I'm going to start this post off by stating that I have a serious love/hate relationship with formal living rooms. I love, LOVE that you can basically decorate a room like it's a museum and know that pillows will stay fluffed until I decide to refluff them. I HATE that formal living rooms are rarely ever actually lived in. And that makes me really sad faced because you should enjoy all the beauty queen rooms your home has to offer! Maybe I also hate them because I'm supes jealous that I don't have a formal living room situation in my life. So, all you fools out there that have one...well, please invite me over so we can have tea and crumpets and sit in your formal living room and talk about all those sad people who don't have an amazing formal living room like you do.
That sweet lassie pictured above is one of my super all time favorite formal living room experiences. Large artwork, a sofa that you know has never been sat on, let alone lied on, a coffee table that you clearly can't prop your feet on...I know because I have one exactly like it and it's not looking too hot because I have in fact, slammed my feet on it. Multiple times.
Anatomy Lesson #1: Put every single gorgeous piece of furniture in your formal living room because let's be honest, you're going to break it everywhere else. How clumsy of you!
Oh this sassy girl is the epitome of sterile non-inhabitant perfection. If I walked into this home I would think, "this homeowner is not only the boss, but they mean bidness." I would definitely have to use a coaster in this room. No red wine allowed. Or crackers. Or breathing.
Anatomy Lesson #2: Style a formal living room in such a way that the thought of digesting anything in the room will send chills down your guest's spines. Fear is the ultimate form of flattery after all.
To be perfectly honest with you, I pass by one too many formal living rooms and say, "oh, how lovely" and really mean it...kinda. But "lovely" a formal living room shall not make. Not for you, anyhow. Your formal living room must scream, "HEY. I'M HERE. DON'T FORGET ABOUT ME...OR I WILL CUT YOU." How does a formal living room do this? By some big, bad A art. That's how.
Anatomy Lesson #3: Buy big art. Or else your living room will cut you.
Another strong to quite strong formal living room decorating tactic is using a light neutral scheme. I like to think of this is a mommy's defense mechanism. I don't have children, but if I did, I would "accidentally" decorate my formal living room in light colors. I will then fence it off from the tiny aliens and shall sit inside my child-free den and laugh as they peered inside with sticky faces and dirty fingers.
Anatomy Lesson #4: Accidentally create a space in which you are stared at like the fierce snow leopard that you are by doting onlookers. Also, give them a camera to take photos of you posing in your perfectly primped leopard den.
|Ashley Goforth Design|
When all else fails in your formal living room decorating attempts, throw something in there that's so ridiculously awesome that you really don't need anything else in there. Like this lovely photo. Guests clearly aren't allowed to touch the Hermes. If they are, in fact, allowed to enter the room that houses the Hermes, and be fortunate to sit near the Hermes, well, that's like being invited into "the plastics". Coolest kid in school.
Anatomy Lesson #5: Just buy something Hermes. Because there really isn't a reason other than everyone should have a little Hermes in their lives.