Aim for flexibility in lighting. Similar to dressing in multiple layers in winter, layering drapery panes over shades for maximum light adjustment in your living room will make it more pleasant to use at different times of the day and year, as well as for various activities. Drapes also visually soften the hard-edged appearance of Venetian blinds while adding style. This living room, for example, would look a bit bland without the light blue drapery. Wrap yourself up. A cozy throw is perhaps the easiest and cheapest living room addition. It'll get loads of use in the winter, and even in the summer by guests who may not fully appreciate your AC setting.
Taking a break from the traditional sofa-and-table setup can create the negative space a room needs. Removing traditionally placed furniture is not about minimalism and empty spaces, but rather about liberating areas to highlight elements that personalize and add character, as shown in this tranquil room. A pared-down arrangement may seem bare at first, but your eye will quickly acclimatize to a cleaner, calmer look. Alternatively, negative space can de-emphasize architectural features that you don't wish to draw attention to, such as awkward angles or a too-high ceiling. When you offer plenty of visual interest at floor level, hardly anybody looks upward. Depending on perspective, negative and positive areas may swap places. Viewed one way, the four-petaled floral shape on these tiles is positive, and the white becomes negative space. The illusion is reversible, revealing a pointed white diamond in a black circle.
If you prefer the sleek look, don't think you need to go with a rustic theme to add texture. Look for chunky woven fabrics for furniture and throw pillows, grass cloth or fabric wallcovering and natural-fiber carpets. Linen is a great choice too. Notice here how the upholstered table catches the light beautifully. Throw in some curves for inclusiveness and comfort. Curves are intuitively more inviting than rectilinear shapes. Rounded and soft, they tend to make us feel more protected and comforted. Creating a quasi circle, this pair of curved sofas fosters inclusivity. One side completes the other, so neither sofa feels cut off, making conversation more relaxed. Rest your arms. Arms that sit too low on sofas and chairs top my list of pet peeves. Before you buy furniture, sit down and test it to make sure that not only the arms, but also the height, depth and back angle are reasonably comfortable. The last thing you want is a sofa or chair that looks nice but that you avoid because it's uncomfortable.
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