One of the first questions I ask my clients during the design process is, “What kind of environment are you looking to create for your guests?” and the response I hear a lot includes: unpretentious, relaxed, social and welcoming. A great way to create this atmosphere is to incorporate lounge areas into their designs. It can be as simple as having two sofas facing each other or as posh as having multiple tufted banquettes with custom sewn pillows, several ottomans and accent pieces and all surrounding an over the top floral arrangement that stands 4′ high. The concept works within most budget ranges because you could spend anywhere from $300 to $3,000.
Here are some of my ideas for creating lounges:
Staging is Key – There are many ways to arrange the furniture for your lounge and it really depends on the number of pieces you have. Make sure it is easily accessible from all angles and faces the crowd. To get some ideas on furniture arrangements, take a look at the pictures below. There is a wide variety for you to consider.
Provide Seating for 6+ – Make sure your lounge area can accommodate at least 6 people so that it keeps a warm, social and inviting space.
Tent it – a small tent will do…20×20 or so. A clear top will allow guests can enjoy the twinkling stars. A white tent will allow you to have fun with draping and trims!
Lighting – Lighting the lounge is a fun way to set the ambiance and glam up the space. Have fun with it! Hang a single statement making chandelier over the entire space or multiple small chandeliers as a runner over the long coffee table. Not a fan of chandeliers? Use lamps! Dress up a side table or other accent table with a beautiful lamp or two and you’re set! On a budget? Go with candles…lots of them. Nothing is more romantic than the flicker of a candle after all.
Keep it Clean – Don’t crowd the space with too much.
Get Eclectic – Keep your furniture pieces simple, but eclectic. For example, pair a tufted white couch with either a chaise lounge, multiple ottomans, two colorful armchairs chairs, a wooden bench or a combination of these pieces.
Bold Accents – From pillows and flowers to umbrellas and light fixtures, pull in pops of color around your main pieces.
Add a Backdrop – Create a wall behind the lounge by using long strands of crystal beads, pipe and drape in sheer organza fabric or a makeshift gallery wall of eclectic vintage mirrors.
Create Multiple Lounges in One – I love this idea! Start with a 4′x4′ linen covered table with a tall floral arrangement as your center. Then place the back side of 4 sofas or banquettes around it. Then build your lounges by adding more pieces to the four sides. Just be sure to keep all four areas uniform in look.
Build a “Patio” – I adore this idea too! Setup your lounge to look like a “patio” off of your tent space! Elevate it off the ground and have a set of steps leading to it. Lay down sisal rugs or carpet to cover the flooring and string cafe lights above. Then set your lounge up as you wish! One thing you’ll want to make sure you do it create a barrier around the sides so guests do not fall off as the night goes on.