Living rooms are the room that we use most in our house. We want them to reflect our style, our tastes, and of course be a room that we are proud to entertain friends and family in. Here is a step by step guide to decorating your living room.

HOW TO GET STARTED

1. ESTABLISH YOUR STYLE

It is often a little daunting working out where to start when undertaking a decorating project. Your living room is a key space in your room, and you want to get it just right. There are a number of things that you need to consider before you actually pick up a paintbrush and transform your space. The biggest decision is to gain an understanding of what style you would like it to be. Do you love the texture and soft colours of Scandi style? Are you more of an Modern Industrial type? Or do you love the bold colours and accessories of Boho style? There are plenty of places that you can research decorating styles to ensure that you know exactly what you love. Try researching on Pinterest, look in leading home magazines, or pop into your local Paint Place store and talk to the experts there about your options. Once you have decided on the style, you can get started on planning your project.

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2. DECIDE ON THE MOOD YOU WANT TO CREATE

Put some thought into exactly what type of mood you want to create in your room. Is it an area where you are going to be relaxing and watching TV or is it more of a formal entertaining space? Who is going to be using the room, and what are they using it for. Once you have worked this out, it should give you some clues into what type of mood you want to evoke. Most Australian living rooms are decorated in a relaxed style using soft neutrals colours and casual style furniture.

If you want the room to be cosy and relaxing, you could opt to use a darker colour on the walls such as charcoal or deep navy. This will give your room a sense of intimacy. If you have young children you may elect to use deeper colours in the furniture to eliminate grubby hand prints and stains.

3. DO YOUR RESEARCH

Now is the time to gather up all of your ideas and put them together to create a mood board. This will assist you in visualising your space and choosing colour and furniture combinations that will work perfectly together. .

Files include a Moodboard kit with step-­‐by-­‐step instructions on how to combine colour and accessories together to create a room that is a true reflection of your style and taste.

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BEST COLOUR COMBO’S TO USE IN LIVING ROOMS

The right colour scheme should reflect your personal style and taste, work in with your furniture and accessories and should give your room exactly the ambiance in line with how you use it. Casual and light, deep and moody, relaxed and comfortable-­‐ choose your colour scheme carefully to reflect how you will use the room.

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1. NEUTRALS

Neutral colour schemes are a popular option for Living areas. Whether you choose to use white on the walls, or a soft grey-­‐ the key to ensuring you create a welcoming space is to cleverly add in texture and colour in other areas other than your walls.  Some winning combinations are New Look Fresh Rain on the walls and New Look Cool Charm on the Ceilings and trims. Or try a subtle green-based New Look Cast No Shadow on the walls and New Look One in a Million on the ceilings and trims.   For a slightly deeper shade of neutral try the warm tones of New Look Balzac with New Look White Wedding on the ceilings and trims.

Dress up your neutral living room scheme by adding in layers of textures through cushions, throw, rugs and accessories.

2. DEEP COLOURS

If you would like to add a bit of drama, make a visual statement or want to dramatically change the mood of a room, then a deep colour would be an option. Deep colours can make a space feel warm, cosy and more intimate. They can make large room appear smaller. Popular colour schemes using deep colours include deep navy, or deep charcoal walls with crisp white trim. Alternatively you could be a little more adventures and select a deep teal on your walls.

Here are some winning combinations using a deep colour on the wall:

Try New Look Blue Hour on the walls, with New Look Panna Cotta on your trims and ceilings. Add in accessories in natural leather and timber, and then choose accents in soft blush, mustardy yellows or vibrant blues.

If you want to use a Charcoal base colour, try New Look Zeplin Grey on the walls and New Look White Wedding on the trims and ceilings. Experiment with textured accessories in a variety of patterns. Pick out a couple of bold colours to add depth your schemes.

A very popular colour combination at the moment is a deep, steely blue on the walls  such as New Look Rhythm and Blues and New Look Catch the Light on your trims. Add in soft grey furnishings and accessories, and if you are feeling adventurous, a pop of Mustard such as New Look Aztec Gold.

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EXPERT TIPS ON HOW TO REDECORATE YOUR LIVING ROOM

Once you have an idea of the type of look you would like in your room, it is time to get practical and plan your decoration projects. Ensuring you have the right equipment, the right paint and of course the right technique will make this part of your job so much easier. Here are some expert tips on how to get the best result in your final stages of your decorating project.

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1. GETTING IT JUST RIGHT

Sometimes the easiest way to pull together a winning colour combination is to focus on a piece of art, a favourite rug or a great fabric design that you love. Invariably if you are drawn to it then you will love the colours used in the piece.  Use a neutral colour on your walls as a blank backdrop and pull out colour inspiration for the favourite piece. In this image you cansee how powerful a piece of art looks against a deep, neutral backdrop. By then pulling out 2-­‐3 colours in the pieces and using them in your furnishings such as a rug, small furniture piece and cushions, you will create a cohesive and successful colour combination.

Alternatively find colour combinations that you love-­‐ in nature, other people’s homes or in magazines. Think about what it is that you love in the room and then draw your inspiration for a colour scheme from there. Try not to use more than 5 colours in your accessories, but instead experiment with pattern and texture to create depth and interest.  Invest in cushions to bring a neutral couch to life, or consider painting old chairs or furniture pieces that need a makeover.

2. PAINTING TECHNIQUES

Once you have locked in your colour scheme, it is time to gather up all of the right equipment to ensure that your get the very best finish in your room. Drop by your local Paint Place and have a chat to the experts there about what you will need. It always makes it easier to measure up your space before you do this, and they will then be able to estimate how much paint you will need to complete the job.

Have a think about the space and how you will be using it. If you have young children, or the room is used by lots of people, then choose a Low Sheen acrylic finish on the walls. This is a durable, kid tough finish with a subtle sheen to it. Alternatively, if you don’t foresee your walls getting scuffed or knocked around, and you want a Matt or flat finish (this shows off deep colours beautifully) then choose a New Look Flat finish.  Select a Ceiling white for your ceilings areas and then decide on whether you want a Satin or Gloss finish for your trims and doors. Finally, ensure that you have all of the right equipment: masking tape, roller tray, brushes for trims and cutting in, rollers, roller sleeves and roller handles (for painting your ceilings) and of course enough drop sheets in case you spill anything.

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Once you are ready to start painting, then set out a plan for completing the job.Always check that all surfaces are clean, dust free and in good condition. Now is the time to patch up any holes or imperfections before you put on a new coat of paint. The best order to paint a room is to start with the ceiling first. This is often the hardest section to paint and it can be the messiest. Remember if you paint your ceiling first, you won’t need to worry if you drip paint on the walls. Then move on to the walls.

You can mask off the ceiling edges before you start to paint the walls, or use a brush to carefully cut in around the edges that a roller can’t get to.  Roll the area, wall by wall ensuring that you paint in an even manner. Wait for the paint to completely dry before you put on your second coat. Once the walls are finished, it is time to move onto the trims and doors. Once again, you can mask off the wall areas to ensure you have a neat finish. Paint your skirting boards first, and then move onto door and window frames, and finally the doors. You may find that a good quality brush is better to use in these areas, as they require more precision!

4. FINISHING OFF YOUR ROOM

Once the paint is dry, it is time to move all of your furniture back into place and add in the finishing touches. Remember to keep to your plan and your colour palette.  Choose a variety of cushions in varying patterns and textures, but try not to use more than 3 core colours for them. Arrange them in odd numbers to add interest. Focus on your coffee table, and if it is practical, arrange a visual centrepiece on it. This could be a collection of books, a candle and some flowers, or even a small decorative tray in the centre with colourful and textural pieces arranged on it. A trick that stylists always use it to always arrange items in odd numbers.

Think about creating focal points in your room for visual interest, whether it is a feature plant, a bookshelf display or even just a selection of fresh flowers.

Ensure that your furniture layout is conducive to traffic flow (that there is enough room to easily move around the space, and that your coffee table is the right height for your couch).  Indoor plants will always add a beautiful, natural element to your room. Try to find a place to incorporate them somewhere.

Finally, sit back and enjoy your new space. A fresh, new living room will have a positive impact to your home.

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