In today's modern world, different people will have a wide range of different needs and this will of course influence their ideas on how a living room should be used. As with many things it is not always possible to accommodate every desire and compromises are generally needed. Modern minimalists may seek plenty of empty spaces and little to put in them but this may not suit a young family. Busy people may seek a second work space but this will often lead to their space filling with the paraphernalia associated with an office and a hectic work environment. Family-orientated people may desire a room full of ambience and warmth where they can flop down and relax with friends and family, but may find the room overflowing with sofas and chairs. When you are planning a living room, make sure that you are happy that it meets your lifestyle needs as well as looking like you want it to. Here are five design ideas to help you in your planning and to make the most of the space you have. Keep things simple. When you are planning colours, stick to lighter natural hues. Avoid too many areas of deep colour but do place accents of colour on some smaller items - perhaps on a throw for the sofa, or on the curtains or blinds. Do not let a heavy colour dominate the room. Keep a sense of harmony. You can quite easily obtain a sense of balance by thinking carefully about the materials you are using. Think of textures - rough or smooth? Think about how the surfaces respond to light - are they shiny and glossy? Smooth and reflective materials can help a room feel larger but they need to be balanced against other materials such as natural woods and stone. Solid wood furniture adds a lot of character and style as well as bringing a natural feel to your room. Keep control of storage. If you accept that your living room will attract clutter then plan for it. Oak or pine cupboards and sideboards will give you the space to tidy up after the children have finished playing and allow the adults a tidier area to relax in when evening comes.
Keep some spaces clear. Do not fill the room with heavy and obstructive furniture. Once again, furniture made from oak and pine is ideal as their natural lightness helps in making the space feel more open. Keep an eye on the light. Help the natural light you already have flow around the room. Position a mirror to bounce it back into the darker areas and think about other lighting options for when the daylight is gone. Some free-standing lighting and some lower coffee table lamps will help you to define zones where you can adjust the mood with subtle changes in lighting. There is no big secret to interior design but it is best to adhere to some basic principles. The five ideas outlined here will give you a head start and ensure that you end up with a living space that you are proud of.