Is your living room less than lively? Chances are your seemingly stale room already contains all the elements to make it warm and vibrant.
It may be all it needs is some artful and imaginative rearranging of furniture and accessories to pull it all together. What a difference a day (or two) makes!
The 4 designer-inspired weekend redecorating strategies below can help you reorganize the items inside to maximize design impact while creating a space that is both comfortable and livable.
Consider everything in your home raw material for your weekend redecorating mission. Bring that lovely Chinese water pitcher out of hiding in the china cabinet and place it center stage atop the fireplace mantel. Replace it with an equally unexpected treasure each year to keep the room looking fresh.
Mix things up for warm touches in your living room that unite the past and present, such as an antique side table paired with a comfy new sofa.
The idea is not to adhere slavishly to a particular style or era - such as Victorian or Mission - but to project your own taste and personality. After all, who really wants a room that looks as if everything arrived on the same truck?
Even the most beautiful furnishing won't work together if they're not arranged in a way that beckons you to come in and sit a spell.
To create a sense of depth and softness, you should position furniture at an angle or floating away from the wall. This makes the room feel less boxy, more intimate and inviting.
Start by placing the largest piece, usually the sofa, so it faces the room's main focal point, such as a window with a view or a fireplace.
Next, group the rest of the seating a maximum of 10 feet (3m) from the sofa - farther away make conversation while seated difficult.
Balance pieces of a similar size by placing them across from each other. For example, a pair of upholstered chairs placed opposite the sofa will provide better balance than would a pair of delicate wooden chairs.
Within your conversational circle, allow 3 feet (1m) between pieces for easy traffic flow into and out of the seating area.
Now that you've got the foundation - your furniture - in place, it's time to consider the placement of your decorative objects. Your collections, artwork, and photographs are the elements that project your personality into a room. Why not show them off as a designer would, making the most of each piece of furniture?
A multitude of tiny treasures spread about a room may seem homey, but the overall effect is usually unfocused rather than appealing. Instead, group items that have a similar texture, shape, or theme together on shelves, a coffee table or end table, atop the armoire - and leave a hand's breadth of space between each grouping for maximum effect.
Finally, take a tip from home-design magazines and designers themselves: Any room quickly becomes both brighter and more inviting when you add a cozy throw blanket, a sparkling crystal vase or sculpture, or a polished brass or gilded frame.
By adding a few of these, and by making the most of what you already have inside your living room, you can give your home professional design polish. All that's required of you is spending a quick weekend redecorating and rearranging.
Not only will you have a home with fresh new touches, it will make Monday morning a bit more beautiful.