Adding warmth to your living room
The living room is one of the more challenging spaces to design as this area functions as both a public and private domain of the household: one moment it accommodates guests, the next, it serves as an entertainment venue for the family. In this sense, the living area must be everything to everyone at any given time: hospitable yet homely, a quality that embodies warmth. To help you ensure that you living room is welcoming as such, here are some quick fixes:
"Soft + open = home"
Invest in quality soft furnishings: chairs/sofas that are accommodating, pillows that are snuggly, area rugs and draperies that line the room. But you do not want to cram the room with many of these, be discerning as to what you really need because you would want to keep the space as open as possible so that users of the space feel relaxed and not be overwhelmed. A good way to make sure you have enough seating for everyone is to count the members of your family-at the end of the day, these people are the ones who you would want to use this space the most.
Lighting can be considered as one of the more important element to any room of the home. Adding accent lighting by way of lamps of all kinds (table lamps, floor lamps, wall lamps, etc.) can instantly add character and interest to an otherwise unstimulating space. Make sure to use light bulbs that come in ‘warm’ colors to stimulate relaxation and what else? warmth. Most light bulbs available in the market today offer warm configurations that simulate the color provided by incandescent bulbs that although may cost more initially, but is definitely worth it in the long-run.
Playing with textured materials-soft or otherwise-can add another dimension to your space. The tactile experience one can get from textured area rugs (jute, abaca, etc.) and throw pillows (embroidered, ruffled, etc.) can be rewarding and even surprising (in a good way) to an unsuspecting guest or even the most acclimatized member of the household.
"Learn how to layer"
As mentioned, soft furnishings are very crucial to ensuring that your living room is as welcoming as possible. Dressing your windows is one of the easiest way to ensure that the walls that enclose your living area add to this experience. Layering curtains of various weight (heavy, sheer, etc.), pattern and texture on the other hand can instantly spell ‘professionally-executed’. Worry not, there is no need for a complete overhaul, look at what you have and just add a layer to it. If you have a plain, cotton canvas curtain on hand, buy a sheer, ruffled curtain from the same color family for a subtle, monochromatic look. If you have an organic/geometric-printed curtain, you can opt for a plain, semi-sheer curtain in a color that is found on the one you already have.
IDr. Louie T. Navarro, PIID, CIDE is a co-founder and Senior Interior Design Associate of 1B Design Group Inc. that specializes in residential and commercial interiors. With a BFA Interior Design degree from the University of Santo Tomas and an MA Art Studies (major in Art Theory and Criticism) from the University of the Philippines Diliman, he is also a part-time educator for the interior design programs of UST and De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde.
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