How to design for today’s living room

Living rooms have come a long way since our parents’ or grandparents’ homes.

In decades past, homes were much more compartmentalized – the living and dining rooms were formal spaces, designed for entertaining, while the family room offered a more relaxed setting where we gathered to watch a movie, play a board game or read.

The kitchen? That was typically separated from both – who wanted guests to see them cooking, after all?

Today’s homes are much different. In open-concept floor plans and great rooms, these various functions share – or are at least visible from – a common area. While that’s great for family togetherness and entertaining, it means we need to approach our decorating a little differently.

  1. Consider a cohesive ‘style’: In the past, you might have gotten away with different design styles within each self-contained space, but open layouts make it challenging to have a modern dining area next to a traditional living room. Transitional furnishings can be a great way to balance the two, if you don’t want to fully commit to a more distinct style. But remember, ‘cohesive’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘matching.’ A boldly patterned occasional chair can be the perfect complement to a neutral sofa, provided the general style is similar, notes Love Dodd, from Dodd’s Furniture and Mattress.
  2. Consider the size of the space: Open-concept doesn’t always mean spacious. Many of today’s condos and townhouses boast an open floor plan but small overall square-footage. Smaller, condo-sized furnishings will help you avoid overwhelming the space. Conversely, using smaller furnishings in a larger room can create a floating effect rather than a cozy place to chat, gather or relax. “We always encourage customers to bring measurements, photographs, floor plans and other details that can help us guide them in a selection that will make sense for their space,” Dodd says.
  3. Consider your accessories: Area rugs and statement lighting can help delineate specific spaces, like a sitting or dining area, but complementary tones and textures can help bring together the broader vision. If you have a bold statement piece, like a colourful rug or artwork, for example, echo some of those tones in other elements, like sofa cushions, ottomans or accent lighting. “It’s always a good idea to bring along paint or wallpaper samples, photographs, pillows or other accessories to help you choose correctly,” Dodd suggests.

With your design goals in mind, putting them into practice is easy!

Simply visit the Easy Pay page at and choose your lending partner for 0 per cent down, 0 per cent interest and 24 equal monthly payments, OAC. Once approved, head to your Dodd’s Furniture and Mattress store to reimagine your living room.

Even easier, everything can be added to your EasyPay term, including your dream sofa, the delivery charge and any administration fees. Plus, your term doesn’t start until your furniture is in your home.

Learn more at (and remember, Dodd’s Delivers everywhere on Vancouver Island!). And be sure to sign up for their newsletter at the bottom of the homepage for care tips and unbelievable deals.

READ MORE: The geometry of dining tables

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *