In the hierarchy of your home, the living room often reigns supreme as the spot you’re spending most of your time. It’s all also the room you definitely want to get right design-wise. But sometimes, the goal of creating a stylish and comfy space can lead to certain design mistakes that always end up standing out (for all the wrong reasons). But lucky for you, they’re easy to avoid – and today we’re calling out the biggest decorating missteps (and showing you how to avoid them in your home).
In most homes, the living room ends up serving as a place to lounge, watch a movie, spend quality time together and entertain friends and family. So with some much purpose packed into one space, you really need to make the most of your design – and avoid mistakes that will make the room look and feel less appealing. So to set you up with a stylish space, we’re sharing Bobby’s expert tips on what to avoid – and how to fix your decorating faux-pas!
Keep scrolling to see the 5 biggest Living Room design mistakes – and what you should be doing instead.
Looking for more design advice? Check out our posts The Number #1 Thing Bobby Recommends You Do In Your Home and The Dos And Dont’s Of Styling Bookshelves: Bobby’s 4 Easy Tips.
1. A Rug That’s Undersized
A rug that’s too small for a space can have a big impact (and not the good kind). It can often make a living room feel out of scale or disconnected from the furniture. You want your rug to be a grounding piece that connects all the larger pieces in the room, and choosing the right size makes all the difference. To avoid a rug that’s too tiny, Bobby suggests making sure every piece of furniture is at least partially on the rug, (i.e. the front legs of your sofa). That will ensure the rug isn’t floating in the middle of the room and fills the space properly.
See our guide for finding the perfect sized rug HERE.
2. Furniture That’s Out Of Scale
It’s not just the style (and comfort) of your furniture that’s important – it’s also the size. Choosing pieces with the right scale for the room is just as crucial as how they look, and creating a balance of visual weight will make your living room feel more cohesive. Large pieces like a sectional need to be paired with pieces that are equally grand (otherwise small armchairs or a coffee table will look diminutive). When furnishing your living room, take Bobby’s advice. Start with the largest pieces (sofa, chairs, media console, and coffee table) to ensure they all work together scale-wise. Then layer in the rest of your items.
See what’s in style this year by checking out our post The Living Room Trends We’re Predicting For 2021 (And How To Add Them To Your Home).
3. Not Enough Greenery
For a living room to truly come to life, you need to add something that’s actually living. Bringing in plants creates a much-needed contrast with the hard lines of furniture and softens up space (not to mention cleans the air too). A living room that’s lacking in any greenery is kind of like an outfit without accessories. Yes, you can certainly wear it, but it doesn’t feel quite finished. For optimal impact, Bobby loves adding a large tree in a corner and then layering in a few smaller plants on the floor, coffee table, or built-ins. And if you don’t have enough natural light (or a green thumb), you can always add some faux plants as a natural alternative.
Ready to add some greenery? Check out The 6 House Plants That Are Nearly Impossible To Kill.
4. A Lack Of Lighting
Just like rugs, furniture, and greenery, lighting can totally enhance the look and feel of your living room. But relying on only one source of lighting in your living room is not a bright idea. Simply using one ceiling light fixture or a single or a pair of lamps means you’re focusing on just one level of light – and not filling the room for multiple needs. To create lighting that really shines, Bobby advises adding light at multiple levels. AMBIENT (ceiling lights) to fill the room, ACCENT (table lamps or sconces) to bring light to certain areas, and DIRECTIONAL (reading lamp) to point light for a specific task.
For more lighting ideas, don’t miss 36 Lighting Upgrades.
5. Furniture Flush Against A Wall
When planning a furniture layout, it’s natural to gravitate towards the edge of the living room for placement. But pushing furniture out to the walls won’t necessarily make a room feel bigger – it just creates more space between pieces (and often less function). The further away furniture is, the less opportunity for intimacy and feeling comfortable with family and friends. Instead of working towards the walls, Bobby likes to create conversational seating arrangements. Pull furniture forward into groups that make sense for a more connected space. Just be sure to keep at least 17″ of space for legroom between seating and your coffee table.
Shop all of Bobby’s favorite furniture HERE.