Common Living Room Design Mistakes

traditional living roomSometimes designing an interior space can become overwhelming if you feel that you don’t have the knowledge or expertise to pull it off. But given a list of interior design “don’ts,” the prospect of designing your space can become a lot less intimidating. Here is a list of some of the most common living room design mistakes to help you as you plan out your living room space.

Ineffective furniture layout

Your first idea for furniture layout isn’t always your best idea. If you want your fireplace to be the focal point of your living room, for example, should your sofa and chairs really be oriented around the TV? Or, is your furniture arranged closely enough that people can comfortably hold a conversation? Consider what you want your focal point to be, where the most traffic will be, and whether you should try floating some furniture as you plan your furniture layout.

Choosing the wrong size rug

Selecting the correct size for your living room rug is a science in itself. We offer some tips on selecting the right size of rug in this blog post. Put briefly, many people choose a rug that is too small for the living room. Your living room rug should accommodate not only your coffee table but also the surrounding furniture. The ideal is to have all furniture legs on the rug, but if you can’t manage that, then at least be consistent with your furniture leg placement (such as having just the front legs of opposing furniture pieces on the rug.)

Hanging artwork too high

As we mentioned in our post earlier this month about design tips for the modern living room, artwork needs to be hung at average eye level—that’s with the midpoint at 57 to 60 inches up from the floor.

Selecting artwork that is too small

Similarly, many people make the mistake of hanging artwork that is too small, letting it be swallowed up by much larger furniture pieces or simply by the much larger surrounding wall. Be sure to scale your artwork against the surrounding wall and furniture pieces before you hang it up. And if your artwork seems to be small—move it somewhere else where it will make an impact.

Too much clutter

Many people have a habit of keeping too many items out on display, even leaving things out that don’t see much use. Try to pare down the things you keep out on your coffee table and end tables so that you have room for functionality (having a place to set your drink down, for example.)

Not styling your bookcase

Does your living room feature a bookcase? Rather than simply filling it with books, design it with some purpose. Group a small cluster of upright books in the middle of a shelf, for example, and then flank it on both sides with neatly stacked books or decorative pieces. When done with a light hand, this will help maintain breathing room in your living room space.