Raleigh - Cary Home Reviews & Market News!: Room For Improvement: How to Make Your Living Room Stand Up to Its Name (YHL Article)

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Room For Improvement: How to Make Your Living Room Stand Up to Its Name (YHL Article)

Below is an Article from Your Home and Lifestyle Magazine:

YHL Magazine Cover

Has your living room seen better days? Perhaps it's a bit on the tired side, or so prim and proper that no one dares to cross the threshold. In either case, a transformation could be long overdue. The good news is that it doesn't have to cost a fortune to give your living room a modern-day makeover. In fact, a limited budget can force you to be creative. And that's exactly how the best ideas are born.    The following tactics can help you overcome the challenges in your space. Whatever you decide to modify, remember that even a little tweaking can make your living room more user-friendly for you and your guests.

Room for Improvement Living Room

Problem: You don't have enough seating.

Solution: Pay attention to the areas where people seem to gravitate when you're entertaining. Does everyone head for the sofa because there's nowhere else to go? Invest in a few lightweight pieces that are easy to move in a pinch, such as upholstered stools, ottomans, and benches that serve a purpose without taking up too much space. Just be sure that everything has at least one common denominator, like color or scale. Create cozy seating arrangements that make your guests want to stay a little longer. Experiment with existing pieces from other rooms to get a feel for what works best.

Problem: Your accessories are from the dark ages.

Solution: Accent pieces are often the most affordable way to change a space. Think about what you already have that will make an impact. For example, you might want to replace those dried flowers from the last century with some outdoor foliage that fills a tall vessel. Give your favorite objects greater importance by stacking decorative boxes and books beneath. Cultivate a conversation piece, whether it's a family heirloom or some other unique antique. Any collection adds interest to the room, even if you start with three pieces of pottery from a garage sale.

Problem: You want to make your formal living room warm and inviting without breaking the bank.

Solution: Since it's more common to mix things up a bit these days, it's easier than ever to give your space a less fussy, more casual feel with some inexpensive updates. To start, an ornate lamp or chandelier can be taken down a notch with more modern shades. Don't be afraid to combine formal with edgy for a one-of-a-kind feel. Go for something bold like an animal print or plaid, both of which are popular right now but classic enough to last a lifetime. Swap matching sofa and chair pillows for a more interesting mix of unexpected colors and patterns to spice things up.

Problem: Your artwork and frames are outdated for the space.

Solution: There are plenty of ways to stretch your budget with art, and you don't have to start from scratch. Score some vintage or secondhand frames and fill them with family or vacation photos for a personal touch with a twist. Display them in a salon-style grouping for a unique effect that evolves over time. For a more cohesive feel, spray paint a series of frames in the same shade to make a statement along a staircase that can be viewed from the living room. Reframe your favorite pieces for a fresh new look. Replace the art that no longer appeals to you and have the frames resized to fit other works.  

Problem: You want to refresh your existing furniture without replacing major pieces.

Solution: Make sure the pieces that remain serve a purpose in your space, whether it's for daily living, entertaining, or a combination of the two. Slipcovers are an obvious choice, but there are other ways to get creative with your furniture. Pillows and throws work wonders to revive tired old cushions, while a colorful quilt can be folded and placed along the backside of a sofa. Why not cover the center of a chair with a runner that is meant to be across a tabletop? This will add an unexpected element that helps to disguise wear and tear.
Problem: You don't know where to begin.
Solution: Start with a focal point. If a permanent one such as a fireplace already exists, build the room around it if that works for you and your lifestyle. If not, create your own center of attention with a beautiful area rug or a large piece of art. A tall floor mirror might do the trick when secured against the wall. Or, you can simply paint an accent wall to add interest to a specific section of the room. Written by Jeanine Matlow.

Complete "Room for Improvement" Article: complements of Your Home & Lifestyle Magazine and Carla Freund, Broker

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Comment balloon 0 commentsCarla Freund • January 10 2011 08:41AM

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