Decorating Makeovers for Living Rooms

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Updating your living room decor can entail a few simple changes or a complete makeover. Choose the option that best fits your budget, time and needs. For example, a complete makeover may be necessary if you favor a clean, modern decorating style and your living room has yellowed wallpaper with a tiny floral pattern, a blue sofa and pink floral-covered chairs. A few simple changes may be all you need if your living room is decorated with colors and a style you like, but just doesn’t feel complete.

Inspiration

Choose a piece that’s already in your living room or a new piece you want to incorporate into the room as your inspiration piece. Use the colors, texture, shape and style of the piece to create a color scheme and theme for the room. For example, a lime green and clear glass vase would be the inspiration for a lime green and white contemporary room with smooth surfaces and clean lines. A painting that depicts a garden full of pink and yellow flowers might lend itself to a traditional or country cottage style with pink and yellow incorporated throughout the room.

Walls

Paint the walls in a color that complements your color scheme, theme and style. Crisp white, sandy beige, light blue or sea foam green would work in a beach-themed living room. Use a pattern, such as stripes, floral, damask or scrolling designs, if you want something beyond plain paint. Designate one wall as an accent wall if you don’t want to commit to a pattern or bright color throughout the entire room. The accent wall should accentuate the focal point in the room, such as a fireplace or the wall you plan to place an entertainment center on. Wall decor can include a mirror, paintings, family pictures, candle sconces or wrought iron sculptures. Hang floating shelves to add a few extra accessories or if you need more space in a room but don’t have much floor space.

Furniture

Purchase new furniture if it’s within your budget, and you want completely new furniture. Otherwise, reupholster and stain your current furniture with a new varnish and fabric for a completely new look. Add one or two new pieces, if necessary. Use stain resistant, kid-friendly fabrics if your children may venture into the room. Arrange the furniture differently than before, if possible. Pull the large pieces, such as your sofa, off the wall, if space permits. Create a conversation grouping with your sofa, love seat and chairs or whichever combination you have. You should be able to see the focal point in the room — typically, an entertainment center, picture window or fireplace — and anyone else seated on another piece of furniture in the grouping. Fill in the outside walls and corners with other furniture pieces that complement the main areas and serve a purpose. An empty wall might hold bookshelves if you have a large book collection you’d like to show off in the living room or a desk where your children do homework. Alternatively, a comfortable reading chair and lamp can take up one corner.

Accessories

Accessories allow you to experiment with colors and patterns without committing to them. Use a large area rug to anchor the furniture arrangement and add some color, texture and design to the room. Include ample lighting for the activities that take place in your living room. For example, an overhead light or chandelier on a dimmer, table lamps and floor lamps near a reading area. Throw pillows are versatile and can be mixed and matched with various colors, textures and patterns. Change out a few simple accessories — such as a rug, pillows or artwork — for a completely updated look each season or whenever you’re bored of your current decor. This works best if large items, such as furniture, are neutral in color.

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