedroom of your dreams.

Color Is King

Start by choosing the color scheme. Despite common wisdom, dark colors can actually make a small space look bigger, so don’t shy away from going bold. However, your bedroom should be serene, so save very bright colors for other rooms. Decide what mood you want to achieve, and then select colors that reflect that mood. Besides dark colors such as plum or navy blue, consider soft, muted tones such as light grey or pale pink. Even sunshine colors such as yellow and orange can work in a bedroom if you choose light, smoky versions of them.

Pay Attention to Lighting

It is true that most people sleep with the lights out, but you will want dedicated task lighting as well as atmospheric lighting for the times you are not asleep. Invest in a good reading lamp that fits with your décor. Consider a strong closet light for dressing. Add a dimmer to the overhead light or replace it with a romantic chandelier. Don’t forget bedside table lamps with multiple settings for reading or atmosphere.

Add Texture

Texture works with color and furnishings to create the overall ambience of a room. Choose soft, plush textures that either enhance or contrast with your overall décor. Faux fur throw pillows, a cushy velvet chair, or even a vintage wooden table will make your bedroom feel more restful and serene. If your tastes run more toward cold, hard textures such as metal and lacquer, there is nothing wrong with including them. Just balance them out with softer pieces to avoid creating a harsh, unwelcoming vibe.

Clear the Clutter

Although eclectic groupings of small items can add visual interest to other rooms, they tend to make a bedroom feel too busy. Choose one large focal point for the room, such as an oversized headboard. For everything else, less is more. Highlight one big decorative object on top of a bookcase instead of a collection. Use statement pieces of art rather than a mishmash of posters on the walls. And, of course, always stash the dirty laundry, craft supplies, and other clutter out of sight.

Play with Accessories

Accessories are a great way to make your bedroom feel finished, and to inexpensively change things up when you get bored. Consider using fresh flowers or scented candles—or at least a plug-in air freshener—to generate soothing smells. Keep your bedding a solid color, but change accent pillows and throw blankets seasonally. Pick a theme and add small pieces that match that theme—and then choose a different theme when you are ready for something new.

Ready to Get Started?

AFA Stores offers a wide variety of quality furniture for every room in your house. Browse our collections, and then contact us at (800) 617-0106 to learn how we can help.