Your living room is the centre of your home; a place where your family congregates and much of your free time is spent. It’s therefore an area you are going to want to invest in, ensuring that you have the perfect blend of aesthetic delights and functional qualities.
The best way to achieve this is to start from scratch. This is far simpler than trying to change one small area at a time; begin with a blank slate and then craft your perfect living room from there. If you’re a little daunted at the idea, then here’s a step-by-step guide to assist you in your task.
Step One: Pick Your Colour Scheme
Colour schemes are a tricky thing to get right. Let’s explore a few different types of colour schemes and how they may work for you in practice:
- A three-tone colour scheme is the most common. Almost everything in the room will be one of these three colours, helping to create a sense of unity throughout the entire space.
- A neutral colour scheme, which you can then add colour to in the form of wall art. Cream walls and carpets are standard choices for this kind of colour scheme; literal blank canvases. The one benefit of choosing this kind of colour scheme is that you can change your art and furniture as often as you want to without having to worry about changing any of the fundamentals of the room, such as the paint colour– cream goes with everything.
- White is a very common colour scheme, especially if you are keeping to a minimalist theme. You will also need to add colour in some form, however; too white and your home can begin to resemble a doctor’s surgery.
- A neutral theme on three walls and the floor, but with a “feature” wall on the fourth wall. This is a nice way of getting the colour you might need and give the room a focal point. This is a great choice if you’re on a budget, as much of the decor is simple and inexpensive, but you can indulge a more luxury choice for a single wall.
When you have found a colour scheme you are happy with, source the supplies that you will need to decorate the room. This should include:
- Ceiling paint
- Paint or wallpaper for the wall, depending on what you are using
- Supplies to apply the above, such as brushes, rollers, or wallpaper paste
- Gloves for you to use while painting
Place your order and then move onto the next step.
Step Two: Choose Your Furniture
Choosing furniture is one of the best parts of renovating a room. There’s no “right” or “wrong” furniture to buy; you have the space to fill, and only your sense of taste should be your guide.
When buying furniture, getting the sizing right is absolutely essential. The best way to achieve this is to mark out the space in the room prior to purchase, using chalk and drawing on the floor. This gives you a real sense of what an item would be like to live with, something that many of us tend to underestimate when we’re just looking at numbers on a screen.
An additional aid for this is the AR that some furniture stores provide. IKEA, for example, has the IKEA Place app, which uses augmented reality to give you a glimpse of what a piece of their furniture would look like in a particular space.
You should also ensure that you order a set of wall shelves. A living room without at least one shelf can look incredibly bare and overly functional. You can opt for standard straight-line shelves, or more modern choices such as hexagons or squares– whatever suits your style.
Step Three: Choose Your Flooring
Flooring choices for the living room are difficult. Most families now tend to prefer laminate over carpet, as it’s easier to mop up spills on laminate, but the choice is entirely yours. There are pros and cons to both, so you have to opt for whatever suits your lifestyle.
If you have never done it before, there’s a useful guide in this video to measuring a living room in preparation for ordering flooring– a task that isn’t quite as simple as it sounds!
When you’re 100% sure of your measurements, place your order, and then move onto the next step.
Step Four: Choose Your Curtains/Blinds and Light Fittings
The curtains/blinds, depending on your preference, and light fittings should be ordered at this stage. This is especially true if you are going to be making a big change to the lights; for example, if you’re planning to convert a standard light fixture into one fit for a pendant lamp.
The curtains or blinds debate is a common one, and if you’re not sure which is right for you, then this guide should be able to point you in the right direction.
As with everything else, when you’ve made your selections, place your order, and then move onto the next step.
Step Six: Focus On The Fireplace
The fireplace is a dominant feature of the living room, so take the time to think about what you want. Consider classic options like log burning fires, as well as modern inventions such as wood heaters and fully electric fires that display a flame-like effect.
When you have made your decision, place your order. While you wait for this, and the other items, to arrive, you can move onto the next step.
Step Five: Paint The Ceiling
With all the orders now complete, you can finally move on to actually tackling the living room itself. You should paint the ceiling first, so that you don’t run the risk of drips falling onto new flooring or other decor.
There are some excellent tips for painting a ceiling in this video:
Step Six: Paint/Wallpaper The Walls
When the ceiling has dried, it’s time to move onto the walls– though you’ll want to use masking tape to protect the edges of the ceiling that have already been painted.
If possible, it is best to decorate all walls in a single day, ideally during daylight hours. If you try to split the work across two days, you may experience unevenness and noticeable join lines from one day’s work to the next. If you paint at night, the problems are even more complex; artificial lighting does not create proper, even, light so you may find yourself dealing with patchiness.
Step Seven: Add The Curtains/Blinds and Light Fittings
You can now install the curtains/blinds and light fittings that you chose. These should be done at this point, when you’ve not yet got your flooring in place, and thus can create mess without too many serious consequences.
Step Eight: Fit The Shelves
Next, the shelves. You can ask a handyman to fit a set of shelves for you; this may be the best decision if you’re not sure where the wiring is in your home. However, it is possible to DIY fit your own shelves if you so choose; this video below should help you achieve that aim.
Step Nine: Add Your Choice Of Fireplace
With the living room now taking shape, it’s now time to install the new fireplace. This will likely create some mess, which is why you want to perform this step prior to laying new flooring or introducing new furniture.
Step 10: Install Your Flooring
With the heavy work now done, you can install your flooring. For the best finish, you are likely going to want to bring in a professional. Carpet installation is relatively inexpensive; laminate a little more expensive; wood flooring the most expensive of all.
You can DIY install your floor, but in truth, you don’t want to. Well-laid flooring can last for a decade or more, so you can save money in the future by having flooring installed professionally to begin with.
Step 11: Add Your Furniture
You can now add the furniture into the room; your room should be nearing completion by this point, and closer resembling a living room you can actually live in rather than a building site. There’s just one step left to go now, so you’re on the home straight…
Step 12: Add A Rug (and other decorative touches)
Your final task is to add decorative touches to your home. Rugs, photo frames, candles– anything that adds a little texture will make your new space feel homely, cosy, and effortlessly stylish all in one. Just don’t go overboard; too many display items can make a living room feel crowded and overwhelmed. Pick a few pieces you really love and focus on showcasing these as best you can.
With the last step wrapped up, you’re good to go– enjoy your new living room and all the joy it will bring to you and your family!