Keep it sweet, opt for impact with a sugary shade – decorating with pastels needn't mean going entirely pale. Paint an accent wall in a darker colour, which will serve to balance the lighter tone on an adjacent wall. Use matt emulsion to create a fashionable low-sheen look – a velvety, almost chalky finish – ideal for uneven walls in the living area. Make it multi-coloured, a family space is the perfect place to go big on colour. Choose a low-slung modular sofa in a mix of pretty colours for flexible seating that will bring a sense of fun to a family room. Paint walls white to create a backdrop that makes the colours really pop. Keep other furniture minimal so the sofa takes pride of place. Stick to blue, create a fabulously fresh space with blue. Marry steely blues, from mineral to aqua shades, to devise a scheme you won't want to leave. Mimic a dado or picture rail in paint – and take it all around the room for added impact. Keep the feel classic with white or natural wood furniture or create a more exotic look by adding texture and pattern for that year-round holiday feel.
Seek harmony, warm up your living room in the colder months with plum tones. Combine shades of claret and dusky rose to make the space toasty and snug. Colour-block the main wall with a port-wine red to introduce a rich, heritage element. Prevent the colour scheme going into overdrive by using softer mauve-greys, browns and greys for accessories and other elements in the room. Choose a hero shade, pick a hold-on-to-your-hats shade for an instant living room transformation. This stunning emerald green is one of those precious shades that is able to make a splash both in its own right, while also making stars of the furnishings it provides a backdrop to. This collection of artwork, accessories and minimalist furniture is all the more impressive for the vibrant green it shares space with.
If you have an open plan dining area in your living room (as many new homes do), ensure about 4ft distance between the table and the wall, or the dining space will feel cramped and lessen the dining experience. If you want to unify the different components of different spaces in an open plan living room, such as the dining area or reading nook, you can use area rugs to almost create “wall-free” rooms within the large room. Experiment! Move things around, measure them, look at your room from all angles and picture it from an aerial point of view for an idea on available floor space. What's important is that it's comfortable and feels like home. Having the bookcase there allowed me to display some family photos and a few more decorative items that would otherwise just be stored in a box. It also works well because there's no back on the bookcase which allows the light to shine through and not close in the space. Of course I would love to have something that fit exactly and looked more built in but this is just a rental for the year and I'm all about making things work and look nice, even if it's only temporary.
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