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Living Room Issues

5 Living Room Issues (and How to Fix Them)

I’ve had many a moment standing in my living room trying to work out why it doesn’t feel right. If you’ve ever had a similar scenario in your own space, this post is going to help, by pointing out five key issues that are stopping your living room from working – and how to fix them!

Layout Before and After

1. The Layout isn’t Working.
When you walk into the living room, it should have a sense of direction. People should know where to go, how to travel through the space and where to stop and sit (or look at a focal point). If yours has a block in flow, like the before shot above, you may need to change the layout.

Solution:
Even a small tweak in furniture angle or placement can make a huge difference to the flow! Have a play with moving things around in your room and see if it helps. Try bringing couches away from walls, too, and consider moving the TV so it’s not your focal point.

Styling around a TV

2. The TV is the Focal Point.
When you enter your living room, what’s the first thing you see? What’s the focal point or dominant piece? All too often it’s the TV – and it’s not the prettiest thing to look at when it’s switched off, let’s face it!

Solution:
Granted, you may not have the budget to buy a unit you can close your TV away in. But you can decorate around it with photo frames and art. The more you have going on around the TV, the more you can camouflage it. The room above does this marvellously. Shelving around the TV can help frame it, too.

Living Room with Scale issues

3. The Scale is Off.
Sometimes we chose form over function; we love a piece of furniture and hold onto it for years, despite it not working in the space. Often, a coffee table might be too small (like in the picture above) and it makes the room look odd. The same can happen in the reverse; a huge couch crammed into a small space is going to look very uncomfortable.

Solution:
If it’s small items in a large room, try moving couches off walls and bring the pieces closer together to create a cosier nook. If you have a piece that’s too large for a space or feels overly imposing, that’s more problematic and it’s best to see if it can work in another room in your home – or keep surrounding furniture and accessories minimal.

Trend Colours outdated

4. Your Trend Has Dated.
I always say that following trends too closely or going all out is a real no-no. Sure, the black-red-white Oriental theme was great years ago, but now you’re stuck with a room you just can’t bare the look of anymore because it feels outdated.

Solution:
A trend can be softened by tweaking some of the more obvious pieces or removing a particular colour. Try painting over or covering the most offensive element of the trend. A new rug, throws, painting the wall and popping up some canvas art are affordable ways to move away from the old trend. Hit Pinterest and find ways to decorate around the pieces you’re stuck with.

Personal Vignette styling

5. It’s Void of Personality.
I always say that every room should have you in it. All too often we follow the pages of the mags too closely and create a room that’s been styled within an inch of its life – and with no personality! This is often the element that makes a room feel full of life or completely void of it.

Solution:
Photos, trinkets, childhood mementos, a kid’s drawing; these are the things that maker your home your home! Bring them into your living room so when guests come over the space oozes life, love and laughter. Even if your preferred scheme is a more formal one, you can still add character by framing objects in a sophisticated box frame or the like.

Share your Ideas!

Photo Credits for this Post: Layout pic via http://www.imbusyprocrastinating.com, Focal Point pic via http://www.designmanifest.com, Scale pic via http://housing.gatech.edu, Trend pic via http://www.coosyd.com, Personality pic via Pinterest.

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Outside of writing the TLC Interiors blog, Chris is an interior stylist and author. You can also catch him on your TV screens as a designer on Channel 10's Changing Rooms. If you'd like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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