Friday, February 22, 2013

Tips for Decorating a Really Large Living Room

I am starting a project this spring that involves a dauntingly large (mostly long) living room. I've been brainstorming layouts and since I get emailed for advice about decorating really large living rooms all the time, I thought I'd share my single best piece of advice on the subject. It's sort of a "well, duh" concept, but here it is: create multiple seating areas.

Arch Digest, home of Nina Garcia (which I prefer to say with head bobs on the syllables, in a choppy German accent, a la HK. Don't you?)

Here's the truth. If you are sitting more than 12 feet from me, we are going to have a hard time conversing in any meaningful way, so make sure your conversation areas are never more than 12 feet squared, at most. Another truth - three sofas in any space, no matter how big, is one too many sofas. I don't count settees, love seats, daybeds and chaises though. And, in fact, I think a backless, symmetrical daybed/chaise/bench floating between two seating arrangements is just about perfection, so long as it doesn't interrupt the natural flow of traffic in any serious way.

Elle Decor



Lonny (also, well said, Angie!!)  ^^^ 

Elle Decor via

I've been looking around for a great daybed/chaise and I'm hoping to find something really unique for this long and large living room. I'm kind of enamored with this cast iron version from Restoration Hardware. While I really love the idea and the look, I have a feeling the comfort factor of the metal will be lacking in a major way.

Here are some other daybeds that fit the bill of what I'm after. Most of these look a bit more comfortable than the Iron Maiden up top there.

These new pieces can be just as expensive as nice sofas in many cases, so if you're on a budget, try checking out Craigslist and eBay for vintage and antique daybeds that can be given new life with an upholstery job. I poked around on Craigslist and found a bunch of great options for less than $500. This West Elm daybed would look amazing with new upholstery, and the asking price is only $100.

Come to think of it, I just might snag it for my office and recover it in a new color of linen, or maybe something fun like this:

Betsy Burnham via Lonny

Do you have a giant living room? (lucky!) What are your best tips for comfortably and beautifully designing large spaces? Also, I'd love to see photos if any of you have a daybed in your living room. I think it is such a great look.

Happy weekend! xo