Whether starting from scratch or working with existing furnishings, the following design tips will assist in creating the captivating and stylish living or family room that you envision. If you are unsure of the look you want to achieve or just need some inspiration, look at magazines, watch home design shows on TV, visit the show rooms of new homes, or hire an interior designer. When assembling all the various pieces and layers of a room, fundamental concerns to keep in mind are style, scale, hierarchy, color, and details.
Style: In broad terms, style is generally described in terms of Modern, Contemporary, Transitional, Traditional, or Eclectic. Yet, more descriptive definitions include the choice of a theme such as Traditional Georgian, Modern 60’s Retro, Contemporary Coastal, and so on. Keeping a consistent style in a room can make a strong statement about that particular style. On the other hand, mixing styles can add an interesting complexity to a room. Decide on a Style and Theme early in the design process so that you have a strong direction.
Scale: Whether furnishings are large and massive or small and petite, the entire ensemble should appear proportional, balanced, and harmonious. Typically, large bulky furnishings should have bold accents and accessories. If a room is small, very large furnishings can make a room look smaller. However, a few larger pieces are better than numerous smaller pieces. Conversely, small furnishings can become lost in a large room, especially one with high ceilings.
One design solution to address spaces with high ceilings is to use long drapes. This helps to define the scale of the room and can create a spectacular impression. If ceilings are low, stick with furniture that is lower in height to avoid making the ceiling look lower. To make a room look bigger, use mirrors. They give an illusion of more space.