Giving your living room a new look might be as simple as rearranging the furniture; or adding some decorative touches to reflect the changing season. If you’re looking for a more dramatic change, there are a few things you need to consider first. Is your living room a formal area used for entertaining guests only; or is it used as a family room. How the room is used, of course, will make a difference in the type of furnishings, floor and wall coverings that you choose.
Let’s start with the walls, the largest background area of any room. The most popular choices for living room walls are paint, wallpaper, paneling and wood planks or a combination of a couple of these treatments.
Painting is probably the most popular choice for do-it-yourselfers, for several reasons. It’s much less expensive than other wallcoverings. It’s easier to apply, and if you make a mistake, simply repaint. There are so many colors available today, that this can get confusing.
Take your time, have fun, bring samples home and see how the color goes with your furniture and adjoining rooms. Also, if you are planning to sell your home it’s been proven that neutral colors for walls as well as floors will appeal to more people. But that doesn’t have to mean boring. Neutral no longer means that you have to stick with white or beige. These days, many colors come in muted shades and can be considered neutral. If you plan to stay in your home, and enjoy color, there’s no better way to bring it into your surroundings than with paint. You can even provide texture and interest by using different types of paint and techniques such as sponging and stenciling. Advice on these methods and others can be found online.
Wallpaper is another way to give new life to your living room. These coverings come in almost any pattern or theme that you could think of. It might also be a good option if you have less than perfect walls as it will disguise many imperfections. You can even wallpaper over that old luan paneling if you wish. When you start checking out the many selections that are available for your living room, you’ll be amazed. So whether you like Victorian or vintage, classic or casual, the perfect wallpaper is waiting for you!
Speaking of paneling, you may want to consider it for your living room walls. Todays paneling is not the tacky stuff from the 70s. A check online or a walk through a home improvement store will show you how much it has changed. It can be as contemporary or as casual as you’d like. It also has the advantage of being very durable and washable. Also, wood planks are a popular choice for living room walls and these too, can be given different looks, depending on your other decorating accessories.
Choices for living room floors range from wall-to-wall carpeting or wood flooring with area rugs most popular for casual living rooms; to marble or ceramic tiles which are more often used in formal rooms. Of course, if you like, a combination can be used, just make sure the hard surfaces are at the same level to prevent accidents.
Dressing (or undressing) your living room windows is a great way to express your personal style. Here, also, there are many options. First, decide whether you want to make the window(s) a focal point, of if you’d rather make them blend into the background. Also, do you need privacy treatments such as shutters or blinds, or do you like the look of almost bare windows with sheer curtains, or maybe a scarf draped as a valance across the top of the window? Heavy drapes can give a very dramatic look to your living room as well as be an insulating factor against hot sun or cold winds.