We started looking last week at ideas to improve your living space, and we focussed initially on the kitchen. What about some of the other areas – there must be things that can be done to the lounge area to improve the overall aesthetic appearance and comfort level / desirability of this space?
Lounge, living room, front room – whatever you call it, it’s often the hub of household activity (after the kitchen!) and also a room for entertaining. As such, this should be a space that you retain a decent portion of the home improvement budget for – but we all know that generally if there is any home improvement budget it gets spent on the kitchen and bathroom. Fortunately, this is an area that can be greatly improved on a shoestring budget!
One of the best pieces of advice we’ve seen, is to start with a damn good clean! Not just a flick and a promise with the duster and whizz round with the hoover, but a really thorough, top to toe, skirting to ceiling clean. Having sparkling windows, gleaming skirting boards, a fresh smelling carpet and a distinct lack of cobwebs can give a room a new lease of life.
Once your room is as fresh as it can be, you can assess the room as a whole with a view to minimizing clutter and creating more space. Really take the time to consider all your little nick knacks, your stacks of paperbacks and the mismatched photo frames. Do you need it all? Can you bear to get rid of it? How will the room look without it all? It could be time for a serious declutter! If however, these items are dear to your heart and life wouldn’t be the same without them, then consider new storage options – don’t cram windowsills and the top of the television – take the time to build / purchase appropriate shelves, storage units etc that enhance your room rather than detract from it. If you’re competent at DIY, here at Forestrall we have a range of timber material that would fit the bill for creating a bespoke unit for your lounge.
It may be at this point that you think about repainting the room – you can do this yourself or you can call in a professional. This decision is often driven by cost but try not to scrimp on quality if you do it yourself – a bad finish will stay with you forever! If budget is tight, then consider just updating a feature wall, which can totally transform a room.
Choose colours that will revive your room and take into consideration your soft furnishings – does the new look have to match in with the old sofa and curtains or are you budgeting for new fixtures and fittings, in which case you can completely alter your colour scheme. If you are keeping existing furniture, then don’t forget your dust sheets! You don’t want your finished room to be spoilt by big smears of paint on your couch. You can always give your existing sofa a new lease on life with a cover or throw. It’s cheaper than buying a new sofa, or reupholstering your old one, and there are a number of sizes, colours and fabrics available.
You may be thinking about new flooring too. Carpet is an option with varying budgets attached to it, or you may decide on laminate or wood flooring, which can stay with you forever and be updated with floor rugs which create a welcoming, cosy environment. Choose vibrant colours or bold patterns to make it the focal point in the room, or neutral tones to fit in with your existing colour scheme. Much cheaper – and quicker – than replacing your flooring every time you redecorate!
A great way to update a room is to change your lights not just to a new design but also to the most efficient energy-saving light bulbs. Proper lighting can greatly enhance the ambiance of the room. Table and floor-standing lamps bring character and style to a room. To create a more relaxed mood in your room, fit dimmers to your ceiling lights.
Also, mirrors can transform a small, dark room into a space that feels lighter, bigger and more open. Hang mirrors opposite windows to reflect more light into your room, or place them behind accessories such as candles or flowers to enhance their effect.