At the end of a long day of work or taking care of the kids, when the dishes have been put away and you finally have a little time to unwind before bed, where do you go? If you are like most homeowners, you’d say the living room. Designed to be inviting, comfortable and cozy, the living room is the part of a home’s layout where, appropriately, a lot of the living takes place. Whether you’re cuddled on the sofa to watch a movie, hunkered down to read a book or gathered together around the fireplace to spend time with friends, the living room is the backdrop that makes it possible.
Given that it’s such an important part of your home’s design, the living room deserves special attention when it comes to decorating. Have you thought about how you might spruce up yours or give it new life? What accessories could make your living room more interesting? What is worth investing right now?
When you’re looking to accessorize your living room and take its look to the next level, here are five pro tips to try.
1. Start With What You Love
In the world of decorating, there are entire empires built on the simple idea of keeping what you love and discarding what you don’t. So in the living room, as in any other living space, you want to “start with an object that brings you joy, and choose other accessories that are inspired by or complementary to that piece,” says Elaina Verhoff of SheKnows. Take a look at your current space. What do you like the best about it? Which piece of furniture brings you joy? Maybe it’s the Oriental rug beneath the sofa or the impressive mantel above the fireplace. Whatever it is, ask yourself how you can highlight that feature more. Would a few throw pillows complete your sofa? Could a few brass figurines bring out the exotic feel of your rug? By starting with what you love, you’re more likely to make decorating decisions you’ll stick with over time.
2. Go Brighter
One easily overlooked living room accessory that has a lot of potential impact is lighting. Through the recessed lighting, lamps, chandeliers, candles and sconces you select, you make a decorating statement. Do you want to go modern, traditional, exotic or something else? Pick the style that suits you best, and pick it liberally — the more light you add to your room, the more potential it has to shine. On the flip side, by selecting fixtures and features that keep lighting low in your room, you can add a wonderful ambiance and mood.
3. Give It A Personal Touch
The difference between a room that looks like a furniture showroom and a room that feels like home is, often enough, the personal touches. The meaningful figurine your mom gave you when you were small, the custom painting you picked up at a flea market in Europe, and the gallery wall of framed family photos are all ways to give your room a more personal touch. Then, every time you or your loved ones spend time in your amazing living room, they have reminders of precious memories and experiences you’ve shared. So look for meaningful ways to personalize your living room, either by framing precious memories or pulling out precious keepsakes. These touches can make a big impact.
4. Add Greenery
Fresh plants breathe life into a space, both figuratively and literally. “Not only do they look stylish, but plants also help purify the air and remove toxins, which is great for your health, too,” says Carmen Ordonez at Pursuit of Home, a design blog from Furniture.com. Whether you buy fresh flowers every week or find a low-budget group of succulents for under $50, adding plants to your living room is an affordable, powerful way to brighten your space. Plants soften the look of furniture, balance design and work with almost any decorating style.
5. Rethink the Walls
In terms of home upgrades that are a good bang for your buck, a fresh coat of paint is king. Nowadays, there are all kinds of options for colors and types of paint, not to mention options for painting a whole room or just an accent wall. If your walls are the basic builder’s white from when you moved in, consider giving your living room a new feel with a fresh paint job. Other ideas for sprucing up the walls include creating a chalkboard wall, designing an engineering print of your favorite photograph to make personal art, hanging clocks, creating a reclaimed wood wall or using mirrors to enlarge the room’s sense of space.
Whether your style is traditional or modern, rustic or contemporary, when you’re looking for ways to add style and interest to your living room, the list above is a great place to start. From knowing what you love to being bold with paint colors, every accessorizing choice you make is a chance to show your flair and style. Evaluate your living room and what accessorizing choices might complete its look, and take a few small steps today. One step at a time, your room can become more and more of the space you want it to be.