There’s no denying it – decorating can be overwhelming, even if you focus on just one room at a time. The easy answer is to hire a designer to help you, but that’s not always in the cards, especially if you’re on a budget.
However, the most practical way to decorate a room is to hone in on five or so big pieces to set the scene. When designing your living space, it’s super important to get the ‘big’ pieces right the first time.
Honestly, if you lay a solid foundation for a room, you can worry about adding that last layer of personality later, just by collecting things you love as you experience life.
Start from the Floor Up With an Area Rug
Once upon a time, we assumed rugs literally existed to prevent cold feet. And sure, they are a spot where you can add a hit of pattern and color, if you are into those things.
However, rugs work a whole lot harder, design-wise in the grand scheme of a room. They ground the room, help with noise levels, define the space, and make the room feel cozy.
Anything kind of goes with rugs right now. You can find something super graphic and patterned if that’s your style or go with a more tonal textured piece.
Either way, the rug is what will define the mood for your space.
The Seating Comes Second
You got to decide how you are going to live in the space and if you are a sectional or couch type.
Your seating will be your biggest investment in this room, and that’s the way it should be.
Comfort may be the most important thing to you, so a slouchy sectional might be just right. Or maybe you want something more streamlined or tailored because you entertain a lot and want a more formal set up.
Regardless, you want something that “fits the room properly, is comfortable, and holds its shape.
A Good Coffee Table Is the Third Must-Have
Obviously, we all need a surface for our snacks and drinks, so a coffee table is a no-brainer. A coffee table is practical, helps keep your remotes organized, and adds style, especially when you decorate with coffee table books and décor.
Bigger isn’t always better. If you have a small space, consider an alternative to a traditional coffee table such as a pair of drum stools or a little vintage trunk. Know your limits, though. If you can’t stand water rings, marble isn’t for you. Wood or glass are always safe bets.
Don’t Forget Window Treatments
Soften the look of the room with drapery. You might not have the time or money for custom curtains, but there are plenty of basic, off-the-shelf shades and drapes that will pull your room together and make it feel finished.
You just want something that will block a little light and give you some privacy, especially if you live on a busy street. Bonus points if you can find a print that doesn’t overwhelm the room.
Read Also: 5 Things You Should Consider When You Are Buying Curtains
Finally, Let There Be Light
Lamps provide soft lighting rather than the harsh glare of overhead lighting. “They also add character and dimension to the room.”
You definitely want a mix here – chandelier or pendant, table lamps, floor lamps, even a wall-mounted light or two.
Multiple light sources can carry you through changing seasons and entertaining guests while small can lights can be directed toward fabulous art, while chunky lamps on end tables create ambiance.
Related Article: These Are the Best Lighting Options for your Apartment
If you start with these pieces, you will be well on your way to a pretty and functional living room. The key is to not sweat the small stuff too soon or get bogged down in the details before you lay the proper groundwork.