Fresh out of a long and isolating pandemic, you may find yourself experiencing a renewed appreciation for gathering with friends and loved ones. You’re eager to swap stories over appetizers and drinks. You’re ready to entertain – but is your living room?
Check out these savvy design tricks to prepare a Joanna Gaines-worthy space to spend quality time with family and welcome familiar faces back into your home.
According to design experts, the first step to a fabulous living room is to think about how you use this space. This strategy can help you keep unsightly clutter at bay. If your family uses the living room to cozy up with a good book, you’ll want to keep the kids’ toys and art supplies in another room. If your living room is where you snuggle up for a good movie, this isn’t the place to keep those piles of mail stacked up on the end table.
However your family uses the living room, here are some clever tricks to make it feel pleasant and inviting.
1. Warm up to an electric fireplace
There is just something about a fireplace. It instantly warms your space – both literally and figuratively. Safe, cost-effective, and stylish, you can add an electric fireplace to your living room.
Choose a free-standing fireplace as a charming corner accent or add a fireplace mantel as a focal point of the room. There are fireplaces to fit every style and budget, though higher end models can be worth the investment. They tend to boast more realistic flames and are more reliable than generic models, saving you the hassle of troubleshooting error codes or wondering “What does E5 mean?”
2. Mirrors reflect light and personality
Mirrors reflect light, creating a bright and open feel. Place an oversized mirror above your fireplace mantel for a timeless, year-round room brightener. Let a mirror in a lovely frame do double duty, serving as wall art while making the room feel more spacious.
To really expand your room size, add mirrors behind your sofa or arm chairs. This simple trick can be just the thing to give a smaller living room an expansive and spacious feeling. Or, if you’re feeling fickle, purchase a large floor mirror that you can move from room to room as your design tastes change.
3. Plants add life to the party
Designers agree: plants are in. Adding some greenery to your living room can reduce stress, clean your air, and boost your mood. Best of all – they look great! Start out with a low light, drought-friendly snake plant. These hard-to-kill plants are trendy for a reason. You can place a large, potted snake plant on the floor by your sofa or a smaller plant on an end table or mantel.
Succulents, ZZ plants, and pothos plants are also hardy and popular ways to add character to your living room. Once you’ve gained some confidence in your green thumb, add a stunning orchid or a colorful anthurium!
4. Light up the room
Lighting is one of the most important design features of your room. It affects the overall mood of the room, functionality, and how big your space feels. One design trick that experts recommend is to provide lighting at several levels.
Add plenty of overhead lighting to create a natural light feel. Accentuate your gorgeous mantel by placing small lamps on each end. Provide a tall corner lamp behind an armchair. And just like with mirrors, you can select lamps that function as art in themselves to infuse your personality into the space.
5. Keep things airy with sheer curtains
You’ve added mirrors to reflect light and open your space. You’ve incorporated lighting to brighten up your living room. You’ve placed adorable plants on the mantel and the floor.
Keep things light and airy by selecting sheer, flowy curtains rather than heavy, dark drapes. You’ll be amazed at what a difference your sheer curtains will make as they allow natural, filtered light to flow throughout the room.
If privacy is a concern and you really must hang heavier drapes, you can still couple these with sheer drapes, keeping those thicker curtains open during the day.
6. Declutter with decorative storage pieces
For a savvy design trick, keep your space clutter-free by providing furniture that doubles as storage. Opt for an ottoman that can hold extra blankets. Place large, pretty baskets next to the couch to hold pillows.
Do the kids abandon toy cars on the coffee table or board game pieces on the floor? Why not keep an adorable, lidded basket handy for quick pickups? Empty it every few days so that you always have a place to stash the toys in a hurry.
If the living room is where you read the mail or pay the bills, invest in a cute and functional basket with several compartments for tidily sorting your papers and keeping the clutter off those cute end tables.
7. Throw in some pillows
For a simple trick that can give your living room that professionally designed feel, pick up several throw pillows in varying hues and textures and drape a cozy blanket over the arm of your couch. You can really change up the whole feel of your room by simply adding or changing the throw pillows. Then, when you feel like giving your space a makeover, simply change out the neutral shades for brighter pillows to infuse a whole new vibe to your living room.
Have some fun – this is your space
Designers tend to view the living room as the most important room of the house. This is where you entertain your visitors and spend quality time as a family. It’s commonly your view while you chop veggies in the kitchen and it’s a space you pass through every time you come into your home.
Keeping in mind how much time you spend in your living room, take the time and make the investment to make this a room you and your family truly enjoy. With these design tricks, you’ll have a clutter-free, light and airy space complete with a charming fireplace, mood-boosting greenery, and plenty of light.
At the end of the day, remember: this is your space. Have some fun and enjoy it!