When did you last redecorate your living room? Maybe you’ve not touched the walls or changed the flooring since you’ve moved in or you’ve already repainted twice since you took up residence a few years ago? According to research , we Brits redecorate our living rooms on average every 25 months. Considering all the effort involved in shifting furniture to paint and paper this makes for a surprisingly regular occurrence.
It’s not an inexpensive task either. While it’s perfectly possible to save some pennies using discount codes or shopping during sales, making changes in what is usually the main social space of the home can soon stack up. One survey by Hillarys Blinds found that men are willing to splash out more money when it comes to keeping their living rooms up to date, but is it really necessary to redecorate so often? Are you guilty of getting bored too quickly? Does your commitment to trends mean you’re spending over the odds? Let’s take a look at some of the secrets behind choosing a décor scheme that lasts…
Consider current AND future use
Okay, so we don’t all have crystal balls that allow us to see into the future, but when it comes to decorating, it does pay to be mindful of future plans. For example, if you’re hoping to start a family or add to your existing brood in the future, you’ll want to factor that in when selecting furniture. Why? You’ll need to think about what types of activities your living room is likely to be used for. This will help you to define decorating goals and ensure your choices are guided by practicality as well as preference.
Know your design goals
Now you’ve thought about what the space will be used for and by whom, it’s time to consider how you’ll factor in those needs and overcome challenges. Do you have a small living room that you need to be able to change round quickly for entertaining? Do you want to bring more light into the space to make it more welcoming? Would you like to turn your small living room into a cosy spot where you can curl up and read a book or snuggle with your partner on the couch? Is durability going to be a really important factor when choosing furniture and furnishings to withstand children and pets? Take the time to write down these goals to help shape your decorating ideas and purchases.
Work with your layout
One of the most overlooked steps in decorating and furnishing a room is to adequately measure up. Failure to do so can lead to a host of decorating fails and mean redecoration can swiftly follow. Before you buy anything – from a new sofa to curtains or a floor lamp, take the time to work out how it will fit into the room. This may sound obvious but it’s easy to end up with a piece of furniture out of proportion by estimating if it will fit. Plus, it’s often possible to save money or make better use of space by having items such as shelving made to fit. Before you start changing a room around, try sketching it out to scale on paper or on a computer. Another good tip is to use removable tape to physically mark out where furniture will sit in a room.
Don’t rush things
Let’s be honest, impatience and optimism lead to impulse buys, which can mean wasted money and decorating regrets. When we move into a new home and don’t have all the items we need, it’s tempting to buy what we can afford. This may work in the short term but can mean that you end up compromising on the style or quality of important items. Buying things gradually as and when you can afford them means you’re more likely to make considered purchases or to seek out better quality items. You may have to make do along the way, but do you really want to buy twice? Taking a more sustainable approach can also allow a décor theme or style to evolve naturally over time. As your family grows and ages you might add accessories that tell stories about your travels or photo canvas prints of treasured moments.
Colour beyond trends
Colour trends come and go relatively quickly, so shade selection for the most part should be about your personal taste along with achieving any design goals you have in mind. Think about how you’d like to feel when you step into the room rather than focussing on the prominent colours on the shop shelves. If you’d like to incorporate on-trend shades and patterns, think about doing so through accessories such as cushions or decorating a feature wall. This way, you won’t have to redecorate the whole space if you get bored of the look in a matter of months.
How often do you redecorate your living room? What are your biggest priorities when decorating? Are you guilty of getting bored of your décor choices quite quickly or do you consciously try to choose looks you know you’ll love for years to come?