Text By Nancy Johnston
If you want your living room to look like it leapt off the cover of a magazine, you can use the same techniques the professionals use to achieve the same kind of results. By changing the look of your living room, you can effectively set or change the mood of it. To do this, you must consider such things as paint, fabrics, furnishings, light fixtures, floor and window coverings – everything you can see.
The first thing you need is a good plan. Since every home is unique, having its own feel, dimensions, design potential and limitations, you will need to assess your living room for size, shape, and amount of natural lighting. Take note of any limitations, as they will need to be addressed right away. Depending on what the limitation is, it could affect all other planning. For example, if size is limited, that will dictate the number of pieces of furniture and the size of them. In addition to enhancing the visual appeal of the room, you also want to make sure it is still functional and safe.
After you have assessed the room, it’s time to decide on a theme. If you don’t already have something in mind, visit your local public library and browse through as many interior design magazines as you can find and take a look at what the current design trends are. To find current trends in furniture, color, flooring options and accessories, look no further than the pages of your favorite magazines, as the photo layouts usually contain the latest styles and color trends.
Next, consider your budget. How you choose to furnish the room will have a big impact on the cost. Antiques and other high cost furnishings and accessories can add up fast, quickly eating up allotted funds. If you find your decorating project skyrocketing out of control, consider doing it a bit at a time as your finances allow, or downgrading your selections in keeping within your budget.
Accessories are what really bring continuity to your theme. The accessories should continue the style you have chosen for the room. For example, traditional furnishings would be accessorized with silver candle sticks, classic hardcover books, signed artwork or a family portrait. Navaho theme would be accessorized with cactus, authentic Indian craft work and terra cotta colors.
But where do you find all those great one-of-a-kind accessories that you see in the magazines? Art galleries, antique and gift shops are good places to start. An online Google search will give you hundreds of sites to check. Always be on the lookout wherever you go, you never know when or where you will come across the perfect piece for that empty corner of your room.
Perhaps you should consider a one-time consultation with a professional interior designer. They are always current on the trends and can advise you on the latest in floor, wall, ceiling and fixture options. He or she could look over your plan and offer possible solutions to any problems and even suggest places to buy the perfect accessories.