After Tuesday night’s Q&A session, it seems that alot of you have a similar problem when it comes to decorating your family room–you’re “in the dark” (and I don’t mean clueless). I heard from people with dark molding, dark fireplaces, dark sofas. . . And, they all wanted to know the same thing:
How do I lighten up my room without making major changes (i.e., painting all of the trim, buying new upholstery, etc.)?
If you have alot of dark elements in your room and not so much natural light, there are some small changes you can make to give your room an overall lighter feel. Here are five quick changes you can make so that your space feels a little less cave-like:
#1. Use mirrors and glass accents.
#2. Add white and/or cream textiles.
This may seem obvious but is really one of the easiest, and best, ways to liven things up. Solid cream pillows will mix with almost any decor. And, I always like to use folded throws in light colors over the side of my sofa or the back of my chair. It’s a sure fix to make a brown sofa not seem so “brown.” Another trick I’ve used in my own living room is to use tall, solid curtain panels (in off-white) on all of the windows. I hung mine high so that your eye is instantly drawn upward. They are also a nice contrast to the dark navy wall:
#3. Mix in metals.
Want to break up too much dark wood furntiure or trim in a room? Start by bringing in accent pieces in metal finishes. And, don’t worry about mixing different tones. I’m a firm believer that nothing has to match. For example, you can easily mix in a pretty gold coffee table and keep your silver lamps in the same room. Mixing finishes will only help to add interest to your space.
Hanging something beautiful on your wall is one of the best ways to create a focal point, thus drawing your eye away from the other things in the room that bother you. To keep it light, I suggest framing a series of favorite family photographs (or even free art from a site like this) and framing them in similar frames with white mats.
#5. Add a large, light rug.
The floor is literally the foundation of your room and can play a big part in the overall feel of your design. Thought you couldn’t use a rug because you already have carpeting? Sure you can. I love the patterns and textures that rugs bring to a space and have used them over the carpeting in almost every room of our house. If your bogged down with dark upholstery or dark built-ins, try adding a light shag or loop rug (I think these are more kid-friendly if you’re going to go for a lighter color). And, what if you already have a dark rug in the space? It’s totally acceptable to layer smaller rugs over them, as well.
In case you haven’t heard, I’m giving away my online design services for one room over at The Nesting Place. You have until midnight tonight to enter!