When you walk into someone else’s home and the living room has instant appeal, you realise they must be doing something that works for you and for them.
It is unlikely that the effect is accidental; much thought will have been given to the room’s layout, furnishings and decoration. Instead of being envious, take some inspiration from your experience and use it to create a vibrant living room in your own home or try these five top tips to help you get started.
COLOUR FOR A HAPPY HOME
Even though neutral shades are often recommended for decorating because they can be calming and restful, you shouldn’t allow this to dominate your thinking when it comes to your own living room. After all, this is a place where you and other family members are likely to spend a lot of time. Instead, opt for more energetic colours if you feel this works for you. A contrasting accent or feature wall has become popular, and brightly coloured doors, window frames and internal shutters are all becoming increasingly fashionable.
LIGHT UP YOUR LIVING SPACE
Sunshine is undoubtedly cheering, and making the most of natural daylight brings a welcome, sunny glow to your living space. If you want to really show off your windows, make sure you keep them clean and sparkling inside and out, and clear away bulky curtains and blinds to make room for stylish shutters instead. Phoenix hardwood shutters come in a range of finishes and are available for standard sizes of windows along with special shapes. Whether you have a 1930s bay window or an intricate combination of angles and curves, you’ll find something that really works. In addition to controlling daylight, louvered shutters allow you to protect your privacy whilst providing soundproofing and security.
When it comes to artificial lighting, be sure to use a soft ambient or general light and reserve brighter task lights for areas where you might want to read or work on a project. If you’re able to hang mirrors or position reflective objects in a strategic way, you’ll improve the overall effect of your lighting plan.
BRIGHTEN UP YOUR FURNITURE
Colourful sofas and armchairs are on trend at the moment, so even if you have opted for a muted colour scheme in your living room, you can still liven things up a bit by adding striking pieces of furniture. Primary colours can be just as successful as more subtle shades, with deep blues and reds making a solid and substantial contribution to a striking ambience. You can dress your chosen sofa with scatter cushions and throws until you achieve the exact effect you want.
Sunshine colours such as yellow and orange will make a big statement in your living room, and if you add a matching or complementary rug, your vibrant, vivacious living area will look wonderful.
INSPIRATIONAL WALL ART
Having beautiful things around you will cheer you up and make your living room seem cosier and friendlier. Carefully placed pictures and sculptures can lift the atmosphere in a room and add to your sense of enjoyment. They are also a wonderful talking point when you have guests, and the stories behind them will make them even more special. This is another way in which you can make the most of relatively neutral décor. Cream, pale grey or white walls make a great background for colourful prints, drawings and paintings.
Finally, your living room is a great place to house other living things besides human beings. If you have a family pet, you might have to tolerate a special spot beloved by the cat, bearing in mind that this could be a windowsill or the back of your sofa, and allow for a comfy fireside rug for the dog. Living rooms are not usually great places for rabbits and hamsters, although an aquarium can make a nice addition and is very restful to observe.
Plants are living things, too, and here you can add attractive greenery and seasonal flowers to brighten up the space. Choose tall, architectural plants for floor spaces and smaller, more delicate ones for windowsills, tables and other surfaces. Placing scented flowers such as hyacinths in your living room will lift your spirits as soon as you walk in, but beware of some of the blooms that give off stronger aromas, such as lilies, as they can very quickly become quite overpowering.
Once you find the perfect combination of colours, lighting, art, décor and scents, you can turn your living room into a vibrant place that will inspire all who enter to make a transformation of their own!