After a long day at work or a hard day at school, parents and children alike enjoy plopping down on a comfortable sofa to relax, play a board game and watch television or a movie. But not everyone can afford a spacious living room or family room with genuine leather couches and plush carpeting. No matter what your budget, there are ways for everyone to create an inviting, cozy living room- and great first impression- in any home, big or small.
Tip #1: Take Inventory
It’s hard to reorganize or redesign when you’re not sure what available items you have to work with. Don’t limit yourself to what you already have in your living room or family room, either. Look around the other rooms of your home and gather items that might match the couch or theme of your living room.
Tip #2: Get Moving
Now that you’ve got stock of possible accessories for your room, move everything into the center of your room (ask for help if you’ve got heavy furniture!). First, you’ll finally be able to clean those hard-to-reach spaces like the woodwork, but secondly, you’ve got the perfect opportunity to repaint your room. If repainting an entire room seems too daunting, consider only painting one wall, especially if you’re redesigning a smaller room. Invest in a rich colored paint and create an accent wall!
Tip #3: Divide & Conquer
For larger rooms, consider sectioning off different areas of your space for different purposes or activities. Place chairs and end tables in a circular pattern around a coffee table or art piece and you’ve got a perfect conversational area. For devoted television watchers, create a t-section by pushing a couch flush against wall.
Tip #4: Focus, Focus
Dividing your room may be difficult for smaller dimensions. Instead, pick a focal point and center your furniture around this item. Whether it is a television or entertainment center, fireplace or table, organizing your items around it will help create a cozy, lived-in feeling. To add extra seating space, incorporate Asian influences; purchase big, soft or silky floor cushions to match your accent wall or room theme.
Tip#4: Fabulous Fabrics
Unless you’ve recently won the lottery, purchasing brand new furniture can be a major investment. Purchase new fabric for already existing couches and chairs as a cost-efficient do-it-yourself project. Or, save time and money and find gently used furniture. Look for yard sales, flea markets and freebies in your nearby towns.
Tip #5: Accessorize
If your walls are barren and you’re not sure your 80’s movie posters are appropriate decorations, upgrade for more chic, modern accessories. Create and frame a collage of old, black and white photographs of your family members. Instead of real flowers, buy silk flowers; they don’t need water or sunlight and last forever! Also, placing candles of various heights on a mantle or table create a sophisticated, modern look for your room. For busier homes that tend to get cluttered quickly, place wicker baskets in the corners of the room. Keep children’s toys, newspapers or magazines in the baskets to remain organized and decorative.
Tip #6: Create an Illusion
Similar to an accent wall, there are additional ways to make a smaller space appear larger. Keeping the majority of your living room walls white helps make a room feel bigger. Additionally, hang a mirror on one of your walls. Mirrors reflect light and brighten your living room with the natural light. To maximize the effect of your mirror, try slanting it slightly upwards to reflect more of the ceiling, or place the mirror opposite a window or glass-plated furniture; the reflective mirror makes small spaces feel more open.
No matter how small or larger your current living room is, with these creative decorating tips, you can transform your living room into the ultimate everything room.