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Updated on May 12, 2011

The Beautiful Sitting Room

Your sitting room is the most used-and the most seen-room the those. It has to be both attractive and comfortable.

Sitting rooms, even if they doubles as dining rooms, work rooms guest bedrooms, are above all, places to relax in. It's important to remember this when choosing a color scheme. However much you may love strong and vibrant color, you will want to unwind after a hard day's work-not be forced to live up to stimulating surroundings.

Furthermore whilst lively and exciting color schemes work well in places where you spend little time-like the just -passing through hall, the dining room and the bathroom-they will soon have you climbing the walls with frustration in the rooms where you spend most of your waking hours. In general, therefore it is always wisest to aim for a restful approach in the sitting room.


An easy way to plan a colour scheme is t pick one patterned item in the colours you like and then keep within its restricted palette. It could be the tiles in a Victorian fireplace; it could be the upholstery fabric on a sofa; it could be the carpet or a rug. Then as long as you are sure you like it and will go on liking it all you are left to worry about is using the right 'weight' of related colours and patterns elsewhere. Obviously it makes sense to choose something long-lasting/. If you base you scheme around anything short-lived once it's gone the whole room will collapse in ruins. If you choose the key item with care, the reverse won't be true; you will be able to ring the changes around it successfully as less durable items need replacing.

The starting point for the room on was oriental rug in creams terracotta's and indigo blue. It intricate pattern immediately demanded a plain, neutral background-in this case richly textured coir matting. The disciplined nature of its pattern demanded a similarly disciplined approach in other items. This explains the choice of the kit-design wallpaper and curtains, because they not only echo the colours of the rug, but echo its mood of order and restraint. They also its mood of order and restraint. They also introduce a repetitive element that is soothing and satisfying without being boring because it's repeated on a different scale. The sofas are upholstered in a slob-textured neutral cotton, while cushions, covered in hand-blocked Indian fabrics add richness in a minor way that never threatens to get overbearing.

It's a warm but understated room, where the colour creates pattern: and the pattern in turn provides lasting visual interest rather than immediate impact. It's interest an adaptable room too because as the bottom detail shot on show the rug will happily dictate a fresh set of surrounding when you need to decorate again.

It's the same basic story in the room on except the colour scheme is very different. Everything takes its cue from the durries on the floor. The marbled wallpaper plays up its peach and grey shades with related shades of blue and apricot. The beige and grey find and echo in the curtains and upholstery fabrics while the cushion covers emphasize the rug's geometric pattern. Another detail shot proves that when the room needs redecorating there will be no difficulty finding papers and fabric to from a tight knit, new relationship.

Sticking to neutrals

Using non colours like white cream, beige and grey may sound boring-but it's the least boring colour scheme of all. Neutrals are too restful to weary the eye. and properly handled, they are full of sophisticated interest.

There are two essentials when attempting this approach: you must choose good quality furniture and furnishings, because there will be no colour to detract from second-best and you will need to introduce plenty of different textures, to avoid a flat and anonymous impression. Because you are relying on subtlety for success, every detail must be capable of surviving close scrutiny and be intrinsically good enough to improve with acquaintance.

Everything has been designed to look relaxed and calm. The natural-colored wallpaper tones with the natural wood of the floor and storage; the large grey leather sofas look quite and unobtrusive (think how they would have dominated the room if they had been in a strong colour); even the picture on the wall is carefully non-colour. But although soothing there is nothing bland about the result. The rug the Venetian blinds and the book-filled shelves create pattern in a peaceful way, while all the surfaces provide the intricacy of texture. Even the wallpaper that at first glance looks plain has a barely perceptible vellum-effect pattern.

The sitting room looks spacious but in fact is rather small. This example the use of clear mirror on the right-hand wall introduced to ;double' the room's dimensions. But the mirror trick only works because of the neutral colour scheme. Any less gentle reflection would have jumped out aggressively and proved very difficult to live with. The advantage of non-colour is that tones flow naturally from one to another without jarring interruptions. In this respect neutral schemes make all small rooms looks larger regardless of whether or not mirror has been employed.

Splashing out with colour

Boldly-used colour create immediate impact; it's just that the novelty may soon wear thin. This impact could prove useful if you are furnishing on a tight budget and want to detract attention from like using a patterned wallpaper, colour is an ideal way of furnishing a room that is too small to accommodate actual furniture like a bathroom or a tiny hall.

As all shades of the same color up together the easiest approach is to pick a color you like and stay with it simply varying the tones. This has been done in the bottom sitting room on where pinks range from peach right through to strawberry. The only problem is balancing the different weights if you are at all apprehensive about getting this right pick the brains of a professional designer by finding a patterned wallpaper or fabric that confines itself to your chosen color. Then translate the varying tones to your room in similar proportions, adding some white or neutral for light relief. If you are buying fitted carpet it's best to make this a neutral area, because it will be too expensive to replace when you want to change the color scheme.

Be very wary of going for a contrast because color react upon one another in extraordinary ways. A pink may look bright in isolation, but if you put it against a brighter orange, it will begin to look washed out and anemic. As contrasts break up a room instead of uniting its elements be prepared fro them to make your sitting room look smaller.

A smaller splash

The most flexible way of using colour is to add it to a basically neutral scheme. If you avoid strong colour on walls and floor as in the sitting room you add in the from of upholstery etc, will sing out with an extra intensity. Indeed just colored cushions, lampshades and-flowers could be enough to make a non- colour room seem colorful-and be cheap to replace for an instant change.

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One final thought on colour schemes: whatever you may decide for the sitting room, unless you live in a very large house that can afford to take the visual interruption, it's best to make one room flow into another to create a continuity mood. You could use the same carpet throughout you home. particularly good advice if you live in a flat, because it will make the floor area seem much larger. Alternatively you could repeat a colour from one room to the next teaming it with a different colour. and then repeating the second colour in the next room.
Read more hubs:
The important dining room

The tiny dining room
The beautiful bedroom ideas

Storage for the bedroom
Children's Rooms Interior Designs


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    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      I have two sitting rooms. One overlooks a garden, but is north facing so there is little natural light. I have painted the walls a strikingly strong red, and complemented it with Afghani kilims on the furniture, a porcelain tiled floor in terra cotta and plain varnished wood. The effect is stunning, but also restful.

      The other sitting room is south facing so gets all the natural light and the walls, like most of the other walls in the house are painted a light stone with bright scatter cushions in ethnic weaves and light cream and blue striped sofas.

      It all works... from the restfully light to the dramatically restful and opulent.

      Thanks for an interesting hub.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Beautiful rooms, when can I move in? Very creative hub!

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 6 years ago from New Jersey

      I love the sitting room #2, with the aqua and green. You have inspired me to get going on redecorating. I'm going to ask my son to paint ASAP! You have some lovely ideas and pictures. I love watching Home and Garden TV, HGTV, you get so many ideas. You are very talented!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Saif-thank you for following me. I love reading hubs about interior decorating and yours are filled with good information and colorful photos. Thanks for sharing. Keep up the great work.