Is your living room a peaceful paradise, decorated with plants and ethical homeware? Or is it humming with an array of entertainment systems and the latest tech?
As a room to represent us, the living room is unmatched. We often use the space to reflect our character and preferences, and even our cultures. In fact, living room designs and styles can differ hugely based on culture and country.
In this article, we’re taking you on a virtual trip around the world to get tips on how to kit out our living rooms from various countries.
Bold colours and beautiful patterns
A living room in an Arabic home is usually quite a colourful affair, with intricate patterns and bright colours bringing life to the living space. Usually, Arabic homes are filled with some of the most luxurious pieces of furniture that truly have the ability to catch the eye. These living rooms all embody a sense of community and are one of the most important rooms in the home for Arabic families, as it’s a place where everyone can get together and bond, usually on an evening.
As a cultural favourite, gold is often featured in the living room. The colour is associated with royalty and luxury; so Arabic families are bound to use it throughout their homes. On top of the colour gold being used, these living rooms usually include lots of prints which delivers a strong presence within the room.
Arabic furniture is decorated in gorgeous patterns and complex designs. Sofas, in particular, usually take a curved shape and are decorated with countless cushions that are there for presentational purposes.
Arabic living spaces commonly use a coffee table in the middle of the room, just like British living rooms. These coffee tables are then dressed with plain throws with a patterned runner positioned on top. You’ll then find vases, fruit bowls and other essentials.
Be careful not to bump your head! Arabic living rooms love a low-hanging chandelier as a statement piece for the room.
Simplicity and minimalism
Many living spaces in Japanese feature their traditional choice of décor: tatami mats. These mats were once used by the wealthy but became more commonly used and can now be found in almost every home in Japan — so much so, living rooms are now referred to as tatami rooms.
There’s more to a Japanese living room than just the tatami mats. There are other elements used throughout Japanese living spaces that make them incredibly unique. Japan is big on sliding doors, which are usually referred to as fusuma or shoji. Although they are both different in appearance, they both give an edgy-studio look. Fusuma doors are made up of wooden frames that are covered by thick, opaque paper and can usually be removed to create a larger space — these are usually accompanied by wooden transoms. The shoji differs slightly as it is covered in translucent paper which allows the light to filter into the room.
Low tables feature in many Japanse tatami rooms, as many opt to sit on the floor. However, during the colder months, heated low tables (kotatsu) are popular. Essentially, they are covered by a blanket and are heated underneath. For those who opt to not sit directly on the mats, cushions are usually used. Often, they are put on top of low chairs that don’t have legs to support the back.
Generally speaking, the Japanese prefer a minimalist approach to their living room and home style. A clutter-free space allows them to properly clear the mind once they’ve returned home after a busy day at work.
Grand mirrors and artwork
Living spaces in France are elegant, refined, and luxurious. A traditional French living room will have a high ceiling, which allows everything else in the room to be grand in size and mirror the look of the Palace of Versailles.
In France, artwork is adored as a decoration in their living rooms. Not only that, colours differentiate too, although this does depend on the set décor. However, in traditional settings, the paintings are usually big and bold with aims to capture the imagination.
Long curtains work so well in the common, high-ceiling nature of French living rooms. To offer a regal feel to the room, these are often tied back and curved in shape. The French pride themselves on the sharp details of their furniture, and the threads of their curtains are no different — with intricate designs making each room feel bespoke.
Sofas in France are normally rather big and have a lot of cosy cushioning. However, the design is more noticeable than other countries we have mentioned. A common sofa design in France is the use of thick stripes that are symmetrical.
Large, feature-prominent mirrors are a unique characteristic of French living rooms. With large mirrors and high ceilings, the entire room can be captured and make the room feel much bigger than it actually is!
Family time and memories
It’s difficult to pick which room is the most important for an English home – the kitchen or the living room! Traditionally, this room in the home is used to bring the family together and discuss what happened throughout the day. It’s also a great space to occupy guests.
The end of 2018 should see 27.02 million UK homes with a television. It’s the main way we consume media and keep up to speed with the drama on iconic shows like Emmerdale and EastEnders. The television is usually placed on a stand in the corner of a room, so that no matter where you’re positioned in the room, you can still watch it.
Sofa choices in the UK are commonly plain colours and compact designs. However, although this design may sound simple, it’s compiled with cushions and throws to add a bit more character. Think threaded patterns and bold colours that bring the room together and make everything stand out.
Many living rooms in the UK use photo frames to decorate and display memories and moments. Brits like to mix and match with frame styles and colours and place them in different areas of the room, including wall and unit placements.
Wooden floorboard or carpets are common flooring features in Britain. Wooden floors are usually a dark/natural oak and are accompanied with a bold rug. However, this is often a no-go for those that have softer surfaces in the room.
A great feature of British living rooms is a fireplace, especially if it’s an original from the building’s conception. However, more people are installing stoves into their homes and forming the iconic inglenook look on their chimney breast.