The living room is probably the most social room in a house: it’s where you relax with family and entertain guests, so getting the balance right between comfort and style is key.

From flooring and seating to soft furnishings, TVs and tech gadgets, consider how to design this multi-purpose space to best suit your family’s needs. The cost of a living room makeover can vary from the hundreds to the thousands depending on how much of the room you plan to update or replace.

Living room seating

A sofa will probably be one of the biggest purchases you make not only in your living room, but in your entire house. The amount of money you invest will most likely reflect the years of use you get from it.

Leather is the most durable fabric therefore it is likely to last for longer than a fabric sofa – it’s easy to wipe clean and yet provides comfort as it can mould to your body shape. The benefit of a fabric sofa, however, is that you can re-cover it with a new fabric colour or design if desired.

TVs and technology

In today’s modern world, a TV in the living room is a must-have for most. In fact, a TV can often be the focal point of the room, replacing the traditional fireplace. Whether you choose to mount it on the wall or house it on a cabinet, choosing the right size is essential. A TV that looks too big for the room can look as odd as one that’s too small. Measure the allocated space, then buy accordingly.

Furniture

If space is limited, consider multi-function furniture. Look for pieces with built in drawers and shelves to store DVDs, CDs, books and magazines – a coffee table or a foot stool can double up as storage. Be careful not to overcrowd a room, and ensure it’s accessible and useable. If you can’t see the TV or sit comfortably, something needs reconsidering.

Soft furnishings

From cushions and throws to rugs, wall art and ornaments, incorporate your own personal style with soft furnishings. You don’t need to blow your budget on these: while your sofas and furniture are bought to last, soft furnishings are more frequently replaced as fashion changes.

Lighting

To meet the demands of this multi-purpose room, flexible living room lighting is essential to create the desired ambience.

While smaller living rooms can benefit from bright, white lighting – to help illuminate items in the room – a larger living room with dimmer lighting can help to create a more warm and cosy space. Coloured lighting can also help to influence mood and add a decorative touch.