Your living room is the focal point of your home and needs to be designed with comfort and practicality in mind – it needs to be cozy and comfortable, stylish and inviting, practical and polished. But, most importantly, your living room should reflect your taste and style. All of these factors mean that decorating your living room can be tricky: it’s the space where you want to showcase family portraits and favourite art, but it’s also where your television is. How you choose to decorate your living room, from the colours you use to the way the furniture is laid out all play a role in creating the perfect setting. Done wrong, bad design can turn the living room into a space that feels a bit awkward, cluttered or chaotic. Here are some of the top living room design mistakes to avoid in your home:

1. Design Monotony

We tend to gravitate toward rooms that feel as if they have lived a life. When the sofa and chairs are perfectly matched or the side tables, coffee table, and armoire are all the same, the space loses that unique, personal feeling — literally, anyone could have bought the same set and have the same space. A variety of fabrics, finishes, and textures is key when designing a layered, dimensional space. If your side tables, console, and coffee table are all wood, consider subbing in a glass or metal piece to create more variety. You do want everything to coordinate, but you don’t want everything to match. A well decorated space has personality and dimension and this simply cannot happen if everything looks the same.

2. Drab Lighting

Lighting is key. It is one of the most important elements of design. Your space should have as much natural lighting as possible.  Do not block natural light sources with poorly placed curtains and accessories. You should have more than one source illuminating your room. Add proportionally sized and well placed lamps and sconces to enhance your lighting when needed. Dimmers should be added to all ceiling and overhead lighting. Whether opting for a chandelier, a pair of table lamps, decorative sconces, or floor lamps, paying attention to the lighting you incorporate into your décor will create a more cohesive overall look.

3. Furniture Against the Wall

A furniture plan featuring floating pieces is more conducive to conversation both when hosting guests and when just enjoying family time at home. Place a console behind a floating sofa to give it additional heft or position a side table between floating lounge chairs to provide a sense of permanence. By creating this grouping you will create a flow that will allow people to move in between and around the furniture. Be sure to walk around the room and get a sense of how traffic will move before you plan the layout.

4. Problems with Proportion

When purchasing items for your space, make sure to pay attention to not just the overall size of a piece, but how it will relate to the other elements around it. It’s just as important to make sure your coffee table is a good match for your sofa as it is to confirm your sofa will actually fit into your space. The balance between scale and proportion is crucial when decorating. If you want your living room to look stylish and feel cozy, the proportions have to be right – a too-tiny rug in the middle of a large space can throw off the entire look. This doesn’t mean you can’t have furniture of different heights; just check everything marries well and works together.

5. Clutter and Congestion

Your furniture should fill your space and create a space that is both appealing as well as functional. There should be enough space in the room to create movement and flow. A room should never look and feel cramped. Sometimes it’s not a matter of too much furniture, but the placement of the furniture itself. If after moving a piece or two around, your space still feels tight, then remove a piece altogether. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes. Overly furnished rooms not only make your room seem smaller than it is, but can also make it hard to maneuver around.


What do you consider the worst design mistakes?

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