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Top 5 Design Principles for a Beautiful Living Room

Have you ever fawned over the pages of an interior home magazine? It seems each spread features the most beautifully designed space that is both effortless and timeless. You wish you could recreate these schemes in your own home, but you have no idea where to begin the interior design process. Successful interiors utilize key design principles. These principles create a classic, cohesive, and well-thought-out space. Ideally, each room in your home should follow these principles.

But, your living room design may be the most important of all. That’s because living rooms act as the heart of your home. These are the spaces where your family gathers or where you entertain guests.

Therefore, it is important to create a space that feels comfortable but looks impressive. Read on to learn the top five interior design principles you need to create a beautiful living room.


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(Image credit: Rafael Soldi)

1. Create a Focal Point 

In design, a focal point can be an object or space that draws the eye or catches attention. By choosing a focal point or area of focus for your living room, you center your space and create a design story.

For example, mantels and fireplaces are beautiful focal points. Try choosing specific accessories to draw the eye to these areas. This farmhouse iron mantel strap does the trick.

2. Mix Materials 

Beautiful design is often layered and collected. While designing your living room in one style may seem easy, it can make the space feel flat and uninspired.

Instead, mix materials and designs to create a storied look. For example, pair an upholstered couch with a wood coffee table or glass end table. You can even make a river table out of reclaimed cedarwood. Learning how to make a resin table with epoxy and this type of wood is an excellent way to create unique living room furniture.

Also, don’t forget to highlight metals in your living room if you want a modern twist. Displays made of copper, bronze, or stainless steel can give your living room a contemporary or modern look. 

Rugs, throw pillows, and other fabrics can help make your living room more comfortable. These allow you to relax on your couch, lie down, or sit while hugging fluffy cushions and your feet resting on a soft Bohemian-style carpet or rug.

You can also decorate your living room with bean bags to look and feel more comfortable and versatile. A classic bean bag has a doughnut shape, but modern bean bags have a wide array of shapes and sizes. You can fill an empty corner with a round or sqaure bean bag, featuring high-quality materials and luxurious style elements that can suit any home interior.

3. Seek Symmetry

Psychological studies suggest that symmetry is more than just pleasing to the eye. This design principle can help soothe the mind. When choosing a living room furnishing or home decor, seek symmetric designs or items in pairs.

For example, matching wall sconces or buffet table lamps help balance a space. This is one of the best interior design principles to help your living room feel well-thought-out and put together. Attaining symmetry involves parallelism, balance, and harmony. Implementing this living room design principle can help make your space look more organized, giving a perfect modern or classic theme too.

Other ways to attain symmetry include pairing sofas, chairs, and side tables on opposing sides of the room. Add artwork to an empty wall, such as a large acrylic landscape painting, to balance out the opposite large window. Balance design elements using a central focal point to balance any asymmetrical design and bring various materials across the living room space.

4. Know the Flow

The best interior designers spend hours mapping out living room floor plans. This work helps identify how the room will flow and what furniture placement will work best. The flow of the room helps to create balance and make the space look more attractive. Indoor air quality is crucial for your family’s health. So, you must ensure that the indoor air circulation is adequate.

To achieve this goal, avoid crowding the central space, which can obstruct airflow. If you’re a minimalist, then planning where to place your appliances and furniture can help you create an excellent flow of all the design elements in your living room.

Aside from the airflow, you also need to think of the flow of movement across your living room space. There could be obstructive things that can also be a safety hazard to other family members, such as young children and the elderly. For instance, you can replace a rectangular glass table with pointed edges with a round wooden table. Breakable or fragile home decors, such as figurines and statues, should be put away from movable tables and chairs. Provide more space to allow unrestricted movement, placing furniture pieces against the wall.

5. Scale Matters 

Scale refers to the proportion and size of your living room furniture or home decor items. Mastering scale in interior design will transform your living room into an eye-pleasing and attractive space. For example, knowing the right scale for artwork or even a lampshade can make a huge difference in your overall design scheme.


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These Design Principles Can Transform Your Living Room 

Think of design principles as maps or guides for creating the living room of your dreams. These five principles can help ground your design and create a living room space that is both functional and aesthetically appealing. Remember that good design reaches far beyond color, fabric, or style.

Principles like symmetry, flow, and scale make a good design great. Did you find this information interesting? Then, check out our other home design stories.

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