The living room is arguably the most important room in the house when it comes to decorating. It's the room where you entertain guests and loved ones, and it's where families tend to spend the bulk of their at-home time together (after the kitchen). In order to make sure it looks its best be sure to follow these living room do's and don'ts.
DON'T choose the paint color first. Paint is available in thousands of colors and can easily be changed. In most cases, it should be one of the last things you do.
DO choose your most expensive or favorite item and decorate around it.
DON'T use an area rug that is too small. This is the number one mistake people make when decorating living rooms.
DO make sure that all the pieces of furniture fit on the rug. Ideally, all four legs of major pieces should be on it, but if this simply isn't possible make sure to fit at least the front legs on the rug (the back legs can be off). But all the legs of smaller pieces should be on the rug whenever possible.
DON'T push all the furniture against the walls.
DO pull the furniture away from the walls when possible in order to create intimate conversation areas.
DON'T hang artwork too high. People have a tendency to hang art closer to the ceiling than it should be. This goes for every room in the house.
DO hang artwork at eye-level. Obviously, this varies from person to person, so use your judgment. But it's better to err on the side of lower rather than higher.
DON'T ignore the importance of dimmer switches. Each and every light in a living room should have a dimmer switch on it.
DO have a mix of overhead, ambient, and task lighting. Use table lamps, floor lamps, sconces – whatever you like. Just be sure to use a mix. It will provide more light as well as make the room and everyone in it look better.
DON'T use too many throw pillows. Throw pillows are great decorative accents but don't use so many that you have to move them all off the couch before you sit down.
DO use pillows thoughtfully. Choose a few that enhance the piece of furniture and overall look of the room. And don’t be afraid to invest in some high-quality pillows. They’re small but they have a big impact.
DO buy the best quality sofa you can afford. A sofa is a big investment and you want it to last. Remember, a sofa of average quality should last at least 10 years while a high-end sofa should last up to 25.
DON'T be afraid to decorate with patterns. They add life and character to a space.
DO follow the basic rules of decorating with patterns. The ideal number to use in a single room is three. Mix the scale using one large, one medium, and one small (or some other combination of the three).
DON'T let anyone else tell you how you should or shouldn't decorate. It's your home and it needs to be right for you.
DO follow the basic rules and mathematics of decorating. They exist not to control how your home looks, but to guide you into creating a space that's pleasing to the eye.