11
Feb

Living life to the full or is there room for improvement?

Getting your living room right is key, it’s a room you spend a lot of time in and most probably the one you relax and wind down in after a busy day, it’s needs to be an environment you feel comfortable in, be aesthetically pleasing but also practical to suit your needs. Redecorating your living room can be a a mine field, soft furnishing, colour schemes, introducing patterns, furniture and spacial planning…… where do you start?

Our advice would be assess what elements of the room you’ll be keeping, it’s rare to have a blank canvas, there’s usually something to work with so keep the continuity going, remain in keeping with the same style and theme as the original elements so that the room flows and blends well together.

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The curtains are quite often one of the most expensive purchases when redesigning a room, find a fabric that you love and pull everything else in to work with them. A pair of curtains should be seen as an investment, choose wisely and they will stand the test of time, don’t compromise on quality – dress to impress your windows with fabric you love and don’t hold back if you want to add trimmings. You’ll have to look at your curtains and live with them for a long time so make sure they have that extra WOW factor.

If you’re unsure of where to start in your room – come and visit us at our Uffington showroom, help and advice is always available. We have a huge range from all the best design houses for your perusal plus we make a cracking cup of coffee, we want to make your visit to Hunters feel like a home from home experience, so relax you’re in safe hands.

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Read our top tips below to consider when redecorating your living room.

1 Assess your room’s daylight

Before you pick out a colour scheme, work out how much sunlight your room gets, if any. If the room is south- or west-facing, it will get a warmer light, even in winter, and very bright light in summer. These rooms suit most colours, but their intensity will be heightened by the strength of the light. East- and north-facing rooms will be lit by much cooler light, and will feel more welcoming with warm, pale shades on everything from walls to ceilings and floors. That doesn’t mean you can’t use cool colours – but be prepared to warm them up with hot accent shades.

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2 Choose a colour scheme

A colour scheme shouldn’t just play to a room’s daylight. Its proportions, the time of day you’re in the room, and the feel you want to create all make a difference. To make a small room feel bigger, decorate with plains; a large room will feel more intimate with pattern; any room can be relaxed and welcoming with honey tones, or more formal with cool blues; add table lights for an intimate and well zoned feel. Whatever you go for, use tones of one main colour in abundance and two accent colours for contrast.

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3 Add pattern for interest

If your room lacks period features or is boxy, give it character with wallpaper; plain windows can be similarly treated with blinds and curtains. Hang the wallpaper on all four walls or create a feature wall with a bold pattern, and choose a toning paint colour for the other walls. Make ceilings seem higher by wallpapering between the skirting and a picture or dado rail only, painting the wall and ceiling above in a lighter shade or brilliant white. To make a small window look wider, hang floor-length curtains so they pull right back past the window’s frame. Roman blinds, layered over with curtains, will give the room a sumptuous, intimate feel. Patterned cushions, too, can pep up a plain scheme, as can patterned upholstery on sofas and armchairs. Remember that small patterns suit bedrooms better, while larger prints are best for bigger rooms, and that stripes look more formal than florals, while graphics look more contemporary. Whatever you pick, choose the main or background colour carefully – this will help set the light levels and atmosphere of the room.

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4 Get the layout perfect

When picking furniture, bear in mind the room’s proportions and choose pieces that will complement them – the worst thing you can do is to try to cram in too much. In a large room, you can create a feeling of intimacy by pulling the larger pieces of furniture away from the wall to create zones – one for seating, one for dining, for example. In a smaller room, choose dual-purpose furniture to cut down on lots of single pieces. Play with the layout until it works – ideally it should center around a focal point: a fireplace, a coffee table or, in a family room inevitably, a TV.

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5 Find the right seating

Your furniture’s style and shape have a big effect on a room’s finished look. While a three-piece suite was once fashionable, now complementary – rather than co-ordinating – sofas, armchairs, chaise longues or a modular seating system are on trend. Sofas come in a range of shapes, from classic Chesterfields to retro French style sofas. Armchairs can be upholstered to complement the sofa or, in a contrasting fabric to be a statement piece. If your space is small or the ceiling is low, low-backed or armless seating, a bench or armless chair will stretch space and create a more relaxed feel. For a formal room, look for high-backed pieces, such as a wing chair – keep the overall style similar.

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6 Pick ideal tables

A low coffee table with seating around it creates a sociable atmosphere, but if you want a more open feel or space is limited, choose side tables instead. Wood or painted pieces will give the room a welcoming, country feel; glass, metal and high-gloss lacquer are more contemporary. Whatever you choose, try to incorporate an element of storage to keep the room clutter-free. If space is too short for a much-wanted footrest, both footstools with storage and cubes can double up as an occasional table.

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7 Co-ordinate your lighting

When you’re picking out a main light for your room, choose a pendant shade that’s complemented by your table lamps. For pendants, look for ones that cast a soft light downwards. Bear in mind the height of your table lamps, too. Tall ones not only look more formal, they will also need to be carefully set on low side tables so that the light they shine on you when you’re seated isn’t too harsh.

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8 Save space with dual-purpose furniture

From coffee tables with drawers and shelves to screens that can be used for privacy at a window or for screening off a corner home office, there are lots of pieces you can buy to improve your room’s finish. Open, modular shelving allows you to create the storage combination you need and can be used for display or as a room divider, while off-the-peg, freestanding pieces are flexible if you like to move your rooms around regularly. For a neater look, choose furniture with doors, to disguise anything from a home office to paperwork and DVDs.

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9 Finish the look with accessories

Whether you’re choosing a large mirror to hang over a fireplace or selecting books to display, ensure your favourite finds are well displayed. Cushions, custom made curtains and window seat cushions will all give your room an inviting, luxurious look, too – ours can be made with fabrics from our range or you can send in your own for us to make up.

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This is just a snippet of our Interior Design knowledge there’s plenty more where that came from. We hope to see you at Hunters Interiors soon.

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