Updating a Neutral Living Room

by Beth HunterJanuary 26, 2012

Design Dilemma

A reader of mine, Mandy, recently asked if I could give her some suggestions on updating her living room. She felt the room was a little dull and didn’t reflect her family’s personality. Mandy was interested in exploring a different color palette and a different room layout but wanted to keep the main colors of the room neutral. Since the furniture in the room was purchased before the couple had children, many pieces showed signs of wear and tear and could use updating.


Inspiration Board

Taking her design needs into consideration, here is the inspiration board I created for Mandy’s living room.

Seating Arrangement

Large living rooms often benefit from the creation of two separate seating areas. Mandy’s living room is quite large and could easily accommodate an area for television viewing as well as an area for conversation in front of the fireplace. By using a sectional, we decrease the need for more furniture and utilize the corner wall for television viewing. The grouping of four chairs around an ottoman is a great way to provide a space for conversation that is cozy and not cluttered.

Color Palette

One of the best ways to freshen up your space is to use pops of color on top of a mainly neutral palette. This is a great tip to implement especially if you are renting! White or tan walls and neutral furniture do not have to be boring and void of personality.  Here I have used a dark brown sectional sofa from Pottery Barn with a neutral wall color, Ramie by Sherwin Williams. I added a few bold accents in fun shades of blue, yellow, and orange to spice up the space. Florals, solids, and geometric patterns are mixed together to add variety and texture to the living room.

Get This Look

To implement this look in your own space, look for floral and geometric patterned throw pillows within the same color family and mix and match as desired. Tip: Cloth napkins sewn together create beautiful pillow covers on-the-cheap. If buying new furniture is cost prohibitive, consider slip covering your sofas and spray painting your accent pieces. Even lamps can be spray painted! Personalized artwork, typography, and gallery walls are all fantastic way to add personality to your room.
So how about you? Do you have any favorite items from the board? As you can tell, I love throw pillows :). Would I recommend using that many on your couch at one time? Not necessarily, but I love the inspiration they offer! If you end up using some of the above inspiration in your own home, we’d love to see pictures over on the Homes.com Facebook page!

About The Author
Beth Hunter

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