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.


Bedroom Design Basics

bedroom design, pillows

When the boys were babies and toddlers, I really didn’t have the time, or inclination, to be thinking about bedroom design. Bed was something I flopped into at the end of the day and hopefully got some sleep. The decor went unnoticed. Our room tends to be the place everything gets dumped quite functional in nature however now they are older it’s about time I turn my hand to creating this bedroom haven people talk about.

Here are some bedroom design basics to help you and me start creating a grown up bedroom we enjoy spending time in.  

The Clear Out

If, like our room, your bedroom has probably become the home dumping ground over the last half-decade or so, it is going to need a clear out. Every single piece of clutter either needs a new home or a trip to the rubbish tip. Clothes and wardrobes need to be sorted and we need to be ruthless. Am I really going to get back in those ten-year-old jeans? Unlikely! Charity shops are crying out for good quality items, although you can also think about selling your old things on something like eBay. Any proceeds you make can be a contribution to your bedroom upgrades.

The Bedroom Design Planning

Next, don’t dive into your bedroom redesign without thinking about it first. The chances are that your personality has changed a little from the last time you did this – which could be 8,9 or even ten years ago. Do we want curtains or blinds? Should we invest in some storage? Do we want to keep our beloved books on shelves everywhere, or do we fancy something a little more minimal? The first item of business when it comes to bedroom design planning is to create a bedroom bucket list and start working out what you need. 

The Bed

The focus on any bedroom is all about the bed. It’s worth investing some time and energy in finding the best, most comfortable bed and mattress you can afford – it can make such a big difference. Some people like cast iron bed frames, others may prefer a traditional headboard and footboard. The best bet is to go out to your local bed store and try some out for yourself – you get a much better feel in person that you do from just browsing online. However, the mattress is probably the most critical aspects of your room. With a good mattress, sleep is easy to achieve, and rest and relaxation will become second nature.  We are in DESPERATE need of a new bed and a really good mattress so this is high on our bucket list.

The Sheets

An often forgotten part of creating a truly relaxing haven in your bedroom is the sheets. Good quality bed linen and covers can make a massive difference to your ability to relax. Crisp, white sheets and beautiful throws are a must, of course, but make sure you don’t overdo it. You don’t want to struggle with an overload of pillows every night, plus, it will take you an age to make your bed each morning – which kind of defeats the objective. There’s nothing quite like snuggling down into a well-made, fabulous-feeling bed.

Bedroom Design and Lighting

One of the most important aspects of a relaxing bedroom is the lighting. Think about this before you make a choice about colours and decor, as it is vital to get things just right. Ultimately, this all depends on whether you relax better in the dark, or prefer a good dose of natural light streaming in through the windows. If the former, go for thick curtains or blinds. If the latter, ensure you get super light curtains – but still enough to diffuse the sunlight that comes in. 

One of the best decisions we ever made when it comes to our bedroom was to use a Lumie lamp which wakes us upon time gently each morning using increasing light levels, rather than a jarring alarm.

Colours and Moods

If you want a relaxing haven for your bedroom, it’s best to go for warm, calming colours. White in a bedroom can be a little sterile, and anything too bright is going to be on the excitable side. Palettes of black, dark grey, dark green or even navy can work for your overall colour scheme. Alternatively, try for some natural colours such as forest greens, wood browns, and stones.

Any blissful bedroom tips to share? Let everyone know in the comments section below!


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