Above all else, the furniture in the living-room should make it livable. It should be grouped so that it offers centers of interest, convenience and comfort. Look for upholstered seating with homespun-type fabric, or toss a pieced quilt over plain fabric or leather. An old rocker is a great addition.
By the time you are ready to choose the furniture for the living room, the walls and floor coverings should be in place so that the choice of furniture will be merely the selection of the best out of several possibilities. Of course, the quality, shape and color of furniture varies, and the quantity will as well.
Can one imagine a more livable living-room than one with a large, soft sofa in front of a fireplace, behind it a long table filled with books, while holding a lamp at either end. Or else, at the end of the sofa, a small table for the reading lamp and on either side a pair of comfortable chairs?
The main essentials are a comfortable sofa, a table large enough to hold books, magazines and lamps, and at least two comfortable, upholstered chairs and a smaller table.
While at the other end or side of the room, a pair of book-cases, cabinets or a credence. These balance the fireplace, since they are placed against the wall and have a corresponding shelf, cornice or mantel line.
In developing the original simple formula there may be added a chaise, a good-size table, another large chair, and another small table
Remember that it is always better to leave a space empty than to have it occupied by a badly placed piece of furniture. Good furniture needs space to be seen to its advantage.
If there is a large array of furniture in the living-room, keep the carpet, and furniture upholstery all to one tone.
Mantel accessories may be applied to the other shelves and the tables in the room. Keep them free from dust-collecting, trivial things, while creating a sense of order and cleanliness.
Balance is maintained by using objects in pairs a pair of vases, candlesticks, bowls, or jars. Placed at either end of the mantel, they should be higher than the intervening objects, to form a sweeping curve. Also they help to frame in the over-mantel picture or mirror.
In fitting furniture to its architectural background there are 3 things to consider
contour and proportion
design and decorative detail
color of wood.
The first two points are obviously necessary; it is in the last that the furnishing of many rooms fails. Oak and mahogany do not mix amicably; one does not set off the other because there is not sufficient contrast, nor are they closely enough allied to harmonize. On the other hand, black ebony and yellowish burr walnut, such as is used in inlaying seaweed pattern in oak, are examples of harmony gained.