Hearing What Your Living Room Set Is Saying
Have you ever wished you could snap your fingers and become a living room whisperer? While it is not quite that simple, the basics of interior furniture design are easy to master. Understanding how different furnishings and features of a room talk to each other requires understanding what each aspect of a piece of furniture says. There are so many different living room sets, the sheer number can seem overwhelming. By breaking down each piece into its component parts—style, reinforced by material, color, size, and custom features—you will be able to bring out your own stylistic voice with considered selections that complement one another. With a living room, specifically, the goal is to shape a conversation that draws people in.
Let’s start with style. It can be tricky to pin down the differences between styles based on only the general names applied to each category, terms like Cottage, Mid-Century Modern, Scandinavian, or Old World. But these labels are simply intended to help form loose groupings of sets with similar features that, in many cases, introduce a similar feel to a room. For instance, most mid-century modern living room sets are based on sleek lines, naturally finished and tapered wood, and overall simplicity, regardless of color or the number of pieces in the set, though generally this style involves simple, bold colors or prints.
Familiarizing yourself with individual pieces in each category will help you build up a firm grasp on what is meant by each term. You will begin to associate certain adjectives with each category. Those descriptive terms will help guide your choices when matching other furnishings and accessories to your living room set. The playfulness of a contemporary set, for instance, might make a classic lamp stand out as too serious and make the room feel inconsistent. Of course, these are not firm categories, and each piece is different. Different styles sometimes work together by drawing out the similarities between the categories rather than competing. As you become more familiar with each style, these interactions will become easier for you to read.
As a key component of style, your furniture’s color and material have a lot to do with generating atmosphere and, ultimately, should match your personal style and preference. Your room can say anything; what you want it to say is another matter entirely. For example, you don’t want screaming red to overwhelm the conversation as the primary color of everything in the room. Effective matching involves developing an awareness of which colors work well together. Even more than this, knowing that warm tones will convey comfort where cool tones communicate elegance can support your decisions to bring certain pieces into a room.
The size and features of your living room set depend on the size of your living room; a large sectional in a mid-size room will dominate the furnishings and drown out the accessories you worked so hard to select. On a practical level, too, a recliner must have enough space to recline if it is going to be worth the investment. If your living room set comes with an ottoman, you may not even need a reclining feature, since the ottoman already offers a means of putting up your feet. Remember to consider all aspects of each piece so that none of them are repeating themselves.
You can even select decor by brand, a simple way to keep the overall design of a space consistent is to shop within a brand’s line. Depending on the brand, be aware that you might end up paying slightly more for accessories within the brand design. However, for anyone without the time or confidence to put together complete rooms, or who have a strong preference for a specific brand’s look, keeping to a single brand can be a solid option.
Finally, no one should be able to look at your living room set and know its price. At the very least, this should not be the thing that first occurs to them. Though it requires some work, finding good value means that no matter what you pay, your living room set fits seamlessly into and adds to the aesthetic of the entire room, which involves remaining aware of what you are getting for the price. You can buy living room sets on sale to get great deals on furniture once you know what you are looking for and are no longer basing your valuation of its worth solely on price point. It is easy to believe that expensive means better; however, as we have established, price means far less than a good fit that strikes the right tone. So, what do you need to change in your living room to direct the conversation where it needs to go?