These living room rules need to be broken now!

Honor Kennedy Honor Kennedy
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Are you convinced a living room needs a sofa? Or perhaps that your dwelling must be painted white in order to look minimal and chic? Today on homify we are myth-busting some of the most common illusions when decorating a living room. From being afraid to mix and match styles, to removing window dressings, we've busted some long-held traditions in order to enhance and re-invigorate your internal spaces. 

Living rooms are often one of the most popular spaces in a house, and for this reason it is extremely important they are designed and treated with care. Since the living room is also the most common domestic area to entertain guests, it is also a brilliant space to impart some of your personality. You don’t need to be an interior designer to create a beautiful living room; instead you can instil a little style and originality by thinking outside of the box. If you need a little encouragement and would like some handy and helpful tips to re-design your domicile, read on for come inspiration and ideas!

Myth #1: a living room needs a sofa

Who says a living room needs a sofa? These days a living area is whatever you want it to be, and if you can create a space that feels good, it can have whatever furniture suits you and your household. Of course, sofas are still a wonderful addition to a living space, but a lounge doesn't need to rely on one to be a successful space or area of the home.  

How you can change your living space: 

Think a little outside the box with your seating; considering items such as pillows, armchairs, beanbags, benches and even hammocks as different ways to provide comfortable surfaces to rest, relax, socialise or entertain. 

Myth #2: a living room needs a television

One of the longest-held myths about living spaces involves the television. It is a common belief that the furniture in a lounge has to be centred around a screen in order to work successfully. In actual fact a living room can work far better when the television is removed completely. Instead of including it in a lounge, why not create a home theatre or dedicated family room where the TV can be used. 

How you can change your living space:

Forget about the family gathered around the goggle-box for an evening of staring blindly into a television screen; by removing your TV you will create a space that is far more conducive to reading, chatting and socialising. 

Myth #3: your windows must be properly dressed

People spend huge amounts of money on window dressings to create a certain mood or ambience within their living space, but surprisingly when it comes to windows they can actually be dressed in rather minimal coverings. Although your windows are an important part of the overall décor and style of your room, decorating them definitely isn't a necessity.

How you can change your living space:

Look at alternatives, especially if you are on a budget. There are plenty of different types of window dressings that are minimal and can look luxuriously opulent. Sheer curtains and drapes are particular popular, and can reduce the closed-in feeling that heavy textiles can often cause. Moreover, if you want to exclude window dressings altogether that is fine too! Curtain-less windows often look minimal and stylish, while allowing maximum natural illumination into the room. 

Myth #4: a living room needs a rug

There is no doubt that a rug can really tie the room furniture together, and anchor certain stylistic details within a space. However, a rug isn't an essential when it comes to a living room, and can easily be excluded.  

How you can change your living space:

Removing or excluding a rug in a living room works brilliantly if you have a space that has a high level of foot traffic. If you still want your space to feel comfortable, but want to avoid a rug, there are other things you can employ instead. Floor pillows, ottomans, and cushions are other options that will look and feel great. 

Myth #5: the ceiling has to be painted white

Ceilings can drastically alter the vibe and aura of a room, so it is important to get them correct! Having said that, ceilings don't necessarily need to be painted white in order to create an open ambience; darker ceilings, textured ceilings and other colours often create an interesting space that is original and full of character. 

How you can change your living space:

As ceilings are so important to the overall aesthetic of a space it can be a good idea to chat to a professional to get the right colour and design. Take a look at this example and inspire yourself to think a little outside the box with your ceiling space. 

Myth #6: small living rooms need light interiors

It has long been believed that a small or compact room needs to employ a light and bright colour scheme. This false belief couldn't be further from the truth! Small rooms look fabulous with darker hues, and can actually feel far larger than an area painted white. 

How you can change your living space:

If you are looking for a way to decorate a smaller lounge space, take some cues from this gorgeous example above. Texture is combined with darker grey drapes look effortlessly chic with the recessed lighting and warm timber floorboards. This room is unique, and wonderfully illustrates the use of a colour other than white in the living room. 

Myth #7: the sofa has to be against a wall

Finally, we are looking again at the seating in the living room. For years people have been designing their living rooms with the false belief that a sofa needs to be against a wall. We've all seen it; a living room with the sofa firmly pressed against the wall, definitely not making the most of the spatial dynamics within the room. The room often feels constricted and prohibits the sense of free movement throughout the space. 

How you can change your living space: 

If your room is large enough you need to rethink the way you organise your furniture. Shift that sofa from its parallel wall and move it into the centre of the room. Of course if your lounge is compact you will undoubtedly feel restricted in the allowable areas that can host your sofas. It's still okay to leave your sofa against the wall, but can be interesting to experience different configurations within the space. 

Are you ready to give your living room a makeover? If you need a little more encouragement, check out: Creating a cosy living room

Do you agree or disagree with some of these design myths? Contribute to the conversation by leaving a comment below!
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