Your home is your sanctuary, your nest, your personal environment. A relaxed living room enables you to chill out, entertain, and re-energise. Given our love of open-plan homes, living rooms are more on display than ever. If you have a formal living area, you’ll also likely have a relaxed living room where the family gathers. So how can you make it chic while also serving all members of the family?
Your relaxed living room can still be stylish – modern, eclectic, retro, country style, colourful, monochromatic. It has to ‘work’ with adjacent spaces but can be a delineated zone. Ultimately it’s a relaxation zone so minimize distractions. All furniture and accessories shown are available from Zanui.
If you have small children, don’t invest in seriously expensive furniture and do choose easy-clean leather or washable covers until littlies are older. Provide tubs, large cane baskets or a shelving unit to store children’s toys and games, and teach them to put things away.
In designing your relaxed living room give thought to the furniture. Will you keep all your current furniture or ditch the dreary? Maybe a new sofa or pair of chairs will enliven what you already own. Depending on your lifestyle, you may prefer two or three chic chairs over one sofa. There’s no rule that says you HAVE to include a couch.
Generally pairs of chairs are best, two or four, placed symmetrically. For example, on either side of a fireplace or picture window with a wine table handy for books, flowers, a glass of wine and a lamp. Add a throw over the back or arm for a pop of colour.
Other considerations are a coffee table – you may wish to include one that has storage – an entertainment unit, big screen TV, shelving, lighting, a rug, plants and art work.
Consider the shape of the room – rectangle, square, L-shape – and the layout shape of the furniture – rectangle, square, L-shape, U-shape. It really is handy to grab some graph paper and draw out ideas to a rough scale. In the examples below, having a single chair on an angle to the sofa encloses the space. An animal-skin rug underneath a square or rectangular coffee table/ottoman helps to break up the straight lines to create an additional focal point.
If you prefer a U-shaped layout, the most versatile option is a sofa flanked by chairs. Coffee tables work well as focal points and can add warmth, texture or quirkiness to block colours and neutrals.
Creating a relaxed living room is about bringing together different elements that work together, and your personality. Consider furniture placement, balance, scale, colour, accessories and use. So kick off your shoes, grab a wine and play around with ideas on graph paper. You’ll be surprised at what you come up with.
You’ll also like a new twist on Industrial Decor, the exotic Brabbu Design Forces from Europe, the fabulous Ten Commandments of Colour and the exciting Emerald Interiors. All here on Don’t Call Me Penny.