As one of London’s top interior designers and studio we have written up a little guide to break down the aspects to consider when designing your living room and hopefully even the smallest of adjustments will back a large impact in your home – you’ll be surprised at how even the smallest of changes can make the biggest and most noticeable of differences. Whilst the interior design and decor of your living room is largely down to your own personal style and taste there are a few fundamental aspects to consider when designing the layout and aesthetics of one of your most loved and lived in rooms.

Scale & proportion:

It’s good to recognize that the fundamentals of scale and proportion are somewhat important, but it is equally important to understand what they both mean and how they play a great role in interior design. Scale refers to the size of one object in relation to another – in design, scale is normally referred to by comparing the size of an object or space in relation to the size of the average person.

Proportion refers to a general relationship in size between two objects. As interior designers in London we use the term ‘proportion’ when we describe how two objects relate to each other within a room – for example, as a rule, we recommend that coffee tables be two thirds long as the sofa they are wanting to be placed by.

A good and recommended ratio to divide the living room space is to divide the room into two section: one that takes up two-thirds of the space, whilst the smaller section will consist of the last third. Over time as interior designers we have learned that by placing the room’s main furniture in the larger section enables the section’s primary function to be very clear. The smaller section is then used for a secondary use, such as a reading nook or storage.

However, interior design is a creative process and sticking to the same room layout over and over can quickly becoming boring. Use the picture below as an example – you might find that your eye moving about the image, bouncing from item to item in an effort to take in the design as a whole. When putting objects in your living room test the proportion of the two items by taking a step back – if the arrangement instantly feels right, leave it as it is. If something feels a little off or you aren’t fully satisfied carry on mixing and matching with furniture – we also feel it’s best to practice this in good daylight as the atmosphere of a room changes greatly in dim or dark light.

fundamentals of scale and proportion

Arrangement of Accessories:

This importance of placing and arranging living room accessories is often overlooked – but as we know in interior design, it really is the smaller details the complete the design! Whether you have open or closed shelving or storage the way each item, whether it be books, candle holders or vases, is placed will bring a more cohesive and considered look to your living room.

Try by arranging groups of décor items in a mixture of varying heights and directions. At Kensington Design we tend to stick to odd-numbered grouping of items as these tend to be more aesthetically pleasing. No matter what the accessory is, it is best to try to mostly stick to placing them in arrangements and groupings. Try to avoid scattering accessories all over the living room as this can create quite a chaotic scheme.

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Wall art is one area in interior design where we have learned quickly from the beginning that achieving proper proportion is very important. At Kensington Design (Interior design company based in London) we follow a rule that a piece of art should take up 4/7ths of the space where it hangs – as that fraction can be confusing to begin with it is easiest to start by measuring the width if the wall and multiplying that number by 0.57, which is 4/7 as a decimal – the result of that equation is the ideal width for your artwork.

Wall Art for Living Room

Fabrics & Textiles

A common mistake we have all been guilty of once is to paint the room first before knowing what fabrics and soft furnishings will be going into the room. Explore The Top 5 Colour Trends For Interior Design.

The most important aspects to choose before paying attention to your living room walls are the fabrics and textiles that will make up your curtain and blinds design or feature on your cushions or rugs. Many people question this method of putting off painting and think they can work around the paint colour, but the truth is that it is simply much easier to find fabrics that we love and then pick out paint to match and compliment – after all, there are far more fabric design and colour options out there to choose from than there are paint colours! With your budget and size of living room head out to our Kensington Design showroom and we will be able to help you look through a huge variety of fabric/wallcovering books, rug samples, paint samples and then be able to place all sample orders for you. We also have our Kensington Design House Fabrics which are incredibly well priced so that you are not compromising on quality for a great price! You can view/order samples of our House Fabrics both online and in-store.

fabric for house online

Focal Point:

It’s always a good idea to have a focal point in your living room as this offers a place for the eye to be instantly drawn to and can assign a room with a function. Informal living rooms are fairly simple in the fact that the TV will be the main focal point of the room, whilst all the other main objects in the room, such as chairs and sofas, will be focused and directed towards the TV.

Formal living rooms that are more suited for entertaining or just simply to relax in, are a little more difficult. Start by finding the focus or purpose of the room and then place your furnishings around that focal point. For example, a fireplace, a pool table, a large painting or even a beautiful coffee table can be used as the focal point for the room – a coffee table is a great focal point as it encourages guests to sit down and converse.

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