Ideas for home decorating are easy to come by. They’re everywhere.
Just look on any home decor website, online magazine (e-zine), in-store magazine or watch one of the many decorating and design programs on TV.
If you do a search for those three words, there are about 88 million web pages that you can choose from.
There is so much information available on the subject. So, why it is still a difficult decision to take these photos, tips and advice for living room decorating and make them work for you?
Your home, your living room, your lifestyle, your budget....all of these things are unique to you. If you look at a hundred photos and websites, and watch just as many DYI shows on TV just filled with living room ideas, none of them will exactly match your needs.
So what do you do?
My advice to you, as well as my design clients, is to first determine what YOU need in YOUR space, by answering a few simple questions.
I know, a simple, boring question.
And, it’s not fun to think about the money. It’s more fun to think about buying things, painting, deciding how to arrange the furniture, etc.
But do it anyway. Decide how much money you have to invest in your living room project, before you get excited about purchasing something. You'll find lots of great, inexpensive home decorating ideas here, including advice, tips and resources for affordable living room furniture.
Traditional use...informal...TV or no TV...children?...aging parents?...pets?...multi purpose function?..none of these? Perhaps this space functions as a Family Room. That's okay, the same principles apply.
I have seen living rooms with pool tables in them, living rooms used as dining areas, home offices, etc.
Decide how your living room best fits your lifestyle and make your decisions from there with regard to the type of flooring, wall color, furniture fabric...right down to the lamps and end tables.Those are the ideas for decorating the living room that are important for YOU.
So before you determine that you absolutely need a new sofa, two side chairs and a set of end tables/ coffee table, give yourself a little time out and answer question #2 honestly. You might come up with a totally different direction for the space.
Be realistic about answering this question and you will have a solid starting point for your living room design, or living room makeover project.
And, how you answer this question is a direct result of your response to the first two questions as well. Your budget and lifestyle use of the living room will dictate how much furniture, if any, you will add/replace.
I’m always an advocate of using what you have first, particularly if you are decorating on a budget.
And, the furniture doesn’t have to be in the living room at the moment.
Take a look at pieces in other rooms of your home and see if they might have a new purpose in your living room.You can create a fresh look with existing pieces by moving them around your home, which is always a good inexpensive home design idea to work with.
That sofa might really turn you on in the furniture store, but get it into your living room and it becomes a fabric monster in your space.
Understanding how to place the furniture can solve a lot of arrangement issues, but if a piece is too big, it’s too big.
If that great sofa leaves you with just a couple feet of space for the rest of the room’s furnishings, it’s not a good choice.
If it’s the style and shape that you love, see if you can find a similar look in a smaller piece.
If the color/fabric sends you over the top, search for a sofa that is better suited to your space and get a price in that fabric, or something similar.
Take what you love about a piece and make it work for your living room.
Why, you ask? It’s just so cool...I want my room to look JUST like that one!
Because there are going to be differences in the size, shape, lighting (natural and otherwise) of your space, and those living room ideas that seem so perfect in a photo just won’t translate to a literal duplicate in your home.
Make a list, literally, of what you love about that room.
Write it down and then go over your list. It might be the colors that are what you really love, for example.
Then see how you can use those colors in your space, considering all of the other factors present, such as flooring, lighting, wall space, etc.
Take each aspect of that ‘perfect’ photo and consider it on it’s own merit, Then, if you still really love it, try to make it your own.
If you are not sold on the living room idea, don’t jump in with both feet.
Your home and each room in it is a reflection of YOU, not someone else. Don’t be persuaded to spend money on furniture, accessories, artwork, etc. if you don’t love it.
Tell your helpful decorator friend that you’ll take their idea under consideration. And do that, of course. But don’t paint those walls...purchase that sofa...install that wood floor....until and unless you decide it’s right for YOU.
If your budget will allow, get the opinion of a professional.
In my interior design business I charge by the hour, and sometimes I am commissioned to help make one decorating decision.
I don’t mind at all, and my client is always grateful to have another opinion from someone who has some expertise.
Take a look at the Style Board above...same sofa, two different looks.
The sofa on the left shows a coffee table and two side tables. Functional? Of course. Interesting? It's okay, but pretty predictable. Each piece has the same lines and overall appearance. Ho Hum.
The sofa on the right shows a coffee table/bunching table, which is quite versatile and creates a unique look in the space. One end table is shown with a curving, circular type base. A bit more interesting, don't you think?
Remember that it's okay to mix it up a bit when selecting the end/side/coffee tables for your living area!