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The great living room transformation

How the evolution of the living room holds up a mirror to how we live at home. An insight on living room transformation.

11 min read

In keeping with how our lifestyles and the world around us seem to evolve at breakneck speed, the blueprint for modern living rooms regularly shapeshifts. There’s plenty of context to explain our ever-changing spaces – the world outside is changing, fast and always.

Whether you’re shoehorning a desk to work from home on into a corner, stacking up soft cushions for a makeshift soft play centre or choosing a throw to drape sheepishly over an exercise bike, it can feel like circumstances shift before your home has had time to catch up but we notice it in the subtleties of interior trends that emerge.

We unpick some of our favourite living room trends, what they say about us and how they could benefit how you live at home.

What goes around comes around

Fashion and design seem to move in cycles and that’s no different when it comes to decorating the home – perhaps it’s a pang of nostalgia for another time (whether that’s a time we’ve lived through or not). Forbes explores this theme in a fascinating deep dive into nostalgia-laden brand partnerships and what it says about what we may be seeking – spoiler: it’s comfort!

However, when it comes to our homes it’s not always as simple as following the various trends of what’s been, gone and come back round again. Furniture, after all, isn’t cheap or practical to change often, and changing wall colours or patterns is a disruptive process. So, if you’re looking for a touch of comfort in the trends of yesteryear and you have a budget in mind, stick to lower-priced, lower-committal items like blankets, trinkets, prints and cushions. Here are just a couple of those trends currently enjoying another moment in the spotlight.

90’s warmer whites and natural tones

As people have generally been spending more time in their living rooms at home since the pandemic, we’ve seen a movement towards choosing warmer shades of white, beige and cream in colour schemes. We see it as a desire for comfort that’s simple to achieve in your own home by layering decorative textiles such as blankets, throws and cushions on squishy sofas you can lounge on for hours.

Step into the 70s and be bold

Full disclosure: we’re not strictly talking about prints and colours that reached the height of their popularity in the 70s. We’re talking about adopting a more liberated attitude to print, colour and texture when it comes to curating your living room. There’s no reason a pop of print can’t sit alongside a scattering of creamy beiges and toasty oatmeal shades. Get inspired by the loud, proud print wonderland that is House of Hackney and select living room accessories that stand out from the crowd and bring your living room to life.

Symbols of strength and growth

We may not often realise when we’re in the midst of home chaos that there are small comforts, certainties or emblems of positivity within our living room walls. It could be a print you picked up that doesn’t really go with anything else but you still love, the bouquet your best friend bought you for getting your new job – dried out yet pristine in the pint glass you placed it in a few months ago. And it’s these small and large details that make a home. Explore two of our favourite home design trends that serve as symbols of strength, vitality and growth.

Vive la magenta!

Pantone’s Colour of the Year for 2023 is Viva Magenta, a deep inviting pink that will stand out in more muted living rooms. It’s described by Pantone as, ‘an unconventional shade for an unconventional time’ – a description that doesn’t feel miles away from our penchant for nostalgia. It’s a way of using our home or the objects within it to assert a sense of power and control in uncertain times. Inject it into your living space with a sofa if you’re at liberty to splash, a stylish side table or a jazzy picture frame.

Using magenta for a living room

Let it grow

The emergence of greenery in the home on its current (huge!) scale almost seemed to happen overnight. In the time it felt we had blinked, opened up Instagram and had a scroll, all cool, modern living rooms were awash with plants. It’s not gone unnoticed to Homes & Gardens who conducted a run-down of the world’s most Instagrammed house plants.

Can we put it plainly down to an algorithm deciding our shopping and decorating habits or is it something a little more interesting? We hear now more than ever about the benefits of plants for our health and wellbeing, as well as their calming influence. Perhaps we’re all just trying to carve out a small slice of serenity at home. For beautiful plant deliveries plus practical tips for keeping them alive, Patch plants is a trusty favourite.

Creating new spaces

Living rooms have historically been dedicated spaces for unwinding or spending time with loved ones. As the structures of our families change and the way we spend our own time evolves, our approach to spaces and layouts is changing too. We explore two ways that the living room area has been reimagined.

Open it up

Going open-plan isn’t new and it’s also showing no signs of slowing down. As more of us demand our homes to be a kitchen, social space, workplace and creche all in one, sleek open spaces that can be adapted for a multitude of functions seem like an increasingly sensible choice. Put simply, if we’re expected to “do it all”, we want our homes to accommodate that. If you’d like some inspiration for beautiful open plan spaces, check out our portfolio of completed projects and use our Quick Quote Calculator to see how much it would cost you.

Adaptable spaces for your home

Seek solitude

Garden rooms are becoming increasingly popular choices for people looking to find more space at home. It might seem like a wild side step away from the communal feel of open-plan living spaces, but perhaps the natural reaction to our increasingly connected existence and expectation for high functioning multi-functioning at all times explains the desire for a place of one’s own? We suspect it might be.

If you’re looking for an additional living room, have an available garden area and are looking for a less disruptive alternative to an extension, it could be worth considering. Explore Pinterest for some garden room inspiration and book a free advice call with one of our in-house experts to see what options are available to you.

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