In my humble opinion, we saved the best room for last. Living rooms have always been my very favourite spaces to design. They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, but I tend to believe the living room is where all the action happens. Family’s gather, Christmas gifts are opened, movie nights are had. What’s not to love?! Plus? We have the brilliant purveryor of all things beautiful, Kishani Perera, sharing some of her top living room secrets. And in case you want more, you should probably check out her book. It’s inspiration overload!
SMP: Your favourite living room you’ve ever designed?
KP: I designed Jason Statham & Rosie Huntington Whiteley’s home, and their living room is my favorite! The room was dark, moody, chic and captivating. We went for a rich grey palette, and accented it with a beautiful Moroccan rug and several vintage and unique accessories.
SMP: One splurge-worthy living room item?
KP: A beautiful rug. The simplest sofa and coffee table can be elevated and made to feel more intriguing if placed on a gorgeous area rug. In particular I love vintage floor coverings!
SMP: The biggest mistake most people make in the living room design?
KP: Matchy Matchy! The biggest mistake you can make is trying to match everything, from sets, as described above, to finishes and colors.
SMP: Fact or fiction: you should only use one type of wood in your design:
KP: Fiction. Mixing it up is always better! I recommend combing two wood finishes in a room, or more if you feel confident in your design skills!
1. Create seating arrangements that are conducive to conversation. Often living rooms are set up in such a formal way it makes it very difficult to have comfortable conversations within the space. If you’re lucky enough to have a spacious living room, I encourage multiple seating groups rather than one large one.
2. Combine vintage with new. This is one of my general rules, but one that’s especially poignant in living rooms. There is something about adding vintage touches to a living room that makes if feel more welcoming and warm to your guests. Whether just accessories, art, or textiles, a bit of vintage goes a long way!
3. Break up matching sets. If you love a collection from a particular store, resist the temptation to buy every piece from the collection. Purchase the sofa for example, and combine it with a pair of chairs from another store, or better yet, a mismatched pair of chairs that complement each other and the sofa.
4. As in all other rooms, lighting is very important in the living room as well. Here I like to rely on floor and table lamps to provide the majority of the lighting. If you have a space with can lights, include table lamps as well and don’t rely completely on the cans. Although practical, they don’t provide the soft ambient light that promotes conversation and relaxation.
5. When purchasing rugs for a living room, be sure to lay out your furniture and then select a rug that is wider and longer than the area that your furniture sits on. A very common mistake people make when buying rugs is buying ones that are only slightly larger than their coffee tables. The rug should sit comfortably outside the edges of your sofas and chairs.