Tag Archive 'living room decorating'

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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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 04 2011

Living Room Decorating Ideas For Various Tastes

Your living room is the place where your family enjoys relaxing and you entertain guests.  While not everyone’s taste is the same, you want the style you choose to be as beautiful and comfortable as possible.  The tips and ideas below will help you design a living room that meets your decorating tastes and also provides a place for the family to relax and unwind after a hard day.

This article offers ideas for decorating in romantic, modern, ethnic and country themes.

Tips for decorating a romantic living room

A romantic living room is often desired by those couples who have no children, and enjoy relaxing together while they watch television or listen to music.

Victorian furnishings, low lighting and floral arrangements are perfect when incorporated in to romantic living room decor.  Dark ruby or amber colored glass bottles filled with flowers add to the ambiance.  An old wooden trunk makes a great coffee table.

Consider painting a single wall with the romantic shade of deep red; fabrics may also contain a splash of red or pink, but be careful not to overdo it.  A solid cream colored sofa topped with throw pillows infused with red or pink is appealing.  You want your living room to look romantic, but not too feminine.

The modern living room – clean and basic

Modern decorating is for those who like a simple, easy to maintain look without clutter.  Furnishing with clean, simple lines works best in this style of decorating.

As far as color goes, avoid bright or flashy colors.  Cream, beige, muted golds, white, black and shades of brown work well in modern decorating.  Add small splashes of color in throw pillows and wall hangings.

Glass and metal are also often used in the modern theme; a black coffee table topped with glass is attractive.  Avoid placing too many little decorative items on table tops.  Large, tall vases placed in the floor add to the modern appeal.

Ethnic decorating involves texture

If you wish to use ethnic decorating in your living room, consider using lots of color and culture.  Incorporate a variety of fabrics throughout the room, making sure that colors blend or complement each other.

Embroidered throw pillows, glass vases filled with beads and potpourri, and candle groupings add interest and depth to the room.

Richly patterned curtains add to the ethnic appeal; consider braided rugs for the floor as well as a large tapestry for a single wall.

The country living room is all about wood

A country themed living room is all about wood and warm colors.  Country blue, butter yellow, rusty reds and browns create an atmosphere that is welcoming and totally comfortable.

Furnishings are often constructed of wood, and usually bulky or over-sized.  Pine, oak and other natural finishes that look worn are perfect in the country themed living room.

Cracked pitchers, old quilts, roosters, pictures depicting old farms and wildflower arrangements are perfectly at home here.

Everyone has their own unique ideas when it comes to decorating their living room.  The tips above are just generalizations and guidelines; use those things that you love and that make your living room a reflection of your own personal tastes.

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Nov 09 2010

Creating a Beautiful Living Room on a Budget

Are you tired of the looks or layout of your living room but don’t have the budget to start over from scratch?  Many people want to decorate their living rooms, but some simply cannot afford it considering today’s economic climate.  Now you can decorate your living room at little or no cost.

When most people consider “re-decorating” they automatically tend to think it involves purchasing all new items, but this isn’t always necessary.  Simply decorate by rearranging the things you already have, and do a little “de-cluttering” to make the room look open and spacious.  There are several ways to freshen up and revive the look of your living room without going broke!

Double the size of the room with these simple tricks

To make a room appear to be more spacious than it actually is, clean out all of the unnecessary items.  If you have a bunch of boxes stacked up in one corner, move them to a different room or better yet, throw them out.   This is a key in decorating; the less clutter there is in a room, the more space you will have to display the accents and accessories you love.

Also, consider placing a few pieces of furniture closer to walls to open up pathways to other rooms.  Keep window coverings simple and light to avoid the dark, closed in look that heavy drapes often create.

Define your spaces

Help define seating and conversation areas with accent rugs.  If you want the area to appear more spacious, choose a light colored rug.  A dark color makes the room seem more romantic and intimate which might give off the wrong vibe to any company you have over.  Make sure the colors of the rugs you choose harmonize; they can be either complementary or contrasting with other accents in the room.

In order to balance your space, make sure the floor is a little darker than the walls.  If you have wood floors, this can easily be accomplished by staining the floor.  If you have carpeting, use a large area rug to add contrasting color.  Display accents sparingly to keep the area open and airy.  With large accents, display them in various areas of the room instead of together; the exact opposite is true for smaller accessories, which look beautiful when displayed together.

Plants:  An easy and affordable way to liven up a room

A good way to make the room seem a bit more natural and breezy is to add a few live plants.  Silk plants do have a “real” look, but nothing is quite like live plants to bring a sense of calm and tranquility to a room.  Plants are relatively inexpensive and sometimes you can even get a “start” from your neighbor’s plants for free.  This is one extremely affordable way to accent a room.

Use old furnishings as much as possible.  The gently worn distressed look is all the rage today!  Consider transforming some pieces you no longer use.  An old wooden door can easily be transformed and made a unique coffee table.  A little imagination and creativity can go a long way in helping you freshen up the look of your living room on a budget.

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Oct 07 2010

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Furniture for Your Family or Living Room

The furnishings you choose to decorate your family or living room provide the basis for the rest of the décor.  When shopping for furniture, there are several things you should take into consideration.  Is the room small or spacious?  Will you actually be using the room, or is it more for show?  There are many questions to ask yourself, from what style of décor you prefer to how the furnishings will be used.

In this article, you will find tips and ideas to help you choose furniture you will still love years from now.

 

Is your family or living room tiny or spacious?

 

This is a huge factor for determining the type of furnishings you will choose.  Small rooms need a sofa, love seat or recliner that is built on a smaller scale, as large, bulky furnishings will overwhelm the room and make it appear smaller.  For a large living or family room, choose heavier, bulkier pieces so that the room appears well-balanced.

How will the room be used?

 

If you are decorating a family room that is used on a daily basis as the place where the family will relax, enjoy television and participate in other activities, make certain the furniture you choose is durable and well-built.  Check seams, look closely at the construction, and by all means sit on it!  Also, choose a style that you are certain you will still love 5 or 10 years in the future.

Furniture for a living room that will seldom be used, such as a formal living room, can be of a somewhat lesser quality, as long as you love the look and style.  Of course you don’t want to go purchase too cheaply, however a moderately priced arrangement will allow you to furnish your living room in a beautiful style that will give it that show place look for the rare occasions that you do use the room.

Modern, country, western or contemporary?

 

It is essential that you know what style of decorating you desire before you purchase new or used furniture.  Those who love a western theme often go for leather or natural wood finishes.  A bulky floral pattern is perfect for country decorating.  For those who choose a more modern or contemporary design, furnishings should be sleek and stream-lined.  A sofa with metal accents and clean lines suits contemporary décor well.

You also want to consider the colors you will use in decorating your family or living room.  Country and western themes include rustic colors like those found in nature.  Rust, pumpkin, gold, navy blue and dark green are often found in these styles, so consider the fabric of the furniture you are considering.  Contemporary and modern decorating leans toward black, white, sand or beige, and perhaps a splash of red to add interest.

Before you go shopping for furniture, do some research online about your preferred style of decorating.  There are plenty of examples for every type of décor to give you ideas, so that you can create beautiful rooms which exude your own personal style.

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Sep 28 2010

Decorating a Small Living Room for Visual Spaciousness

If your living room is on the small side and you would love to make it appear open and spacious, it is easily accomplished.  With the right use of color, furnishings and pattern, you can create a room that looks and feels much bigger than it actually is.  With decorating, there are many ways to “trick” the eye and make your room look nearly twice the actual size.  This article offers ideas for adding space to your living room, and making it more appealing as well.

Light colors equal space

Nearly everyone knows that lighter shades make a room appear more spacious, while darker colors look heavy and tend to close in a room.  This doesn’t mean you have to use boring off-white or cream on your walls!  Light, soft shades of yellow, green or any pale color will work.  You can add small splashes of darker colors with accessories to add depth and interest to the room.

Increase the height of the room

How?  This is easily accomplished by using a vertical striped pattern on the wall.  Paint the stripes yourself if you can, or use wallpaper with a striped pattern.  You might also consider hanging pictures and other wall decor a bit higher than usual or using white crown molding at the top of the wall where the wall and ceiling meet to pull the eyes upwards.

Light up the room

Any room that offers plenty of natural or artificial light looks larger than one that is dark and gloomy.  If you have lots of windows, use blinds, curtains or other window treatments that allow plenty of light to flow through.  Otherwise, use table lamps, track lighting or floor lamps to add more light to the space.

Another thing you want to do whenever possible in small spaces is to keep pathways to the doors that come into the room open.  Avoid blocking doorways with furniture or accessories.  To make your living room more inviting, consider arranging furniture at an angle, or place your sofa, love seat and chair around a beautiful area rug to create an intimate space where you can entertain guests.

With smaller rooms, it’s best to use furniture that is scaled down and sleek in place of heavy, bulky looking items.  You also want to avoid complex patterns that are loud and busy.  Opt for smaller patterns, or keep things basic and add interest through textures and fabrics.

Don’t forget the magic that a beautiful mirror can create!  Placed to reflect the light from a window, mirrors can make your living room look twice as big.  Keep accessories to a minimum to avoid a cluttered look, and use only a few key accents to liven up the room.

Put these ideas into action, and you can create a living room that is welcoming, beautiful and looks much more spacious than it actually is.  It is truly amazing what you can accomplish by using the right colors, patterns and light.  Remember light, airy, bright and uncluttered – easy to do!

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Jul 19 2010

How to Transform the Look of Your Living Room

Whether your living room is too small, too large, too bland or too congested, you can easily change its look!  You may believe that you have a tiny area and therefore it is destined to appear small and congested.  Alternatively your living area may be spacious – a bit TOO spacious.  Maybe your living room looks cluttered and messy or plain, lacking any interest.  No matter what your biggest problem might be, there are some easy solutions.  This article offers tips and ideas for making your living room one that you love, and one that your family and guests love as well.

Make a Tiny Room Look Bigger

 

If you have a living room that is small, there are several things you can do to make it appear larger.  First, paint the walls and ceiling a light color.  A light color will make the ceiling appear higher, creating a spacious feeling.  Consider furnishings that include light shades as well, such as pale blue, beige, tan and other light hues.  Shy away from dark colored woods like mahogany, and opt for natural woods or pine finishes.

Wherever possible set furniture against the walls to open up as much floor space as you can.  Remove any clutter, and steer clear of knick-knacks and other small accessories that make a room look congested and cluttered.  To add color to the walls without taking away any visual space, use no more than one large accent per wall, preferably something brightly colored that will help light up the room.  Leave windows bare if you can but if not use light-weight fabrics or sheers.

Cozy up a Large Room

 

Perhaps you have the opposite problem – your living room is way too big!  This often makes a room appear a bit cold, making it feel as though it is lacking in personality.  To make this room look more intimate and appealing, use rich, dark colors such as burgundy, navy and green.  Browns, gold tones and autumn colors will work as well.  While you don’t have to paint every wall a dark color, consider painting two opposing walls a rich shade as a contrast to the other walls.  If you have a high beamed or cathedral ceiling, consider painting it a darker tone as well.  This will visually bring the ceiling down.

When the room is too spacious, you want to draw it in.  This can be accomplished by moving furnishings away from the wall, and creating smaller, more intimate settings.  Arrange a sofa and chairs around a coffee table, where sitting arrangements will have you facing those who are visiting.  This adds a personal, intimate feel to the room.  Keep furnishings and accessories to scale – you want to use large, bulky furniture, large plants, and other décor that is of substantial size.  Decorate the walls with large prints as well.

Remember, in any room too many accessories and accents can look junky, no matter how small or large the room might be.  For smaller rooms, keep accents bright and sunny.  In larger living rooms, use a variety of patterns and prints such as stripes, geometrics and florals that coordinate with the room’s main color.  They will add dimension and depth to the room, helping to diminish the cold atmosphere.

Combine these ideas with a few of your own creative thoughts and enjoy rooms that are filled with style and personality!

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Jul 07 2010

Expecting Company? Give Your Living Room a Makeover in 24 Hours

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

Your living room needs a makeover, but you have been putting it off for some time now.  This afternoon, you received a call that your in-laws are coming to visit from out of town!  Now, you need to update the room in a hurry, and have no idea what to do.  This article will give you tips for making over your living room in a day, while not spending much money in the process.

Not only will your in-laws be impressed, you have quickly finished a project that you have been putting off for months!

Paint a Wall
No, it isn’t necessary to engage in hours of drudgery painting the entire living room.  Choose one wall, and paint it a bold, intense color that blends with some of your existing accents.  You will be amazed at the depth doing this one little thing can add to the room.  You add a great burst of color, while adding warmth to the room as well.

Can’t Afford New Furniture?
If you need new furnishings but your budget won’t allow for it at the moment, invest in some good slipcovers.  For the sofa, you may want to keep the slipcover one solid color, and then add richly textured accent pillows that bring out the color of the wall you painted.  Have a boldly patterned throw?  Toss it casually over the back of the sofa, or a recliner or rocking chair.

Move the furniture around and take it away from the walls.  Group it together in an intimate arrangement that looks cozy and welcoming.  If you add an area rug that includes the colors of the room, center it in the middle of the grouping.

Clear the Clutter
Clutter tends to make a room look messy and disorganized.  By removing the clutter from floors, furniture and table tops, you will visually increase the size of the room!  It will look much cleaner and better organized.  As a general rule, place no more than three items on the top of any one table.

Now, decorate the walls with further bursts of color.  You can hang boldly colored prints with a simple mat, or stencil designs on the wall yourself and paint using hues that coordinate or contrast with the other colors of the room.  Usually, about three colors add the most interest and appeal to a room without making it look overly complicated.  Add a big vase of fresh flowers that are colored in shades to match the room, light a warmly scented candle and you’re done!  As quick as a flash, you have a newly updated living room.

Sometimes, it takes a little push for us to get things accomplished that we’ve been meaning to do for a long time.  Whether company is coming with little notice, or you just want to refresh the room a bit, put these tips to work!  Before dark tonight, you can transform the look of a neutral or otherwise dull room.  Just add some bold color and accents for instant sparkle and flash!

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Jun 28 2010

5 Ways to Cozy Up a Large Living Room

Most people love large living or family rooms, but they tend to have a cold or cavernous appearance, especially when the ceilings are vaulted.  While you love the spaciousness, you may wonder how to make the room feel a little more warm and inviting, or cozy.  You want your home to have an atmosphere that is comfortable and welcoming, an almost intimate appeal that feels alluring.

There are several ways you can break up a large space in order to make it feel a bit more personal.  This article will give you tips on creating a room that offers interest, appeal and, most of all, warmth.

Arrange Several Furniture Groupings

The easiest way to break the room up is to group furnishings in different areas, each for a purpose.  Arrange your sofa, loveseat, recliner and tables in a small grouping around an area rug.  This makes a wonderful conversation area when guests visit.  Furniture should not be placed against the wall; this only makes things look impersonal.  You may want to add another area that is designed for enjoying a good book.  Place a rocking chair or recliner, along with a small table and lamp, in another location in the room – perhaps near a window.

If you have more space, consider placing an additional sofa and television, stereo and game station in an area that will be used solely for entertainment purposes.  Creating areas designed to be used for specific activities is a great way to break the room up into smaller, more intimate spaces.

Use Paint or Wallpaper to Draw the Room In

In smaller spaces, most people avoid using dark colored paint.  When you have high ceilings and a very large room, dark paint is the perfect solution.  Consider painting the ceiling a dark shade as well to bring it down visually.  Boldly patterned wallpaper containing dark shades is an option as well.

Avoid Decorating with Mirrors

Mirrors tend to make rooms look larger, especially when they reflect light from windows or other light sources.  If you feel that you have to use a mirror, hang it where it reflects a favorite piece of décor or accent.

Add Lots of Accessories!

Adding lots of accessories such as baskets, pottery, plants and bookshelves can really scale a room down.  Using small to medium size accents helps reduce the appearance of a large room and balances bigger items like furniture.  Consider placing a potted tree in one corner of the room to match the scale of a high ceiling.

Bulk is Great

For spacious rooms, bulky large furniture is perfect.  Consider using “heavy” looking fabrics such as tapestries, and keep the colors dark.  Dark colored wood is ideal as well; light colors tend to make spaces look larger.  Avoid glass topped tables completely.

There you have it!  Five great ways that you can visually reduce the size of spaces which look cold and uninviting.  No matter how big the living or family room are, you can give them a cozy, warm appearance that everyone will appreciate.

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