12 Tips To Liven Up Your Living Room

BY NANCY MATTIA ON AUGUST 1ST, 2017

blog-image Replace a sofa’s throw pillows with new, brightly colored pillows to add a pop of color to a dull living room.

If you feel like your living room suffers from stale style – meaning, you haven’t changed the décor in years – now’s the time to shake things up. “Refresh your living room every five years minimum,” says Abbie Jacobson, who owns Abbie Jacobson Design & Decoration in Chicago. But you don’t need a big budget or time commitment to alter its look in a big way. Here are some updates you can start doing today.

1. Paint the walls.

Giving the living room a fresh coat of paint will liven things up in an instant. It’s the classic way to give new life to a space that’s easy and affordable.

2. Add an accent wall.

If you want to take it a step further, paint one wall a different color, Jacobson says. Pick a hue that contrasts with the other walls’ color – it doesn’t have to be super bold but it should stand out. For inspiration, look at colors in the room’s area rug, sofa or accessories.

3. DIY a textured wall.

An alternative to a painted accent wall, modular wall textures are like wallpaper with dimension. Jacobson, who recommends Inhabit and Modular Arts’ 3D wall panels, says these nonpermanent squares with sculptural surfaces come in white but can be painted the color of your choice.

4. Buy something new.

It can be as simple as a vase from a local home store put in a prominent place. The point is that a new item will play off the rest of the furnishings in subtle but interesting ways.

5. Substitute bright or bold throw pillows.

Much like painting the walls a vibrant shade, replacing your sofa’s decorative pillows with striking new ones will infuse the room with an immediate shot of color.

6. Move furniture around.

Don’t be timid – really move furnishings to different spots. Move the sofa to the center of the room if it’s now against a wall, rearrange the chairs, put the candlesticks from the dining room on the living room mantel. It’ll feel like you went out and bought all new things.

7. Hang framed photos.

It’s time to print some of the best photos on your phone, get them framed in the same style and create a mini gallery on your living room walls.

8. Change artwork.

Besides photos, rethink your paintings and framed prints and posters. If you’ve got any artwork stuck in the back of a closet, consider switching it out with what’s currently on the walls.

9. Replace worn-out lamps with modern lighting.

One popular choice is a tripod floor lamp, available in many different materials from wood to polished nickel. It will give your living room a more updated look and works with décor that’s modern as well as transitional, a blend of both traditional and contemporary, Jacobson says.

10. Make the floor interesting.

“I love doing a chevron floor,” says Jacobson of the classic V-shaped striped pattern. The design gives wood and tile flooring more personality and presence. For any DIY chevron-flooring project, be sure to use painter’s tape to make the job easier and goof-proof.

11. Mix high- and low-end furnishings.

Blending a pricey piece (an antique coffee table) with something more affordable (an mass-market armchair) will energize your living room, creating a more interesting vibe, says Jacobson.

12. Do something different with the window treatment.

Instead of traditional curtains, hang pinched pleat panels. “They come in different fabrics, prints, and colors and have a defined, linear look,” Jacobson says. Or hang decorative shades that go beyond standard vinyl slats. Manufacturers such as Chilewich offer roller and roman shades and vertical blinds in many colors and fabrics that transform a room with modern style.

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