We are not all interior décor experts and the experts come for a hefty fee. There are some basics that can help give your living room a character and reflect your persona. No matter how small the room and how busy your lives it’s necessary to try and make it a cozy place for relaxing with family and friends. Your surroundings influence your mood. Whether it’s sitting down for the daily chai or entertaining an old friend, or having the gang over for dinner, maybe it’s just a drink or catching up on the day’s news. Living room is the first entry point to your home, it has to be warm and welcoming. Common sense, good taste, which can always be developed if in deficit, some basics, that’s all we need to make it happen- quick livingroom makeover.
No to plastic or other fake flowers.Not trying to be a ‘no to plastic’ activist, they look tacky, lifeless it’s poor taste. Get a potted plant instead; nothing to beat the real thing No need for anything exotic, a healthy money plant will do. There is plenty to choose from. The easy to maintain Kalanchoe, Fern, Philodendrons, Palm, Ficus, Song of India and lots more. Potted plants ina living space livens it up, helps purify the air & reduce airborne toxins. Before buying remember to check on its light &water requirements. Most are low maintenance and you will love to watch it grow.
Family photos; in case you have empty walls or a ‘paint peeling off’ corner, choose some memorable moments captured in the camera, even better some black & white. Choose those moments with the grandparents, graduation day, the marriage shots, special holidays, cousins friends the kids growing up. Select a simple solid colour(black, brown) frame and hang them in close proximity. You transform the wall into a story board.
Keep the dust off;It’s very important to keep all surfaces dust and cobweb free. Dusty dirty surface speaks volumes about the homemaker. Regularly clean glass table tops or other glass items.
Declutter; if you have things piling up and falling from all sides, take stock, do you really need everything? Maybe you can put away some things;some need to be thrown away. Use storage bins and baskets(thinkof creative storage options) to putaway magazines, newspapers and curios. You can also rotate the ornaments and other deco pieces on a seasonal basis. You cannot exhibit everything in the living space; it’s not a dumping ground.
Add colour; if you have a fading sofa or couch try adding a bright cushion or a throw, even a bright shawl will do, thrown over casually. Try adding cushion on seating places and on floors. No need to buy cushion cover sets better to have single pieces, maybe different styles and fabrics; mirror work, phulkari, kalamkari, crewel embroidery etc. Mix and match
Rugs/ Durries; No need to buy expensive carpets, try rugs, Keep them dust free. They are relatively cheaper, so you can even have a few in stock, lighter to handle and much easier to clean. Remember carpets if not cleaned thoroughly (specialized cleaning) can be a source of various bronchial diseases due to the accumulated dust.
Simmer pots/ candles/ fresh flowers; Invest in good quality essential oils, use a simmer pot when you have guests. Remember foul and musty smell or kitchen fumes put off people, no need to torture your guests. If nothing else try burning some camphor. Don’t waste money on scented candles, mostly they don’t work, however candles add to the ambience. Floating and big oversized candles give a wonderful cozy feel especially in the winter days. When entertaining fresh flowers are a must, put them in plain glass vases see how things around you change.
Furniture;Experiment with odd pieces you don’t need to match everything. Buy solid colours and match with contrasting cushions. Look for poufs, cane and bamboo seats, solid wood, avoid plastic and leather substitutes. Natural is always classier. Get furniture with storage space. Keep it simple and less, empty space is important to give a comfy feel. Look into restoring or buying old furniture.
Do not frame posters, even a simple painting is a better option. Frame some of your children’s’ drawings they look endearing.
No fabric based wall hangings pinned on the wall that is so bygone. Think of mirrors, they give a feeling of extra volume, spreads natural light throughout the space. In evenings it will reflect any source of lighting.
Small things can go a long way; expensive is not always the best. Unleash your creative instincts, try out these little tips and make a difference.
Written byShayonti Chatterji