6 Tips to Refresh a Drab Living Room

I’m delighted to have Emily from Zillow as a guest on the blog. Zillow has been my go-to site during our recent move and search for a home. If you are buying, selling, or simply want to know the market in your area then check out Zillow. See Zillow Digs for inspiration too!

Enjoy these tips by guest writer Emily Creswick:

Home styling is not typically a high priority for busy families. When schedules are packed, living in outdated or disorganized environments becomes the norm. In turn, this causes unnecessary clutter and household stress that can be avoided with a little effort toward interior design. Making small updates to high-traffic living spaces can dramatically change a home’s atmosphere and the moods of its residents.

Refreshing a drab living room creates a functional and inviting space where families and their visitors can relax and mingle. Even with limited budgets, it’s easy to make a positive impact. Check out these six tips to learn how.

1.      Define the Purpose

It’s common for a living room to become a dumping ground for kid’s belongings, gym bags, shoes and random items after the family comes home from school or work. This causes unnecessary clutter and takes up valuable living space. The first step to update an area is to define the purpose of the room and remove the items that don’t belong. When reducing the purpose from catch-all to family room, be sure to create new homes for the typical overflow items. For instance, add a table, cubbies or shoe rack to the entry hall. Once random clutter is removed it’s much easier to see the entire living space available.

2.      Aim for Open Layout

A common design mistake is to overcrowd the living room with furniture and accessories. Too many items results in clutter and confusion. To refresh, adopt the design notion of “less is more.” Assess whether furniture pieces are required or unnecessary. When it comes to accessories, keep it simple. Adding decorative mirrors and modern, oversized canvas prints on the walls are great ways to create open space while incorporating artistic decoration.

3.      Increase Storage

Storage is essential to keeping the living room tidy. Create dedicated storage spaces for items not in use, such as TV remotes, magazines and books. Lucite and acrylic trays are trendy and modern while functional as storage solutions. Include side tables with decorative coasters for safe placement of beverages when watching TV. Consider using a fashionable trunk with storage space for blankets instead of a coffee table. If the room doubles as a kid’s play area, invest in some durable and attractive baskets to store toys.

image from Zillow Digs

image from Zillow Digs

4.      Eliminate Outdated Pieces

If the living room has a lumpy couch, any faded, floral prints or sun damaged curtains, then it’s time for an update. Do-it-yourself re-upholstery projects are great for reinvigorating furniture while saving money. New curtains are a cost-effective purchase that instantly add vibrancy to a drab living room. If a larger budget allows, splurge on a comfy new couch or durable rug for the high-traffic area.

5.      Get Creative with Color

Painting a bold feature wall can be intimidating. Do some research on Zillow Digs to spark design inspiration. For a lively feel, choose a bold color. Select a muted or lighter color for a classic, softer look. Work in cushions and throws of similar hues for balance.

6.      Keep it Fresh

Rooms are more inviting when they smell fresh and clean. Adding scented candles is a great way to freshen up the room while adding style and ambiance. Another option is to use air-refreshing plugs that discreetly hide in wall outlets. For safety purposes, ensure candles and air fresheners are out of reach of little hands and pets.

A fresher and more inviting living room is only a few easy steps away. For more great style tips and solutions check out staged homes on Zillow.

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 If you want me to help you Love the Space You’re In see my services, here. I’m finally on Instagram! Follow JulieMInteriors PLUS I have a new project in the works that you’ll want to follow!

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7 Reasons Why You Have Too Much Stuff

Do you realize that the things holding you back, crowding your space, preventing creativity, and making you feel frozen is mostly just STUFF. Why do you have 8 pairs of black pants, 15 coffee mugs, 30 plastic containers, 5 pairs of tennis shoes,… and ________ (you fill in the blank). What are you really using? What are you loving? What do you require? It’s mostly just stuff.

What is the reason why your closets are full, your cabinets are over-flowing, your decorations are dusty? Do any of these sound like you?

1. I may need it sometime.

2. It was given to me and I’d feel bad to part with it…but I don’t really use it or like it.

3. I’m going to wear it again, I hope…someday.

4. I have an emotional attachment to things.

5. My children may want it someday.

6. It was my great great great grandmas and wouldn’t that be wrong to part with it or change it?

7. It was expensive. I no longer like it or use it but good gosh it was expensive.

and more and more….

So, are you hanging onto the past, choosing to not surround yourself in your style, frozen in old and ugly, unable to make expensive mistakes, passing on guilt to those you love, or are you just full of excuses.

Does any of this fit you? I’m not only talking about the person that has an entire home full of STUFF, I’m also talking to the person that has a crowded closet, could sell their own make-up line, buys mindlessly, or has decorative crap all over the house.

 

bhg.com

bhg.com

What should you do? Streamline your collections, your clothes, your yoga pants, your magazines/books, your jeans, your artwork… whatever the STUFF is for you. Pick a number and stick to it. For example, if you have 15 coffee mugs then choose 6 of the best and donate the rest. Most of us do not need 10 pairs of jeans. Challenge yourself to live with less. Live with the best of what you have.

bhg.com

bhg.com

 

southernliving.com

southernliving.com

 

Peace and simplified spaces to all!

See my organizing and decorating services here. Love the Space You’re In.

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Home Organization with a Binder- Free Printables

Home organization can begin with one simple tool- a household binder. Do you have one place to keep your quick-to-access, daily information? Where do you keep addresses, emergency contacts, doctors numbers, sitter details, school contacts and calendars, gift cards, receipts, menu plans, passwords, to-do list, birthday invitations…? Wouldn’t it be easier to have ONE place where you go to access some of these things? A household binder is a great organization tool for anyone. My brain can’t hold all of this information, nor can I remember where I’ve kept it all! It’s very tiring.

I have sections, pockets, extra sticky notes, and blank note paper in mine. It also holds an extra checkbook, gym cards, medical cards, and those annoying key tag cards. Keeping it in view and in one location makes it a family tool.  Make your binder fit your needs. Create sections, insert your own charts/checklist, or add pockets. (I use several pockets in mine)

This is your push to get started! I’m helping you start your binder with some customized printable pages.

Click the image for access. Then, simply enlarge to see better and scroll to see each page. You can then download to your computer and print away!

binder image

Don’t procrastinate! This is a great first step to getting organized and your brain will thank you!

I’d love to help you with your home goals. See Services here.

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Day 6: Organize Your Holiday Decorations

Now that you have opened your holiday decorations and unwrapped the last ornament it’s time to prepare for putting it all away. While you’re out shopping you may want to pick up a few of these items to help you organize your holiday décor. Happy Organizing!

holiday6

 

OB-Organize Holiday Decor

 

In case you missed them: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5

I’d love to help you in your home. See services here.

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A Clean and Organized Home

I am a Decorator so clearly I love people to be surrounded by pretty things that make them feel good in their space. I also organize for clients (amongst other services!) because pretty isn’t possible when all you see is stuff . That might mean that you and your family need to work towards a daily chore chart OR you need better solutions for your belongings. Organizing solutions.

Being unorganized does not mean you are messy. In fact, most homes I have worked in are very clean but need spaces that work better and have storage solutions in place.  Function, flow, and feeling are always the three guidelines I follow when helping clients.

What’s the point of adding the pretty if it’s surrounded by clutter and a feeling that brings chaos to your day?

If you have a place for your belongings but neither you nor your family manage to stick with the plan then it’s not working. Reset your solution and test an alternative idea–or have a do it or else moment!

Before you buy things to make your space feel better consider the items you already have and how you are utilizing them.  Take inventory of each space in your home and write down what’s good, what needs improvement, and what’s making you feel less than great.

You deserve to Love the Space You’re In!

 

Closet by Elfa

Closet by Elfa

 

HGTV

HGTV

 

BHG.com

BHG.com

 

BHG.com

BHG.com

 

I’d love to help you with your home! See my decorating, redesigning, organizing, styling, and e-Design services. Email Julie@JulieMontgomeryInteriors.com for inquiries.  Gift certificates available too!

 

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