Advice from interior designer Chris Carroll on the style of your living room


Forget the kitchen! The living room is the nerve center of the house. But before we get too cocky about your design prowess, let’s take a look at some of the major styling mistakes you make in this space.

1. The sectional sofa swallows the room

It’s the equivalent of trying to get into pre-COVID pants; put something too big in something too small and pray that the seam would hold. If you can’t put coffee or side tables in the room because the sofa is too big, you’ve made poor life choices and should run away and start over.

2. There are no armchairs next to your sofa

You want guests to come in and be able to sit across from you to talk, not just sit on the same couch as if you were in a queue. SVU. This is why the armchairs in front of or next to your sofa are essential. It’s called a conversation pit, and your living room needs it, regardless of its size.

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3. You have a socially distanced coffee table

You can’t catch COVID from your coffee table. Why is it 1.5 meters from your sofa? It should be positioned about 50cm from the edge of your living room so that you can easily sit a cup or glass in it.

4. The sofa has a built-in table

No matter how stylish the brand is, two-in-one furniture is a bad idea. It’s the design equivalent of a two-in-one shampoo and conditioner – not a good look. You wouldn’t want the chairs to fold out of your dining table, why have a coffee table built into your sofa? Avoid at all costs.

5. You own baggy leather recliners

The early 90s called and he wants his recliners back. Points are further deducted if there is a crochet blanket involved. Recliners are the work of the devil, there’s no doubt about it, but they’ve gotten better. At least update yours to a more modern version without the old pokies style side lever.

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6. The TV is mounted too high

Your living room is not a Hoyts cinema, you heard it here first. Why then is your television mounted halfway up the wall? You want to sit on your couch and have the line of your eyes roughly hit the bottom part of the screen. If watching TV requires a neck massage, we’ve got a problem.

7. The fireplace in the corner of the room

No one is putting Baby around. Except for some architects, who for unknown reasons love to put fireplaces in this part of the living room. The best position for a fire is in a central location. You know, so you can rally around him.

8. There is no carpet in space

Don’t anchor your room with a rug, it’s like Caitlyn Jenner posing as governor; sheer madness. Furniture in a living room without rugs seems floating and disconnected. A rug brings all the pieces together and gives them meaning. It’s like Karl and Susan on Neighbors; it just wouldn’t make sense without them.

9. Your cushions are flat and lifeless

There is nothing worse than seeing a beautiful sofa with flat cushions on it. It’s like Jamie Durie wearing that leather outfit Dancing with the stars. Sure, the foundation is beautiful, but WTF goes above and beyond? Cushions need feather inserts to make them look plump and plush. And yes, there are eco-friendly and animal-friendly versions. There is simply no excuse for polyester.

10. There is no mood lighting

Ceiling lights at night: the pleasure of insomnia. You really need a floor or table lamp in your space at a minimum, so that you can relax at night and prepare for some sleepy moments. Not only does this reduce the gravity of the space, but it allows you to hide the entire Caramilk block you just demolished from your partner.

Chris Carroll is the Melbourne-based designer behind TLC Interiors; an interior design studio and home style blog that help everyday Australians transform their spaces without breaking the bank. www.tlcinteriors.com.au | Instagram




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