When guests visit your home, you want to make sure they feel welcome. You can accomplish this by decorating your living room in a way that conveys comfort and warmth. In her latest book Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave, Joanna Gaines offers tips for creating a welcoming living room. Here’s her best advice.
1. Decide how you want the space to make you feel
You and your guests should feel comfortable in the space. Think of what you want to include that would best represent the feeling you want to invite into the living room. Joanna says paying attention to small details can help create whatever feeling you’re going for. Focus on items such as wall art, furnishings, and bookshelves.
2. Pay attention to furniture arrangement
Nothing can ruin a space like awkward furniture placement. Joanna reminds readers to be aware of how furniture is arranged. This way, interactions can flow smoothly when guests are sitting down for a chat. For example, you want to avoid placing furniture in a way that would require people to twist or turn in an unusual position during a conversation.
3. Don’t be afraid to use dark colors
One way to add a feeling of warmth to a living room is to use dark paint colors. Although you might tend to avoid painting walls too dark, Joanna says depending on the color, it can help a space feel warm and comfortable: “Dark colors may feel intimidating [but] they can add an immediate dose of warmth,” says Joanna in her book.
4. Play with contrasting elements
Incorporating contrasting elements and colors can add a bit of pop to the room. One of Joanna’s favorites is black and white. She says using contrast is a powerful way to make a stylistic statement. So, experiment with colors, textures, and details to add flair to your living room.
5. Add your personal style
Joanna instructs readers not to worry about impressing others. Instead, include home design elements that represent your personal style and the style of those who dwell there. Joanna says she made the mistake of aiming for perfection when she began designing her previous home. As a result, the space lacked a personal touch:
One day, I looked around our living room that I had so carefully assembled and realized it didn’t look anything like our family. Not one of us was represented in this space that was supposed to be central to us living life together…It was then that I realized I had let the pursuit of perfection inform how I designed this space instead of the people who were supposed to be enjoying life in it.
6. Don’t take yourself too seriously
One of the designer’s most important tips is to just have fun. If you take yourself too seriously, you’ll not only dislike the decorating process but also get a result you might not be satisfied with. Joanna encourages readers to go ahead and let loose:
Just like in all of life, you try and fail and try again, and eventually you figure out what works for you. So, allow yourself the freedom to mess up, whatever that means, or simply change your mind. Go ahead and paint the room a color other than beige. Even if you decide you were too bold and you don’t actually love how it looks, you can repaint it later. It is not the end of the world.
Read more: Joanna Gaines Says She Learned Home Design the ‘Hard Way’
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