Selecting Furniture for Your Living Room
Choose the right furniture to transform your living space
By Shelly McRae
Your living room may serve several purposes, from relaxing with the family to entertaining guests. Whether your living room is a small, cozy space or a large and expansive great room, your furniture needs to meet all of your needs. When you select furniture for your living room, consider the architecture of the room, the common traffic patterns and, of course, the size of the room. Making a sketch and noting certain measurements will help you make the right furniture selections for your room.
- What You Need to Know
- Expect to invest a large part of your budget in upholstered furniture.
Take several measurements and record them in a notebook. Measure the width and length of the room. Measure the distance between the bottom of windows and the floor, and the width of the windows. Measure the lengths of wall space, and make note of the locations doorways and exits to hallways.
Make a sketch of your living room. Indicate window and door placement on the sketch, and the measurements taken. Use the sketch and measurements to help you determine if pieces will fit. For example, you may want to put a console table beneath a window. Consult the sketch to ensure the table is the right height and width for that space.
Start with the major furnishings to create the framework for your living room style. These include a sofa and coffee table, upholstered chairs, ottomans or alternative seating, such as occasional chairs or an upholstered bench.
Invest your money in the major furnishings, selecting high quality, durable pieces. Choose upholstered furniture with hardwood frames and cushions that are upholstered with padding and batting, not layered foam.
If you want to have pieces for many years to come, choose fabrics in neutral colors that work well with a variety of design styles. For example, a cocoa brown fabric works well with earth tones and jewel tones. If you like bold colors, such as red or yellow, use them in accent pieces, such as pillows are artwork.
Select hard case goods that provide storage and are aesthetically pleasing. Hard case goods are furnishings made from wood, metal or plastic, such as bookcases, display cases, end tables and armoires. Select end tables that are the same scale as your couch and chairs. For example, if your couch is a camel backed couch with large padded arms, choose end tables with heavy rounded legs and a thick top.
Maintain a consistent height with your larger case goods. If you want an entertainment center, a bookcase and a display case in your living room, select ones that are of similar height to avoid a roller coaster effect in your room. Follow the same principle for your end tables and other complimentary tables in the room. Choose end tables that are just a few inches shorter than the arms of the sofa or chair with which they will be paired.
Select furniture that will complement the architecture of your living room and can be arranged to accommodate traffic patterns. Use the sketch to determine if you can arrange the furnishings to both foster conversation and allow for comfortable television viewing by everyone in the room.
About the Author
Shelly McRae is a regular contributor to DexKnows. She has experience with hydroponic gardening and other areas of the home improvement industry.
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