A recent report from Ofcom, the Independent regulator and competition authority
for the UK communications industries indicates that over 90% of us watch television in our sitting rooms a minimum of once each week, with over half of us using another interactive device such as a laptop, tablet or smartphone at the same time.
Reclaiming the sitting room
One surprising aspect of consumer behaviour revealed in the report is that there is a concurrent decrease in the use of televisions outside the sitting room, perhaps fuelled by the ability to use portable devices for streaming videos and television programmes. Forthe first time since the 1950s it seems that families are coming together in the sitting room during the course of the evening rather than scattering throughout the house.
With the news that the sitting room is once again becoming a central meeting point and activity area, it’s time to reconsider our attitude to this part of the home which Ofcom’s report indicates is the new ‘digital hub’ of the family. Designing the living room around the family’s needs and requirements is essential in order to maximise the available space and ensure that seating and workspace areas are fit for purpose and above all, comfortable.
Assess your requirements
Every family’s needs are different, so take some time to consider how you use your living space and what would be the most appropriate furniture for your needs. The family with young children will have different needs from the family with elderly relatives, and their use of the available space will differ according to the ages and physical abilities of everyone in the house.
Seating is perhaps the most vital part of the equation, so spend as much time and money as you can afford on this element. Current trends encompass everything from the traditional three-piece suite to modular seating and accent chairs. Elderly family members will benefit from higher level seating which makes it easier to stand up, some examples of which offer assisted rising mechanisms.
Have a look at online websites for inspiration. You can look through a wide range of Sofas and chairs at Forrest Furnishing and other similar stores and this can be a great way of sourcing competitively priced options.
Think about laptop stands and occasional tables that support mobile devices at an appropriate angle to avoid back strain. By the same token it is important to have good quality task lighting, which can be achieved through a mix of uplighters, wall lights and spotlights. Dimmer switches let you alter the mood according to your requirements and can create a shift in mood for watching films and videos.
TVs can be wall mounted to allow maximum floor space or can be housed on dedicated storage platforms, most of which adapt to swallow up a host of devices such as DVD players, set-top boxes, speakers and wi-fi hubs. Try to keep cables concealed wherever possible to achieve a clean and uncluttered look.
Shelving and storage should be organised according to individual tastes. Some people like to have plenty of knick-knacks and books on display, while doors, cupboards and curtains can all be used to hide unwanted clutter.