Add Interest To Your Living Room

living room

Whether you live in a nineteenth-century Grade II listed thatched cottage or whether you live in a modern three-bed semi-detached house, the chances are that you want to put your own stamp on your interior. The living room of your humble abode will be the space that you and your brood will spend the most time in. You want this room to be cosy, full of warmth, natural light and conducive to making many years worth of happy memories.

At the same time, you want the decor to reflect your personality and be homely, without looking bland, boring and beige. It’s time to forget the magnolia walls, banish the laminate and instead look for something more interesting to bring excitement and uniqueness to your space. We’re quite geeky and like certain colours so we are looking at ways to make out living room our own. Here are some great tips we’ve come across.

Your Living Room Chimney Breast

If you are fortunate enough to have a fireplace in your living room (ours is gorgeous), it might be time to give it a facelift. That 1960s gas monstrosity will never come back into fashion, so seek out an alternative focal point for your room. For a beautiful and classy look why not consider the natural stone fireplaces that are available. You might fancy an ornate fireplace with the Tudor arches and the moulded spandrels, or perhaps you’d prefer a more minimalist stone design. These fireplaces are timeless and can add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your living space.

The chimney breast itself could be returned to its original brick facade by removing all of the plaster. A dusty job, it’s best to get the professionals in so that you don’t destroy any of the pointing. Alternatively, you could select some mock antique flock wallpaper or a mid-century inspired geometric pattern to compliment the furnishings already present in your room. 

Asides from the all-year-long interior design benefits, I have to say that a nice mantelpiece can be fabulous when it comes to Christmas decoration and garlands.

Art in the Living Room

It’s all too easy to follow the minimalist trend, but it’s not always the most practical. White walls, sheepskin rugs, and cream leather sofas look great in showrooms but unleash a couple of smaller human beings onto this crisp and sleek interior design, and handprints, dirt and blemishes soon emerge (especially when you have two boys!). Instead, give your room the lick of paint that you desire. Forget the trends and go for the damson walls, the lemon yellow hue or the striped wallpaper. Add some artwork to your walls to break up the living space. Your room needs to be full of the stuff that you enjoy looking at so don’t apologise for putting up your kids’ dried pasta pictures from the nursery, a Banksy canvas print or some photographs from your travels.

Choose Flooring Wisely

The trend of the past has been laminate flooring. It’s cheap, easy to clean and robust. However, it can also be a tad boring. If you are heading down the laminate route, go for the real oak variety with genuine grain and pattern. This feels more pleasant underfoot and is a fantastic alternative to original floorboards. I’ve made the mistake of going cheap and cheerful in the past and have always regretted it.

If you have original floorboards that are in good condition, you might want to polish them up, give them a coat of walnut stain and lay a shaggy and tactile rug to give your living space that air of elegance. 

For that cosier feel, you may prefer carpet. This can help your room retain heat, and a carpet will also give you more opportunities to explore your creative side. How about shunning the biscuit tight weave, and instead opting for a Scottish plaid pattern, a highly floral design or a Persian rug inspired print. Your flooring really can be the focal point of your entire room. I have my eye on a brightly coloured, ethically produced rug in one of our local shops which I know will lift the room brilliantly. 

Living Room Furniture

When you are looking for new furniture for your living room, don’t feel like you have to purchase the traditional three piece suite. Instead, take a more eclectic stance for your seating arrangement. Purchase a chaise longue from your local auction house, pick up that Scandinavian armchair that you spotted on eBay and then head to your sofa shop for a comfy leather recliner. Mixing these styles will create a more interesting and exciting interior for your living space.

If you adore all things vintage, scour the charity shops and keep an eye out for Danish nests of tables, G-Plan coffee tables, and retro footstools. For a fraction of the price of a three piece suite, you could end up with something a lot more exciting. Don’t forget to consider sites like Freecycle too.

Your living room should be the hub of your home. Think carefully before making changes and don’t be afraid to think outside of the box.


Renovation Planning

renovation planning

I can’t believe that the boys are back to school already! The year seems to have flown by; however, there’s still plenty of time left before we have to start thinking about (dare we say it) Christmas. The last few months of every year can stretch the budget of any family to its limits. Therefore, now is probably not the time that you’ll be thinking about spending money on decorating, home-improvements, and renovation projects.  Or so you’d think. I was viewing a new property yesterday but more about that another time.

Those brave enough to renovate or change things up in their home need to start planning what needs to be done now so that can work out a strict budget for next year and the lead-up to getting things done. It’s always worth thinking about what you’ll likely to be moaning about in your home when you get to spring and summer, yet have no spare cash to do anything about. Hands up who else does this? 

The sooner you have your priorities down on a list, the quicker you can begin to put money aside and start to plan to get your home into great shape. With home improvements in the back of your mind throughout the festive season (sorry to bring that up again) and into next year; you’ll be able to save cash where you wouldn’t have thought to previously, and you’ll have an eye out for bargains and great deals. The following are some ideas, tips, and inspiration for those who want to organise their renovation projects now for a boost to their family home in the future.

List Those Who Can Help

Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because a company is the cheapest, that it will be right for you and your family. Shoddy work can lead to further expenses and is unlikely to stand the test of time, so make sure you do your research and go with a reputable business who are experts in what they do. Here in Thirsk, for example, we have some fabulous tradespeople and all of them come with a long list of personal recommendations.

Great builders, decorators, and home-renovation experts can sometimes have long waiting lists though, so it’s always worth contacting them as soon as possible to discuss when they can complete something and work out a payment plan for yourself. Whether you need to find a conservatory that’s right for your family, need a company like to design and renovate your basement, or just want the house painted to freshen it up; work out your timings, money, and who you’ll invest with for a seamless and stress-free upgrade.

Preparation Is Key

If you can, get the small jobs out of the way before the experts arrive. That way they don’t need to invoice you for something you could have done yourself.

You can make plans now to give the house a major clear out pre, and post-Christmas is a great opportunity to get rid of items that you no longer utilise or need. If you’re decorating; plan to buy paint and other DIY items in the January sales as you’ll appreciate your initiative when spring and summer arrive, along with the builders or decorators. Remember that no job or task is too small, especially when you’re taking a weight off your mind by ticking it off the list, and saving yourself from a huge lump sum when it’s time to get started on your project.

Roy and I are in limbo land at the moment. Not quite happy where we are but not quite sure whether we want to move, or rather can’t find a property we can see the potential in, we may well be sitting down and planning out some changes for this house.

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