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A Beginner’s Guide to Decorating a Living Room
From couches and chairs to bookshelves and fireplace mantels, designing a living room is no easy feat. Not only will you be working with the size of your living room, but you may also be working with a budget. Consider the following tips when designing your perfect living room.
Living Room Design Basics
The design of your living room says a lot about you and the people you live with. Different themes signal different personalities. Luxurious fabrics might tell guests you’re a more formal person, while a bohemian theme might express that you’re a little more unconventional. Understanding your style, laying out a design, and working within your budget are all essential and attainable factors for decorating your living room. The following tips outline some living room design basics.
Planning Your Living Room Layout
Before spending money or throwing out old furniture, devise a plan. You should know prior to any decorating what you want and what you don’t want in your new living room. Think about how your room will be used. If you love inviting friends and family over, consider purchasing more seating options. If watching sports or the latest episode of Survivor is more your style, consider investing in a larger TV. Either of those personal hobbies may bode well with an appropriately-sized coffee table.
Take measurements of your space in order to make comparisons for whether or not an item will fit. You can further detail your room design with simple graph paper or with a nifty online room planning tool. Both options allow you to make furniture and storage choices that are compatible with the size of your living room. For instance, if you’re looking for the best spot to install a fireplace or a fireplace mantel, the answer may be right in the center of a wall. Use the accurate measurements of graph paper to find that center. Depending on room dimensions, this may also be an opportunity to implement more character or even additional storage space by getting appropriate mantel surrounds. This can both accent the placement and make the feature practical for the space.
Deciding on a Theme
As important as utility is, choosing a theme that truly satisfies you is just as fundamental. Selecting the right paint, furniture, artwork, and lighting involves a lot of coordination. Browse the Internet to find living room decorating ideas for every taste and every style. Build a theme that is comfortable and welcoming not only for yourself, but for your family and friends as well.
Setting and Following Your Decor Budget
Following a budget is the best way to ensure you pursue an affordable home decor project. Consider the following advice for creating your ideal living room without the fear of overspending:
Determine your budget - Your decor budget shouldn’t cut into mandatory expenses. In other words, that $1,700 couch isn’t worth cutting off your electricity for two months. Set up a budget and allot how much you are able to spend on each item.
Comparison shop - After determining a budget and an idea of what you want, search around at different shops that offer the same or similar products. Odds are the coffee table or chairs you are looking at are marked at a lower place in a nearby store.
Prioritize purchases - When decorating on a budget it is important to choose function over form. You probably need a couch more than you need an expensive piece of art.
Shop thrifty - Thrift stores often offer good deals on barely-used furniture. For bookshelves or coffee tables, look in a few of your local thrift stores. Be more cautious when purchasing couches or chairs from a thrift store as these items are more prone to tears and stains. If you’re thinking of purchasing a couch or chair be sure to check every part of it, including under the cushions.
Special Considerations When Decorating
Having a small space or a budget to work with can limit options when it comes to decorating. The following advice will provide you with ideas for creating a living room within your space and budget allotments.
DIY Decor Ideas
Do-it-yourself (DIY) home decor projects have become increasingly popular and user-friendly with helpful online resources. These projects may better allow you to express yourself creatively and truly make a space yours, all the while adhering to a manageable budget. For example, you can repurpose glass bottles as flower vases or food containers, and then decorate them with vinyl lettering and food-safe spray paint.
How To Decorate a Small Living Room
Working within the confinement of a small room can pose challenges. With the proper arrangement of furniture and decor, however, you can make a room look cozy and welcoming. The following bullet points offer tips on how to maximize a limited amount of space:
Multi-functional Furniture - A lot of furniture is multi-functional. Coffee tables, for instance, sometimes come with drawers or storage bins built in. Some couches fold out into a bed. Ottomans provide a place to sit, kick your feet up, or store items as well.
Shelving - Shelves not only give living room walls a sense of purpose, but also present a fashionable way for homeowners to display valuable or meaningful items.
Painting & Lighting - Light-colored, soft-toned paints can make a room appear bigger than it is. However, if your living room has access to natural light that will work just as well, if not better.
Future Living Room Updates
When designing your living room think about how long items will last, the purpose of them, and whether or not you’ll grow tired of them. Design plans change over time so it is important to build a room that is adaptable. If you’re planning on having children, certain items with sharp corners may have to go. Conversely, if your children have moved out, or are planning to move out, you may have more leeway to open up space in your living room. Setting aside a portion of your savings for future decor updates may come in handy.