Live it up
Mar 05 2014
Tips and tricks on how to give your old living room a whole new look
Paint it right
A fresh coat of paint on the walls will always do the trick. It is by far the easiest way to freshen up a faded, jaded space. When picking wall paint, remember that lighter shades enlarge a space, darker shades shrink it. So, use neutrals like white, off-white or beige for the larger part and use one dark shade on an accent wall or a niche to add drama. This way, you get to use colour in moderation without going overboard. Also, since this is a revamp, try not to re-paint your walls in the same colours as the old ones. Look for new shades for that new feel. Also, why not give wallpaper a chance? Take your pick from a range of options these days that go from textured to patterned.
Mix old with new
While revamping the living room, it is not completely possible to discard your old furniture. So, to spice things up, bring in some colourful new rugs. Along with this, you can even think of low-seated chairs to go with your old stuff, and voila, your living room has already started to look vibrant. Another great idea is to re-upholster your existing sofas and chairs in patterns and hues entirely different from the old ones. If you’ve had plain upholstery for a while, switch to prints or stripes, and vice versa. While you’re at it, change the drapes as well. Here too, if you’ve had curtains for a long time, consider blinds. Then, match your new rugs with the fresh upholstery and new curtains and watch your room go from drab to fab.
Bright & bold flooring
If you have old mosaic flooring or boring vitrified tiles that have seen better days, new flooring will make all the difference. At times, dull flooring brings down the entire look of a room even if good furniture and good artefacts are in place. You can go funky with floral designs or symmetric patterns and even give conventional blacks, whites, beiges and greys a miss and opt for glorious reds and even jades for that ethereal look. Besides, wood or laminate are also a trendy option these days.
It is always a good idea to incorporate elements of nature into your living room. Bring in indoor plants that require less or almost no water into your living rooms. These add a lot of freshness to the room, giving it an instant perk-up. But remember to take them out every week or ten days and exchange them with a fresh batch. Similarly, try and use fresh flowers as often as you can for these, too, add a very refreshing feel to your space.
The lighting of a living room should be such that it sets a relaxed and comfortable mood for people. These days, the concept of ‘layered lighting’ has become quite popular. This includes ambient and accent lighting in two layers. The first layer should be ambient lighting, which is not too bright and gives a soft glow to the entire space. Then comes accent lighting, which comes in handy if you want to illuminate certain elements in your room, like an artwok or a sculpture, for instance.
Art of any form — be it a painting, a sculpture, a mural or a wall hanging — can add life to any area in the house. So, bring an art piece home today and adorn it in your living room. Ornate mirrors are another great idea here. Additionally, you can also create mini photo galleries with family pictures, these look beautiful on any wall.
Design a media centre
If your living room is also your family room, watching TV may be the main use of the room. You will need to incorporate the TV into the room’s design so that it’s a feature but not dominant. A built in wall unit is the perfect spot to accommodate it.
Whatever you do, always remember that simplicity and balance is the mantra. In a bid to add artistic elements to your living room, don’t clutter the space with too many unnecessary accessories. For even though accessories add a personal touch to any décor, keep in mind that too much of a good thing can sometimes be bad. zz
(The writer is founder & creative director of Studio Creo, New Delhi)