How to Redesign Your Living Room in Five Steps
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The living room is like a hairstyle; after a while it usually gets boring. Redesigning your living room every now and then could be a great way to give yourself an emotional lift. When it comes to living room remodeling, there are a myriad of things you can do about it, from changing the entire flooring and repainting the ceiling to installing new window frames and replacing the old furniture set with a brand new one. But let's face it; not all of us have enough time and budget to afford all those drastic renovations. Instead of focusing on major modifications, you should think about little changes that can make a huge difference. This 5-step redesigning project is what I like to call "smart decoration." It can ease the worries of those with smaller budgets and be put into practice without any help from a pro.
Step 1 - Choose Your Living Room Theme
You may consider well-known decorating styles, such as Asian-inspired, country, coastal, Gothic, modern, rustic, shabby chic or Victorian. By having a certain theme in mind, it will make the next four steps much easier. If you don't like any style in particular or don't want to limit your scope of inspiration to one concrete theme, just imagine what type of ambiance you want to experience in your living room. Would you like it to be an "indoor playground" with a vivacious and kid-friendly atmosphere? Would you prefer it to be a serene, soothing and peace-inducing space? Or would you rather make it a well-organized area suitable for both work and play? No matter what you fancy, keep in mind that the most essential element of a living room is comfort. Whatever it looks like, the living room should always provide physical ease and promote emotional warmth.
Step 2 - Revamp Your Living Room Furniture
Decide whether the chairs, loveseats or couches that you already have will complement the new living room style you have in mind. If it seems like they probably won't go with the new theme, there are quite a few things you can do to adapt your seating furniture instead of buying a whole new set. For example, if your old couch is the color of charcoal but your new living room style is shabby chic, you can hide the dark gray fabric under a pastel pink slipcover. If the new theme is going to be a lot more playful, adding a few fluffy accent pillows with mismatched colors can give a boring old couch a sassy new look. For a Zen living room, you might want to replace some chairs with floor pillows or cushions. And if you want to go Gothic, there's no need to get rid of your contemporary-style loveseat; simply drape a dark heavy fabric over it and that will do the job.
Other furniture pieces, such as coffee tables and cabinets, might be harder to alter, especially if you want to switch to an extremely different style. Try repainting or redecorating them in a way that would make them blend in a little better with the new theme. A shabby-chic coffee table, for instance, can seamlessly fit into a modern living room if you give it a splash of vibrant color, such as bright red or neon pink. Or if you want to make your vintage cabinet appear more contemporary, try removing the bulky cabinet doors (if you can do it without ruining the whole cabinet) and filling the shelves with modern accessories.
Step 3 - Think about Window Treatments and Area Rugs
These things may not seem like major elements, but they can actually either enhance or ruin the style of your entire living room. Imagine how painfully awkward a pink polka-dot curtain would appear among Gothic furniture, antique swords and dragon heads. Similarly, a golden velvety drape will likely look quite out of place or even gaudy in a cottage-style home. If you pick the right window treatment for the design, however, it can render a much better result. A Victorian living room, for instance, can appear even more elegant with elaborately-embroidered, satin drapes. And a simple, lace-trimmed, cotton curtain can lend quite a bit of extra charm to a shabby chic home.
Now let's talk about area rugs. Although they're not a necessity, they can jazz up your living room quite nicely by creating focal points, defining areas within the room and complementing the overall theme. Think about a Japanese-inspired living room, for example. It wouldn't look quite complete without at least one small tatami mat, would it? When choosing an area rug, consider the color, pattern, type of material and size. Ask yourself if it works with the flooring you have, the overall color scheme as well as other aspects of the room. Don't place just one small area rug in a large sitting room, as that will make the rest of the room appear disjointed. And never add too many big rugs into a small living room; you need to keep your limited floor space as airy-looking as possible.
Step 4 - Choose Appropriate Lighting
Many people assume that the theme of the room doesn't have much to do with the lighting, but in fact, it's quite the opposite. The style you pick should dictate the amount of light in the room as well as your choice of lighting fixtures. A Victorian living room, for example, should have plenty of light and an elegant aura, so a large chandelier will be a great choice. Contrary to the Victorian style, the Gothic theme requires minimal ambient lighting, therefore an overhead lighting fixture might not even be necessary at all whereas accent wall lamps are a lot more appropriate. As for a modern-style living room where the same space is often used for both work and relaxation, recessed lighting is the way to go since it offers a neat, streamlined look and allows you to adjust the light to suit multiple purposes.
Step 5 - Accessorize
The last step is about finishing touches. Living room accessories include anything from clocks and paintings to flower vases and garbage cans. Choose them wisely, arrange them appropriately, and you'll have a stunning sitting room without spending big bucks. Before going to shop for new knickknacks, walk through your entire house and try to find some hidden treasures that might be worth showing off. For instance, if you're trying to create an oriental atmosphere, why buy a new Buddha statue or a Japanese painting if you have a china tea set buried in your kitchen cupboard? Bring it out and let it shine!