Living rooms today have so many functions to perform - a place to relax in front of the TV, to read quietly, to entertain, study and play with the kids. The living room also needs to be a retreat and sanctuary from the stresses of the working day. As with every room in the house, it is your chance to make a personal statement and express your independent thoughts and emotions. It needs to be flexible, personal and comfortable. *Furniture - Are you sitting Comfortably? When buying a three piece suite sit in the armchairs and sofa to test them out fully. You will want a few years' wear and tear out of them so make sure they are comfortable for you. Be aware that even with a three or four seater sofa it is only ever likely to actually seat two people. Few people like to play piggy in the middle. When checking out sofas in the store check out both the height of the seat and the backrest to make sure they are high enough for you. *Focal Point Every room has a focal point. This is most especially so in the living room. The focal point is the point in the room around which everything else is based. It is usually either a fireplace, window or a piece of furniture. The focal point does not have to be central. For instance if you have large French windows into the garden you will want to arrange the furniture around them so that apart from there being a free passage to the door, you have some seating around so family and friends can sit to talk and in a quiet moment admire your perfectly manicured lawn and flower beds! *Decor Your choice of decor, as with other rooms in the house, should be influenced by the natural light entering the room. Work out the direction your living room faces and use that as a guide. Logically speaking the darker the room, the lighter and warmer the decor should be. Alternatively if the room is light, airy and large you have much more freedom with your colour choice. When decorating, combining different tones of the same colour is the easiest way to create good colour harmony. Colours based on the yellow-orange-red part of the spectrum seem warm. The greater the intensity the more they will appear to move forward and shrink the room and the "warmer" the scheme. Red is a very powerful colour and looks good in living rooms. Earth colours, which include browns green or gold, harmonise well together and are a welcoming colour for living room schemes. Violet, blues, green-blues and black appear to recede and create a feeling of space.
*Flooring Whatever flooring you choose for the living room it will need to be pretty hard wearing. Unlike the kitchen, bathroom or hallway it is an area where having softness underfoot is a necessity. If you are opting for carpets there are a multitude of colours and styles to choose from including wool, twist, shag pile, linen, cotton, nylon or tufted. Think about the amount of wear and tear it will have to endure. Take a sample home to see how the style and colour will work. Don't scrimp on underlay as it will help your carpet stay in shape. A stain inhibiting treatment won't prevent staining but should make it easier to clean up any spills. If you do choose wood flooring, floorboards or even tiling a large rug around the focal point and where people are sitting is a good idea. Some types of natural floor covering such as sisal and choir can also be quite rough so aren't the best choice for a living room. Other natural flooring includes matting such as sea grass which is smooth and comfortable. Finally, don't have to go overboard with ornaments or collectibles because before you know it they will end up popping up everywhere!