No family is the same and yet we all tend towards the same kind of homes. We have kitchens with the same things in them and we have living rooms with the same sofas pointing at the same TV. But what if we completely scrapped everything we thought we knew about interior design? Would we still go for the same things or would we pick something else out?
The honest answer is that we would probably choose something a bit more fun, something that catered better for our own lifestyle and gave a little more freedom. Companies like IKEA are already forging a path towards more adaptable spaces but there is still plenty we can do for ourselves.
The sofa is a must as far as most families are concerned and since we spend a lot of our time sat here, getting it right is crucial for your room. But sofas aren’t the only choice, or rather, they can be so much more.
Imagine for a moment that you could get rid of your bulky and rigid sofa and exchange it for an 8 foot beanbag. This would be more accessible for little ones to clamber about and play on, but it would also be easy to drag out of the way when you want the floor space for something else. Plus, a beanbag is great for cuddling up together and having your body fully supported by the flexible stuffing. It sounds great, doesn’t it? And you can read more details too.
Floor cushions have also had a recent resurgence and they are great for providing additional seating for kids and adults alike. The great thing about floor cushions is that you can stack them out of the way when they aren’t in use – if you have a sofa with extra storage space, this could be just perfect.
The more flexible the seating arrangement in your living room can be, the more likely it is that the room will work for you. This room shouldn’t just be about watching TV (however happy Netflix and Hulu make you!), it should also be the main stage for family discussion, playing games and building forts. This room can do a lot when you think more flexibly.
It is always surprising just how important the right lighting can be. Obviously, you will already have a main light, whether that is a single light in the centre of the ceiling or a few spots, but additional lighting is essential for creating different atmospheres and switching up the dynamic.
Fairy lights should never be underestimated and should certainly not be put away after the festive period. In fact, twinkly lights are a year-round joy in many houses and should certainly be put to use in yours. Try putting a small string of lights into a jar or draping them around a fireplace if you have one. Alternatively, create a bit of a feature by draping lights around family photos.
Small side lamps are also a must in any room. These lights should be used in the evening instead of your main lights as they will help you to gradually relax your eyes. Too much light and you will wake up; dimmer, softer lights and you will start to feel sleepy. Use darker light shades if you are stuck with those crazy bright LEDs and want something a bit gentler. Alternatively, go for dimmable lights that you can tone down to suit the mood.
Throws and Cushions
There is something that is just nice about cuddling up with a cushion under a blanket and whether you are watching a film together or you have built a cushion fort, these are usually the main ingredients you require. Rugs are also great if you don’t have a carpet in your living room as they provide a softer surface for your kids to play on or sit on.
Everyone has their own idea of what sort of color scheme they like but bright colors are always going to be a winner for young families. These colors stimulate the eyes and can quickly bring a pop to an otherwise neutral scheme. If you have young children or pets, try using thicker cushion covers you can take off and wash to help tackle the inevitable spills.
Throws come in all shapes and sizes and the more you have, the more comfortable you are all going to be. Try mixing different types of fabrics from the classic knit to more modern felts so that you get a mixture of textures. Everyone will have slightly different preferences for what they like to snuggle up in anyway.
To store your throws, you can either leave them on the sofa as a kind of protector, or you can fold them and pile them up with your floor cushions. This is a nice way to create another soft splash of color in the room and will make your throws more accessible for your kids to play with.
Don’t Be Afraid to Swap and Change
No matter what we like to think about ourselves, we are all creatures of habit. For some of us, this goes as far as sitting in the same seat every day to do the same things over and over. This is fine most of the time but if you want to switch things up, all you need to do is move about a little bit to see things from a different perspective – literally!
Rearranging a living room might seem like a huge ordeal but if you have gone down a more flexible route with beanbags, floor cushions and other soft furnishings, it won’t really be too hard to rotate the room every so often. Or, just rotate yourselves instead of the furniture – play some musical chairs!
One of the best things about soft furnishings and lighting options is that they are very easy to change and don’t have to cost a fortune either. As your family grows up, make small changes like swapping pictures or going for a new color scheme to keep things fresh.