Refresh Your Rooms – The Living Room, Part 1

Today we’re going to think of some easy ways to refresh your living room. You know, the one we’re supposed to live in?

Are you ready?

Here is our refreshed living room. I didn’t buy anything new – except the solid wood checkers game on the coffee table I scored for $3 at Goodwill.

Determine your focal point. A fireplace or a big picture window are a given. If you don’t have either of these, you can easily create your own focal point starting with the longest wall in your room.

Rearrange your furniture. Once you have determined your focal point, it’s time to move your furniture. This one doesn’t cost a thing, but does take some time.

In our room, we moved the tan couch away from the wall (where it lived for several years) and angled everything toward the fireplace.

  • If you have both a family room and a living room, can you switch out the couches or chairs?
  • Try not to put all your furniture against the wall, if possible. If you have a small space or an awkward layout, you may not have a choice. In this situation, the general rule is that the biggest piece of furniture (typically your couch) should live on the longest wall in the room.
  • Create a comfortable conversation area. (Read:  if you have to “shout” across the room to carry on a conversation, move everything closer together:)

“Shop” other rooms in your house for furniture, rugs, artwork, lamps, candles, vases, clocks or other accessories. Bringing in a piece from another room can instantly breathe new life into a tired space. And it doesn’t cost a cent.

In our room, I kept the same furniture, but swapped out the accessories with what I had in other rooms. I just gathered up all of the white and silver candles I could find and put them on an end table.

For those with young children, this idea won’t work. Perhaps you can fill a basket with children’s books instead.

Use pairs whenever possible for symmetry. A pair of end tables with matching (or similar size) lamps flanking the sofa is a timeless choice.

On our mantel, I used a pair of large candleholders flanking a picture my mother gave me years ago.

Rearrange your bookshelves.  Stack some of your books horizontally, stand others up as in a library or group them by height and color. Incorporate other things, such as vases, pictures, photo boxes, pottery, etc. Make sure to leave lots of “breathing room”.

Showcase your collections.  Hang a grouping of family pictures in black frames up a stairway or above the couch.  Looking for some inexpensive art: try a grouping of pictures from an old calendar, illustrations from a book (color copied to preserve the book) or even scrapbook paper. Use a bookcase or shelves to display white pottery as I did here.

Bring the outdoors in.  Incorporate elements from nature whenever practical, such as tall sticks in a vase or a bowl full of rocks, pinecones or shells on a coffee table. A happy plant is always a great choice.

Check back tomorrow for more easy ways to refresh your living room.

Other posts in this series:

I joined Wendy’s Frugal Friday linky party at her wonderfully creative blog, The Shabby Nest.

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Published in: on January 4, 2011 at 1:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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