Interiors

Formal Living Room Decorating Ideas

Since the whole concept of the formal living room is to make your guests feel comfortable and welcome for gatherings, everything in this room needs to be carefully chosen to impose a positive impression to everyone visiting your home. The design concept differs from an informal one because it aims to please a more general taste than family rooms. It almost always includes lush furniture, lavish artwork and perfect lighting. If you are feeling confused about decorating this type of place, here are some ideas that will set you on the right track.

Go neutral and monochrome

As we mentioned, the formal living room décor should be able to meet everyone’s taste. The best way to accomplish that is by avoiding conspicuous hues, such as red and yellow. Instead, you should stick to neutral tones, like beige and grey. Going monochrome translates to playing it safe, which is, in the case of a formal space, a good decision. Monochrome doesn’t have to be boring, though. You can switch from lighter to darker hues to create different zones or to affect the dynamics of the room.

Pop of color

Pop of color is such a frequently mentioned approach in interior design that it is close to becoming a cliché. However, we can’t forget that it has a clear purpose of preventing monotony and making a room more exciting. You can achieve it through small accents like throw pillows, table lamps, vases and other accessories.

Work in pairs

There is no such thing as an eclectic formal living room. Everything in this space needs to be moderate and thoughtfully chosen. While you don’t have to rely solely on furniture sets and the same accessory series, you should consider using items in pairs. Two of the same couches or armchairs will create a cohesive appearance in the living room, but you can create contrast with one piece in different color.

Encourage conversations

Formal living rooms are not so standard across the globe, especially considering the current trend of tiny housing, where the number of rooms is kept at the basics. That’s why there are so many mistakes in decorating them, one of them is pushing all the furniture to the walls. In Australia, it is pretty usual to include them in floor plans. Project homes across the country often offer this additional space as a part of the basic proposal. That’s why it is common knowledge that the furniture needs to be positioned in a circle around the coffee table and at a certain distance from the walls.

Choose a classic furniture style

There is nothing wrong with modern living room furniture, but you can significantly enrich a formal space by opting for timeless furniture pieces like wingback chairs, a silk or velvet sofa and a classic white sideboard.

Pair it up with modern accents

Now you can add modern units, such as an interesting coffee table or a minimalistic couch. Make sure to remain within the boundaries of a cohesive look. The contemporary and classic pieces should have some unifying feature, be it their color, fabric or material.

Let the daylight in

Natural light is one of the essential elements of a successfully designed living room. It creates ambiance, encourages electricity savings and improves the mood of all the people spending time there. That’s why large windows make sense in this room. If you consider it still to be dark and moody, you can use transparent curtains or remove the curtains, if the lack of privacy is not a deal-breaker for you.

Use the artificial lighting

Unless you are planning on having guests only when the sun is at its highest point, you should also install artificial light sources. The formal living room lights should meet three conditions: they should provide ambiance (ceiling fixture), enhance artwork and architectural elements (accent lights like wall lamps), and make specific tasks easier (table lamp for reading). Furthermore, light fixtures can be used as décor elements (e.g., striking chandeliers).

Let there be art

The formal concept often includes artwork as a unique focal point. If we are talking about paintings, they can often be used to unify the different elements of the décor by implementing different colors. Sculptures and similar items can bring a dash of classic or abstract.

A highlight piece

While a painting can definitely be the focus of the room, there are other objects that can be used to draw attention. That can be a beautifully framed mirror above the mantel, a piano, a built-in bookcase, or even a gallery wall exhibiting a selection of photographs of the same style.

Enrich the texture

Since a formal living room needs to be welcoming for the guests, it is vital for it to look and feel comfy. You will accomplish that by mixing different textures. Think about elements like a shaggy rug, knitted throw blanket, velvet sofa, silk pillows, leather pieces, etc.

Decorating a formal living room can be quite a challenge, especially when it is difficult for you to step away from your personal taste and design a space that is universally liked. However, with these tips, you will certainly succeed.

A post by dereklotts (6 Posts)

dereklotts is author at LeraBlog. The author's views are entirely his/her own and may not reflect the views and opinions of LeraBlog staff.
Derek Lotts is a Sydney based writer and researcher, a regular contributor at Smooth Decorator blog. He writes about décor, gardening, recycling, ecology and business. He thinks all of these topics fall under the self-improvement category. He believes in the power of sharing ideas and communicating via the internet to achieve betterment.

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