The living room is where we are able to relax and be comfortable. It is where family and friends gather and socialise.  To attract home buyers, the living room needs to be warm and welcoming.  Here are some tips from Bernadette Janson over at The School of Renovating:

Less is More 

It is important not to over furnish. The room will look small and crowded and living will be uncomfortable if there is too much furniture. There needs to be enough pieces to accommodated the needs of the occupants and they should be be placed so that there is flow around the room.

Create A Focus

A fireplace is perfect otherwise it may be a large picture window or your can create a focal wall with a console table and piece of artwork over the top, it may even be a television. If you do have a television the ideal viewing distance is around 3 metres.

Floating Furniture

If your room is a reasonable size you can float the seating but be sure that there is sufficient room (at least 900mm) to walk around the furniture. Delineate the area with a floor rug except if the floor is carpet.

Seating For Conversation

Group your seating for face-to-face conversation. You may have two sofas placed facing one another or a sofa facing two chairs.  They should be around 2000mm apart to allow for a coffee table in between.  In a larger room you may have a  couple of conversation areas  by adding some pairs of chairs with a table between.

Landing Spots

Make sure you have a side table or coffee table accessible to each chair and if your sofa is floating you can also add a sofa table behind so that you are not looking at its back .

Let There Be Light

Lighting  should be ambient but effective.  If your lighting is soft, add some table lamps to boost lighting for reading.  Table lamps and floor lamps also add to the atmosphere. I prefer to use cool white globes rather than warm or daylight as it gives a lovely clean light. Warm white is a bit yellow and daylight is just way too bright.


You can never have too many cushions. Of course they are a nuisance when you actually want to sit on the sofa but lovely plump cushions in a range of textures really build warmth into  the room.

The Finishing Touches

Organise your wall art and place it carefully.  A large piece will look better if it has a wall to itself.  Smaller pieces look better in groups.
Grouping works well with decorator  items  and once again , less is more.  A small group of items on a similar theme placed at one end of a mantelpiece will look better than if distributed evenly. Symmetry also works well.  If you have a painting over a table, consider framing it with a pair of lamps.
Check out more renovating tips from Bernadette at The School of Renovating.