One of the most fun things about moving into a house since graduating has been getting to decorate my living room. For me, this was the space I cared about decorating and finishing before any other part of the house. It’s where me, my boyfriend, and our dogs spend a majority of our time, it’s where guests are when they visit, and basically the most used space; which is why it was so important for me to create a room that I truly enjoy being in. Whether you’re decorating a living room for the first time or redoing your current living room, here’s how to create the perfect space for you!
1. Determine the “feel” of the room. For me, this was comfort. I knew I wanted my living room to be visually appealing, but first and foremost I needed comfort for the nights when we stay and and watch movies or relax and I knew it couldn’t be too “showy”. This really helped me really narrow down on a couch, which to me is the first building block of the room. When I think of comfort I picture a nice cozy sectional with an ottoman to put my feet on. Picking out the color and material is also very easy when you have dogs since there aren’t as many options for color and material if you want it to be durable. The top two materials that are durable for dogs, or cats, or any animal is leather and microfiber. With leather you still risk the chance of getting claw scratches (I also don’t find leather as comfy), which is why I went with a microfiber. It was also important to get a dark color that would protect against mud or dirt showing from the dogs; plus I love charcoal gray and knew I wanted gray tones in the room. If you’re unsure of the color, don’t worry! By deciding the feel of the room and what factors are important to you (comfort/look/vibe), you’ve already accomplished a lot.
2. Find your “style”. Whether it be contemporary, retro, a certain color, figure out what it is you really like! After knowing I wanted my living room to be cozy, I was also pretty set on the idea of making it “rustic glam”. For me this didn’t mean buying every distressed white piece of furniture I could find; it meant incorporating “rustic” pieces while maintaining a more glamorous and modern look. I also wanted to maintain neutral tones with no big pops of color in the room, rather just variations of grays, whites, and browns. Having this in mind helped me choose the barn door tv stand, which was my second purchase. If you’re unsure of what style you want your living room to be, browse pinterest to find what type of looks you like!
3. Before buying ANYTHING know your budget. You can set the budget based on the whole room or like me where I had a budget for each item I bought. I knew I wanted to splurge a little more on my couch and rug to get a higher quality, but the tv stand, wall decor, and pillows weren’t quite as important so I stayed at a lower price on those items. You CAN find what you’re looking for in your price range. It just takes some digging and some compromises. When looking for a tv stand I found some higher quality pieces that were larger with more storage, even with a sliding barn door that I LOVED. But then I stumbled across the one I chose for $150 and great reviews about the quality and style. It also featured the barn doors that tied into my room; sure they weren’t sliding, but it’s still a great piece that matches and I get tons of compliments on it! COMPROMISE, pick and choose which items are worth splurging on.
4. Throw pillows, blankets, and wall decor. Need I say more? These three things will take your living room from average to looking complete. And you don’t have to do it all at once. Take your time. Once you have a couch and a tv/stand (unless you’re not for that), the rest is all vanity! But throw pillows and blankets truly will make your space cozier and you can do it on a low budget. TJ Maxx and Ross have great options for a whole variety of styles, I was able to get one of my throws for $10 at Ross. Be creative, mix and match patterns/colors, and don’t lose sight of the vision you have for the style and feel of the room. Also know that less is more when it comes to wall decor (unless you’re doing some sort of picture wall), which is why I opted for an over-sized clock on one wall and a mirrored window with mason jar lights on the other. For both all of these pieces I didn’t just settle on the first one I found. I did a lot of online looking until I figured out what I liked, then did even more searching to find the best price that fit my budget.
I know these steps along with taking my time and tons of looking around gave me my perfect space that I love to spend time in. If you’re unsure about styles or what to do with your living room, leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to help with ideas or see what you have so far! I hope some of this insight will help you create your dream living room!