We’re so excited to share with you our very first e-book How to Pull a Living Room Look Together a six part guide you can implement today. You can download your free guide below to keep and use whenever you’re looking to decorate your living room.

Research and Plan.

Your starting point is to understand what it is you actually like. I love Pinterest because it allows you to collection inspiration all in the one place. Create just one board and start collecting images of spaces that appeal to you. Having all of your inspiration in the one spot will give you a clear idea of the design style you’re attracted to.

Next, you’ll want to create a floor plan. Creating a floor plan on paper allows you to see the room clearly and without any distractions such as your existing furniture. Effectively you’re starting with a clean slate. Measure out your space – including doors, windows and anything else like powerpoints – and draw your floor plan. This will form the basis of all your planning and one key to your success. Have this plan readily available when you’re shopping to make sure whatever it is you’re buying is going to fit.

If you’re visiting showrooms make sure you take your tape measure with you just in case the size details aren’t readily available. Once you’ve found the big ticket items you’re wanting to purchase either create to scale cut-outs so you can position them on the plan or use baking paper or yellow trace to use to draw over the plan. That way you won’t be having to re-draw the space over and over.

Wall Colour.

Picking the perfect wall colour sounds easy, but it’s one of the things that can so easily go wrong. Light is going to be the biggest factor in how your wall colour will look in the room. The key to getting the colour just right for your living room is to paint out your own swatches and look at them in natural light as well as under artificial light. Look at your swatches at all times of the day and night and under different weather conditions. You’ll soon see whether it’s the right colour for your walls or not. Paint out your own A4+ sized swatches to use during this process so you’ll make the right decision.

Furniture.

Pick out the key furniture items first. For most of us these will be the sofa, coffee table, area rug and entertainment unit. Of course this totally depends on the size of your living room and you may find it’s better to swap some of these out for alternatives such as a side table instead of a coffee table. And because you’ve drawn up your floor plan you’ll know with certainty that all of the furniture pieces you’ve chosen will fit!

An area rug can make a huge impact so choosing the right one takes time. When you’re choosing the size make sure at a minimum that the front feet of the sofa sits on the area rug. If your living room is big or part of a larger open plan, you might consider an area rug big enough so you can place all of your furniture on the rug to anchor the room. If you’re renting this is such a great opportunity to inject some of your own personality especially if you can’t change the wall colour.

The shape of the sofa is going to depend on the shape and size of the room itself as well as the look that you’re after. If you’re wanting a formal look placing two sofas opposite each other is going to work perfectly, however, if you’re after a more informal look consider a sectional sofa for added flexibility. If your room is on the smaller size paying a bit more for an extra deep seat is going to work brilliantly for added comfort.

Coffee table or side table? Again, this depends on the size and shape of the room and the look you’re going for. If you’re wanting a formal look a rectangle shape is going to work best. A round or oval shaped coffee table works really well for a sectional, chaise or corner lounge. If you’ve got a small living room you may decide against the coffee table and opt instead for a side table. For extra functionality look for stackable side tables or ones where the feet will sit underneath the sofa.

My final tip when picking out the key furniture items is to take your time and choose wisely. There is a lot of messaging out there for fast furniture and we can have everything yesterday but if your choices are going to be right for your living room and they’ll stand the test of time, buy once and buy well.

The details.

We’ve all got things in our lives that don’t necessarily hold a function but they hold a special place in our heart and in our history. These might have been collected on our travels, handed down as family heirlooms or we just love them because we do. This is what makes your house a home, what gives it personality and turns the imperfect, perfect in your eyes. Find a place to display these items and they’ll bring you joy every day.

Think about where you’re going to be displaying these items in the planning stage. Will they sit on the coffee table, entertainment unit, will you install floating shelves, a large custom built-in or a study area.

It’s also the perfect way to breathe life into your living room by displaying alongside some greenery. If you’re not much of a green thumb (yet!) why not start your indoor garden with Devil’s Ivy. With lots of design choices in planters find those that speak to your own personality as well as fit with your design style.

Considering all the senses when it comes to the details will add personality and bring a holistic approach to your design.

Cushions.

The cushion. The one item that can cause so many arguments! We each have our own strong opinions on how many cushions are the right number, how they should be displayed, what sizes and shapes look the best. One thing is certain, it’s the one item in the living room that provides flexibility in easily changing up a look quickly.

In my opinion, a living room, and in particular the sofa, isn’t dressed properly unless it has cushions on it. Cushions provide comfort and add cohesion and flow into the room simply by layering them. So, here are my preferences when it comes to choosing the right cushions for your living room.

The 50×50 is the best all-rounder and I’ll use at least 4 cushions to bring balance to the room and increase the number the bigger the sofa. Use a combination of colours/textures/pattern but always have 2 of each cushion for symmetry. I love to also include at least 1 lumber or other shaped cushion to relax the room a little. Feather inserts are plumper and softer than polyester inserts and while they cost more, they’re worth the extra investment. Thicker woven fabrics will keep the cushion shape better and always position the cushion on the flat side rather than making a diamond shape. For some added luxury, opt to have your cushions custom made with piping to reflect your personality.

Small people and pets.

When you’ve got small people and pets as part of your household you might think it’s better to not do anything at all and wait until they’ve grown up. The home represents security and safety, a place of love, a place to recalibrate and de-stress. The way you feel when you’re in your home impacts your health and well-being immensely, so creating the right surroundings for you to thrive is essential.

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I'm always looking for new ways to break down the language barriers that exists around the design world. Without the right language, it's really easy to become overwhelmed and shy away from lack of understanding. I want more of us to be able to experience the daily joys design brings to my life. I do this by sharing my own learnings, my knowledge and my experiences so that everyone can have a beautiful home. It's not just about the aesthetic beauty, it's also about the spiritual and emotional beauty that can exist in our homes. 

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