5 Common Mistakes You’re Making In Your Living Room, And How To Avoid Them!
Perhaps you’ve meticulously curated what seems like the ‘right’ elements; you’ve splashed out on that new comfy sofa; you agonised over choosing the coffee table; and you searched for ages until you found that perfect armchair. Yet, despite these acquisitions, the room just doesn’t come together.
As an interior designer, I often see clients struggle with how to pull together their spaces.
Below are some of the most common slip-ups I see, and it’s my hope that this advice may give you the burst of inspiration you need, to make your living room extra special!
Mistake #1: Prioritising function (for everything!)
Not all chairs are designed with the sole purpose for epic lounging, and that is ok.
We can recognise that furniture doesn’t always have to be solely utilitarian. Striking a balance between function and form is an art, and it’s perfectly okay to let your heart guide your choices, including prioritising aesthetics over pure functionality at times.
Of course, a chair still needs to be functional, but not every armchair needs to be ‘Succession binge worthy’. A gorgeous sculptural armchair is perfect for sitting on when chatting with friends, and don’t underestimate the joy it brings just to simply see it in the space.
Mistake #2: Choosing small furniture
This is a really easy mistake to make. Whilst we think choosing small furniture for a small living room will make the space feel bigger, in fact the opposite is true.
When furniture is too small for a room, the space can feel poky, cluttered and even a bit chaotic.
For instance, a two-seater sofa and a pair of petite armchairs can look fragmented and ‘bitsy’. Instead, swap that out for a generous three-seater sofa and a cosy armchair. Voila! The larger furniture pieces actually make the room feel more expansive.
The same goes for small rugs. We need the rug to anchor the whole room. That means that most of the furniture needs to sit on top of it, not just the coffee table.
Make sure that at least the front legs of the sofa sit on the rug as well as armchairs and side tables. It’s incredible what an impact the correct sized floor rug can make in a space — if in doubt, go big or go home!
Mistake #3: Buying everything new
Sometimes when a room just isn’t coming together and there’s no atmosphere, it’s because everything is too new. A living room needs a splash of old school to give it soul — extra points for something a bit weird too.
Find a piece that’s one of a kind. It could be vintage furniture such as a tidy Danish teak cabinet, a ceramic lamp, an interesting coat stand or a wildly impractical yet spectacular Italian armchair. Your room will instantly feel more lived-in and loved.
Mistake #4: Opting for matching furniture
It might be easier to buy a full set of matching sofas and armchairs, but this doesn’t necessarily make it the best choice.
Mix it up! Your living room furniture should feel coordinated instead of matching. For example, combine a leather sofa with fabric armchairs; and pair a bouclé couch with a timber occasional chair. The key is varying the textures and forms in a space.
Mistake #5: Living with the downlights on
Downlights everywhere? Total living room faux pas, ask any interior designer and they would agree. Downlights light up the floor — something no-one truly wants — plus, they cast an unflattering shadow over the face.
I strongly encourage you to layer your living room lighting with lamps; floor lamps, table lamps and even pendant lights — they will change your life.
Try adding a lamp either side of the sofa; a floor lamp for reading a book and a table lamp for ambience.