Sophisticated living area

In keeping with its name, the living room is a central focus of any home. Before you begin your makeover, think about what’s most important to you in this part of your house. Is it a place for watching TV? For entertaining friends? For relaxing on the couch, reading a book? Is it somewhere for the children to play, or more of an adult area? These considerations will guide your choices, helping you to design a space that meets your unique needs.
1. Pick a focal point, and make it special. It could be a large bookcase where favourite ornaments and mementos are also arranged, or a low wooden table covered in favourite family photos.

2. Clustered art. This is a popular trend in home decorating that can be achieved at a very low cost. Collect small scale old paintings, photos or prints from second hand shops and arrange in a cluster on one wall. You can paint the frames with test pot colour to suit the surroundings, or leave them original for a rustic effect.

3. Wall of plates. Similar to the above, a collection of colourful thrift shop plates can be arranged on a wall. You can customise some or all of the plates using dollar store supplies to add mirrors to the centre of the plates, or other details to the borders.

4. Creative tables. Old trunks, tea chests or even wooden crates and pallets can be transformed into tables. Add paint or a table cloth to finish the look.

5. Neutral palette with pops of colour. Opt for taupe, sand or soft white as a base colour, extending this theme to your couch and curtains, then add in colour with lamps, cushions and wall art.

6. All white or all light. Not recommended for homes with young children, but fine for discerning adults. Use different textures like a shaggy rug, patterned cushions or soft lacy drapes to stop the look becoming sterile.

7. Reading space. A comfortable chair and ottoman placed near a source of natural light. Position a free-standing reading lamp by the chair for after dark.

8. Silver sophistication or gold glitz. Metallic accents add glamour. A chrome mirror, gilt legged table or vase or shimmery day curtains can lift a room and set off other colours like pinks or turquoise to good effect.

9. Blanket basket. A wicker basket filled with cosy blankets is a welcoming addition to any living room.

10. Own your small space. If you’re working in a compact space, don’t make the mistake of using small furniture, as this just makes it feel more cramped. One large piece can help define the room.

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