When you think of your lounge, do you think of a space to unwind and relax in, a meeting place where you can entertain friends and family, or a vibrant area where your children can play? Furthermore, do you have an open-plan space where you would like to see more division so you can create a separate living area?
Lounge rooms have many different functions, depending on the occupant’s needs, but they have one function in common – they should act as a comfortable, inviting space where people want to spend their time. It must be a space that allows the occupant to feel at ease and fulfilled, yet calm in the surroundings. The good news is this can be easily achievable with the right placement of furniture, colour selections, and finishes! Here are some insider tips on how to create your own perfect, ambient living room for your home.
A Relaxed Scene
The first thing to do is to rid yourself of clutter! Put things away and be strict about it. Chuck things that are of no use. William Morris, a famous 19th century designer, is behind the famous quote that is still true today: “If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” Make sure to have a clean space for a clean mind, so that you can truly relax. But keep the objects that you believe to be beautiful, as these are the items that will bring you visual joy.
The right ambience is important for a relaxed lounge setting. The texture is a vital element to consider. Materials such as wool, cashmere, and faux furs will instantly soften the space, making the area feel calm and serene. Along with materials, colour selection is always important. A combination of hues such as creams, beiges, taupes, and greys – or ‘greige’ – can be used as the main colour palette (and when used mindfully can add immediate warmth and a calming atmosphere). This base colour palette allows for the inclusion of colour in small doses without overwhelming the space and adding too much energy.
Everyone has their own emotional response to colour, brought on by individual experiences and memories. Try picking a couple of favourite colours and using them to add accents, such as cushions and throws, along with objects to add your own personal touch and individuality.
Another way to create a relaxed atmosphere is to add a touch of nature where possible. Position furniture for views of the garden, include plants in the area, or leave windows undressed for maximum nature views. Plants have been proven to calm the psyche and clear the mind, along with cleansing the interior air, so include them wherever possible!
An Entertainment Vibe
If you love to entertain in your lounge room, then you need a space that will invite guests in and enliven the mood of the area. For a lounge room that is used frequently for entertainment purposes, you’ll want to include ample seating that is either faced or angled towards each other – this will invite people in and encourage conversation. Try not to close off the living room furniture placement and ensure there is plenty of space for moving around to encourage a social environment. Leave the area free from obstruction to open the space for an easy conversation setting.
Don’t forget to add a vibrant selection of colours to the space! Reds and greens do a great job of encouraging conversation and setting a social scene. Red tones stimulate the brain and add excitement, whilst greens encourage emotion and communication. You may want to add a variety of colours with some complex hues to add a sense of allure to the space and keep the conversation flowing. Complex hues use a variation in texture and tone to keep the mind alert. This type of finish on colours is visually intriguing and will keep the mind focused.
It’s also worth noting that you don’t need to add colour in absolute abundance to achieve the desired effect. Soft furnishes such as cushions and throws, along with smaller objects, will also help deliver the desired environment. You can pair these brighter colours with natural materials, balancing the mood with texture – this will ensure that there isn’t too much energy included in the space.
Vibrant Family Area
Anyone wanting to achieve a comfortable, functional family area will need the right balance of shapes and colour. An obvious choice is to avoid sharp edges and breakable surfaces! Pick fabrics such as leather that are easy to clean and durable, or fabrics that have been treated with eco-friendly, non-toxic fabric protectors such as protectME. Try to avoid traditional fabric protectors, which can be packed with harmful VOCs – and don’t forget to choose colour selections that can withstand the occasional spill.
To add vibrancy to the space, the use of colour is as important as ever! Try using yellows and greens, along with blues, to liven up the area. They allude to nature (think: the sun, the sky, and green foliage) and are very therapeutic to have in your orbit, evoking feelings of freshness, health, and happiness. They also encourage good moods and cheerful energy, and actively reduce stress and agitation, leading to less commotion and an overall positive setting.
Lounge rooms can sometimes adjoin other functional spaces in the home, such as the dining or kitchen areas. In such cases, a purposeful division of space is necessary to create individual areas. The use of furniture placement is an effective way to do this. Placing a bookshelf or sideboard as a divider will instantly break up the space.
Another great way to create division is with the use of colour and/or texture. Paint walls with colours that sit opposite each other on the colour wheel (such as yellow and purple) or add definition with the use of tone. Go a good few shades darker or lighter than the main colour by adding grey or white to the existing colour as this will add depth to the hue and is instantly noticeable without creating a blatant contrast. Or try adding a bright colour to a wall that adjoins a neutrally painted wall. This approach will create an instant division, and the contradiction of colour will alert the mind to notice these are different areas.
You can create the same effect with the addition of wallpaper, used as a feature wall. Wallpaper is a great addition as it can add pattern and texture, as well as colour. It also comes in many different patterns and is an easy way to change the space instantly and economically.