I’ve had a bit of a realisation over the last couple of weeks. As I’ve started thinking about wedding planning it occurred to me that I very rarely spend any sort of money on anything. That sounds a bit silly, because I do spend quite a bit of money generally, but it’s always on little things like books or magazines or meals out; impulse buys rather than projects.
Thinking about a wedding though I’ve realised how enjoyable it is to actually plan to spend money, to research things you like and don’t like, to consider colours and themes. It’s jolly good fun and has opened up a whole new avenue of cutting and sticking to me – now, at last, I understand why people get excited about interiors and renovations rather than just adopting my approach of buying cushions randomly.
It’s got me thinking then about my home, the bits of it I like and the bits that make me curl my mouth up and quickly look away. If I can potentially plan a wedding, revamping a room in my house is going to be a piece of cake surely?
Here are five things I think it’s important to consider when planning a living room makeover:
How are different colours going to make you feel?
Did you know that the colours you choose for your walls, furniture and accessories could have a significant impact on your mood? Take yellow for instance. You’d think that being a nice sunshiney colour would be a positive thing, that yellow walls would inspire a sunny disposition, but this is not always the case. Although it is cheery used in moderation, think twice before painting a whole room yellow – studies have shown that people are more likely to lose their temper in a yellow room and that babies are more likely to cry. Nobody wants that.
Lilac and lavender shades are nice for a living room, being calming and relaxing without the coldness of blue tones.
Do your research
This, I am quickly discovering, is the best bit. Don’t rush into anything, instead enjoy the planning process. Buy magazines and cut out pictures you like, gather fabric swatches and wallpaper samples, and create a mood board to inspire you. Or, do like the kids do, and set up some Pinterest boards. I’ve heard they can be pretty handy for stuff like this. Make sure you shop around too to get the best deals on things.
Invest in statement pieces – think quality over quantity
Belle’s approach to interior design is to collect as much bric-a-brac as possible, filling every shelf and crevice with as much crap as will physically fit. If you want your living room looking elegant and sophisticated may I suggest adopting the opposite strategy?
One really striking floor lamp often looks far cooler than dozens of candles, and a couple of carefully thought out cushions creates a much more streamlined look than just piling them up willy nilly. When it comes to large items of furniture, look for quality, comfort and a style that won’t date quickly, like a leather sofa – when you want to update the look in a couple of years you don’t want to be stuck with a purple velvet number that only works with one theme.
What’s the room going to be used for?
The day to day purpose of a room should be an important consideration when planning an interior design scheme. Is it a family area? Does it need to be easy to keep clean? Will you need storage for toys? Can everyone see the television comfortably? All of these practical things need to be taken into account otherwise you’ll just get left with a room that’s beautiful but totally useless. Like my spare room – what’s the point of having a double bed if it means you can’t open the door properly??
Consider your room size and space
A jungle theme might look nice in the magazine, but is the dark green paint really going to translate well to your own living room, the one that’s rather on the small side and faces north? The size and shape of a room, as well as the amount and type of light it gets, are really important things to consider when planning your makeover.
What would your dream living room look like?