Southerners are known for their hospitality and living rooms are meant for entertaining guests, rather than just sitting empty. If you love to have friends and family over at your place, you can take some tips from southern homeowners and create a warm, inviting space for your loved ones to enjoy. Typically southern homes have sunny parlors for entertaining guests. These rooms are at the front of the home, probably where your living room is currently located. Unlike many traditional living rooms, parlors do not include dining rooms. They usually have seating and tables and are meant for holding refreshments.
Southern living rooms are typically light, bright and airy. They often have lots of window overlooking wraparound porches beautiful gardens. In fact, the garden might be the perfect inspiration for your southern living room decor. Choose white for your walls and trim, or a combination of white and a pale pastel like barely there yellow or blue. A pine floor will warm your room up without making it seem dark or stuffy. Avoid overstuffed sofas and chairs, instead opting for furniture that combines upholstery with exposed wood. You want your furniture to be comfortable, but not heavy looking. Most southern states have very hot summers that would make heavy furniture inappropriate. When you choose the upholstery for your furniture, pick a mix of pale colors and bright, floral tones. Try to find colors that match the flowers in your garden rather than including too many dramatic, jewel tones. Skip the velvet and other wintery fabrics. Feel free to mix patterns like stripes and floral.
You will want to choose the same types of fabric for the drapery on your windows. Hang your windows with a layer of diaphanous, translucent curtains to let light in during the day and another layer of bright, patterned, opaque curtains to lighten up the room at night. If you need extra privacy, consider hanging mini blinds. Choose light garden tones that match your upholstery; Tara's emerald green, velvet drapes from Gone with the Wind are only a good idea if you live in a house the size of a plantation.
The point of southern living rooms and parlors is to give families and friends a beautiful, comfortable place to chat and enjoy light refreshment. Make sure that you have plenty of seating in your living room so that your company has enough room to relax without you having to drag in extra chairs from your dining room. You will also need to include a few small tables to hold drinks.
Even though watching television with your family can be very relaxing, a television really does not have a place in a southern living room. Southern living rooms are social spaces, meant to foster conversation. While movies are fun, they really are not meant to stimulate chat. Keep the T.V. and other technological distractions in your den.