Everyone loves to give their home a mini makeover and often it can not only be fun, but also provides a welcome distraction from life’s trials and tribulations. Sadly, in times of financial crisis or when concerns around employment security are on the up, home improvements often become a luxury that has to take a back seat. Luckily, there are some small and simple touches to help you spruce up your living room on a shoestring budget.
A lick of paint is a great place to start improving your living room on a budget. Better still, by mixing and matching corresponding colours and patterns on the surfaces such as walls and floors, you can give your living room a personal, unique and homely style.
A neutral furnish also gives you a lot of room to change the style of the room at a low price, using cushions, throws, carpets, curtains and accessories. These furnishings can perfectly compliment the paint and wallpapers which help to refresh your living room instantly. For perfect balance, the key colour rule is that a room shouldn’t have more than three different colour tones - these should be equally distributed over the room and work together. For instance, grey loves mixing with yellows and greens, and purple with yellow, green and beige. People who like modern, dramatic contrasts can combine white, pink/purple, black and silver.
Often the shades of only two colours are enough, which could be contrasted with one item in another brighter colour. Pastel versions of yellow, green, blue and brown are ideal for bigger areas such as walls, furniture, curtains and carpets. Strong colours such as red, orange, dark blue, brown and black are ideally used as accents and to set contrast on lighter grounds. Here, reds or oranges are ideally combined with browns and beiges and blue with beiges and browns.
Choosing colours for a room and patterns for its surfaces, you need to think about what sort of atmosphere you want to create in your living room. Comfortable colours such as brown, mustard yellow and orange make a room warmer and create a grown-up flair. In contrast, nude pink stripes with pastel floral themes on beige grounds give a room a feminine retro-country style. Furthermore, it is said that blue and green have calming qualities, as opposed to reds and oranges which it is believed increase blood pressure and raise appetites which makes them suited to dining rooms. Take a look at Cheshire’s Furniture Market for some ideas on dining chairs and dining furniture.
Pattered walls also work best in well-lit rooms with minimalistic furnishing and decorations, and need to be balanced with plain and neutral accessories such as furniture. It’s also recommended to use patterned wall paper only on one or two walls, and to give a neutral colour to the remaining ones. In turn, if your furniture such as sofas are very colourful or show patterns, this should be balanced with neutral colours at the walls, cushions and flooring. It is also possible to contrast patterned wallpaper with opposing designs on fabrics with the same colour scheme.
Accessories and lamps have a vital role in bringing symmetry into the room, by balancing colours and setting accents.
Here the rule is that accessories such as candle holders, vases and pictures should be chosen having the main three or two colours in mind. Accessories are great to add colour to one area of the room where it isn’t represented yet, so really think about the layout of your living room.
Even flowers can be picked to add to the given colour theme. Having a natural theme in the room due to the usage of pastel greens, this can be completed by items made of natural, untouched materials such as wood, stones, sand or shells. Plain and bigger accessories can help settle and calm a room that might be dominated by patterned wallpapers or curtain prints. Accessories also can be used to set one big contrast to the room’s scheme, which defines the overall atmosphere. To create a homely feeling, chunky knits and wool throws are ideally used on sofa and stools.
Lighting is also an essential to complement either the relaxed or lively atmosphere – plus it’s a cheap quick fix too. However, decoration loses its positive effects if there is too much of it in the room. Less is often more, so decoration shouldn’t dominate the room but rather accentuate it.