There is a good chance the living room is not the room of the house in which you spend the most time living. At least 8 hours are spent in the bedroom. If you like to cook, add another two hours in the kitchen and let’s not forget the bathroom.
Then, there is the 8 to 12 hours spent away from home working. Which leaves precious little time for living in the living room. Yet no matter how few hours are actually spent there, they are important hours that make a world of difference.
A lot of people view the living room as something aspirational. They clean it to within an inch of its life, put in all the right furniture, and cover everything with plastic so that everything is exquisitely preserved. After that, no one is allowed to enter. If that is the living room of your dreams, you already know how to do it. But if not, there are a few things you will need to consider:
It is probably worth asking how much this dream room is going to cost. You can probably get a very nice room without worrying too much about budget. But we are not going for a very nice room. We are going for a dream room. If you don’t have the right budget for the job, you can keep dreaming.
There is nothing wrong when saving money on some items. That’s what vendors like Factory Buys Direct are for. You can pick up a lot of pieces like fireplace inserts at factory-direct prices. Places like this offer a great way to save money on some of those unique, hard to find pieces.
But you need to be prepared to spend a little more money for other important pieces that are more difficult to source. This is not the project for settling. Take the time to find what you really want. Then be prepared to spend what it takes. Anything less will produce less than dream results.
Your dream will quickly turn into a nightmare if you try to make it all things for all people on all occasions. Well designed living rooms are certain about what they are. If you want a Victorian tea room, design it that way from the start. Don’t try to combine that with a TV and movie night room.
If you do want something more like a media room, you will have to do more than buy a big TV and call it a day. Do you have a good wall for that TV? Will you be mounting it on the wall, or setting it on a stand? Can you control the lighting in the room? Have you figured out the sound stage?
You might want to make it more of a library with lots of books, wing-back chairs, and an environment of quiet contemplation. That might not be possible if it is shared with kids and video game consoles. You might only have one living area to work with. Decide in advance what kind of room it will be. Then design accordingly.
Once a decision is made about the type of room it will be, many go straight for the furniture. That is a mistake. Instead, start at the bottom. Then work your way up. The top living room flooring options greatly depend on how you answer a few important questions:
Start with the wrong flooring option, and you will never build a dream. A big TV with surround speakers will hate a hard floor. If you don’t want carpet, adding rugs might be a good option. These are the types of considerations you will need to make up front.
Your dream living room is well within reach as long as you remember to eliminate money as an object by saving up in advance, deciding what kind of room it will be, and sticking to it, and starting from the ground, up, with the right flooring.
Interiors by LIV Design Collective.
Photos by Sara Boulter.
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