How to Choose The Right Furniture for Your Living Room
The key items of living room furniture include a comfortable and durable sofa, several lounging chairs, some storage items and a coffee or occasional table.
Sofa and chairs
It is important to be able to relax in the living room, so a comfortable sofa is essential. Treat it as an investment – as the saying goes, the bitterness of poor quality remains far longer than the sweetness of a low price, and this is particularly true when buying such as key piece of furniture as a sofa. Spend as much as your budget will allow; a good quality sofa will last for years. This does not mean, however, that you will have to base all future decorating schemes around the same sofa – there is a wide range of upholstery fabrics available, so it is easy to transform an old item of furniture to fit in with a new color scheme.
When choosing occasional chairs, look for ones covered with an upholstery fabric that links in with the color scheme of the room. Fabrics are the perfect way to unify an eclectic blend of furniture.
A coffee table provides a practical serving surface when entertaining, and is the ideal place for small children to sit, draw and play. For safety reasons, avoid glass-topped tables. If you feel that your chosen style of occasional table is unsuitable for little fingers holding crayons, supply an additional small table and chair at which children can play comfortably. Most children will happily sit at a coffee table and draw on a piece of paper, if available, rather than create a mural on your newly decorated walls.
Storage facilities are essential for the family living room, particularly if the room has to be multi-functional. In fact, storage can itself be multi-purpose. A toy box, for example, can double as a coffee table and even additional seating when padded with cushions. If you are tempted to purchase an old-fashioned coffer or traditional wooden box for this purpose, be, aware that a heavy wooden lid can cause terrible damage to a child’s fingers. There are slow hinges available that will stop a box slamming shut or, alternatively, a small channel can be cut along each side of the box, allowing ample space for little fingers when the lid is closed.
Televisions and hi-fis
In the family home, it is often best to conceal hi-fis and televisions inside custom-made units that have been decorated or designed in keeping with the finished room. This ensures that they become an integral part of the decorative scheme and will help you to avoid the tendency to ‘switch on’ as soon as you enter the room. Children, in particular, expect a television that is visible to be active when they are in the room but, if it is out of sight, they are more likely to read or become involved in other activities than request permission to watch a television programme. If you are designing or adapting a piece of furniture to house any form of electrical appliance, always make sure that it has adequate ventilation.