The living room is one of the most important spaces in your home. It is the entry way and therefore the first room that introduces guests to your home.
According to Zakayo Burudi, a manager at Legacy Furniture, Nairobi, the design, style and pieces you put in this area should highly reflect your personality. Here are some tips on choosing the right furniture:
STAGE YOUR LIVING AREA
“Staging involves planning the layout of your living room area. Look into the size of your room and the sizes of furniture that can fit in the room. It is also important to create a floor plan by sketching your room and the different ways that you can fit in the furniture. Planning your space will help you utilise the space efficiently,” says Burundi.
“In staging your living room, do not forget to leave out at least a metre of space between pieces of furniture to allow sufficient space to walk across the room,” he advices, adding that shared furniture should be placed in strategic places to enable access by everyone.
“If you have a coffee table for instance, you have to place it at the centre so that everyone can all access it. The TV set should also be at a central place,” he says.
DETERMINE HOW YOUR ROOM WILL BE USED
Living room use varies in different homes. As Burudi explains, most living rooms are used to entertain guests or as a family hangout area.
“Depending on how you plan to use your living room, you can pick different kinds of furniture to bring life into this room. If you use it daily, especially if you have children, it is important to pick furniture that can withstand the test of time,” he says.
On the other hand, he adds, “If you will use this space to entertain guests once in a while, you can infuse more fragile and classic pieces of furniture to create a more impressive look.”
“The design should influence your choice of furniture,” says Anthony Wakoli, a manager at Legacy Furniture.
“Is it modern, contemporary or casual? Modern and contemporary furniture has sleek clean lines and usually makes use of white beige and other neutral colours. Traditional furniture is elegant; it may be a bit formal with colours that range from ivory to rich hues of red and other colours,” he explains.
“When considering the themes and designs, the colours of the curtains, carpets, tiles, the ceiling should also inspire you. Additionally, go with your personal style and what you prefer as an individual,” adds Burudi.
As for the colours, he continues, “It also depends on who is living in the house. A bachelor’s house will not look the same as that of a single woman; that of a newly married couple will also not resemble that of a married couple with children, or that of an old couple. All these people have different personalities, goals and choices in life.”
Wakoli adds that suitable furniture should be comfortable and inviting. “High quality material is designed to be relaxing, and will therefore make your living room look more inviting.”
COORDINATE FURNITURE PIECES
“All the pieces in the living room should complement each other and also be in line with your overall style,” says Burudi.
“If you have an interior design theme, the pieces of furniture that you add should fit into that theme,” he adds.
GO FOR QUALITY
“When it comes to furniture, quality always wins. Luxurious high quality will keep you relaxed and also last longer than cheaper materials. Stain resistant fabrics are also a brilliant idea especially if you have children or often host guests,” states Burudi.
Consider natural architecture and choose right colours
The colours of your furniture play a vital role in affecting the mood of your space. Neutral coloured furniture will work wonders every time. Playing around with accessories and other pieces in the room will help to balance the room. Additionally, you can throw in pillows and rugs of different colours to give the room a different feel and change the mood once in a while,” he explains.
“Some rooms come with inbuilt architectural designs that could influence the kind of furniture that you pick. For instance, a rustic fire place and decor should draw you into choosing modern furniture as part of your décor.
CONSIDER THE SHAPE
Furniture comes in different shapes. Your space will determine the shape that you settle for.
Round shaped furniture for example occupies more space than rectangular pieces. Sofas with rolled up arms on the other hand, could work for your comfort. “If you have children and are constantly using your living room, L-shaped seats are the best because they can be placed alongside the wall hence leaving a lot of space for people to move around. Those with spacious living rooms can go for other designs like crescent, Berry and tank,” advises Wakoli.
“From my experience, buying readymade furniture is a great mistake. We had readymade furniture at our workshop but due to customers’ complaints and suggestions, we decided to custom make,” he explains.
Now they design furniture according to the features and specifications a customer wants.