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Tone down the formal look in your living room design

June 18, 2014

Hardwood FloorsIn many homes, the days of matched furniture and formal draperies in living rooms are ​passé. More versatile choices in furnishings, colors and hardwood floors will turn a stuffy living room into a place that will draw in visitors and family members alike. The walnut 5-inch planks in Anderson's Vintage hardwood floor collection, for instance, are a flooring selection that can suit the modern living room.

Remodelaholic cautioned homeowners to observe basic home design rules before they start their quest to soften the appeal of their living rooms. Having neutral colors for walls, ceilings and wood trim is still preferred. Neutrals ground the room's color scheme and allow home decorators to focus bolder colors in accessories, side pieces of furniture and soft furnishings.

Once the neutrals are in place, homeowners' choice of accent hues should be drawn from your family's favorite colors. Introducing brighter shades into a living room is one way to liven up the atmosphere without giving up the sophistication that many homeowners still want when they use the room to entertain guests.

Choose a table
Small tables used as end pieces, a sofa table or the focus of a conversation area in a corner of the room are among the most versatile additions to a room that homeowners use for socializing. Round tables tend to have a more casual, cozy feel, but can take up more space if they're used as coffee tables.

According to Real Simple magazine, table styles range from contemporary glass-topped versions to traditional hardwood pieces. Those that come with drawers or a shelf beneath the top surface provide storage. A beveled mirror placed on a table top will give the room a dash of sparkle and a traditional Parsons table goes well in rustic or modern decor.

Create balance
Whether you're balancing furniture, colors or accessories, it's a good idea to keep proportion in mind. That goes for the way you set up a wall gallery as well. A variety of sizes and colors in framed items is acceptable, but there shouldn't be one piece that weighs down the overall effect. The eye should see the collection of framed pieces as a whole before focusing on individual items.

If colors are kept in proportions that are nearly equal between walls, window coverings and upholstered pieces, there's less chance that one hue will overwhelm the color scheme. By using one predominant accent tone, you can tie together different elements of the whole room. Smaller patches of other colors will add visual interest within the room design.