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L.Srikumar Pai
B.Sc( Engg.), MIE, MIWWA, MICI
Civil Engineer & CAD Specialist
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 Interior Design- Living Rooms

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A living room, also known as sitting room, lounge room or lounge  is a room for entertaining guests, reading, watching TV or other activities. The term front room can also be used to describe a living room, because in many homes the living room is at the very front.

In modern homes and apartments, the living room has replaced the old-fashioned front parlour.In the 19th century, the front parlour was the room in the house used for formal social events, including where the recently deceased were laid out before their funeral.

A typical western living room will be furnished with a sofa, chairs, occasional tables, a television or stereo equipment, and bookshelves, as well as other pieces of furniture. Traditionally, a sitting room in the United Kingdom would have a fireplace. In Japan, people traditionally sat on tatami instead of chairs, but Western-style decor is also common these days.

In the United States, sometimes the living room is reserved for more formal and quiet entertaining while a separate recreation room or family room is used for more casual activities and drinking. In recent years, the term

Your living room no longer needs to be that formal, unused room just off the entryway.  Gone are the days of the proper parlor where you sipped tea, and remember those matching living room sets where people left the plastic on so they wouldnít get dirty?  (OK, I may be dating myself with that one) Why?  What purpose could it possibly serve to have a room that was never used?  To receive visitors Ė that was about it.

Life it much too casual in this day and age to continue to have that formal living room to entertain in only a few times a year.  You can still have a nice room for having guests, but a stiff, formal room is not exactly conducive to having a nice visit with friends and making people feel comfortable while entertaining.

Start living in your living room again.  Make it more user-friendly instead of letting it set cold and lonely.  This room is crying out for a makeover.

  • Use more versatile furniture and invest in classic pieces that wonít look outdated within the next few years.
  • Make your living room look more comfortable and ďlived in,Ē start with comfortable seating and mix in antiques or vintage pieces.   Antiques donít necessarily have to be formal Victorian pieces, there are plenty of more casual antiques available for living rooms.
  • Avoid buying sets or groupings, instead select individual pieces that blend and work well together.  Donít buy the matching couch, loveseat and chair set.  The only matching that you should do with furniture would be perhaps a pair of loveseats in a seating area.  Donít use a lonely, single chair in the corner either, someone may actually use it and feel left out, try to keep seating in groups to encourage conversation and interaction.
  • Have furniture of varying heights to add interest to a room and create a homey effect.
  • Place lighting at different levels in the room. Use a combination of accent lighting, table lamps and decorative lamps to add warmth and atmosphere to your living room.
  • Keep lampshades and throw pillows up to date, either by replacing or customizing them.  If you even think of having doilies on the arms of your chairs and couches, you will be tarred and feathered.  You can only use these in a Victorian period room.
  • Keep the delicate antiques and collectibles in an area where you donít have to worry about them getting broken and your guests donít have to worry about tiptoeing around them.  Try a curio cabinet or display shelves to keep them out of harmís way.
  • Try to create a 'lived-in' look for your living room, in other words, make it look like you use it more often than you actually do.   Place small furniture in the room, accent tables or an ottoman work well.  Place magazines or a coffee table book on tables Ė they can spark conversation as well as liven up the room.   Donít overaccessorize, or the room will look too cluttered.

If you tone down the formality of your living room, you can not only make guests more comfortable, but you can make it comfortable enough to make it your own personal hideaway.  Wouldnít you love to have a living room you actually use?

( Courtesy: )

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