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.

 

Interior Design Disagreements Solved

Roy and I are pretty much on the same page about pretty much everything. After nearly fourteen years of marriage, we tend to share many of the same likes and dislikes. Right now, we are planning a new dining room and living room and there have been a few things we’ve disagreed on.

When I say a new living room and dining room I mean our two (good sized) rooms run together and while they are separate they share a carpet etc. We are having our utility room rebuilt at the end of April and after that is done and the mess is finished with we plan to re-carpet through the lounge/dining room, install vertical blinds in the bay window (for privacy and to manage sunlight) and buy a new (or new to us) suite. We are agreed on a three seater and a one seat/armchair.

What we disagreed on is how to revamp the room. I prefer to keep our neutral walls and insert colour and style by searching for pieces that work via example, a one stop shop for every room such as LionsHome. Roy wanted to think about a feature wall. Now, the problem was that we are looking at using grey, dark grey and light. I think grey on the walls or even just a feature wall will be too dark. Don’t you?

My idea, which Roy did come around to once we had a good browse online was to stay neutral, ditch any ideas of painting and papering and perhaps add a grey-striped carpet, grey curtains and then jazz the room up with some colourful cushions.

I’m thinking of something like this, maybe.  Photo credit

The last time we undertook a living room makeover it was significantly smaller (a different house) and we had a baby and a small boy. Now the small boy is heading for secondary school shortly and the baby is six (and a half) and so we feel we can be a bit more grown up with our choices. How their rooms look under the pile of toys and clothes is up to them.

The corner of my living room. As you can see I have high ceilings and a large room. The neutral wall colour has to stay.

While I’m not exactly fickle about my interior design choices, I do like to be able to switch things around and inject a new colour or theme without breaking the bank or having to repaint (I hate painting with a passion). For example, at the moment I have a gold, silver, wood and blue thing going on (warmer than you’d think) but like the idea of a mixture of greys, neutrals and a pop of colour. In eight or nine months I might be ready to ditch the grey altogether and so will be looking for home decorations in a new colour or set of colours.

So, while we originally disagreed on how to address the paint/don’t paint dilemma/disagreement I think being able to browse so many looks and home accessories online made it easier to visualise what we both wanted and how it would work.

Now, where to buy a two-room carpet without needing to sell a (Roy’s) kidney. I just need to convince him that striped over plain is the way to go…….