When I asked for your design dilemmas via my survey, many of you said that you’d like to refresh your decorating without spending a lot money. This is what my passion is – decorating on a budget. It’s my personal reality and while at times I wish I had unlimited funds, I believe having some limits helps you make really smart and creative decisions.
Living/family rooms are easy to tackle so I’ll focus on those rooms today. Here’s my list of five QUICK things you can do to REFRESH your living/family room on a BUDGET.
1. REARRANGE your furniture. This costs $0 and can make the biggest impact. Grab a friend and play around. First, I like to figure out what’s bothering me about the room as it currently is. Start with function and you can’t go wrong. Once you view your room from a functionality standpoint, you’ll immediately see what changes need to be made. Pull furniture in from different parts of the house and don’t get trapped into using a room as it’s “supposed” to be used. How many of us don’t use our formal spaces? Every inch of your house should be put to use!!! Below is an example of a desk in a living room. Form and function!
2. CHANGE your pillows and add a throw. You can take a bland room to colorful and texture with some new pillows and a throw. My favorite sources for pillows and throws are Pottery Barn, West Elm, Crate and Barrel, Target and, of course, Home Goods. Changing these is a great way to change the color scheme of a room. If the rest of the room is neutral, then the world is your oyster!
3. Add PLANTS, both big and small. I like to have a large scale indoor tree in a living room. Empty corners are perfect for these. It’s amazing how adding a large plant can change the energy of a room. Instant life! You can also add smaller plants either en masse or on their own on tabletops or bookcases. Just make sure you get the right plant for the amount of natural light that you get in the space.
4. Change up your fireplace mantel. A mantel is a focal point for a room so you’ll be able to make a big difference here.
Here’s a quick formula for a mantel. Start with something large hanging on the wall at the center point of the mantel. Create a low vignette below on the surface of the mantel. I like to make this portion of the mantel asymmetrical but balanced. It could be a stack of books with an object on top alongside a collection of glass bottles of different sizes. Then flank this vignette with a pair of something taller, like candles and plants. The key is to have balance without total symmetry. Also make sure you have a variety of heights so your eye easily travels up and down as you take in the view!
If you don’t have a fireplace mantel, you could change up what you have on your coffee table. Grab a tray as a way to corral your vignette. Your vignette could include a plant, stack of books and hurricane candle.
My number one source for vignettes in any room is an antique shop. Drop me a line for my list of my favorite antique sources in the Red Bank area.
5. REPAINT either the walls or a piece of furniture. This will cost a little cash, but it’s still a great bang for your buck. Look at my paint color guide for some inspiration.
I'm all about sharing ideas in home design, gardening and living so we can love our homes. I'm joined by my dog, Boomer, who is always by my side.