Living rooms are no longer the stuffy parlors of the past; they are simply the spaces in which we live. Lynne Parker of Lynne Parker Designs in Portland, Oregon, adds, “That’s the beauty of the living room.” “It’s where we now do everything,” says the narrator.
Here are her nine pointers for making your living room the ultimate hangout spot.
1. Begin with a strategy, not pillows.
What’s the first step? Avoid buying pillows if at all possible. “I meet a lot of people who come to me and say, ‘I started collecting throw pillows and now this space has no rhyme or reason,'” Parker says. “A vision and a plan are the foundations [guides4homeowners.co.uk].”
Because your living room may host a variety of activities, such as a cocktail party or a family movie night, Parker suggests preparing for the unexpected. “I attempt to figure out what ‘living’ means to each of these people,” Parker explains. “Does this imply that you have access to media? Is it a place where everyone uses their laptops? How many seats are you going to need?”
She creates a layout and furnishings design that is tailored to the homeowners’ lifestyle. This includes having a television if the customer prefers it. “Take a chance! It is a fact of life “Parker explains. Television design has progressed significantly, from flat displays to projectors. “They’re stunning now,” Parker says.
2. Purchase a couch.
Parker purchases his first piece of furniture after determining its utility. “It’s critical to pick a piece that will stand the test of time and is of high quality,” she says.
She advises clients to take their time when making a purchase and consider a variety of things. The most significant criterion will be their budget, which will range from $1,500 to $2,500 at the basic level.
A person’s lifestyle is also important to consider because it will decide how much use the piece will get and, as a result, the ideal color family and fabric to employ. White mohair, for example, would not work well with sticky children’s hands or muddy paws from pets.
When choosing a cloth, Parker considers the “rub” number, which indicates how durable it will be. Finally, she wants to know what clients desire in terms of aesthetics, such as classic or modern, and she has them undergo “sit tests” to see how comfortable they are.
The highest-quality sofas will be offered to the trade, notably those created by long-established furniture companies like Lee Industries, Kravet, and Schumacher.
Although mainstream merchants have a wide selection of outstanding fashions, the goods may not last more than a decade. Parker compared the West Elm Monroe in Celestial $1,300, the Jonathan Adler Malibu $3,200, and the Kravet Villanova $5,200 to show the pricing differences in a similar style.
3. Use lighting to create a sense of urgency.
Parker emphasises natural light when organizing the room’s furniture placement and window treatments. “Then I double-check that we have both high and low lighting,” Parker adds. “Do we have any fantastic lamps? Is there adequate overhead lighting?”
She prefers to choose lamps that complement the overall look and serve as sculptural accents for this portion of the design. “Invest in some lovely lights, and you’ll have them in your collection for a long time,” she advises.
YLighting, Robert Abbey, and Moooi, a Scandinavian lighting business, are among Parker’s favorites. “Lindsey Adelman’s art is also excellent,” she says, pointing to the branching chandelier. “It looks like a piece of art.”
She also rewires interesting vintage models that she discovers. “Lamps are just a way to break up the space,” she explains.
4. Use carpets to define the space.
“I like the rugs because they claim the space,” Parker adds. “I make sure the rug is significantly larger than the seating area.” The rug should be greater in size to make the space appear larger.
“Go bigger than you think,” she advises, noting that important circulation channels should not be bisected and that all front legs of a seated group should be on the rug area. The rug does not always have to make a strong statement.
“There are going to be a lot of other aspects,” Parker says, so she makes sure the rug’s color, texture, and pattern complement the overall look.
5. Use tables as a focal point.
Because the design of the coffee table contrasts with the bigger mass of the sofa, it might become a focus point. As a result, Parker favors items with powerful lines and a timeless quality.
“I want to find something iconic for this piece, like a gorgeous Noguchi,” she explains. Accent tables have a practical purpose, as each seat requires a spot to set their coffee cup or cocktail glass. Parker finds these tables at vintage shops and estate sales, as well as on 1st Dibs under the category “Coffee and Cocktail Tables.”
6. Mix and match textures
Contrast the textures of different materials, such as wood, metal, wool, silk, and glass, to make the area attractive. “Texture is quite essential,” Parker explains. She recommends that the materials you use have a pleasant feel to them.
“Is it true that something is soft when it is designed to be soft? Is it sturdy when it’s supposed to last? Is your carpet comfortable to walk on?”
Throw blankets and accessories are a simple way to add texture. Parker likes House of Castellon’s Three Panel Throw for its modern take on a classic, as well as Canoe’s colorful felt coasters.
7. Have some pillow fun
Pillows are another fantastic way to add color, pattern, and texture to a room, so Parker recommends having fun choosing them. “It depends on the client’s mood and aesthetic, but I usually go big with pillows,” she explains.
Parker buys pillows from a variety of stores, including Urban Outfitters, Trina Turk, CB2 and Leif, as well as having them custom manufactured. “I constantly advise my clients that a throw pillow isn’t going to last twenty years,” she says. “So go ahead and have some fun with it.”
8. Inject some personality
Trinkets and clutter aren’t the only things that can be added to a room as accessories. They provide an opportunity to tell a story about the homeowner’s personality and life. The place will truly feel like your home if these elements are woven into the overall decor.
Parker prefers books in her own home and like the assortment at Better Living Through Design. “They inspire me,” she explains, “therefore my books are all over.” Whether your pieces are gifts from loved ones or mementos of locations you’ve visited, they’ll make a lasting impression “They’re a true reflection of who we are. That’s what your home should be: a collection of all of your and your loved ones’ expressions.”
9. Choose carefully.
“I’m a firm believer in clutter stressing us out,” Parker explains. “It should have some tidiness about it, even if I have a lot of layers in my designs.” She recommends taking your time with the process and carefully selecting items so that each one has a purpose and a location.
“Speed has been instilled to us by technology, but art needs time,” she argues. “Consider what you’d like this area to say about you and how you’d like to be made to feel… Your life is being curated by you. Everything you see should make you feel good.”