Most living spaces need to be redecorated every ten years or so because the amount of use they get can start to show in faded and torn wallpaper and outdated colours. Revamping a living room is not something that should be undertaken without careful planning, however, because this room often plays a vital part in everyday life, especially in families.
Many people are working within a tight budget when they are considering decorating. Thankfully, plenty can be achieved without spending a small fortune. Much of what is already in the living room may be able to be reused, while other items might only need a little upcycling.
Living in a box
The first place to consider when updating a living room is its shell, namely the walls and the floor. These work almost as a canvas providing the primary source of colour and style in the room, thereby setting the tone for all interior features.
Colour will play a huge part in making the living room comfortable and helping it seem larger than it is. Dark colours such as reds and blacks are poor choices for spaces where a great deal of time will be spent, not only for the mood they may inspire but for how small the room will seem. Light colours, such as white, creams, light blues and greys, will open up a room, visually pushing the walls further apart. You can use wallpaper, but be sure to opt for varieties that can be washed or wiped clean if the family has very young members. You can also paint for a more budget-friendly option. If the floors are covered with laminate or hard floorboards, lay down a brightly coloured or patterned rug. This will help to give the room a focal point and add an accent colour.
Your window dressings will have a huge impact on how the living room looks. The best choice will depend on the architectural features that are present, but blinds and window shutters are always good options. While curtains can add visual weight to a room set, shutters offer a streamlined and flexible means of window dressing. When you install your window shutters, consider whether a coloured shutter will work better with your chosen colour palette instead of opting for a plain cream or white. A coloured shutter could be used to add colour to an otherwise neutral colour on the walls.
The most important aspect of the living room is, of course, the seating. For big families, large sofas are a good choice, and L-shaped pieces often make better use of the space against the walls than separate three-seater sofas. However, sofas can be pricey. If your living room already contains perfectly good seating but the upholstery is looking a little tired, consider having the sofas re-upholstered. Depending on the fabric chosen, it may prove significantly cheaper than buying new. Alternatively, you can buy slipover covers that can be easily removed and washed, which is very convenient when there are kids in the family who might dirty the furniture. To get a new look for the living room without spending any money, try rearranging the seating. This often gives a space a whole new feel.
If there is one thing that most modern families cannot do without, it is sufficient storage. Fortunately, storage can be relatively cheap to buy. Bookcases, for example, are not just suitable for storing books; they can also be used to store other items when teamed with small, decorative boxes. You should also consider pieces of furniture that can double up as a storage item. For example, a large ottoman or footrest can serve as a coffee table but also open up to reveal a huge storage space. A costlier method of providing storage is to box in the area beneath a bay or bow window to create a window seat. This not only looks highly attractive and provides extra seating, but it also provides a lot more storage.
If you would like a welcoming ambience, place table lamps strategically around the living room. This will create different levels of lighting that will add to the cosiness. A standard lamp positioned behind an armchair creates a perfect reading nook.
It does not need to cost a great deal of money to revamp the living room. Paint or paper the walls, change up the window dressings and rearrange furniture to create an entirely different look and feel for this most family-friendly of rooms.