Does your living room have what it takes to cosy in or open the doors to guests? We’re giving you the ten essential items you need to make the grade in your home.
Living rooms are such an essential part of the house. When it comes to selling your home, there are three rooms you really want to focus your attention on and get right, the bathroom, which needs to feel bright and clean, the kitchen, arguably the heart of a house, and the living room, I guess, which can be the soul of a home. While the kitchen is a fast-paced hive of action, the living room is a more refined space where family, relatives, friends and acquaintances can gather and share time together.
Depending on your family and the way your home runs, a living room might be used for some quiet alone time, snuggled up on the couch (with or without a pet). Entertaining, socialising, coming together as a family to watch a favourite show, cheering on your sports team in a crowd of friends and neighbours. It might be your chosen place to eat dessert or space for games nights. No matter your individual preferences it’s well worth setting up your living room space for comfort and style.
If you are looking to put your home on the market and are looking for some staging tips, try these suggestions as well and see if it gives your home's soul a wider appeal.
Here are the ten living room essentials you’ll need to really love your living room space and feel joy and satisfaction every time you use it, either just for yourself or entertaining guests.
When it comes to living room space, go for something comfortable and fun.
Nothing is more uncomfortable than being blown around by the weather. For a comfortable living room, you’ll need to be able to control the temperature. The heart of this lies in good sealing. Make sure you have quality insulation and stop up any drafts. Curtains can also help control the temperature around windows. After that, you can look at what will work best for your space and home. A ceiling fan, big open window, reverse cycle aircon or open fire can all help give the room a comfortable feel and add value to your home.
You’ll need great heating and cooling solutions to make your home welcoming no matter the climate.
You can go the extra mile and have your heating or cooling remote activated or smart controlled for even greater flexibility.
Yes, comfort refers to the feeling you have when you sink down into it, but it also refers to the size. You need a couch that fits your family in comfort, no matter how many two and four legs that may mean. If your couch was previously phrased when you were single, or before your pets and kids arrived, it is well worth evaluating the space you need versus the space you have, to see if it’s the best fit when you are all together.
As well as everyone being able to fit comfortably on the couch, it also has to fit comfortably into the room. You’ll be surprised at how different a room looks when the right-sized furniture is applied. Poor-fitting furniture is an especially common mistake when furniture is purchased for a home then moved to the next one, it can be almost impossible to find the right fit over two locations. If you are going to be staying put for some time, it might be time to hunt for furniture closer to your room size. If you are dressing to impress at an open for inspection, don’t splash out on a new couch, unless you’ve already purchased your next home and know for sure it’s a great fit. Swap with a friend for the duration of your sale or rent a great couch short term.
If you have a small living room space a couch may not work for your home. Look for options like armchairs, bean bags or floor pillows that can ensure everyone who needs a comfy seat can access one. These can be put away or live in kids bedrooms when not needed in the living room.
Handy hint: While it is tempting to purchase a sale print or colour, please avoid doing this unless you absolutely adore it and the price. Buying something you don’t really want at half-price is 100% more than it is worth. Don’t settle for anything less than what fits you, even if it’s not the most in-trend or the biggest discount.
As mentioned in the hint above, make sure you don’t fall for a fabric type, print or colour that will date or clash with who you are. Instead of going for a loud couch, go for loud cushions. Unlike a couch, cushion covers are easy and cheap to replace, you can even buy your preferred fabric and make your own. With cushions, you can be as big, loud, and fabulous as you like and reverse them or change them according to the season, your style or the current trend!
As an amazing bonus, cushions can be used for getting super comfy on the couch or even sprawling out on the floor.
If you look in any home style magazine you’ll be sure to see a throw delicately splashed over a couch. From fine white to vivid colours, right through thick, chunky hand knits, there are plenty of choices to bring texture, colour and enviable snuggability to your living room
Make sure your throw is functional as well as decorative, as well as the right look, make sure it’s the right feel. Is it the kind of blanket you want to snuggle up in?
Okay, I understand that this just doesn’t suit everyone, especially in the Northern parts of Australia where winter never arrives, but for those who do live in the chilly regions of Australia and are able to make the modifications to their lounge room that enable a wood fire, it is so worth it.
If the idea of buying wood and splitting logs doesn't appeal, get a gas heater that looks like flames. It’s a mesmerising touch to a room and creates a warm soft glow that can’t be replicated with decor. There are plenty of amazing options for heaters on the market that don’t break the bank.
Being able to control the lighting in a room is a real winner. Not only do dimmers help make a more energy-efficient home, but it also gives you the flexibility to change the mood which can significantly impact the feel of an event or gathering.
If you are interested, you can invest in smart lights that have an unlimited number of colours and can adjust according to what you are playing or watching.
If you are renting you can still take control of the mood with one or two lamps fitted with warm globes to get a soft feel when the main lights are off.
There is a mathematical way to determine what TV size you need for your living room. It has to do with the distance your seat is from the screen. So the obvious first step here is to know where your coach is going to be, from there you can determine what the optimal screen size is for the best picture.
Too big and the picture becomes lost, too small and you just can’t take in the detail.
Distance to screen
More than 3 meters = TV screen larger than 75”
At 3 meters (typical arrangement for family living) = 75” TV screen
Less than 3 meters = 65” Tv screen
Big Tip: Mounting a TV on the wall can give you a more elevated screen position that gives you a cinema feel. Wall mounting is also helpful for heavy and easy to topple flat-screen TVs for families who have young kids who love climbing.
Sound provided from your TV is pretty high quality in most cases, however, depending on what you are watching or engaged with, you may need to ditch the standard offering and upgrade to stereo surround sound, or at least a little more oomph.
If you don’t have the space to mount surround sound speakers then a soundbar is a simple and discrete way to improve the quality and volume of your sound.
As well as covering a wide budget range, soundbars are easy to install.
It will depend on the size of your room, the seating arrangement, and the type of viewing experience you are aiming to achieve as to how appropriate an enhanced listening experience will be for your living room.
Surface space is a tricky one for anyone living in an apartment, that doesn’t mean you need to go without, it simply means you need to be smart about your choices. Firstly, make sure your couch and TV are both the right sizes and well-positioned for space, then you can see what kind of area is left for surface space.
What works best for your space and needs
- Coffee table
- Side table/s
- TV cabinet
- Shelves (mounted or free-standing)
At the very least you need somewhere for drinks, remotes and a tissue box, let’s face it, some movies are sad!
Be sure to consider the benefits of a TV cabinet when you are looking at surface areas. Even if you have your TV mounted on your wall a TV cabinet can really make a space work well. Not having to place your TV on the unit helps significantly with giving you more flexibility for style, size and shape and there are plenty of styles, sizes and types to choose from all with tons of great storage space. You can still place it beneath your TV mount which allows you to make use of a space that might otherwise be dead.
When you are selling your home you want to be sure you take out anything arsenal, so it pays to stage the room with something small and impactful. Decore items that can pack a punch are coasters.
As well as protecting your surfaces from condensation and steaming coffee mugs, your options are endless when it comes to colour and vibe. Other decor winners are candles, vases, various art, plants, photo frames, coffee table books and figures. Make sure you have a theme of colour or style to tie your items together neatly and simply.
Super tip: Less is more. Choose a limited number of high impact items to achieve a light, minimalist effect.
When it comes to managing a residential investment property, like many aspects of modern living, you have the option to pay for a professional to do the work for you, or roll up your sleeves and do-it-yourself, with property management, this is known as a private rental.
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