Just as important, though, it needs to be a place where you can put your feet up and get a little bit of time to breathe and relax after the kids have gone to bed.
Here are some great ideas to make your living room a refuge that can still withstand the hustle and bustle of day-to-day family life.
Your choice of colour can make a real difference to the feel of the room. Earthy tones like dark reds and browns create a warm atmosphere, and are very forgiving when it comes to little mishaps from mucky fingers.
Use colour consistently within the room so that soft furnishings match the walls and carpets. You can always add a flash of contrast with throws, blankets and cushions, and of course, the beauty of these is that they are washable. It also means you can have a choice of soft furnishing accessories to match your mood and the season
Mood lighting is great for creating ambience. Use lamps, spotlights or simple dimmers to create your very own mood. When the kids are finally asleep, there's nothing like turning down the lights and curling up on the sofa for a blissful end to the day.
Shut the world out
It's great to feel that you are tucked away in your own little world at the end of a busy day. Shutting the curtains is one way to do it, but a great alternative can be to fit DIY window shutters. These add a real sense of rustic charm to your home, are hard wearing and are far less hassle to keep clean than curtains, too!
They are also very easy to fit, and can act as an additional layer of insulation in the winter months.
Cushions, cushions and more cushions
Did I mention cushions? You really can't have too many, and the fact that they come in all shapes and sizes means you can create any kind of look. Covers are washable and inexpensive, giving you even more options. They are also super-comfortable.
How about a fireplace?
Log burners are hugely fashionable again, and it is not difficult to see why. Nothing says “cosy” quite like curling up in front of a roaring fire. Not necessarily the perfect thing when the kids are charging around, but modern burners are so quick to get going that the whole routine of lighting it after the children have gone to bed can help create that distinction between family time and adult time for a relaxing evening.
Relax and enjoy!
It might be the hub of a busy family house, but with a little thought and imagination, the living room can still be your own personal retreat!
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