7 ways to liven up your living room

Photo courtesy of Debra Kahmann

Photo courtesy of Debra Kahmann

Don’t let paint chips trip you up or pillows smother your creative side.

A few highly rated decorators tender tips for transformations that will reinvigorate your living room style.

1. Make a splash
Add a fresh coat of paint. “Color is an amazing tool in good design and there’s nothing to be scared of,” says Elizabeth Brown, owner of the highly rated EB Color Consultants in Seattle. Also consider adding color with an accent wall, pillows or throw blankets for changes that won’t break the bank.

2. Play around
Take everything out of the room other than the absolute essentials, says Mary Yeager, owner of Singular Design Interiors configurations. “Pull furniture out from against the wall and create smaller conversation spaces,” she says.

3. Unearth treasures
Embrace the wedding phrase, “something old, something new.” Trendsetters are mixing antiques with clean lines of modern furniture and solid-colored window panels. Embark on a treasure hunt for decor from antique shops to make a statement.

4. Add warmth
A fireplace can forge an entirely new feeling in your living room, Yeager says. If you don’t have one, consider adding an electric unit or even a salvaged mantel to create a new focal point in the room. “It easily changes a room’s look,” she says.

5. Make it your own
“A successful living room should be a portrait of the owners,” says Wayne Olander, president of Arteffects in Indianapolis. “It should reflect their interests and passions and invite guests and family members to enter.” An interior designer can make your personality prominent in your decor.

6. Shine a light
Increase your room height with light. Affix fixtures to the ceiling, floor or above artwork. “Some easy changes that will update your space quickly: new lamp shades, or better yet, new lamps,” says Elizabeth Jarzembowski, owner of Elizabeth J Interiors in Ann Arbor, Mich.

7. Freshen up fabrics
Reupholster an old piece of furniture for a new look. Make sure any secondhand pieces you add have a solid frame to avoid costly repairs, says E.C. Robinson, owner of E.C. Robinson Upholstery & Antiques in Alexandria, Va.

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The living room was the starting point for the redesign of a 13-foot-wide Baltimore row house. (Photo courtesy of Mary Yeager)
The living room was the starting point for the redesign of a 13-foot-wide Baltimore row house. (Photo courtesy of Mary Yeager)

Hot pink, gray and turquoise were part of the transformation of an Angie’s List member’s narrow Baltimore row house. She liked the results, as well as her decorator’s collaborative, cost-conscious approach.

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