Sick of looking at that chevron print cushion? Coming home to 'humpf' instead of 'hallaleujah?'
We can all get a little bored with our spaces sometimes, and so now, especially with the change of season, is the ideal time to implement some easy updates. I figure we spend so much of our lives in the living room, what better place to start injecting...well, a little more life!
There's a few things to consider that range from a full-on weekend project, to a quick shop and style session, that can make all the difference. Plus, you may find the updates you make incentivise you to carry on with the rest of your home. Hello happy hibernation-ready home! (Or is that just me?!)
ASSESS THE FURNITURE IN THE ROOM
One of the first things to do is have a good honest look at the furniture you currently have in your living room. Is there big bulky furniture that just doesn't fit? Do you still have that faded fabric chair in the corner that no-one sits on for fear of death? Has the veneer on that cheap-ass coffee table from uni days peeled off to reveal the chipboard underneath? Be ruthless and decide what needs to go, what needs some serious DIY loving, what you can swap with more suitable items from other rooms, and what simple needs to be replaced. Also take into account any built-ins that just aren't working and arm yourself with measurements and photos of the area before you hit the shops to fill there spot. While you're shopping, take note of the themes and styling of the stores, noting how certain pieces can be mixed with others to gain even more inspiration and confidence in updating your space at home.
REDRESS THE WINDOWS
The next thing to think about would be dressing or redressing the windows. Windows are the eyes to your room, and while you want it to let in as much natural light as possible, you still want them to be attractive. This is when styled and fitted curtains could be a great addition to your windows (and is a very grown up thing to do, oooh!). It gives you the chance to close them off for privacy but to also make a room feel cosy and characterful. Alternatively, if it's dusty old curtains that's killing the vibe in the room, there's a myriad of other window treatment options for styles and budgets of all sorts.
ADD A STATEMENT PIECE
If you're getting the major blahs from your living room, maybe it's time to make a statement. A piece of furniture could be a bold focal point, as can one big mirror or artwork. But if you like the idea of a wall as a feature there are many ways to do it. Paint it a different colour to the rest of the room; make it a gallery wall to display your favourite photographs or grouped art collection; or opt to install wallpaper for fresh pattern or texture on the wall. The options are endless and Pinterest is a great source of inspiration for this.
MAKE MORE OF THE FLOOR
The floor is a huge surface area for your room, so you may want to think about what you put down to improve how your room looks and feels. Wooden flooring is still extremely popular, and if you go for a hardwood look it can add elegance and style to a room. However, a new rug, a bigger rug, or layered rugs are a great way to rejuvenate and soften underfoot quickly and easily. Think about the texture, colour and shape and how they speak to the style of the rest of the room, or the new direction your style is moving in.
LIGHT IT UP
You don't have to visit that many homes (or hotels for that matter) to see how lighting is often the most overlooked decor consideration, and yet it's one of the best improvements you can make to mood and functionality. And it's super fun layering lighting now there's such a fascinating array of options (can you tell from my fan-girling I used to work in a lighting store??!). First things first: if you have a boob light stuck to your ceiling, I give you full permission to (safely get a sparky) to remove it immediately. You don't need that kinda sadness in your life! Make a statement and go elaborate with a massive pendent, chandelier, or multi-stemmed masterpiece. Or opt for dimmable spots or down-lights and set even more of a mood with floor and table lamps. Fireplaces and lounge end tables are a great place for pairs of beautiful based or shaded lamps and lend a room some balance and symmetry. With all your lights, consider the best angle for the light and the task they are lighting. A lamp over a reading chair, for example, may benefit from a downward facing and semi-transparent shade, while the direction of the light beam may not be so important for a lamp suited on the mantle. Neon signs, salt lamps, and candles can all add to creating new ambience in your space and solidify your style. (PS. While you are changing the light fittings, consider an eco-friendly approach such as using LED bulbs and energy saving fixtures. Talk to your local lighting specialist if you need advice for your whole home's refit.)
CHANGE THE LOCATION OF THE ROOM
Maybe you could go a little more crazy in your home and actually change the use of a room. Or maybe this is the most sane thing you could do and should have been done a long time ago! Perhaps what you use as a living room now may be more suited for something else and another room in your home would make the perfect escape to relax. It isn't uncommon for people to change the use of rooms in their home, and you don’t need to follow suit just because an area is suggested as a living space - make it work for you and the way you and your family like to live!
SOLVE ANY STORAGE WARS
Storage is a big one for a living room where sometimes the clutter of every day life and every other room tend to collect. Go minimal and source some sleek cabinets that run the width or height of the room to hide away just about everything. Or switch out your coffee table to one with a shelf or drawers. Get sneaky with pouffes and benches and find options with inbuilt storage for winter throws, spare tealight candles and magazines. End tables, a hall table behind the couch, book shelves, floating shelves, decorative trunks or baskets, and hooks are other options you might have overlooked. The right storage goes a long way to making your living room actually feel liveable again if you're currently feeling swallowed by the life that's in it! Again, websites like Pinterest are a great source of inspiration for this.
CHANGE UP THE COLOUR SCHEME
Finally, but by no means least, reconsider if a change to your colour scheme is all you need. Painting the whole room can give it a whole new dynamic and can be done in a weekend. But smaller hue swaps can work just as well. I recently passed on a few patterned cushions to friends and had the time of my life sourcing new neutral ones that are more suitable for our current furnished rental sitch and style. That, and a few coloured vases, loads of greenery and white flowers, plus the all-important beautiful candles have been a super simple but high impact overall colour correction in our living room. There are some great tends to embrace, but do you and choose colours that inspire how you want the space to feel - soothing pastels, cosy caramels and mustards, or rich emeralds and plums - whatever works for you. Have fun!
Have you made some living room updates lately?
What worked and what's next on your wishlist?
Let me know below or tag @vp_sam on Instagram.