THE MIDDLE GROUND

As the world opens up and social visits from family and friends increase, it might be time to pay some attention to your living room. What say you?

The living room is known as the most important room in the home, besides the bedroom. It’s the middle ground between the outside and in, your private and public life. It’s where you read and watch television with the family while slouching on the couch, but it’s also where you welcome your guests and look dashing and presentable. And with the coming of summer and the lifting of all restrictions, it’s time to think about rejuvenating this crucial space. We spoke to Sophio Jokhadze of Sophio Jokhadze Interior Design to give you the best advice.

Lay it All Out

The living room reflects the personality and lifestyle of inhabitants and, as a shared space, it’s important to design it properly,” says Sophio, who believes the most important thing to consider is the layout.

“Every space has a limit; it’s all about priorities and balance. Space itself dictates what to include and how to arrange items. For every living room, comfortable seating and the right size television with the right distance from the seating area are important to consider,” she adds.

Desperate Measures

Being indoors for two years has seen the living room being converted into a myriad of other spaces, including the office, the exercise room, and the mini playground for the children. And much of that is here to stay. Indeed, as we are slowly getting back to pre-pandemic norms, an attitude of embracing the new and more flexible hybrid lifestyle carries on. Hence, we need to think differently about how to adjust.

“When demand is to have more things or activities in one space, I believe more storage solutions need to be considered. Sometimes rearranging the whole space or building hidden storage solutions, can solve the problem. And when that is not enough, transformable furniture and furniture with storage are a plus.

“To add an office space in a living room, for instance, select a table that is not too wide and can work as a console or sofa table. You can also invest in a sofa-cum-bed, or a sofa with storage drawers, as well as decorative boxes and baskets as storage solutions. But remember not to overcrowd the room. Space is luxury,” Sophio reflects on this matter.

Comfort is Key

Speaking of sofas, these are probably the most important items in the living room. They are fluffy, they are soft and, most importantly, they are comfortable, which is exactly what we look for in a living room.

“When buying a sofa, it is crucial to check the seating height, the depths of the couch and the distance to the back, based on your preferences. If the sofa is deep, it may require you to get more cushions, if it is too low, it may not be too comfortable. The most important part of the living room is the seating area, so make sure to take your time and invest in the right pieces. “My personal preference for a living room is to use an L-shaped sofa combined with a few armchairs, which I believe gives more comfortable and diverse seating options,” adds the interior designer.

Screen Time

The television has, over the decades, become a key accessory in the living room. And due to its large size, it’s even more imperative to think carefully about where to place it.

“Consider a longer wall where you can create a unit by placing the television in the centre of a wall and shelves on one or both sides. The wall with the television creates an accent in the room. You can consider a special finish or different shades of paint to add to the aesthetic. Additionally, hanging the television on the wall can save space for a console where you can place speakers and décor items. On the other hand, placing the television on a console means you can move it around in the future. It’s all about personal choice,” says Sophio.

Blinded by the Light

For curtains and blinds, the interior designer recommends having two layers for more flexibility. A blackout can help block the sunlight during the day if you want to watch some television or create a cosy space, and a thinner fabric can be great as they allow light to enter the room while providing you with some privacy. Curtains give a classier look, while blinds give the room a more modern feel. Whatever you choose, she recommends having a remote control setting for the ultimate comfort.

In terms of lighting, it’s essential to use different types. “Consider having table lamps, floor lamps and maybe some accent wall lights, as well as dimmable ceiling lights,” says Sophio.

Accessorize

A living room would not be complete without accessories. Not only do they beautify the space, but they also make it more welcoming and add that little bit of extra spark and shine. “Accessories add accent and interest, and they can fill up shelf space and corners. Pay attention to the colour scheme, size, functionality and materials,” she adds, recommending art pieces and vases, as well as plants. For larger spaces, add a big decorative rug.

Connect with Sophio Jokhadze @sophio_jokhadze

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