Living room, family room, den. Whatever you call it, the struggle is the same. How do you merge practical and beautiful in a place that everyone spends so much time in? Fine furniture and beautiful glass lamps can be intimidating in a room where people eat, drink, and kick their feet up. How do the two come together?

While beautiful pieces make a space, any good designer knows it is most important to give a client realistic pieces.  Luckily, at OP Jenkins, beautiful can be realistic, too! To pick the best furniture and accessories, usage of the room is key. A great design plan is all about your priorities. OP Jenkins interior designer Stephanie Montgomery weighed in on how she creates a livable, beautiful room.

“Formal living rooms are a thing of the past!” says Montgomery. “Now, you can have fun with it. One of my favorite ways to add interest in a living room is by mixing and matching styles. Mix textures like concrete, metal, marble, etc. Mix skirts and legs, and alternate sizes of pieces to create balance in the room.”

Do you have kids or pets, or frequent red-wine spills?  

“It’s important to use textures that hide dirt,” says Montgomery. “Crypton and revolution fabrics, (which are advanced and comfortable) are my absolute go-tos!” 

One of the first orders of business for any interior designer is determining how the room is going to be used. The purpose of a space and the kind of activity that will happen within it will directly determine what type of furniture and accessories need to be placed within. If a space is beautiful but not functional, it may end up being a waste.

“Make sure you know who is going to use the room and how it will be used,” says Montgomery. “That will guarantee a space that will be as enjoyable to use as it is to look at!”