Living Room Decor Tips from Hunter Douglas

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By • Aug 31st, 2010 • Category: Homes and Design

Formal living rooms will always hold their own against family rooms as one of the most essential elements of a home, both for entertaining purposes and simply for decoration. Sally Morse, Director of Creative Services for window fashions leader Hunter Douglas and the design expert featured on “Ask Sally & Jen” at, offers the following advice on how to adorn a formal living room in homes today:

Traditional versus Contemporary: Just because this room is deemed “formal” does not automatically mean it must have a traditional setting. This room is a reflection of the tastes and styles of the homeowner, both in attitude and furnishings, and should be decorated to suit them.

If you tend towards contemporary looks you will gravitate towards statement pieces; one picture on the wall, for example, versus the eight you might find in a traditional interior. And, in traditional décor, shapes are more ornate and finishes are mellow – they look as if they have been aged at least a decade.

Floorcoverings: Luxurious decorations take precedence in the formal living room with the floor serving as the launching pad. For a more traditional feel, use Oriental rugs in common shades of red, orange, yellow and blue. For a more contemporary flare, rugs with geometric patterns or exotic animal prints such as black-and-white zebra stripes add a zesty element.

Window Treatments: Elegance at the window is key, particularly as this room typically resides at the front of the home, giving the first impression of the style of the rest of what’s inside. Luminette® Modern Draperies from Hunter Douglas feature beautiful woven fabrics that offer the look and function of traditional draperies, while making a consistent, clean, modern statement. Unlike traditional draperies, they also offer quick delivery, easy motorization options and the Hunter Douglas Lifetime Guarantee. They’re modern, but with a softness that can work in any design style.

Luminette Modern Draperies also offer a very popular Dual Panel design where the drapery is combined with sheer fabrics on one headrail. This allows for the best of both worlds, the rotating fabric vanes of the sheer providing light and privacy control and the drapery providing elegance.

Walls: Fill this area with decorative items such as gilded mirrors and wall sconces that make the eye wander around the room. Paint hues should be simple so they do not compete with the furnishings and other decorative elements. Colors such as taupe, beige or even a light gold work best. Again, for a more contemporary feel pare down the number of items.

Final Touches: Finish off the look with important accessories including lamps, antique clocks and decorative books, or even a whimsical chandelier. Remember quality over quantity, whatever your style, as you want the room to emit elegance, not clutter.

Using these tips, your living room will be fit to entertain in no time.

Hunter Douglas Inc. is a national sponsor of Habitat for Humanity, covering windows in every Habitat home built in the U.S. and Canada. Headquartered in Upper Saddle River N.J., the company is the leading manufacturer of custom window fashions in North America. For more information, visit or call 1-800-274-2985.

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