Long ago in the days of parlors and sitting rooms, families had multiple choices of rooms for their daily activities. The average New Yorker does not have this space. In fact, they have one room that has to accommodate a variety of family activities. You guessed it, the Living Room!
A Brief History of Living Rooms
Shortly after World War I, the influenza epidemic took many lives. Most families did not have the means to bury the bodies immediately and stored them in an unused room in the house. The Parlor became the death room since not too many people were entertaining during the war and thereafter.
Once the influenza outbreak began to subside things started looking a little brighter. People thought it morbid to continue to call this room the death room. The Ladies Home Journal which was the magazine of the time said that with the inevitable return to the socialization and happiness of the days before the outbreak, the death room should be ‘livened’ up and this is when the term Living Room came to be.
In 1939, RCA sponsored “The Living Room of Tomorrow” at the New York World’s Fair. They publicized the connection between the living room and entertainment technologies like Radio and Television. They developed the concept that the Living Room is the place where families will gather. Look how far we have come. If the kitchen island is the hub of the home, the living room is the heart.
A well laid out floor plan will ensure your living room will be suitable for enjoying family time and entertaining guests. Creating a consistent design that flows through your entire home is easier than ever now with all the products on the market. Here are 5 design & decor tips to keep in mind when renovating your dream living room.
Tip #1: Incorporate Comfortable Furniture
Furniture arrangement is key to creating an inviting space. If you have the room to float your furniture rather than pushing it up against the walls, it will make the room look larger than it is.
Tip #2: Utilize Built-in Storage
The average New Yorker does not have an abundance of space, so built-in storage for books, games, and electronics is key for any NYC apartment. A renovation is a great time to plan all of your storage needs. Built-ins create a custom, polished and convenient way to keep your space elegant and organized.
Tip #3: Use a Variety of Lighting Sources
Here you want to provide a multiplicity of lighting. Ambient light will illuminate the entire space, usually with a beautiful, centered ceiling fixture and pot lights distributed throughout the space. For your task lighting, lamps placed throughout the space create cozy areas for cuddling up with a good book. You can add accent lighting in built-ins with strip lighting around the perimeter of your ceiling, in niches or even under base molding. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
Tip #4: Place Area Rugs Strategically
With an area rug you are defining the conversation area of the living room. Try to get a rug large enough to fit at least the front legs of the large furniture and all the legs of small pieces.
Tip #5: Distribute Décor Thoughtfully
If your living room will be full of kids and pets or lots of activity you want to decorate accordingly. Place fragile items higher up on floating shelves or built-ins and the unbreakable items on the lower surfaces. Plants are also a great addition, they filter out toxins from the air and they look great. If you love to entertain, add a cool piece of furniture as a wet bar, it’s a great place for guests to mingle and could potentially add more storage.
When creating the design concept for your living room remember to have fun, play around with the layout and maintain design continuity with the rest of the home. We hope this information has sparked your creativity and given you some ideas for your next living room renovation.