Bachelor Entertaining: Living Room Essentials

Continuing through the home with our series on entertaining for bachelors, today we’re sharing tips on creating a living room that’s sophisticated, stylish, and perfectly suited to entertaining. We’ve already discussed how to find your style, so now we’ll be explaining how to translate that style into a comfortable and versatile living room where you can host a cocktail party, invite friends over to watch the game, or relax by yourself.

One of the most important elements of your bachelor living room is the color palette you select. If you’re unsure about color, start with neutral shades like white, cream, grey, beige, tan, and taupe. Then, pick one or two accent colors- in the room above, a palette of cream and grey is accented with shades of blue, with a pop of orange in the flowers. You can use your accent color as little or as much as you like- just a few touches, or on big pieces like chairs; one shade, or several tones. The neutral palette will help your room look coordinated, and neutral shades have wide appeal. The accent color gives your room interest and personality, and breaks up the uniformity of neutrals.

The next thing to consider is how you plan to use the room. You’ll want to be sure that the seating you select will lend itself well to your intended use, but you’ll also want some versatility. Do you host parties often? How many guests do you have? Are your parties casual or formal? Do you watch a lot of TV? Are you a gamer? Think about what you like to do in this room, and choose seating and furniture accordingly. Start with a sofa and coffee table, and from there add side tables, arm chairs, a sofa table, and a media cabinet as appropriate. Depending on how you use the room, we like the idea of creating multiple seating groups, which allows multiple conversations to develop at a party.

One often-overlooked but super-important aspect of your living room is lighting. You need plenty of lighting, enough to provide sufficient illumination for any of the ways you use your room. Start with overhead lighting- many homes have recessed lights, and we like adding a chandelier for style as well. Although recessed lights can be practical, they are often too bright and unflattering, which is not great when you’re entertaining. If possible, put your overhead lighting on dimmer switches. In addition, be sure to have several lamps placed around the room. These will give you more flexibility with your lighting, as well as more flattering light. Place lamps on side tables, and in a pair on your sofa table, or choose floor standing lamps and place them near seating areas.

Next, add some personality and interest to your space with accessories. Rugs, pillows, and throws add softness and texture to the room. Choose a mix of neutrals that compliment your furniture, and brighter colors and patterns in your accent color. Add art, mirrors, and decorative accessories such as a bowl or piece of sculpture to make the room uniquely yours and give it a more finished look. Consider a single, large-scale piece of art (we love contemporary abstract pieces for this) to make a big statement without making the room feel cluttered. We also like to include some natural elements, such as a plant or floral arrangement. If you don’t want the upkeep, it’s fine to go with artificial, as long as you choose an arrangement that’s high-quality and realistic.

As you create your living room, consider your guests’ comfort- does your lighting set the right mood? Is there plenty of comfortable seating? Do guests have a place to put their drinks? Will your room’s layout encourage good conversation flow? Consider also whether your room looks stylish and coordinated. Do you have accents and accessories that complement the decor and add a finishing touch? Are your entertainment and sound systems nicely housed in a media cabinet, where they can be easily accessed but don’t have to be constantly on display? Is clutter kept to a minimum, with cords and cables neatly bundled and concealed, remote controls in a drawer or attractive box, and magazines in a basket? With these considerations in mind, your living room will be a stylish, inviting and comfortable place to entertain and relax.

Source: one, two, three, four, five, six