Designing A Great Living Room

by : Gerald Mason

If you build your own house or are redesigning your own here are some tips to help you plan your living room.

The living room should be spacious, well-lighted, well ventilated, with durable floors and walls that can stand hard usage and still look presentable.

This fact should be kept in mind at all times in selecting carpets, furniture, drapes, and wall finishes.

The house and furnishings must be suited to the family. If a house has a family room, to take the brunt of the hard wear, the living room can be a bit more delicate than where it has to take the beating all the time.

Plaster is still the accepted thing for walls; if you can get along with wallboard, don't expect it to take quite the hard knocks that plaster can.

Wood paneling can be very effective as a living room wall. One end of the room can often be of brick or stone with good effect. Sometimes one wall can be papered with a very pleasing result.

I have seen rooms papered on all four sides, but with one side of figured paper and the other three sides with the same paper without the figures on it.

Oak makes a good durable floor with natural beauty built right in. A large rug and a few small rugs can be used with good effect with the oak floor.

Wall-to-wall carpeting is popular at the present time. It has several advantages: it is quiet, warm, easy to clean with a vacuum cleaner, and if of good quality, it wears well.

An elderly couple without children, or whose grandchildren do not come too often, can have a more fragile living room than a family that has several hard playing, fast growing boys and girls.

How big should a living room be? Some people feel crowded in a room 16' by 24', while others feel that such a room would be spacious.

In Korea a good-sized room would be 8' x 10'. In Japan a living room is rarely more than 12' square, but there they can remove the sliding partitions and add the other room which is usually 9' x 12', making the total size of the principal room 12' x 21'. The kitchen is only 6' x 9'. The bathroom is usually 6' square. This makes the average Japan¬ese house about 500 square feet in area, compared with perhaps slightly over 1000 square feet for Americans.

The popularity of trailer houses seems to indicate that people can get along with less space than was formerly thought desirable. Trailer houses have from 150 to 500 square feet of floor area, and some of the larger ones seem rather spacious.

Still, good planning indicates that the living room should be fairly good sized, even if the rest of the house has to be rather small.

A living room should seldom be smaller than 12' x 16'. Perhaps a medium-sized house, say 1400 square feet, should have a living room 15' x 20' up to 16' x 24', or about 300 to 400 square feet of floor area. But a large house of over 2000 square feet of floor area could afford a living room of from 450 to 500 square feet of floor space.

When you buy a house always use a mortgage calculator to get the best deal on your mortgage.