Decorating any room in your house can be an overwhelming experience and putting together all the pieces required to make an appealing and harmonious whole can be a tricky thing.

Between entertaining and relaxing, your living room is easily the most important room in your home and as such the most important when decorating. A living room is the focal point of a house and is often the first room we show guests. A beautifully decorated living room will draw people in and compel them to stay. It’s because of this that making those big design choices can be a stressful.

There are so many things to consider, from colors, type of furniture, how things are arranged, and what accessories to add to the room. Looking at photos of living rooms can help you get an idea of what you are looking for but until you start playing around with ideas yourself you won’t really see how everything fits into place.

Whether you’ve just moved in and are starting from scratch or are looking for a makeover, the following tips are essential to help you design and create a living room that is beautiful and functional.

1. Select the Right Furniture

Select the Right Furniture - Tips for Decorating Your Living Room

The first place to start when decorating your living room is to take stock of what furniture you already own and whether it works for your new ideas. Don’t hold onto things just because they hold sentimental value. Make sure that the furniture fits your new design in terms of colour and size.

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2. Create a Focal Point

Having a focal point will draw people’s eyes when they first walk into your room. Most rooms have natural focal points, like a large fireplace or mantle, but if yours doesn’t then create one with something like a large piece of artwork, an oversized mirror, or even a piano. Once you have your focal point, decorate the room around it in a way that emphasises and compliments it.

3. Living Room Arrangement

It’s common to get overwhelmed when trying to understand how to arrange living room furniture. More often than not people just push their sofa against one wall and a couple of chairs against another and that’s it.

This is fine if you want a plain old boring room. But arranging furniture to really get the best out of them in terms of function and style requires more planning. When placing furniture consider where your focal point is, do you want a conversation area, how do people get around the room?

4. Choose a Complementary Color Palette

Choose a Complementary Color Palette for Living Room

The color scheme of your living room is a key style choice for making its aesthetic seamless. Having a color palette in mind as you settle on design choices is an easy way to keep your look clean and purposeful.

But don’t fall into the trap of choosing wall paint colors first and then trying to plan the rest of the room around them. Painting is easy and inexpensive, so concentrate on the more expensive parts of your design first and then base your paint color choices around them.

Read also: Living Room Color Ideas for Your New Home Choice

5. Don’t Forget Lighting

Living Room Lighting Lamp

Lighting in a room can be complex. In living rooms you need to consider each of the three main types of lighting: ambient, task, and accent, with light sources placed at different levels throughout the room to achieve different intensities.

A good suggestion is to combine various types of lighting, such as overhead for a good covering of bright light, lamps for directional and localised task lighting, and maybe something light low-level light strips to accent parts of the room you feel are important, like the focal point.

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