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Living rooms and design: Where do families go wrong?

For most families, the living room is the room they want to spend most of their time in when they are at home and awake! It is a room that is comfortable and a pleasure to be in. If you don’t find yourself agreeing with this, there could be something very wrong with the way your living area is designed. Are you committing a design sin? There are many of them, and a lot of them occur in many living areas. Let’s take a look in further detail, so you know what living room design errors to avoid.

This is a collaborative post.

Living rooms

Hanging pictures at the wrong height

This is one of the biggest living room design mistakes you will see. It is something most people get wrong. It is important that your pictures are at the average human eye level, which is 60 inches from the floor to the middle of the picture. Sometimes, if you have younger kids it is tempted to place everything as far away from their little hands as possible – so keep an eye on that picture height to improve the aesthetic.

Hiding your windows

A common mistake families make is hanging their curtain rods too low. Curtain rods ought to be as near to the ceiling as feasible. This makes the room appear more welcoming and luxurious, and it creates a sense of height. When the rods are too low, it makes the room feel like it is caving in. Putting rods higher is also a bonus for keeping them out of reach too 🤣

Living rooms and design: Where do families go wrong

Failing to add your personality to the room

Do you really want your living room to be a carbon copy of a furniture magazine? Or, every other living room you walk into? This can easily happen when you buy generic items from retail stores. This is why it is important to add unique upgrades to your living room. These are items that you have carefully sourced, which reflect your personality and make your living space unique. Alternatively, you can go a step further, and opt for a unique feature that hardly anyone else will have, such as lowering the floor to make a conversion pit seating area.

It is also very easy to think more about what will happen “if the kids….” rather than actually thinking about what you want for the room longer term. Try to get a balance between the practical side of kids in the living room vs putting your personality and flair into the project.

Living rooms and designs

Not everyone will have a living room like the above (!), but you know what we mean… 🤣

Not enough variety

They say that variety is the spice of life, and we couldn’t agree more. Don’t buy all of your stuff from the same shop. It can be very tempting when you only have limited time to get out and about, particularly if you have to arrange for someone to look after the kids to make things easier. It is even more tempting when most stores have entire ranges where everything matches. However, if you want a room with dimension and personality, this is not the way to go about it.

Living rooms design ideas

Not thinking about the overall colour scheme

The colour palette you choose is of paramount importance. Colours have the ability to impact how we feel. They evoke emotions, and so you really need to think about the feeling you want to create in your living area. If you want it to be a relaxing space, you need to stay away from harsh, vibrant colours. Instead, choose natural, muted, and pastel shades. This does not mean the room needs to be boring. No one wants to sit in a sea of beige, particularly when you think about how impractical lighter colours are with a family. Ensure there is a nice balance of tonality in the room, so that you have a mix of mid, light and dark tones that feel harmonious.

Living rooms and design concepts

As you can see from the above image, pictures and cushions can be a great tool for adding extra colour and vibrancy to a room to help lift it.

Putting your sofa against the wall

You should not put your couch against the wall unless you have a really small living room. Whenever you have the option, you should ‘float’ your sofa away from the wall. This will make the space look a lot bigger and more welcoming.

Living rooms layouts

Failing to focus on comfort and relaxation

This is undoubtedly one of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to living room design, but you would be shocked by how many family homeowners make it. They focus on what the room looks like visually, as if they were viewing it from the outside in – looking at it in an interior design magazine, so to speak. It is also easy to fall into the trap of becoming so focused on the practical aspects of having kids, and the chaos they bring, that you forget to think about the times when they are in bed (yay!) and you get to relax in your living room. Instead, let’s focus on thinking about what it is going to be like sitting in the living room and enjoying the time in there when we can as parents. There are so many different ways to bring comfort and relaxation to your living area. Aside from this, you can add a fluffy and indulgent rug or throw. Think about soft and comfortable textures, and you can’t go too far wrong.

Not having a logical layout

The furniture you choose should fit comfortably into your living area, and the layout needs to make sense. All too often, people try to cram in as much furniture as possible, like a coffee table that hits your shins every time you walk into the room or a sofa that is way too big for the space. This feels imbalanced, and it does not create a good energy. It is important that everything is to scale and logically placed.

Leaving the light until last

It is never a good idea to leave the lighting until last, yet far too many people view it as an afterthought. If you want an environment that is enjoyable to be in, you need to have a flexible lighting scheme. Mood lighting is important, meaning you have practical day lighting, yet you also have lamps and dimmable wall lighting for the evening. Discover Shuttercraft shutter as a stylish way of managing light.

Not having a focal point

Another cardinal sin when it comes to living room design is not having a focal point. Think about it as if you were painting a picture. When you walk into your living room, where do you want your eyes to go to first? This will help you to create the perfect focal point that will tie all of your living room together elegantly and gracefully.

Being a clutter bug

Last but not least, let’s end on a design mistake that is simply unforgivable – too much clutter! This is never a good idea. Less is more when it comes to accessories in your living room. This is essential to create a sense of balance and calm. Order becomes discord, and there is too much distraction when there is an overflow of clutter. Divide everything in your living room into the things that matter, things that are important, and things you can do without. Remove those in the latter category and repeat the process until your room is balanced. 

We hope that you got some ideas on how to make your living room more family friendly. If you enjoyed this post, why not take a look at these other interiors and household related posts on the site.

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Helen is a mum to two, social media consultant, and website editor; and this site is (we think) the only Social Enterprise parenting magazine! Since giving up being a business analyst when juggling travel, work and kids proved too complicated, she founded KiddyCharts so she could be with her kids, and use those grey cells at the same time. KiddyCharts has reach of over 1.1million across social and the site. The blog works with big family brands (including travel) to help promote their services, as well as offering free resources to parents of kids under 10. It gives 51%+ profits to Reverence for Life, who fund a number of important initiatives in Africa, including bringing running water and basic equipment to a school in Tanzania. Helen has worked as a digital marketing consultant (IDM qualified) with various organisations, including Channel Mum, Truprint, Talk to Mums, and Micro Scooters. She loves to be creative in the brand campaigns she works on. Get in touch TODAY!

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