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Rookie style mistakes you’re making in your living room


Forget what people say about the kitchen being the hub of the home – the living room is where it’s at if you ask me.

Considering we spend 80% of our lives in this space (I made that figure up based on my love of reality TV), you really need to ensure it’s looking and performing at its very best.

So here are some of the rookie decorating mistakes you’re making in your living room, and the quick fixes that’ll help you resolve these design crimes.

The TV is more prominent than a Hoyts cinema screen

If you’re walking into the room and the TV is the first thing that slaps you in the face, you’re doing it wrong. I know a living room is predominantly designed to watch TV in, but a giant black box dominating the space is never a good look.

If you can’t move the layout of the room around (the sofa should ideally be the first thing you see), consider concealing the TV with some clever style trickery.

Painting a dark wall behind a TV helps make it disappear. Picture: Getty Images

Creating a gallery wall of art or photos around the TV is a great idea. As is mounting the TV to the wall and surrounding it with custom cabinetry. Floating shelves around the TV set will also work, as will painting a dark feature wall behind the TV to help conceal it.

The sofa is barren, Sharon!

Now, you’ll watch TV shows that discuss exactly how many cushions you should have on a sofa. But my philosophy is always ‘more is more’. You can never have too many cushions, so look for plush options (duck down inserts are the best), and make the sofa look and feel as cosy as ever.

Look to soft furnishings that feature interesting textures, like knits and cabling. Picture: West Elm

Throws – especially in the colder months – are also where it’s at. Look to faux fur if you really want to evoke a sense of warmth. Knitted throws with large loops and cabling are also a good idea. Any soft furnishing that features texture like this is what you want to gravitate toward.

The furniture, like a rebellious teen, needs to be grounded

Ever walked into a living room and felt like all of the furniture is floating on its own? The pieces often don’t feel connected, but rather seem like they’re sitting on their lonesome.

The reason for this is usually because there’s not an ample enough rug on the floor. It’s the one piece in a space that people often overlook, but it’s so important in ensuring the room feels complete.

A good large rug pulls everything together. Picture: Ikea

A large rug with all of the furniture sitting on it (or the sofa and table legs butted up against it) will draw all of the pieces in the room together and have them make sense. Take a look at your living room now; is there an armchair in a corner than needs to be brought forward onto the edge of the rug?

Mood lighting, like abs in winter, is not existent

All too often, people don’t place enough emphasis on mood lighting. But it’s such an important element in a living room.

Overhead lighting can often be quite full-on; too bright for chilling out and cosying up in at night. What you need in a living room is secondary lighting at different levels. This means a floor lamp in a corner, but also smaller table lamps on side tables.

Everything looks better in the right light. Picture: Beacon Lighting

To take the concept further, also place some large candles on a coffee table. You’ll find that if you turn off all the overhead lights and instead opt to flick on two lamps and some candles, the mood in the space will feel amazing, and you can truly unwind and relax!

This article was originally published as Rookie style mistakes you’re making in your living room by and is written by Chris Carroll.

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