Wall to Wall Trends: Living Room
The living room is one of the most important rooms of your entire home, and as such deserves special attention when considering a remodel or renovation. The living room is typically the main place that your family will gather to spend time together watching movies, playing board games, reading, or just hanging out, and is also one of the rooms that guests will see and spend considerable time in. A living room often serves several purposes, particularly in large families, and as such should reflect a style and functionality that best matches your family’s needs and tastes.
In terms of design, fusion styles are becoming popular. Whether combining Scandinavian and industrial chic, or old-fashioned florals with a fresh, tropical flair, fusion designs offer a wonderful opportunity to express your unique style, make use of some fun pieces of decor, or showcase that family heirloom in a new way. One significant downside is that fusion designs are often intensely personal, and a potential homebuyer might not share your taste. However, if you plan on living in your home for more than a couple of years, you should consider the value to your own family of customizing spaces that you’ll be able to enjoy for thousands of hours.
Image: Wall Paper Decor
Limewashing walls is another increasingly popular way to add some texture and visual interest to an otherwise monochromatic wall. Limestone, or sometimes calcium carbonate, is crushed and burned, then blended with natural pigments to create limewash, which gives walls a textured, old-timey look. Limewash is a very traditional finish that originated in colonial homes, so it often matches perfectly with most furniture styles. Easy-to-use premade finishes are helping drive the resurgence of this style.
Small splashes of fun colors are also popular, whether in the form of colorful couch pillows, a statement rug, or colorful wall art. As far as art goes, art ledges are an easy-to-install trend. Usually, they’re thin shelves at about eye-level, often with a lip, with art frames set on them to lean against the wall. Art ledges let you rearrange your art easily and endlessly as your tastes change, or if you want to put up seasonal art or decorations. Art ledges can also add a refined, elegant touch to a space, and they go well with more modern styles.
Layered or clustered coffee tables – multiple small coffee tables grouped together – are also a trend, although a somewhat controversial one. Modern designers seem to either love them or hate them. Clustered coffee tables work best in small spaces, when they’re of the same style and material, but at differing heights. Usually, the coffee tables used for clustering are circular and relatively small.
Image: Mark Cutler Design
Continuing trends of both increased personalization and increased sustainability, DIY accents are becoming increasingly popular. Unique accent pieces, including re-purposed containers, antique knick-knacks, hand prints in the plaster, and vintage art, can create a visually interesting focal point for your living room, helping to tell a certain story or create a conversation piece. Using DIY accents can also help to highlight a certain aspect of your family history or pay homage to your particular interests and skills.
Greener rooms are also catching on, and not just in the environmental sustainability sense. Whether a window-box containing herbs, a trellis right outside the window, or a living wall, plants are making their way into our living spaces. Living walls and trellises compliment wooden furniture and curved lines very well, and they can help tremendously in creating a peaceful, relaxing atmosphere. Other natural pieces, like a polished wooden tree-trunk table, can make a fun statement. In terms of accent colors, neutrals like rust, charcoal, and cream go very well with country styles and natural designs.
Small marble accents are also increasing in popularity, as a more affordable way to add elegance to a room. Marble has a timeless, classic quality, and sometimes interesting pieces can be picked up at a big discount from area estate sales or flea markets.
In terms of color, light pinks and blues are catching on, though usually not together. Blues are one of the more calming shades, while pale pinks and soft purples can range from relaxing to inviting. Both are elegant and match well with the vast majority of styles. Pink is best as an accent color against white, grey, or brown, while blue can work either as an accent or on a wall.
Some homeowners are also opting to design their living rooms to be entirely tech-free, instead preserving them as spaces for family socializing or quiet reading. Organizing furniture around the fireplace instead of the TV works well with this design, especially during a frosty winter when a warm fire can suddenly become the most popular spot in the house.
Furniture styles for the living room are trending towards pieces better suited for lounging rather than simply looking sharp, as families realize that living rooms are not just for entertaining guests, they are also where parents and children may spend considerable time together. Most comfortable furniture is rather low, but you can generally find pieces that are raised, which is particularly desirable if you have older family members who may have trouble getting back out of low couches. Squared edges on couch armrests can help keep soft furniture from looking frumpy, if a crisper look is your goal.
If you live in a cold climate and your entryway opens up into your living room, one trend to consider is a heated entryway floor. Warm tiles can make a massive difference when it comes time to change from your outdoor winter boots into fuzzy slippers.
Regardless of your decision when considering a living room remodel, keep in mind how the space will be used, what “story” you want it to tell, and your overall budget for achieving your dreams. Don’t be afraid to pursue your dreams for the space, particularly if you are fairly confident that you’ll be able to enjoy your living room for many years to come.
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