House Project 101: Resetting Your Living Room Without Getting Broke

Did you know that you can actually redesign your living room without spending too much money?

Everyone wants to have their living rooms look nice but oftentimes, they are discouraged from decorating them out of fear of the amount of money they would have to take out to do so. Thankfully, there are a number of cost-effective ways to spruce up your living room without spending too much money.

  1. Declutter

The living room will no doubt be the most visited area in your house and because of this, it can be assumed that it will be the messiest place as well. With this being said, there is no better way to bring back the life to your living room than clearing all of the mess away.

Start by decluttering all the unnecessary items inside the room. Maybe add a few shelves to organize your room décor effectively and to maximize the space. You can also add a basket to place small items such as your TV’s remote and maybe even some toys.

  1. Paint Job

1. PaintingPainting your living room wall can definitely change the ambiance of the place. Painting walls is a simple thing to do and you don’t even have to paint all the walls. In fact, you can just opt to add a new color to an accent wall to bring back the energy into the room.

  1. Add Life

Once you’ve decluttered and added a new color to your room, it would definitely do wonders if you add something alive to it, preferably a green plant or two. You can even add some flowers from your own garden.2. Add Life

By adding a few plants into your living room, you’re also breathing in new life to the place. Just make sure you have decent and clean pots for your plants before placing them in the living room.

  1. Cover Change

If you don’t want to buy a new sofa or pillows for your living room, that’s not a problem. It would be much cheaper if you would have your sofa cover changed, preferably to a different color that would match your newly painted wall. If that is still too much for you, you can simply get some new throw cushions and maybe even a nice velvety blanket just to change the look of your sofa.

  1. Furniture Rearrangement

3. Furniture ArrangementIf you’re looking to spark a big change in your living room, the best way to do that is to rearrange your furniture. Even the simplest changes can make a big difference and you’ll realize you don’t even have to spend a dime to get something new.

Try to get a feel of the overall flow of energy in your living room and consider this when moving around your furniture so as not to strain this positive flow.

  1. Mirrors

Mirrors do not cost that much. In fact, you can just spend for a replacement if your old mirrors haven’t totally lost their beauty. And when you add a few to your living room, you will be inviting more light into it. Furthermore, if you place a big mirror opposite to a wall, you’ll create the illusion of a larger room.

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5 Great Open Concept Design Ideas

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Open floor plans are considered to be both practical and modern; so, if you’re decorating an open space, this article is exactly what you’re looking for. In order to help you with your creative project we’ve prepared a list of 5 great open concept design ideas.

Make your place look trendy – use a monochromatic colour scheme

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Open floor plans have become quite trendy, so it’s not a surprise that so many people have decided to tear down the walls in their place. Additionally, it’s highly advisable that in the case of open floor house design one goes for a monochromatic colour scheme. Basically, all you need to do is choose a colour that you like and decorate the whole floor in it. Of course, you’re more than welcome to combine different shades and tones of this colour in order to make the place look fun and inviting. Finally, once you’re done decorating, you can create a contrast by incorporating an accent colour into the design which will break the monotony.

Make a small place look bigger and more urban

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Another amazing thing about the open concept design is that by simply tearing down a few walls you can make your apartment look much bigger. Just imagine that the wall between your small living room and kitchen doesn’t exist. You like the idea, don’t you? And that’s not all. You can make your apartment even more urban by adding a bar where the wall used to be. We guarantee that all your friends will simply go crazy about your new home design.

Add a touch of luxury

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Open floor houses are perfect for those who want to get a taste of luxury under their own roof. For example, unlike other houses, those with the open concept design are spacious enough so that you can install an indoor pool. It will make your home look as if a celebrity lived there. Additionally, you can include some useful pool equipment such as pool lights and make your place look even more sophisticated. On top of that, owing to them, you’ll be able to create a perfect atmosphere for romantic nights with your loved one. Finally, an indoor pool is a great replacement for a home gym since all the workout equipment would spoil the elegant design of your open house.

Use rugs instead of walls

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Another key feature of open floor houses is that their design is much more economical, even though it doesn’t seem so at first glance. For example, instead of investing in building walls, you can go for nice carpets which will define the space instead. You just need to take one and place it under your dining table, and then place the other one where your sofa and TV are, and voilà – your rooms are separated!

Create your cosy corner

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Finally, an open floor plan is great because it gives you a lot of freedom to experiment with your available space and adjust it to your own needs. So, if you’re done decorating the major parts of your house, think about the empty corners and what you can do with them. For example, if you like reading, you can create a nice cosy reading nook in one of the corners near the window so that you can enjoy the daylight. This way, even though it’s a part of a larger space, it will have its own character and purpose.

As you can see, there are a lot of different ways to design your open house. However, it’s most important that you follow your wishes and go for decor that makes you feel comfortable in your own home.

Faith McGregor

Faith is a writer, seeking beauty everywhere she goes and finding it in art, nature, family, and home. Passionate about just living life to the fullest, she’s into home decor and healthy lifestyle, trying to be the best version of herself and make her surroundings match.

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Furniture Arrangement Ideas for Small Living Rooms

If your home has a living room which is on the small side, you may feel cramped or even isolated, as though you can’t relax with your family or even entertain guests for fear of them feeling claustrophobic. You’re not alone, but there are actually a lot of tips and hacks you can use to make the most of your space. Not only can you make your living room appear larger, if you are savvy with your arrangement you can actually open up a lot more space – and that means enough room for both you and your visitors to feel cozy, but not cramped.

Tips for Making Your Living Room Spacier

Be Smart with Light, Shade and Color Palette

When you make use of white pained walls, subtle pastel furnishings, and tie it together with neutral drapes and carpeting, your living area will feel much brighter and lighter, which will result in it appearing much roomier.

Make sure that you make the most of the light entering the room, as this illuminates and further visually expands the space. The easiest way to achieve this is by keeping your window treatments as simple as possible to avoid obstructing the light from the windows. Using visually light furniture also goes a long way toward creating a light, open feel to your living space. Light wood, metal and glass pieces all fit very well with this approach.

Create an Unobstructed Path

A great way to create a free flowing space is to ensure that there is a clear path through the space. Be sure to arrange your furniture in such a way that it directs traffic centered around the conversation midpoint, as opposed to directly through it.

Functional Furniture

Let your furniture provide function as well as decor, and make the most of that functionality to maximize the space you can get out of it. An example of a very handy space-saving furniture piece is your bank of cabinets. This provides storage to de-clutter the room, and if it is a pale wood then it adds to the airy lightness of the room.

Choose furniture which is appropriate to the scale of the living room. For example, a small bench or ottoman can double as a coffee table without requiring additional space.

Let Your Decor Multi-Task

You don’t need so much furniture if your pieces have more than one purpose. For example, your window niche can become a small relaxing area, complete with a window seat, which can further provide storage functionality. You can even add extra storage space by building shelves in between your wall studs.

Choose a Focal Corner

Your living rooms space is determined by more than just it’s square dimensions, If you can arrange your furniture and decor to accentuate the vertical lines, as well as additional lines to converge at eye level, then your living space will never feel cramped or claustrophobia.

About the Guest Author

Apex Window Werks provides wood window repair services in Chicagoland area. Their specialists can replace a broken window glass, remove moisture from double pane windows and even replace your old windows. Feel free to get in touch with Apex for a free quote.

Color My World

Am I blue? Seeing red? Got a yellow streak?  The colors of our environment have a subtle, unspoken and profound influence on our lives.  So much so, that we’ve even named some of our emotions for different colors.  This article will concentrate on the effects of color.

It was Sir Isaac Newton who first coaxed colors out of white light and joined the two ends of the spectrum but it was Johann Wolfgang Goethe who investigated the emotional impacts of colors.  Goethe divided colors into two groups: the “plus” side of reds and yellows that he felt were exciting and cheerful, and the “minus” side of greens and blues that he felt denoted weakness and unsettled feelings.  Some of our emotional perception of colors has roots in our own biology.  We have fewer receptors in our eyes to perceive blue, so we see the color as unfocused and calming.

Here’s a litany of some common colors and the emotions often associated with them.

Blue, the color of sky and sea, is associated with trust, wisdom, confidence and faith.  This color is most favored among males and is frequently used to promote products associated with cleanliness.  Light blue is associated with health, tranquility and understanding.  Dark blue represents power, knowledge and integrity.

Green, the most predominate color in nature, symbolizes growth, harmony and freshness.  It has a strong correspondence with safety (think “green light”).  It is restful to the eye and suggests stability and endurance.  Dark green is associated with ambition and greed.  With yellow-green, we think of sickness, cowardice and jealousy, with aqua we think of healing and protection and olive green is the tradition color of peace (eg. the olive branch).

Yellow reminds us of sunshine and is associated with happiness, joy and energy.  Men may perceive yellow as a “childish” color and associate it with frivolousness.  It’s great for attracting attention, which is why it is used for cabs. Dull or dingy yellows designate caution and decay, while light yellow is associated with intellect, freshness and joy.

Red, the color of fire and blood, represents energy, danger, passion and desire.  Seeing it increases our heart rate and raises our blood pressure.  Perhaps appropriately, it is used to signal danger (red light) and eroticism (red lipstick). Light red represents joy, sexuality and love, pink is associated with femininity and friendship, dark red with vigor, willpower, anger and rage and the color brown denotes stability and masculinity.

Orange, combining the energy of red and the happiness of yellow, is associated with enthusiasm, fascination, encouragement, sunshine and the tropics.  My experience is that nobody is neutral about orange.  You either love it or hate it. Dark orange can signify deceit and distrust, gold meets up with prestige, illumination, high-quality and wisdom.

Purple combines the stability of blue with the energy of red.  It is the traditional color of royalty, connoting power, luxury and ambition.  It conveys wealth and extravagance.  Approximately 75 per cent of pre-adolescent children prefer purple.  Light purple, or lavender, evokes romance and nostalgia, dark purple can evoke gloom and sadness.

Although black can be associated with death, evil and mystery it also summons feelings of strength, elegance and prestige (think formal attire) and its complement, white, is the color of purity.

Emotional responses to color are, in part, affected by our cultural heritage and personal experiences so don’t think of these as necessary responses to the color but rather how many people see them.  Next time, we’ll talk about how to combine colors.  And if you can find the right colors for your home, I’ll be tickled pink.

Shopping Case Goods

Let’s talk about the Great American Pastime…shopping…and how to find good furniture.  First of all, I’ll start with 3 axioms.  Everybody wants a bargain. Value is made up of both price and quality. And, lastly, you should buy the best quality piece of furniture you can afford.

Of course, there are exceptions to this last one.  If you’re moving every year, or on an extremely tight budget, you may want dispose-a-furniture, but for your sake and the sake of the environment, it’s better to get something that lasts.  It’s better to give something away than to throw something away.

We’ll start with case goods.  These are chests of drawers, vanities, dressers, sideboards, armoires, entertainment centers, think anything big and rectangular.

Low budget case goods may be made up of particle board or Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF).  Their finishes will be paper or vinyl veneer with the grain painted on or covered in house paint or enamel.  The joints are butt-lapped (end to edge) and held together with staples.  The back is likely to be cardboard (glued or nailed on) as will be the bottom of the drawers.  The drawer fronts will be attached with glue or screws.  If it’s an armoire or entertainment center, the doors won’t open all the way back to the sides of the case.  The carved details will be plastic or resin rather than carved wood.  Based on my own experience, expect three to five years of use.

Middle of the line pieces will be made out of plywood with multiple ply veneers and have a finish of colored lacquer or Formica.  The joinery may be a mixture but the best joints will have dovetails, dadoes or mortise and tenon joints.  The back will be recessed in a rabbeted joint and be nailed or screwed on.  Only the back of the piece will look different than the front or sides.  The drawer bottoms will sit inside a dado joint ( a little groove) and be either masonite or thin plywood.  The drawer fronts will be attached with a mortise and tenon joint.  The drawers will use metal glides and you’ll be easily able to access the back of the drawer.  The inside may be sanded and finished. Depending on use, you’ll have these items for ten to fifteen years.

Heirloom pieces, those which you can pass down to your grandkids, will be a whole ‘nother cat.  They’ll be made out of solid wood or may have up to 7 plys in the veneer.  The look will be a hand rubbed finish, although, truth to tell, most commercial finishes are sprayed on with a high volume low pressure (HVLP) sprayer these days.  The inside of the cabinet should have blocks in corners to increase stability.  The blocks should be at least glued and may be screwed.  Almost all the joinery will be dovetails, dadoes, some mortise and tenon and even some miter joints.  Like before, the back will be rabbetted in and sometimes will have a finish (although since this is rarely seen, not all do).  Under the drawers, which set inside a dado groove, you’ll see corner blocks and the bottom will be made of plywood or solid wood.  The quality of the drawer glides should be noticeably better and allow full access to the inside.  The inside of the drawers may be stained and finished.  The doors should have either piano (long) hinges or slide back into the cabinet (pocket doors) or be double hinged so they’ll open all the way to sides of the cabinet.

It’s worth noting that these are really ideals and you’ll frequently find a mix of better and lesser qualities (hey, just like me) in the same item.  A visit to an antique or used furniture store (shameless plug) is a good way to see a variety of techniques, woods and finishes.

And I highly recommend talking with your customer sales associate (aka salesman) if you have any questions.  Shopping is all about trust.  You trust that what you’re buying is worth your money.  The salesman trusts your check is good.