I’m about to start reinventing my own living room, so today’s guest post has some good tips, and a little intro to shutters, which I’m toying with the idea of? Anyone else got them and got an opinion on if I should go for them or not?
It’s the part of the home where we spend most of our time, but for precisely that reason, it sometimes needs a bit of extra attention. The living room is where we relax, where we have fun and, often, where we entertain guests. It’s the first part of a new house to feel like home, and the way that it’s decorated can have a significant psychological impact, deeply affecting the way we feel about that home.
Because living rooms are used so much, they suffer a lot of wear and tear. Redecorating in the living room makes the whole home feel fresher and more vibrant. It gives you the chance to create an atmosphere that boosts your mood, and address practical issues at the same time, making the room better-suited to everyone who uses it. It doesn’t need to be expensive, so why not give it a go?
Make your room multitask
If you have children, teenagers or elderly relatives living in your home, the chances are that not everybody uses the living room in the same way. Splitting up the room into different functional areas is very much on trend at the moment and can give everybody a better experience. You might, for instance, create a comfortable seating area for watching TV or chatting to guests, and a separate area for your kids to lie around on beanbags playing computer games (with headphones on if you don’t want the room to be dominated by their noise). You could have a reading nook with a comfortable chair and a shelf of favourite books, or you could have a sewing area so that you can be productive and sociable at the same time. Although you might not expect it, dividing up your room like this can actually make it feel bigger.
Recover your furniture
If all you really want is a new look but you can’t afford to buy new furniture, why not do something with the old stuff? This is also much kinder to the environment than buying new things and throwing away the old ones all the time. Fitting new covers on your sofa and chairs is much easier than you might think, and you can find helpful how-to advice on YouTube. Instead of being limited to what’s in the furniture store, you can use any fabric you like, as long as it’s reasonably resilient and not too hard to clean. You could even get your own design printed; it’s a great way to make a statement.
Get creative with your windows
Are those curtains that you fell in love with a few years ago looking tired now? You could try to find more pleasing ones, or you could go for a different look altogether. Wooden shutters – which come in a variety of styles, such as café-style or tier-on-tier shutters – are hot this year and can completely change the appearance of a room. When they’re folded back, they let in a lot more light than curtains, and they give windows a much sleeker look. They can be painted in any colour you like, complementing your wider decorating themes, and they provide great insulation in winter and useful shade in summertime.
As the popularity of neutrals begins to fade, designers are looking at living rooms in a whole new way. Feature walls are out this season, but that’s because every wall is ready for some action. Simply picking up a paintbrush can change the whole character of your room. Bright blues and deep greens are the most stylish colours to choose, and if you think that they’ll be too overwhelming in your living room, simply paint up to dado height and leave the upper walls and ceiling white. If you have a raised dado line, painting it in brass can make these colour schemes look majestic.
Focus on the details
Accessorising is about more than just adding a few extra bits and pieces that please you individually. Done right, it can change the appearance of a whole room. One simple way to approach this is to use themes. Animal themes are big this season and could be used in anything from the ornaments on your mantelpiece to the patterns on your cushion covers, or even your door stop. Blue glass is also back, and looks wonderful anywhere it will catch the light, so you could use it in vases for the window ledge or even in lampshades.
Reinventing your room like this will give it a new lease on life. It will make your home feel twice as stylish, and when you spend time there, you’ll feel energised and ready to take on the world.
Images: Courtesy of Heart Home Mag