Your living room isn’t just the place where your family hangs out, it’s also the place where you entertain guests. As such, decorating the space so it’s beautiful and comfortable is of utmost importance.
Luckily, Nurtura Land & Home’s very own Architect Lara Lacuesta-Sabandal, who designed the living rooms of Narra Park Residence’s model units, shared with us her Top 10 rules for decorating a living room.
Rule #1: Have a Focal Point
Every living room should have a focal point that immediately draws the eye and anchors the design of the room. Sometimes the focal point is readily apparent, like when your living room has large picture windows. More often, however, you’ll have to create one—you can hang a statement art piece on a wall or choose a coffee table with an intricate design.
Rule #2: Decide on a Color Scheme
Follow the 60-30-10 Rule. Sixty percent of your room should be painted using your chosen main color. Next, choose two colors, accounting for 15% each, that complement the dominant color. The last 10% should be an accent color that adds a bit of zest or “pop” to your living room.
Rule #3: Get a Right-Sized Rug…
Make sure your rug is large enough to cover about 60% of the intended floor area. Here’s a quick rule of thumb: if you place a coffee table in the center of the rug, there must be at least a 12-inch margin on all sides of it.
Rule #4: …And a Right-Sized Coffee Table
The perfect coffee table measures about two-thirds the length of your sofa, and its height should be a few inches lower than the sofa seat. There should also be at least 18 inches of space between the coffee table and the sofa or chairs so there is enough legroom and walking space for people.
Rule #5: Odd Numbers Are Your Friend
Whether you’re arranging throw pillows on a sofa or hanging paintings on a wall, it’s best to keep their numbers odd. Odd-numbered arrangements look organized without seeming too “perfect,” which often happens when you arrange things in multiples of two.
Rule #6: Keep Paintings at Eye Level
Typically, this means hanging art pieces 56-60 inches off the floor. The rule holds even if you’re hanging differently sized pieces. Draw an imaginary line on the wall and line up the center of each painting with it. Bonus tip: leave at least two inches between each painting so they don’t feel crowded on the wall.
Rule #7: Know the Optimal Distance of Your TV
Measure the diagonal size of your TV screen then multiply it by two. This is how far your TV set should be from your sofa and chairs for optimal viewing.
Rule #8: Keep Seats Sufficiently Close
Adjacent chairs should be no more than eight inches apart to encourage conversations between your guests.
Rule #9: Give window treatments the importance they deserve!
Aside from providing light control and privacy, window treatments also add aesthetic appeal to your living room, giving windows more character. If you go for curtains, make sure to mount the rods at least two inches from the top edge of the window and that the curtain fabric is floor-length. For those who prefer window blinds, note that you can mount blinds either on the inside or the outside of the window casing, so measure according to the type you’ll get. As for color, neutral hues are best so they complement the design of the room instead of drawing too much attention.
Rule #10: Observe Proper Height for Overhead Lighting
If you’re using overhead lighting, it should be at least seven feet off the floor to allow people to safely walk under it.
Of course, Architect Lacuesta-Sabandal says that these are just general rules to help set you on the right track. Since different homes will have different layouts, homeowners should experiment and break these rules where it makes sense. If you feel that your design doesn’t quite work for your space, you can always rearrange and choose different accent pieces until you get the right balance.
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