Globe-trotting living room styles
Living rooms have a tough job; we spend so much time in them, entertaining guests, using the room to relax, maybe even a few dinners on our laps! These rooms are well-loved, and so we usually think of it first when it comes to redesigning and decorating, even if it’s just to spruce it up with a few, seasonal fair trade homeware items.
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Have you ever wondered if living rooms are equally important rooms in the homes of other cultures? How do different countries kit out their living rooms?
Come with us as we guide you through various different living room styles from all around the world.
Luxury is key when it comes to French living rooms. 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.
Paintings are a common embellishment for French 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.
As French living rooms often have high ceilings, long curtains are a must. 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.
For sofa designs, the French opt for larger, heavily cushioned choices. 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.
Mirrors are the key trait of French living rooms, and they’re usually huge and detailed. With large mirrors and high ceilings, the entire room can be captured and make the room feel much bigger than it actually is!
Arabic living rooms are often a wonderful display of complex designs and bold colour choices. 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.
Gold is a top pick for Arabic style homes, as it is a popular colour to use in their culture generally. 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.
A feature of Arabic furniture comes in the form of the various patterns and details. Sofas, in particular, usually take a curved shape and are decorated with countless cushions that are there for presentational purposes.
An Arabic living room usually has a wooden coffee table in the centre, splitting the room and keeping it symmetrical. 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.
In another display of design and colour, many Arabic living rooms opt to embellish the centre of the room with a chandelier hanging low from the ceiling.
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Tatami mats are a classic and traditional Japanese décor option. 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.
The floor is just one aspect that has a traditional option in Japan. 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.
As most people choose to sit on the floor in Japan, low tables are often found in living rooms. 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.
Not a fan of clutter, the Japanese generally prefer a minimalist living room style. A clutter-free space allows them to properly clear the mind once they’ve returned home after a busy day at work.
You might be proud of your English kitchen, but the living room is a close second, right? 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.
It’s not surprising to find 27.02 million homes in the UK are expected to feature a TV by the end of 2018. 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.
UK sofas aren’t usually highly patterned, usually featuring a small size and muted colours. 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.
Framed photos of family and friends are a common sight in British living rooms. 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.
In the UK, rooms usually have either carpeted flooring or floorboards. 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 desirable feature of numerous British homes is a fireplace, particularly if it is an original fireplace in an old building. However, more people are installing stoves into their homes and forming the iconic inglenook look on their chimney breast.