No Blank Canvas:
Hold onto the things you love – the things that feel good to the touch, comfy to relax with, those things that spark fond memories. Tossing out everything to start from scratch means losing the cozy, inviting feel of a well-loved home. A joyful home tells the story of you and the people you share it with. So, keep your favourites even if you can’t yet figure out how they’ll work in your made-over living room. Trust me, they’ll gain a new beauty once they’re surrounded by well considered additions. Re-finish, re-purpose, and re-upholster the keepers that need a face lift.
Find New Homes and Alternative Uses:
Pair down. Remove all the things that don’t bring you joy. This is the ideal time to clear out the ‘shoulds’ – you know, the things you never liked but kept out of loyalty to the people who gave them to you. Discard conscientiously by finding new homes for the items that no longer serve you. They will delight someone new.
Add With Intention:
Gather together all the pieces that’ll be staying in your living room. What’s missing? Write a list of pieces you need to carry out all the activities you’ll do in this room Don’t over do it. Add only the bare minimum of what you need. Get creative about multi-purposing items. Leave empty spaces for a calming and welcoming room.
Look at the colour, shape, line, texture, and scale of the pieces you plan to keep. Notice similarities? Notice contrasts? The curve of the sofa arm? The metal work of the coffee table? Create interest and beauty by repeating some of the details and contrasting others. If colours are mostly cool (blues), add a little bit of warm colour (clays). Revive an old leather chair with a modern floor lamp. Repeat the round weight of a beloved piece of pottery, with an ottoman.
With your list in-hand, look first in your own home and those of friends and family. Is there something there you can re-purpose or re-invent? Purchase from local craftspeople. Explore vintage and antique shops, online and yard sales. Rescued items saves the environment and your money. A good credenza from the 1960s will be better made with superior materials than a new one. Compare nearly free, real wood, no VOC, and no trees chopped down in this century – to nearly a $1000 for chemical soup that will wear badly with just a little regular use. If purchasing new is a must, then spend extra for quality pieces made from natural, sustainable materials. Fast furniture is as deadly for our planet as fast fashion and fast food.
Never Underestimate Paint:
Even if that paint is white. The power of colour to create a mood or raise a ceiling shouldn’t be underestimated. Something as simple as painting window frames the same colour as the walls will enhance the view and bring the outdoors in. Clean up the air in your living room with Harmony paint from Sherwin-Williams. It has zero VOCs, (volatile organic compounds), it’s formaldehyde reducing, and has antimicrobial agents .
We all have a strong positive response to natural environments. Anxiety levels drop and our heart rates slow. We become more creative and more productive. Bring nature into your living room by maximizing daylight, adding organic shapes and textures, such as wood, rock, and natural fibers. Incorporate water – a fountain, fish tank, or even a painting or a shiny hammered metal finish. Open the windows to invite in the breezes and the sound of birds chirping, along with fresh air. And, of course, add a plant or two or three.