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Living Room Flooring Guide

As Australia's flooring specialists, we know how important living room flooring is when you're looking to create a certain look and feel in your home. Our living room design directions tell you everything you need to know to help you decide which flooring is right for you.

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Living Room Flooring Guide

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Living Room Flooring Guide

8 Living room design directions

There are infinite options for laying out your living room. And while a lot of your design choices will be contingent on the size and space you have available there are a few common approaches that are tried and tested. You don't have to stick religiously to any particular design approach, but consistency is a basic feature of any stylish room, so we've listed a few simple directions that you could go down when designing your living room.

1. Traditional

What makes a traditional living room traditional? It's all to do with classic features along with that classic living room comfort: A comfy sofa with one or two arm chairs laid out around a coffee table, maybe in front of a TV. This layout serves a range of purposes for living rooms that are used for chilling out, chatting, eating and watching TV.

Beyond layout, the traditional living room goes for earthy or neutral tones to compliment the eclectic mix of things that unavoidably end up in living rooms - from bookshelves to toy chests to bureaus, desks and tables. From a style perspective, when you think of the traditional living room you might think of your parents' living rooms you grew up with, which probably means decor that would now seem rather aged. But in fact those floral curtains and patterned rugs that fast grew out of fashion in the 80s and 90s are seeing a resurgence as 'traditional' looks become all the more stylish for designers.

2. Snug

Another option for living room design is to go all-out on comfort and lay your room out like a snug. This is an easy design plan, because basically you'll be going for all soft furnishings without any extra bits of hard furniture. The more soft furnishings you can pack in the better, so you're going to want to fill that extra floor space with luxury carpet, shag-pile rugs and floor cushions. Part of creating a snug is ensuring there's ample seating for a lot of people even if the room is small. In fact, the smaller your living room the better as limited space draws the room in and adds to the cosy feel. Colour-wise you should be going for warm natural tones. Soft orange/yellow lighting is also really important as a snug shouldn't just be soft to the touch but soft on the eyes too.

3. Open plan

Going open plan is probably the complete opposite of the snug look. Rather than drawing the room in to make it cosy you want to try and expand it out to make it as big and airy as possible. Going open plan might not exactly be a choice if this is already the lay out of your house, but any living room with a lot of natural light and open space can be great as part of an open plan living space, especially if you like to entertain lots of guests. Going for light colours is the best option for open plan spaces, it also means you can bring in big-ticket items of furniture, plants or tables that wouldn't really fit in a smaller dedicated living room.

Open Plan Living Room Design

4. Entertainment centre

A TV is almost a staple item of furniture these days, and the place to watch it is usually the living room, so this should form part of the design too. Certain layouts can make a screen the focal point of the room. Having your sofas facing the front is the basic idea for this, but, more generally, having an entertainment centre for a living room means having a modern design with crisp clean decor, really comfy chairs and shelving for that all-important surround sound.

5. Country living room

A country style living room is a trendy take on the traditional design. With a greater emphasis on hard surfaces, natural wooden furniture and pastel shades in your colour scheme you can transform any living room into a country style design with minimal effort. Wooden floors are a great start, softened up with a rug or two. Wooden coffee tables too should come as standard, with a few flower features and floral patterns to match. A country living room is a more natural approach, moving away from a TV centric area and focussing more on a space that would be ideal for serving afternoon tea and cake.

6. Contemporary living room

Contemporary living rooms focus on usability. If you want a smart modern living room that's robust enough to deal with the wears and tears of life then your contemporary should think about the durability of materials. Leather sofas can be a slight compromise on comfort but they last and can always be comfied-up with a few throw cushions. The same goes for more durable flooring, wood in particular, which can always be covered with a modern rug to soften the edges. Easy clean surfaces including vinyls and glass will provide a smooth modern finish and the clear and clean lines will add to the contemporary look.

7. Sophisticated design

If you want to go a few steps further to impress with your lounge you can focus on a sophisticated look. Sophistication comes with particular attention to feature furniture and the overall aesthetic of the room. A tier of sofa designs are well known for their sophisticated look, from the well-known Chesterfield that would look great in an antique styled sophisticated living room, to a Barcelona style sofa for an iconic look of modern sophistication. The issue with going in this direction is that you are compromising comfort for the look, and a pricey look at that, but if you like to show off your fashionable eye to your friends then your living room should be all about book cases filled with aged hard backs and well-framed art on the walls.

Showroom Hotel Living Room Design

8. Showroom/hotel style

Going for the showroom aesthetic is really about clearing the clutter to the extremes. The target is to keep everything as simple and clean as possible. While this is a hard thing to achieve if your living room is going to be well-used, if you're lounge is rather more of an add-on to your usual living space going for a showroom can be a good way to impress guests. Look to use high-contrast colour schemes, such as by using a brightly coloured sofa, or with bright cushions, or neutral decor with flashes of colour for the added features.
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8 Living room design directions - Darren Palmer

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