Before you purchase anything for a living room re-do, consider some design basics as you formulate your look. These simple but time-tested tips work in contemporary or transitional settings. As a real estate broker and a syndicated columnist on décor for luxury home markets in Naples, Florida and Westchester County, New York, I’ve seen few décor homeruns and many decorating disasters. My first piece of advice is to slow down your project, and consider some design basics that can help your new living room say, wow!
Balance. Furniture, accessories, artwork and natural light all assume a height, texture, tone and weight. Too many tall furniture pieces can be intimidating in a room. Low furniture can visually raise ceilings. Over-bearing artwork can dominate an otherwise calm space. Naturally textured fabrics and upholsteries can soften a cool space.
Scale. Keep in mind the seat backs heights on sofas and chairs. Varying heights can create chaos or break up a matchy-matchy room. Large over-stuffed sofas shouldn’t be paired with petite side chairs. And, watch those ottomans, they’ve been growing and can easily become an island in the center of a room.
Proportion. Remember the average height of people who will frequently use a room. If your family has several children, sofas with deep seats might be difficult to navigate. Artwork and accessories should be in the same size ranges; groups of photos should be cohesive and not randomly floating on a wall. Accessories should be placed in odd numbers.