Chucking a throw over the sofa or hanging some new artwork does more than just make your home look nice – creating a nice, cosy living space can also help your wellbeing. Brightly lit rooms, for example, have been shown to improve depression and anxiety, while indoor plants can help boost your mood and reduce stress levels.
Now, more than ever, our homes – and us – all need a boost. After living inside the same four walls for so long, it’s time to makeover your home and create a sanctuary in your living room. None of these ideas are expensive or take much time, but you could be getting yourself a whole new living space – and a calmer state of mind!
1. Cut the clutter
Studies have shown that messy rooms and too much clutter can cause stress, so the first step in creating a peaceful lounge is to get rid of the stuff you have lying around.
Once you’ve ditched anything that you no longer need or put it away in the right place, why not splash out on some flexible furniture? A foot stool that has hidden storage is so much more useful than a regular old foot stool. Or buy some cool trunks that can be used as coffee tables
The easiest way to give your living room a new look without spending a penny is to rearrange the furniture.
Pull pieces away from walls, change where you put your sofa and chairs or move the coffee table from the centre of the room to the side.
Look at areas of the room that are unused – such as a corner or behind the door – and think of ways to utilise this space. Perhaps you can sneak in a small desk or set of bookcases behind a door to create an office or reading nook? For smaller corners, a lamp or big indoor house plant can really change the look and feel.
And the great thing if you don’t like the new layout? You can change it all back!
You can never have too many cushions. Fact! They’re an easy way to change things up and add a splash of colour of pattern.
If you’re sofa or armchair is a bit worn, a throw can also help change things up, while adding a rug into a living room helps create a focal point and some interest into a boring room.
Try a Berber style rug for a really ‘now’ look – plus they feel lovely under foot, which is never a bad thing when you’re trying to add a touch of calm to your living room.
Go for soft furnishings that add comfort – choose velvet soft finishes and soft colours if you’re going for all out calm.
White or magnolia walls are a great backdrop but boy, are they boring. Inject a bit of colour into your lounge by painting just one wall. You don’t need mega DIY skills to do this but it can really transform a wall.
Choose a soft green if you want a calming effect, pink for tranquillity and love, or blue to help stimulate your brain and intellect.
5. Create your own art gallery
If the only painting you do is your nails, then the easy way to add some warmth and colour to your walls is by putting art on your walls.
Whether you choose to create an on-trend gallery wall or just add a single, large print to one wall, this is your chance to show your personality, as well as jazz up your living space.
Personal photos area always a winner as well – try Free Photo Tiles to turn your family favourites into works of art.
Houseplants not only look great and change up your living space, but they’re also good for your health. They release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide, which freshens the air and gets rid of toxins.
Don’t just try a bog standard pot in a plant, hanging planters are all the rage now and add a little bit of interest to the eye line.
If you’re not really green fingered, cheat your way to a green utopia with an artificial plant or two – they’re so good these days, no-one will notice that they’re not the real thing!
If your budget is tight, choosing quirky accessories in a colour scheme of your choice is a great way to make it look more modern, without having to splash too much cash.
If you’re looking to inject some calm, choose soft blues, which according to Feng Shui can help lower your blood pressure; dusty pinks for a soothing feel or pale green, which conjures up feelings of being outside.
Stylists use accessories to ‘dress’ sets, giving it a theme or adding in some colour here and there. A vase, an ornament, a funky mirror, a big candle – choose them in complementing colours to make your living room look ready for its close up!
This week is Global Entrepreneurship Week – today we talk to female entrepreneur Donna May Clitheroe, founder of Donna May Make Up, a brand of make-up bags and accessories