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A 6-step guide to help you plan your dream living room

·3-min read
Photo credit: Photographer: Polly Wreford | Stylist: Jen Haslam | Production: Sarah Keady
Photo credit: Photographer: Polly Wreford | Stylist: Jen Haslam | Production: Sarah Keady

If there's one room you can enjoy experimenting with in terms of colour, pattern and design, it's your living room. It’s the space where you’ll have family and friends around for a party, or drinks after dinner, or where you watch television or play games with the family. And it’s the room where all the fun is likely to happen!

1. THINK ABOUT THE FUNCTION OF THE SPACE

Do you have a large family, so need a vast corner sofa? Is your passion reading, so you’d love to curl up on a snuggler sofa? Or do you spend a lot of time playing video games and therefore need a large television? Think about how you'll really use the space, as that will dictate how you lay it out.

2. CONSIDER YOUR LIKES AND DISLIKES

This could be your favourite colours – the ones that make you feel happy and alive. Then start compiling your moodboard, pulling together samples of paint, wallpaper, carpet, fixtures and fittings and images of furniture you love. You can do this on a physical board or create it all online before you place your sample orders – that way, you're more sure of what you like before you spend any money.

3. START SAMPLING

Once you're happy with your colour choices, purchase some paint sample pots. Or there are a few new paint companies, such as Lick and COAT, which send out ready-painted swatches on resealable backs, so you can see how they look on different walls before you decide on your shade.

4. FIND YOUR PERFECT MATCH

If you want wallpaper and paint in the same room but are concerned about whether they'll sit well together, just match your paint colour to one of the shades in your wallpaper and you can't go wrong. If you're unsure about colour matching, then Valspar has a fantastic colour-matching tool so they can do it for you. Find out more at valsparpaint.co.uk.

5. KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO COVER UP

I don't like the television being the first thing I notice when I walk into a living room (especially if the room is on the small side). If you're like me, think about using a 'television in disguise' that looks like a mirror when it's turned off. Genius! There are quite a few on the market now and they are a very clever piece of technology.

6. DON'T UNDERESTIMATE THE IMPORTANCE OF LIGHTING

The living room has many functions, from parties and family gatherings to quiet reading and TV watching, so you'll probably need to layer the three main types of lighting – ambient, task and accent – in the room. Ambient lighting tends to be chandeliers and pendants and would be used as the main light source. Task lighting is what you need for carrying out specific purposes, such as reading, and would include, for instance, a floor lamp next to your armchair. Accent lighting includes wall sconces and table lamps that add atmosphere.

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