Archive for the 'Living Room' Category

Feb 14 2012

Creating an Old-Style Country Look for Your Living Room

No other style of decorating offers a warm, comfortable atmosphere in addition to the charming beauty associated with country decorating.  Even in the modern times in which we live, country decorating holds a special place in the heart of many people who grew up in a rural setting or on a farm.

Whether you live in the middle of a bustling city or in the country, you can recreate the look of a decade ago, adding charm and character to your living room.

Choose a color scheme first
Before you start deciding on accents, curtains and other elements of the room, decide what colors you want to use.  It’s best to stick to three colors so that the look is balanced, with one color being the dominant color for the room.

Country colors range from cream and pale red or rusty shades to country blues and brown tones, shades of orange, warm yellow and forest green.

Warm up the walls with a rustic touch
Some people use a wainscoting technique for the walls.  This simply means that you will use a different element for the bottom half of the wall than what is used on the top half.

Rough boards create a rustic look and add texture.  Run the boards vertically up the wall to a point that is about 3 to 3 1/2 feet from the floor.  Use nails to put the boards on the wall instead of glue; if you ever decide to remove the boards, nails will leave far less damage than glue.

Top the boards off with a pine board that is 2 x 4 inches, running horizontally across the top of the vertical boards.  For a country look, stain the boards in a light pine or oak stain.  Paint the remainder of the wall, up to the ceiling, with the color of your choice.

Stick with wood or tile for floors
Carpeting doesn’t lend itself to an authentic country look.  For real country style appeal, choose hardwood flooring or tile in a rustic finish.

While you want the wood floors or tile to be on display, throw rugs are a must for adding warmth and a splash of color in country decorating.  Braided rugs are perfect for this use, and come in a wide range of sizes and colors.  Scatter them around randomly for a relaxed, comfortable look.

Decorative accents can add country flair to almost any type of furniture
While it is best if you can afford country style furniture, there are things you can do to make your current furniture take on a more countrified look and feel.

If you can afford to buy new furniture, stick to wood or leather when possible.  Wood arms combined with floral upholstery are common in a country themed home.  Wood accent and end tables help complete the look.

Now, for a few simple tricks to give any style furniture that country look.  Large crocheted doilies placed on the arms of a chair or couch add an old-fashioned touch.  Toss a few country-themed throw pillows in the mix, and your furniture has transformed to country!  There are also a huge number of fitted slip-covers available that you can use to entirely cover your furniture, giving it a whole new look.

When it comes to accents for the walls, country decor often leans toward a farm or western theme, using old items that look like they are “gently” worn.  Old-fashioned kitchen implements such as small iron skillets, rolling pins, small barn tools, saws, old farm pictures and other items all give new life to bare walls and add warmth.

Decorating your home in old-style country is easy!  Put these tips and ideas to use in your home, and you may find that this is the most comfortable, welcoming environment you have ever come home to after a long hard day.

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Feb 02 2012

Living Room Design Tips

Today, living room themes vary as much, and are as individual as, the people who live in their homes.  It’s even common for a living room to be fairly ignored, as more and more people tend to congregate in the kitchen/dining room area of the home to eat, visit with neighbors, play games and just enjoy each other’s company.  If you have been thinking about updating your living room but don’t know what to do with it, the information in this article will help you with the task.

Give it plenty of thought

Think about the other members in your family, and what they enjoy doing.

If you have teenagers, do they usually retreat to their bedrooms to watch television or listen to music?  Get them involved in designing the living room area.  You may find that if you set up areas in the living room that are meant for listening to music, playing games or watching television, your teens spend more time with the family.

Would you rather your living room be more of a family room where everyone relaxes, reads and unwinds at the end of the day, or do you prefer a more formal area that is quiet and peaceful, no television or music allowed?

Keep these things in mind so that your living room will be used exactly as you intend.  Your desire may be a mixture of the things mentioned above, but whatever it is, decide before you begin to plan out the design.

Visualize your ideas

Next, put your thoughts on paper.  Write down those ideas you like best, and even draw a rough outline of different designs for the living room.  This could be living room furniture lay outs, color schemes, textiles, etc.

By writing down your ideas and sketching out your thoughts, those ideas that are your favorites will clearly be defined, making it easier for you when it comes time to begin the project.

Look through magazines or online and keep a folder of those design ideas that you love most.  Tear the pages out of magazines, print out the pictures you find online.

Deciding on furniture needs

How much seating you have available in your living room depends largely on the size of the room, but you do want to take account of how many people would usually be in the room if it were to be used.  Consider how many are in your family and whether you have company (relatives, friends) on a regular basis.

This will help you determine whether you need a sofa and recliner.  Perhaps additional furnishings such as a love seat or additional chair are appropriate.

Walls set the mood of the room

Your walls will be the most prominent aspect of the living room, so it’s important that you decide whether you want them to be bold and modern, warm and soft, elegant, casual, dramatic, etc.

The colors you choose for the walls will dictate the rest of the decor.  If your living room is large, consider rich shades of pumpkin, caramel, burgundy or grey-blue.  For a smaller living room, it’s usually best to stick to light shades of cream, butter yellow, apricot or pastel blue and green shades.

When it comes to accessories for the walls, the sky is the limit!  What you choose will depend largely on the theme you have chosen for the room.  Large tapestries, mirrors, bold prints, wall sconces – choose those things you really love instead of putting something on the wall just because “it fits”.

Put these tips to use when designing your living room and you just may see that your family actually starts migrating out of the kitchen and in to the room that was meant for gathering.

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Dec 28 2011

Exotic Living Room Decor – Perfect For Those Who Love Things a Bit on The Bold or Wild Side

If you like a look that is out of the ordinary, bold and dramatic, exotic living room decor offers the perfect look and atmosphere for your home.  From leopard and zebra prints to tropical plants and bold colors, this is a look for those who aren’t even a bit on the shy side.  Love a dramatic, intriguing look?  Here are some tips for turning your living room in to one suitable for a safari.

Make a bold, exotic statement with large items

In order for your living room furniture to look dramatic yet neat and organized, it’s best to use leopard or zebra patterns in larger pieces such as a sofa.  Avoid placing smaller items that are designed with exotic patterns all over the room, as this will give it a confusing, scattered look.

Moroccan furnishings offer the perfect complement in exotic decorating.  Sofas and tables are often set low to the floor, relying on elaborate wrought iron scroll work.  Lush fabrics with intricate textures are common in exotic decorating; throw pillows and lush cushions abound.

Color the walls bold and beautiful

In exotic decorating, the use of many colors you wouldn’t ordinarily use in your home is perfect.  Colors such as aqua, hunter green, white, ivory and pale blue lend to the look and contrast the gold, silver and black colors often found in exotic decorating.

Paint the walls any of the colors mentioned above; stick to lighter colors if your living room is small.  A beautiful look for a larger living room is to paint a single wall hunter green, then design a silhouette mural that evokes the landscape of any country where you usually find leopards such as Africa or Asia.  The perfect touch to create the mood would be an African mural depicting tall grass stalks waving in the breeze with a single acacia tree silhouetted in the forefront.

Carpets and floors for exotic decorating

Stone or tile floors will work in exotic decorating as long as the colors and patterns add to the look.  Ceramic tile is particularly popular in this decorating theme, as it offers a coolness that is often welcome in hot climates.  Dark hardwood floors take on a new life with Persian rugs and cushions which are stacked to create extra seating.

With carpeting, stick to a subtle leopard print, or consider a solid beige accented with smaller leopard area rugs.  Loud or campy leopard carpet may get old quickly, so consider carefully whether you can handle such a strong look over a long time period.

Accents complete the look

You don’t have to go overboard with accents since exotic decorating is bold to begin with.  A few well-chosen pieces will go far in creating the rich, dramatic look you desire for your living room.

A single large canvas print of leopards or even an antelope is all you need for one wall.  Use two or three larger potted trees and plants to add to the “jungle” appeal.

Instead of a dull end table, consider stacking wooden crates or even vintage suitcases for a unique look.  Large black ceramic vases or those crafted of teakwood hold large grasses; brass or chrome accents on tables and picture frames contribute to completing the look.

Creating an exotic living room is easy, and can be accomplished without spending a substantial amount of money.  If you like things a little on the wild side, consider the rich, bold look offered in exotic decor.

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Oct 18 2011

Modern Living Room Decorating Ideas – For Those Who Enjoy Minimal Fuss

Published by under Living Room

Modern decorating is perfect for those who enjoy sleek, clean lines with a minimum of clutter and fuss.  Open spaces, neutral colors injected with small bold touches, and modern accessories make for a room that can be dramatic, calm, or even futuristic in appearance.

If you love a clean modern look, the ideas below will help you create rooms you will enjoy coming home to at the end of the day.  Want to know what is the nicest thing about modern décor?  Your home looks spotless, even when you know you haven’t cleaned it in a while.

Furniture ideas

In a modern living room, you usually find a sofa, coffee and side tables, bean bag chairs, or even huge over-sized pillows for sitting on the floor.

Modern furniture is sleek and without intricate adornments or patterns.  A sofa may be extra long and have no arms on the ends; a small love seat may have open ends as well, with a single cushion as the back.

Tables in a modern living room can be anything from rectangular or square glass top tables to square box shapes that sit directly on the floor, perfect for those over-sized pillows.  Glass topped tables with fluted edges, set atop a wrought iron base, are also common.

Leather furniture is also suitable for a modern look; just make sure the look is streamlined and clean, and avoid over-stuffed, bulky looking furniture.

A minimum of accessories adds to the drama

Modern decorating can often take a dramatic turn.  While in most decorating themes walls, shelves and tables are adorned with an abundance of accents, not so in modern decor.

All but one wall may be completely bare.  That wall may spotlight a huge painting or print.  It is not uncommon to see a picture that is 4 feet by 6 feet hanging on a wall, and the look is striking.

Other accessories consist of throw pillows, which may contain a bit of bold color and pattern to add a bit of spice to a neutral room.  A large ceramic vase for the coffee table and a nubby area rug placed underneath is all you need to complete the room.

Lighting

A modern design usually consists of brightly lit spaces which can come through windows or artificial light.  Windows are light and uncluttered.  Ax simple shade or blind is sufficient in modern décor.  You can consider leaving the window completely uncovered if your home isn’t visible to passers-by.

For lighting, consider sleek floor lamps topped by round globes, or a single, large round globe light that drops from the ceiling in the center of the room.

Light sand colors, gray, taupe, brown, white, black and orange are perfectly suited to modern design.  You can add any colors you like through accents, as long as they aren’t overpowering.

Modern decor looks clean, sleek and even efficient.  The tips above will help you create a look for your living room that you will love!

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Jul 29 2011

Designing a Retro Living Room

Many people are enjoying the looks of the 1950’s through the 1970’s in their homes, from kitchens and baths to living rooms.  If you’re thinking about incorporating a retro or vintage look in your living room, the ideas below will help get you started.  Since there were several styles during this time period, you will achieve the most desirable look by sticking with one decade for your decorating theme such as the 50’s, 60’s or 70’s.

Don’t go overboard

No matter which retro style you choose, don’t overdo it.  You want the look to be balanced, not loud and overwhelming.  By using too many accents, wall hangings, etc., you will find that the look quickly gets on your nerves.

Stick to three colors when deciding on your color theme so that the look is balanced and not confusing or overdone.

Furnishing a retro style living room

If you lived during this era, no doubt plenty of things will come to mind.  Bean bag chairs are funky, and make the perfect seating for an empty corner.  Vinyl, crushed velvet and shiny patent leather were also in vogue during these decades.

When it comes to the sofa, choose something with clean contemporary lines.  A black or white vinyl or leather sofa with simple lines looks great when topped with brightly colored velvet covered throw pillows.

Tables should enhance the look of your retro living room even further.  Look for shiny chrome legs and any surface that is shiny, such as black lacquer or even glass.

Light up the room with retro style lamps

Today there are so many ways to light up your living room, but back in the day table lamps were a huge item and necessary for completing the look.  Oversized, brightly colored lamps will add to the mix; also consider shades decorated with geometric prints and tassels.  To create a focal point for the room, place two matching lamps at each end of the sofa.

Rugs, walls and the rest

Anyone who lived during this time knows that shag carpet was all the rage.  If you have shag carpet, little has to be done to the floor.  If you have tile or stone floors, it’s easy to add a retro look to the floor.  Place a retro rug in the center of the room; this can be a monochrome or two-color rug patterned with geometric ovals or squares or large circles.

When it comes to the walls nearly anything goes.  Remember the old music posters featuring those rockers you drooled over?   They’re perfect for the living room walls.   Sunburst wall mirror decorations, an old guitar hung on the wall over the sofa, even those old tin signs featuring Betty Boop add a playful, fun feel to the room.

A vintage or retro styled living room is relaxed, comfortable and full of fun.  Take your home back in time with a retro look!  Watch some of those old shows from the time period, and you’ll come up with a few creative ideas of your own.

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Jul 23 2011

Living Room Decorating Tips – Make Your Home Comfortable and Inviting

Your living room is where your family relaxes after a day at school or work, but it is also the first impression visitors get of the interior of your home.  You want a living room that projects a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere – but you also want it to be beautiful and eye-catching.  This article offers tips and ideas for making your living room one that family and visitors alike will appreciate.

The easiest way to change the look – rearrange the furniture

The most obvious thing you can do to change up the look of your living room is to rearrange the furniture.  Even if your living room is small, there are things you can do to give it a different appearance.

Create cozy spaces by arranging your furniture at angles instead of in a square up against the walls.  If the room is small, move the furniture out about a foot from the wall, and place a narrow table behind the sofa, covered with plants or candles.

For larger living rooms, consider breaking up the space into areas designed for a specific purpose.  For example, you may want to arrange a love seat and two chairs around an area rug to create a space for visiting with guests.  If you have an avid reader in the family, design a special “reader’s area” in one corner by a window.

Use color to create a certain mood

Color has a psychological affect on people, and can change their mood.  Warm colors such as golden yellow, green, rustic shades of orange and red provide a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere.  Cool shades of blue and gray are relaxing and soothing.  Bright orange and red combined with lemon yellow is energetic.  Black and white combined with bold red and gold is elegant and sophisticated.  Select your color scheme based upon the response you want.

Mirrors add space and brighten the room

This is an especially good idea if your living room is on the small side.  A large mirror, when placed across from a window, reflects the light and brightens up the room.  It will also reflect the items in the room, making it appear much larger than it actually is.

You can also create a “window” where there is none.  Find an old window at a flea market or perhaps even in your attic.  Clean it up, hang it on a wall, and hang curtains around it for a unique look that can be the focal point of the room.

Small furnishings create big impact

Small pieces of furniture such as a low sofa table or bench add a “lived-in” look to your living room without making it look cluttered.  Floral arrangements, baskets, small plants and candles add warmth and ambiance to the room.

While adding a few accessories and personal favorites to the room adds warmth, avoid too much clutter which will just make the room appear messy.

Put these tips to use in your living room, and experience a total transformation that is quick and easy to achieve.

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Jul 03 2011

Transforming a Small Living Room to One Big on Design

Just because you have a small living room does not mean it needs to lack in personality or design.  A small living room can actually look twice its size if decorated correctly!  If your living room is closing in on you and it seems that you have to climb over things to get around, here are some ideas that will change it into a room you will truly love.

Don’t be afraid of color

While you will want to stay away from dark walls, using bold color can make a small room come to life.  Vibrant colors give a room personality and a brightness that actually makes the room look more spacious.

For the walls, stick with light colors or pastels since lighter shades tend to make the space look more open.  Choose accents in bright shades of yellow, mango, red or royal blue to add splashes of color throughout the room.

Re-arrange the furniture

If possible, try moving your living  furniture around at different angles.  Sometimes, just setting a sofa at a different angle or moving it to a different wall can make a difference in how spacious the room appears.

Try to avoid blocking the walking paths; this will only make the room look smaller.  Also, choose furniture that is built on a smaller scale such as you find with modern or contemporary furnishings.  A sleek, low profile sofa doesn’t take up as much space as bulky, over-sized furniture.

Open up the windows

If you currently use dark colored curtains or draperies, consider making a switch to sheers, light colored fabrics or simple white mini-blinds.  Dark curtains block out the natural light, making the room appear even smaller.

Don’t have as many windows as you would like? Make some!  Hang an old window on the wall, frame it with curtains and you will be amazed at how it seems to open up the room.

Placing a large mirror on the wall directly opposite a window will also make the room appear larger and brighter, as the mirror will reflect the light from the window.

Choose eye-catching patterns

When it comes to throws, decorative pillows and other accents, bold patterns in bright colors make the room “pop”.  Rugs, wall hangings and other elements containing bold stripes and abstract patterns liven up the room giving it an interesting and eye-catching appeal.

Bright, bold colors are perfect for use in smaller rooms; what you want to avoid is using an over-abundance of dark browns, black or deep colors in furnishings, walls and flooring.

Another tip to make your living room look larger is to avoid clutter.  Too many small accents sitting on top of tables or shelves only serve to make the room look smaller.  What you want to accomplish is a look that is clean, open and airy.

Keep these suggestions in mind when designing your small living room and you will find that you can create spaces that look much more spacious than they actually are!

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Jun 20 2011

How to Give Your Living Room a Whole New Look on a Shoestring Budget

Have designer tastes but no budget to go along with it?  You can give your living room a fresh, updated look without spending much money at all.  Your living room is where you relax with family, visit with guests, and generally live your life when it’s time to unwind after a busy day.  You want it to be beautiful and welcoming to all who enter.  This article offers lots of easy ideas for giving your living room an appealing new look without busting your budget.

Give a worn floor a colorful new look

If you have wood floors that have lost their luster, put a coat of polyurethane on to shine them up.

Have cracked tiles or worn carpet?  Decorative throw rugs can hide a multitude of sins!  Braided rugs, square, oval or oblong rugs with bright patterns – these all work to not only cover up a floor that has seen better days, they add color and texture as well.

Paint – one solution for many problems

Paint is one of the most affordable ways to spruce up your home!  If you currently have off-white walls, why not add a little fresh color?  Consider soft blues and greens if you tend toward cool colors.  Those who prefer warm shades should consider shades like rusty orange, warm amber or spring fawn to give the room dimension and interest.

If you decide a little texture for the walls would dress it up, use some of the popular techniques such as sponging, stenciling and rag rolling.

Paint is also a great way to freshen up your living room tables, especially if you like a country or shabby chic look.  Just paint over the existing finish, then do a little light sanding to naturally “wear” the edges.

Have a talent with a needle and thread?

Make your own throw pillows and curtains!  This is easily accomplished, since most pillows are square or oblong.  Buy some discounted fabric in shades that match your decor, then sew up your own original throw pillows.

For the windows, casually drape a long piece of hemmed fabric over the curtain rod leaving a curved “swag” in the center to add elegance, or use cotton or satin bed sheets!  No one will ever know the difference, and your windows will look beautiful.

Take a few ideas from nature

When it comes to accents, there are some easy ways to make your own!  Keep old canning jars, bottles and other glass pieces and fill them with shells, herbs, marbles, stones, nuts, potpourri or anything you like.

Take a few photos when you’re outdoors.  Pictures of nature are beautiful when blown up and framed – you can even craft your own wooden frames for an old-fashioned, unique look or, if you have a little artistic ability, paint your own pictures!  Abstracts, landscapes – whatever suits your decor tastes.

Have a few family heirlooms stored away?  Get them out and put them on display.

Need new lamps but just cannot afford them?  Changing the lamp shades or even the wattage of bulbs you use can make a dramatic difference in your living room.

There is no limit to what you can accomplish when you put your imagination to work!  Visit estate sales and flea markets to see what you can find.  Use any talents you have to create your own original accents.  The ideas above will get your creative juices flowing, and you will have a whole new living room – on a shoe-string budget!

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Jun 07 2011

Making a Room Cozy: Transform a Large Living Room In To a Warm, Inviting Space

Most people would love a large living room; there is plenty of room for everyone, and it’s the ideal place to entertain.  However, a living room that is exceptionally large can look stark or cold.  If you want to transform your living room into one that is warm, relaxing and inviting, the tips and ideas below will help make it easy.

Choose color carefully

Warm colors make a room feel cozy and add an ambient atmosphere.  Colors such as burnt orange, apricot, gold, rusty reds or golden yellows lend to a relaxed, right-at-home feel.

You can also incorporate sand and cream shades, along with green or blue as long as they have a warm base and not a cool base.

Consider warm, vibrant hues for the walls; by using colors such as apricot or pumpkin, the walls will draw in visually, creating a cozy effect.

Think outside the box when arranging furniture

In a large room, come up with new and innovative ways to arrange your furnishings.  Placing sofas, coffee tables and accent chairs against the wall has long been popular but it will only make the room look larger.  In a large living room, you do not want a walking path straight through the middle of the room.

Arrange furnishings in smaller groups, creating cozy conversation areas.  Move a sofa several feet out from the wall, place a large area rug in front of it, and arrange a couple of chairs and coffee table so that you and your guests will be facing each other in a smaller area during their visit.

You should also think about arranging furnishings on a diagonal – your furniture does not have to be lined up with the straight lines of the walls, and an arrangement set at a diagonal adds visual appeal to the room.

Floors should not be ignored!

Many people disregard the floor when decorating a room.  To create a cozy, warm effect in your living room, use a large area rug and smaller accent rugs scattered randomly.  A patterned rug adds a bold splash of color, and makes the room appear softer and more inviting.

A large expanse of floor with no rugs to break up the space looks stark and uninviting.

Color up the walls

 

Blank walls are perhaps the worst thing you can have when trying to make your living room warm and relaxing.  Think of the colors mentioned above; large prints or pictures incorporating warm colors add interest to the walls.  Metal wall art is a nice touch, as are large tapestries.  Tapestries are made of fabrics which are richly textured, which also adds depth to the room.

When it comes to decorating your walls, use an odd number of pieces in a grouping.  Try to avoid using mirrors in a large living room, as this will only make the room look more spacious.

When trying to make a huge living room look cozier, think rooms inside a room.  Designate spaces to be used for certain purposes, such as reading, playing video games, conversation or just relaxing.

Using the ideas and tips above, you will be able to create a living room that your entire family will love, and will impress your guests as well by welcoming them and drawing them in.

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Jun 05 2011

Tips For Brightening Up a Dark Living Room

Is your living room dark and dreary?  If you’re ready to give the room a fresh, bright new look it is easily accomplished.  Not only does a bright room look more cheery, it looks more spacious. While a dark room may be cozy for a while, it can become dull and even depressing.  Here are a few tips and ideas for giving your living room a bright, fresh new look.

Start with the walls

The walls are the biggest factor in the room, so it just makes sense that you want to lighten them up a bit.  If your walls are papered, consider stripping the paper off so that you can paint.  Dark paneling can also be painted, but be sure to apply a primer first.

White, cream, pale yellow or soft shades of peach or blue will brighten up the room and give it fresh appeal.  Try using a color that is one shade lighter than what you believe you need, as paint colors tend to intensify when applied to the walls.

If you don’t want to paint all of the walls, paint two or three a white shade, then paint the remaining walls a bright, cheerful color.

Adding mirrors to the walls will help to reflect any light than enters the room which will make the room appear larger and brighter.

Choose light colored furniture

When you have a living room that is too dark, you want to avoid dark toned woods such as cherry or mahogany.  Choose lighter shades of pine or oak and lightly colored upholstery or leather.

If you do not have the money to buy new furnishings, consider slip covers.  Today’s slip covers are fitted, and come in many patterns and colors.  Long gone are the days that slip covers looked as though you had thrown a sheet over the sofa!

When it comes to windows, lighten up

Dark, heavy drapes or curtains will only make the room look darker.  They block out most of the natural light, so choose sheers or light colored curtains to decorate the windows.

You may even consider using light colored shades or blinds and leaving the curtains off to give windows a more open, airy look.

Add new lighting

If your light fixtures are old or dark, consider replacing them with light colored fixtures.  Update your table lamps with light colored shades, and consider floor lamps as well.

You might also try using a higher wattage bulb to give off more light.  Placing recessed or track lighting on the ceiling will also provide more light to the room in the evenings.

Accessories add a splash of bright color

The accents you use can make a huge difference in the look of the room!  Brightly colored throw pillows, fresh flowers in a light colored vase and bright area rugs add a vibrant, refreshing touch of color to the room.

As you can see, lighter, bright colors are what really open up a room and eliminate a dark, dreary atmosphere.  Try some of the ideas above, and you will soon see that you don’t have to live in a dark dungeon any longer.

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