Decorating a new space can seem like an overwhelming project, but it doesn't have to be. Read on for a few professional tips on how to liven up a room with very little effort. We'll walk you through your living room piece by piece.
Curtains hang at eye level and are often the first thing you see when you walk into a room. Because they're located so centrally, curtains have a lot of beautifying power for textiles that occupy such a small space. When choosing curtains, take their centrality into account and splurge here even if you have to skimp somewhere else.
Your living room's sofa functions as an anchor piece. Because it takes up so much space, it really sets the theme of any room's design. Here is where professional decorators make the boldest statement about their design point of view.
For a bright and bold living space, don't be afraid to choose a couch with a pop of bright color or a fun, bold pattern. For classically modern spaces, go with solid black, white or earth tones to lend gravity to a space. For an upscale atmosphere, you can't beat the upgrade power of a leather piece.
The trick with additional furniture in a living room is that it can either beautify or clutter a space. If you have the room, a sectional with matching recliners create a beautifully homey atmosphere. But before you buy the pieces, measure the dimensions of the room to make sure your chosen furniture set fits.
For smaller spaces, skip the recliners. Go for smaller chairs to provide seating. Wing back chairs complement traditional decor. Go for mid-century modern or other dynamically designed chairs to complement a modern decor. Whatever you choose, make sure they match or complement your sofa -- your anchor piece.
To finish the room off, pick out a coffee table and/or end tables. These accent pieces offer you a chance to go bold and get adventurous with your choice. Don't feel reined in by the existing design of your chairs and sofa.
Wood accents on a sectional do not demand a wooden coffee table. Consider the elegant look of stainless steel and glass, the rustic look of tree stump tables or go completely off script with something whimsical and fun like a converted printing press tray covered in glass.
The old adage "a rug really ties a room together" is still true. If the sofa is your living room's anchor, then your rug is the net. The key to picking a beautiful rug is not to get match-y. You want your rug to complement the colors in a room, not mimic them.
The best way to pick a rug for a space is on the internet from the comfort of your living room couch. This way you can compare what you see on your screen to what's sitting in front of you. Keep an open mind and look at deep shag's, bold prints, traditional oriental patterns and whatever else the World Wide Web has to offer.
If you can, let your intuition decide what will look nice. If you prefer to go by decorator's rules, here's a tried and true one: take the dominant color in your living room. If you've followed this decorating guide so far, it will be the color of your couch and/or your chairs. Now pick out a rug that has just a hint of that dominant color. Alternatively, choose a rug whose dominant color is exactly opposite that color on a color wheel. Follow those rules and you can't go wrong.
For a classic look, you can always go with framed paintings. Or, consider going for something different. Some people prefer putting their favorite records (or thrift store finds) on the wall using picture mounts. Others prefer board-mounted posters for a more casual look.
When considering your choices, don't forget functional items. Bookshelves -- especially the floating kind -- provide decor and storage space. Clocks are decorative accents and time pieces. Crates and decorative boxes can also be screwed right into the wall for cutting edge, floating storage space.
Now that you've finished this decorator's primer, you're ready to start on your journey. Remember to relax and follow the dictates of your tastes and wants whenever possible. Invest in pieces that you love and your living room will become your own personal sanctuary.
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