The living room is the space that everyone enjoys relaxing in, so it figures that most members of the household will have an opinion on what it looks like and prioritizes. We’ve rounded up nine common design considerations along with compromises that should keep the peace.
1. Colorful sofa. There’s a reason gray sofas are so popular — they go with everything. But what if you’d prefer something more interesting? It’s a difficult decision, as a sofa is such a big investment. You want it to last for a long time, and your favorite color now may change a few years down the line. It’s tempting to play it safe and go for a neutral that won’t go out of style (or that will please others in the house), even if it means compromising on your color preference.
The compromise: Design trends come and go, but our own tastes tend to stay the same. Look around your home, and you may find that most of the objects in it are a similar shade. Opt for a sofa in a color you really love (and that goes with most of the other design pieces and accessories in the room), and chances are you’ll still adore it in five or even 10 years’ time. And you can please your family or housemates by letting them choose the other seating in the living room.
2. Large TV. For some, a large flatscreen is a style statement worth displaying on the wall; for others, it’s an item that ruins the calm look and feel of the living room. If your preference is for a streamlined room with only the fireplace as a focal point, you may be wondering what to do with the TV. Many of us have only one living room, so it’s a design dilemma that can cause some issues.
The compromise: It’s possible to have a TV without it taking over the whole room. Plan an alcove where the television can be tucked out of the way, as the designers have done here. Alternatively, build a shelving unit with a door that hides the television when closed but that doesn’t obscure the screen or otherwise get in the way when open.
Related: Coffee Table Sets You Won’t Have to Compromise On
3. Artwork. The choice of art you put in your living room can be very personal. An artwork loved by some may be disliked by others. And what if you have too many pictures and not enough space to hang them? A gallery wall is a good compromise, but it still requires a decision and commitment that could cause discord.
The compromise: If you just can’t make a decision on your art display, go for the versatile option of a picture ledge instead. These narrow shelves allow you to arrange a selection of artwork without committing to lots of holes and hooks in the wall. When you change your mind, simply swap pictures for a new selection.
4. Bold wall paint. Some people love white walls as a backdrop for brighter accessories, while others prefer a bolder hue on their vertical surfaces. The color you choose for your walls can have a huge effect on the look of the room, so a dispute over the shade can bring your whole decorating project to a standstill.
The compromise: Go for a mix of the two by painting one wall in a bold tone and leaving the others neutral. Here, the wall behind the sofa sports a deep blue that contrasts with the rest of the space and makes a cozy feature of the seating area.